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The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Personalization
Direct Mail
February 1, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Personalization

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In 2024, getting personal with your customers in direct mail marketing is the key to great campaign results.

In Lob's 2024 Direct Mail report, 84% of marketers say direct mail gives the best return on investment. An impressive 85% also say it's great for getting customers to take action. Now, more than ever, top businesses are using customer data intelligently. In fact, 64% of companies use data to find great opportunities, and 68% use it to create personalized mail that stands out.

Direct mail can be highly effective, but many would-be customers see it as junk mail. The trick is to do it right.

Read more to learn how direct mail can be a unique experience for everyone who receives it rather than a nuisance.

Segmentation 101

Understanding your target audience's characteristics and preferences is essential to personalize direct mail. Here's how to get a clearer picture of your audience:

  • Behavioral: Did a customer frequently browse a particular product on your website but not buy it, or did they make a recent purchase? These actions are clues to their current interests and needs.
  • Historical: Look at their past interactions with your brand. Their history can guide you in creating offers that resonate with their previous purchases, page views, and interactions.
  • Preferences: Pay attention to what your customers have explicitly liked or disliked. When you send mail that reflects these interests, it demonstrates that you're paying attention to what they enjoy.
  • Demographics: Knowing a customer's age, gender, location, and other demographic information helps you shape your messages so they're more appealing and appropriate for various groups within your audience.

Best Practices for personalization in direct mail marketing

Here are some tips to boost the impact of your direct mail:

Make it data-driven

Harness data to align your direct mail closely with the preferences and desires of your customers. Regularly refresh and review your data to maintain its relevance and effectiveness. A data-informed approach ensures that your direct mail is not just a message but a reflection of what your customers are currently interested in and looking for.

For example, you could analyze seasonal buying trends to determine the best time to launch direct mail campaigns for seasonal items like Halloween decor.

Use a trigger-based strategy

Envision your direct mail as a dynamic participant in your customers' journey. It reacts and adapts to their actions.

For example, when a customer shows interest in a product online, capitalize on that moment by sending them direct mail that acknowledges their interest and guides them further. Include their name, personalized content, and even a map to the nearest store where they can explore the product in person.

A trigger-based strategy transforms your direct mail into an interactive dialogue tailored to your customers' evolving behaviors and interests. The iExit case study exemplifies the impact of using custom imagery and maps in direct mail, creating a sense of exclusivity and personal touch.

Test everything

Treat your direct mail as an ongoing experiment. You can change the wording, try new layouts, use different graphics, or switch the paper type.

The golden rule with testing is to change only one element at a time. If you change more than that, and the campaign is more successful, it's challenging to determine what change is responsible.

You can also try a form of A/B testing, which involves sending two versions of the same campaign piece to different audience segments.

Aim for deeper personalization

Go beyond basic details, such as the customer's name, and craft your messages to mirror your customers' recent interests or purchases.

For instance, if they've been looking at kitchen gadgets, send them a mailer highlighting your latest kitchenware.

This level of personalization in marketing makes your mail feel more relevant and appealing, almost as if you're having a one-on-one conversation with each customer.

Balance personalization and privacy

Try to strike a balance in personalization. You want to connect with people without crossing into their private space. A good approach makes them feel recognized and valued but respects their privacy.

For example, you should avoid sending direct mail based on specific financial or health information unless the consumer has expressly opted to receive it.

Remember to stay compliant with privacy laws.

Ensure consistent design across channels

Ensure your direct mail and online materials share a consistent style. This uniformity helps solidify your brand identity.

Your promotional materials should be instantly recognizable in your customer's mailbox or social media feed.

Focus on constant improvement

Continuously assess the performance of your direct mail campaigns. Reviewing and analyzing the outcomes allows you to understand what resonates with your audience. Apply these insights to refine your strategies and enhance the impact of your mailings.

Use a platform like Lob for easy access to powerful analytics.

Learn from others

Check out the 2024 State of Direct Mail Marketing webinar to see what others are doing. This session will show you how to use direct mail effectively in your marketing.

It's a must-attend for marketers planning to start direct mail marketing or improve upon direct mail personalization.

Direct mail is as easy as email marketing

Utilizing the appropriate resources and tactics is crucial. Lob's automated system demonstrates the ease of transforming direct mail to be as streamlined and impactful as email marketing. Lob helps you trim expenses while maintaining a personalized touch in your outreach.

The capabilities of Lob’s system range from monitoring campaign effectiveness to ensuring seamless execution of your strategies. It’s versatile for various business types, positioning direct mail as an innovative, efficient option in the current marketplace.

Schedule a demo today to explore how Lob can enhance your direct mail efforts.

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