If you’ve been exposed to any of our own media pieces (ads, letters, etc.) you’ll have noticed a high level of ‘personalisation’ in all of them. There’s a big reason for this…
Adding any kind of ‘personalisation’ increases response significantly.
Why? Because the recipient of your media piece gets the impression that you sent it to them – personally, rather than to 5,000 other people. Plus it helps your media piece stand out from the crowd, automatically giving it more attention.
You only have to look at your incoming mail each day – how many pieces jump out at you and scream – THIS IS FOR ME? We’d be surprised if you received any!
The good news is that you can create the impression of personalisation without it taking you hours and hours to do. In fact, if you follow our advice, being personal won’t impact on your time at all.
So let’s expand on ‘personalisation’ and give you a list of things that you can do that creates a sense of personalisation (real or not). Every one of these elements has been proven to lift response – so look carefully at each one – they WILL make a difference to you and to your business…
1. Use The Prospect’s Or Client’s Name
The most basic form of personalisation is to use the recipient’s name. We all like to see our name, and addressing your material to a named person will always lift response. Make sure you get the correct spelling – as nothing else infuriates us more than someone spelling our name incorrectly. What we would suggest, however, is testing between adding the recipient’s name and just using their title.
For example, for business-to-business the ‘Managing Director’ may be the best person to contact or ‘The Print Buyer’, etc. With business-to-consumer, you may want to address it to ‘The Lady Of The House’, etc.
Your test would determine if the extra cost of personalisation gave you a better return than the non-personalised approach. By the way, when writing to clients or customers, ALWAYS use their names – there’s no excuse not to!
2. Use ‘Handwriting’
You already know that handwriting the envelope almost certainly puts your mailing into Pile A (stuff that doesn’t go in the bin.
But there are many other ways you can use handwriting to give a more personal look and help your marketing piece rise above the clutter…-In Margin Notes
You don’t have to handwrite each margin note for each letter. Simply write it once and scan it in just like we’ve done here…
As Your Main ‘Font’ In Your Marketing Pieces
Don’t be frightened to write your entire marketing piece in your own handwriting. We’ve used this to great effect with our letters, postcards and fax broadcasts, and the more immediate you make them look, the better.
Use Handwritten Notes
Sticking a Post-It note on the front of any of your marketing communications will make it seem more personal. Saying something like “I saw this and thought of you. D” (see example on next page) always works well…
3. Lift Letter
A lift letter is simply another letter you include in your mailing pack that is written to ‘lift’ response.
Typically, it is signed by another person and the words ‘Only Open This If You Have Decided NOT To Respond’ are included on the front. Again, you can handwrite the lift letter to give it a more personal feel.
4. Written Just For Me
Perhaps the most important method of personalisation is to write your marketing piece focused entirely on the target market.
Something that shouts out ‘this is for me’ will always get a greater response and success rate. But of course you already know that – don’t you? One copywriter we admire (John Carlton) says, “Your letter should be written like a love letter to your partner ”. Of course, he doesn’t mean exactly like that, but he’s referring to the fact that whenever you write, you are only ever writing to one person (the reader) – even if you sent your media piece to 5,000,000 people, it still has to read like you are writing to one person.
So remember – it takes more time and effort (and sometimes more cost) to create personalised marketing pieces but this extra attention to detail will increase the returns for you and your business.