Best Practices in 1:1 Printing

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Personalized printing, in which marketers personalize marketing text, images, and other content based on what marketers know about the recipient, gets better results than static mail. But by itself, just dropping in data-driven content doesn’t guarantee success. Let’s look at three best practices that need to be the foundation of all 1:1 print marketing.

Traditional marketing rules apply.

1:1 might be personalized marketing, but it is still good old-fashioned marketing, too. Ultimately, it is all of the elements—the creative, the message, the offer, the segmentation, and the call to action—that come together to determine success.

Focus on relevance, not “personalization.”

It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant to the person receiving it, it is worthless. Take the shoe market. You don’t want to market orthopedic shoes to teenagers. Orthopedics aren’t relevant to teens unless they need a birthday present for Grandpa. Clearly, this example is tongue in cheek, but you get the idea. You can personalize a document to the hilt, but if it’s not relevant, it’s a waste of print and postage.

Get to know your customers, then market to what you know.

The more you know your customers, the more relevant your message can be. Ask yourself, what don’t you know about your customers right now that might allow you be more relevant later? To find out, do a customer mail or email survey. Conduct a focus group. Set up survey forms on your website. Ask questions and get feedback that will let you reap better results over the long term.

Think “Database”

To get personalization right, you need to invest in your marketing database. This takes time, dedicated resources, and manpower, but it is one of the most important investments you can make. Develop a basic database, then refine it, add variables, and keep it clean and updated. Make sure all of the new information you gather goes back in to be used in future marketing programs.

Remember, personalization is a powerful tool, but to get the big pay-off, it cannot work alone.

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