With more and more money being thrown at digital marketing every year, now is a great time to look at ways to maximize the impact of your print campaigns and restore balance to your marketing efforts. Why? Events like Valentines Day in February, Mothers’ Day, taking place in the UK in March and in the US in May, along with Easter in April, mean that Q1 and Q2 of 2015 are practically crying out for personalised communication!
Thanks to CRM software, marketers have swathes of customer data at their fingertips. Using variable printing, a technique popularised among consumers by Moonpig and Hallmark, to include a customer’s name or recommended products based on recent purchases they’ve made is a great way to stand out from all the junk mail and leaflets that people receive every day.
Direct marketing fell rather out of fashion for a few years but it’s been enjoying a second wind lately – marketers are increasingly looking to develop integrated campaigns spanning both digital and print, and direct marketing fits that bill quite nicely. The Economist reports that Americans spent a whopping $170 billion on direct marketing in 2012.
There’s no getting around the fact that, in a world where you can’t leave your laptop for five minutes without coming back to a spam email, people appreciate it when businesses take the time to produce something relevant to them that they can hold in their hand. Studies show that personalised documents improve response rates by up to 30% and increase customer loyalty by 26% in the short term and 50% in the long term.
How personal you get is really up to you – a printed address on the front of a mailshot all the way through to a personally branded brochure or covering letter – but many businesses err on the side of caution. There’s always the worry that customers can find it a little bit off-putting when brands appear to know too much about them!
We’re now at the stage where there’s significant overlap between digital and print marketing; QR codes or NFC tags can be used to allow customers to go straight from your brochure to your website, while CRM data gathered online will usually provide the basis for a personalised print campaign. Unique landing pages for different groups of customers, or even personalised URLs (PURLs) for every customer, can be fed into Google Analytics to get insight into how successful a campaign has been.
With 42% of direct mail recipients, according to a study by Direct Marketing Association, preferring to respond online, outstanding direct mail campaigns now walk a line between digital and print marketing. However, to say that direct mail is just another tool to bring traffic to your website is an understatement. Done well, a personalised direct mail campaign can make customers feel like a company understands them and is putting effort into suggesting products they’ll actually like rather than just shouting ‘SELL SELL SELL!’
What they might not realise is that CRM tools and the rapid development of litho quality digital printing has made it easier than ever to run an effective personalised campaign. But that will just be our secret…!