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Why Direct Mail must be Personalised

By Claire Fuller | Print Marketing Copywriting | 13 July 2016

Anyone involved in direct marketing knows that the more direct you can be in reaching and talking to your target audience the better response you’ll get. Personalisation and relevancy are therefore key to your campaign's success.

In real terms, personalisation can mean anything from simply naming the addressee on an envelope and within a letter, to creating a marketing piece, fully personalised with relevant content, based on data-driven preferences supplied by the recipient (or high quality research made by the marketer!).

The most obvious elements of personalisation are the ones people care about the most

The No.1 reason people open addressed post is that it’s personally addressed to them.

The reverse is also true – many people throw away addressed post if it’s not personally addressed to them.

But what level of personalisation really matters to people?  According to Experian’s “Top Marketing Statistics for 2016” different levels of personalisation can have a great influence on the impact of a marketing campaign.

What do consumers feel about personalisation?

The top three uses of personal information according to consumers:

  1. Providing you with discounts on things you have bought in the past (54%)
  2. Providing you with discounts on your birthday (53%)
  3. Informing you of deals or information relevant to your closest store (56%)

Other feelings about personalisation:

  • 27% of respondents were happy for their data to be used to provide information on products similar to past purchases
  • 21% said they’d be happy for their data to be used for prompts for items that may need to be purchased on a regular basis
  • 31% agree with receiving personalised messages wishing them a happy birthday
  • 53% agree with receiving personalised messages offering them a birthday discount

Personalisation – The facts

  • Emails sent with personalised subject lines are 7% more likely to be opened than emails sent with blanket subject lines
  • 86% of UK brands are currently personalising their communications to some extent
  • 61% of UK marketers are personalising basic data like first names
  • 42% of UK marketers are personalising based on behavioural data, like past or abandoned purchases (and 5% intend to personalise in this way) whilst 9% of UK marketers are personalising based on more sophisticated attitudinal data

Yeomans Top 5 tips for personalising direct mail

  1. Get the name and address right.
  2. Use the recipient’s name in the letter (tests show that using it more than once is effective too)
  3. Use information you know about the recipient (e.g. what they gave to you last time)
  4. Use relevant images. (e.g. images of familiar products, their local area)
  5. Make it gender personal (e.g. the offers, images and language you use)

Need more help getting personal with your supporters?  Then please talk to Phil.

See some of our personalisation work here


This article refers to an article previously published on the Yeomans blog

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