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Counteract Commoditization with Creativity

Anyone can come up with a snazzy jingle or discount a product. Marrying great creative with insightful, database-driven personalization is more challenging. It also generates better results because the mailer is relevant, not just catchy.

When one safety products company exchanged its static mailers for creative, highly personalized mailers, for example, the results were dramatic. Instead of receiving generic sales pitches, recipients were invited to log into their own personalized URLs where they could input company-specific data and see estimates on the impact of the technology in their own organizations. Variables included net costs saved, estimated injuries avoided, and estimated lives saved.

By allowing recipients to see how the product directly benefits them (rather than another company or some hypothetical organization), results went through the roof. The marketer’s annual revenues grew from $6 million to $68 million in a span of five years in part due to this dramatic change in marketing strategy.

Marketers are testing elements such as size, shape, substrate, windows, “reveals” and fonts to grab attention in other ways, as well. These elements, in themselves, increase response rates, but when paired with relevant personalization, the improvement can be dramatic.

When one financial solutions company wanted to increase participation in its “company match” 401(k) programs, for example, it paired its design changes with targeted segmentation (by participation level) and personalized content. Although the number of variables was low, the company saw a 16% boost in participation and a jump of $2 million in new contributions.

If you want results, get creative. Ditch “the usual” and look for new ways to approach the same material and get recipients to take a fresh look at the value of what you have to offer.

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