Most mail that is sent to your mailbox is generally just sent to your address, perhaps with your name attached, but with little or no other information that is pertinent specifically to you. This is mostly average advertising, if not bills! If you are a service industry that is sending marketing material to your current customer list, there is a way to personalize the mail piece specifically to each individual. This will catch the recipient’s attention and give a greater incentive to respond to your offer. (Remember, a past customer is one of your best future customers.)
For example: Suppose you are a heating and air conditioning contractor who is mailing pre-season system tune-ups. You could send mailers to all on your customer list by just addressing the mail piece to the customer’s home. But why send a mailer to a home that has recently had a tune-up? And, when the mailer is received by a customer who has not had recent service, what incentive does the customer have to respond to your offer? More than likely, that customer will not remember when he/she had the last service unless it was recently. Suppose, like a good business manager, you kept accurate records of what services you have provided to each of your customers and when those services were provided. You are now sitting on a very, valuable tool!
Suppose, using the records that you have maintained, you sent the same offers, but personalized the mailer in such a way that reminds the customer of the last service date. If the last service had been several years earlier, and you designate that to the customer by printing the date on the cover of the mail piece, (especially in color), that may serve as a catalyst to spark the customer to respond to the offer. Knowing the last date of service of his or her A/C unit offers a strong response to encourage keeping the unit in top running condition. (Of course, in evaluating your database, you would avoid even sending out an offer to a customer who has just recently received such services.)
So, how can this be done? Your mailing service can accept your database, and using the criteria that you set forth, can first test the data and print the personalized information directly on to the outside surface of the mail piece. This can be printed in color for attention. This attracts the customer and gives a call to action.
There is very little additional cost to personalize a mailer in this fashion. The cost of printing a post card or envelope remains the same. And the cost of the postage remains the same. But look what has been done to improve the marketability of your offer! And, look how you have increased the likelihood of the customer to respond!
Each industry has its own specific customization to achieve similar results. However, by maintaining and using the value of a current, well kept database, and personalizing each mail piece, you would significantly increase the response rate to your promotion.
Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of four columns about bulk mailing.