Don’t Give Me Sunflowers
For years my dad bought my mom sunflowers. Every Mother’s Day, birthday, and anniversary, he gave her a golden bouquet. And for years I thought sunflowers were my mom’s favorite flower.
As I got older, I didn’t understand why she rolled her eyes at such a lovely gift. After all, he was buying her favorite flower, right? So recently, I asked.
Turns out, sunflowers are my dad’s favorite flower, not my mom’s. She doesn’t even like receiving flowers — which may have something to do with countless sunny bouquets missing their mark. However well intentioned, sunflowers are now almost offensive to her. Words, on the other hand, mean so much more.
Hindsight’s 20/20; Dad should have saved the money and written a card. Instead, his unintentional failure to personalize led to a decadelong gifting disaster.
When it comes to your marketing campaign, are you making my dad’s mistake? Personalization can be the difference between customer acquisition and retention, and sleeping on the direct-mail couch. Don’t worry though, we’ve got several ways you can up your direct mail-marketing game.
“Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” ~Dale Carnegie
Few things scream spam more than a letter addressed, “To Our Friends at 519 N. Mulberry St.” It’s our last-ditch addressing option here at The Newsletter Pro.
Forget learning your customer’s favorite flower; if you can’t even manage to learn their name, you’ve planted yourself firmly in spam-land, a place where your business relationship is bound to wilt.
“Direct mail generates a response, and junk mail ends up in the trash,” Wilson Printing USA says of spam’s fate. A personalized address line is one simple tweak that can make your customer feel like your newsletter was created just for them, and get them to open your mail instead of throwing it out.
Don’t Forget Your Anniversary
If there’s one thing that can get a spouse in more trouble than impersonalized gifting, it’s forgetting an anniversary completely. Fortunately, in your business relationships, customers don’t expect you to remember birthdays, anniversaries, and life milestones — which makes it even more effective and personal when you do. Acknowledging important life events is one of the ways TNP delivers a “WOW” experience.
Sending handwritten notes or small, personalized gifts is a little extra touch that shows we pay attention to our customers. The beautiful thing about this is that it’s never just an advertising ploy. You really do have to get to know your clients to know about their special events, and that’s when personalized marketing becomes a genuine relationship.
One Man’s Spam is Another Man’s Recreational Reading
One of the most important parts of your direct mail campaign to personalize is the content itself.
“Make your marketing follow the customer — not the other way around — and truly customize it to her needs,” says Entrepreneur. If your newsletter’s content doesn’t resonate with your target demographic, you run the risk of boring and even alienating your best clients.
Learn from my dad. Re-branding your sunflower campaign won’t make a dent in sales if your customer really wants a handwritten card or a box of chocolates.
People Buy From People, Not Companies
Personalization goes both ways. Entrepreneur also says, “The first task of effective marketing is to get noticed and stand out from the clamor of competing advertisers.” In your direct mail campaign, that means getting up close and personal, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
In a sea of professionals offering the same service, your personal story is what makes you interesting.
In recent years, after some very personal chats, my dad has made some gift selection adjustments. He doesn’t buy flowers anymore, and it’s for the best. Now our family’s past floral mishaps make for a funny story with a happy ending. Over time, Dad has customized and Mom has forgiven. He’s had years to personalize his love campaign.
But unless your relationship with your clients is a rock-solid marriage of 25 years, we guarantee you won’t have the same luxury.