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Personalization Works—But You Have to Get It Right

Studies consistently show that personalization works, but you have to get it right. Get it wrong, and customers will move on.

This comes from Accenture’s “13th Annual Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Research,” which surveyed more than 25,000 consumers around the world. Accenture found that 41% of U.S. shoppers said they have disengaged with a company because of “poor personalization and lack of trust.”

The cost to U.S. retailers is staggering: $756 billion in lost retail and brand sales.

Fortunately for print marketers, “poor personalization” tends to be associated with digital marketing rather than direct mail. Digital marketing can seem like a stalker — following you around the web and popping up at every turn. But direct mail is more transparent, and consumers’ reaction to it is overwhelmingly positive. In fact, InfoTrends found that 84% of consumers said they are “much more likely” or “somewhat more likely” to open direct mail when the content is personalized.

How do you get personalization right? Whether you are sending direct mail or email, the answer is simple: transparency. Let customers know that you are collecting data on them. Ask for their preferences so they can give information voluntarily. Position targeted and personalized communication as a benefit to your customers and one that they can participate in to make the experience better.

Need help developing your marketing database for more effective targeting? Let us help.

Get More for Your Money

Consumers love to hear how they can get the most out of their money. It is a great marketing tactic, and it is no different when it comes to your marketing budget. Here are a few ways get the most bang for your buck.

1. Use our "house" paper. Paper prices fluctuate often, so if you have not standardized on a specific paper, ask about less expensive options. If your piece does not demand a specialty paper, opt to use our house paper. We purchase this paper in high volume, so it is almost always the least expensive option.

2. Print four-color in gang runs. The most expensive way to print four-color is for us to run the job by itself on the press. However, with a “gang run,” we run multiple jobs at the same time, then trim them down to size. This can be a great way to get excellent results for less money.

3. Avoid bleeds. If color needs to go to the edge of the page, you can often get a similar effect less expensively by printing on colored paper. Without bleeds, your project might also require less paper or be able to be run on a smaller press.

4. Clean and de-dupe. It is not the most exciting job, but cleaning and de-duping your mailing list can drop your costs dramatically. With a clean list, you are only printing pieces that end up at their intended destinations. Thus, you are not sending multiple pieces to the same home or business.

5. Try new formats. Just because you have always done a brochure for a particular promotion does not mean it is the only option. Experiment with a postcard or other format and see whether you get a better response rate. A little creativity can go a long way toward saving money.

Need more ideas? Let us brainstorm ways to help you get great results and the most from your budget.

Make Your Print Faster to Read

Who has time to read marketing communications these days? Consumers love print, but they have less and less time to read. You have to hook them fast—and keep them engaged. The solution? Make your printed pieces faster and easier to read. Here are five ways to freshen things up and make your printed pieces “sticky."

1. Make your pieces scannable.
Most people scan their printed materials. They don’t read them. So make your projects scannable. If your messaging tends to be text heavy, try saying the same thing in fewer words. In fact, why not try cutting the number of words in half?

2. Use more white space.
Use more white space and give your design breathing room. Choose typography that is easy to read. Tight kerning and condensed fonts let you pack in more information, but they can also result in communications that feel cramped.

3. Replace text with images and graphics.
People absorb visual information more quickly than text, so ditch the text and tap into the power of graphics and icons, images, and data points.

4. Go big!
Have you noticed that most postcards these days are oversized? It’s not unusual to see letter-sized pieces printed on card stock that is 6” x 9” or 11.375” x 6”. While you can still be successful with traditional-sized mailers, over-sized projects stand out. They won’t disappear as easily between the utility bill and the catalogs. But oversized or not, the “less is more” rule still applies.

5. Target your messaging.
Segment your mailings by key demographics and customize the content to speak to the interests of the people receiving them. This means more than just swapping out demographically appropriate imagery. It includes changing up the tone and the messaging to reflect the unique “personality” of each target audience.

Want to hook and engage today’s consumers? Get creative. Give them pieces they can read quickly and can’t resist.

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