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November 7, 2016

Segmentation for Direct Mail Marketing: 7 Ways to Personalize Your Content

Email marketers swear by the power of segmentation. According to eConsultancy, a whopping 74% say that it markedly increases customer engagement. Technology has given marketers the ability to collect tons of customer data to create segmented lists and launch personalized email campaigns. Email automation increased the rate at which marketers could segment and personalize content at scale, marking email the most impactful marketing channel.

However, consumers are now overwhelmed with the number of marketing emails they receive every day. To overcome this, more and more marketers are turning to direct mail. What many marketers don’t know is that the tactics they use to personalize email messaging at scale can also be applied to direct mail. Just like with email, direct mail marketers can collect customers data to create segmented lists and more personalized campaigns. To get started, here are 7 ways to use customer data to segment your direct mail lists:

1. Geographic

Using customer location to create a geographically segmented list is the easiest place to start when creating a personalized direct mail campaign. You can segment your prospect and customer list based on zip code, state, or city. To get even more creative, consider using geographic markers as well. For example, if your business provides camping supplies, you could reference the national parks that are nearest to your customers.

2. Demographic

With demographic data, you can segment your direct mailing list by categories such as age, gender or occupation. If you have multiple customers who work in education, you can send them offers synced with the school year. For example, teachers about to go on vacation may be interested in hearing about your summer reading sales, while a teacher starting the school year will be more focused on supplies for the classroom.

3. Interests

Creating mailing lists based on interests is an impactful way to make a personal connection. The majority of mail in the average consumer’s mailbox is made up of bills and notifications. Sending customers specials and events that are related to their personal values, hobbies and interests will be likely to stand out from the pile and brighten up their day.

4. Special events

An effective way to connect with customers through direct mail is by segmenting your lists based on special events. If you collect customer birthday data, wishing them a happy birthday and sending them a special deal or gift will nurture the relationship with that customer. Holidays are also an impactful way to personalize direct mail campaigns and nurture leads. If you want to go above and beyond, you can use segmentation to celebrate the anniversary of a customer’s first purchase with your brand. This shows customers how much you value their business.

5. Shopping behavior

Email marketers often created targeted campaigns based on a customer’s shopping data. For example, if a customer abandons their shopping cart, this may trigger an email that offers them free shipping on their next purchase. If a customer adds an item to their wishlist, they may get an email notifying them that the item when the item goes on sale. Direct mail marketers can employ these tactics as well to increase conversions.

6. Purchase history

Digital marketers have long used a customer purchase data to personalize their messaging. From targeting consumers with online ads to emailing them recommended products they based on their purchase history, marketers have found multiple ways to influence a customer’s next buy. You can also use this tactic to segment your direct mail lists. For example, you could target your return customers by sharing exclusive information new products or services. Additionally, you could send customers who routinely purchase high-end items information about new items based on their last purchase.

7. Last interaction

Customers often interact with brands through a variety of different channels. They may follow you on social media, subscribe to your newsletter and even read your blog from time to time. Using data from your last interaction with a customer is a good way to prevent sending them the same messaging that you’ve already sent them over email or during their last website visit. For example, you could create a segmented list for new customers who just completed their first purchase. This is a great way to keep your customer interactions relevant to where they fall in the sales funnel.

There are tons of creative ways that marketers are using segmentation to personalize direct mail campaigns at scale. Email and social media are increasingly becoming crowded channels to reach consumers, but direct mail helps brands stand out from the crowd. As you strive to personalize content across all marketing channels, be sure to include direct mail in your strategy.

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