Friday, April 18, 2008

Personalized Printing Advice and Takeaways

Personalized printing with variable data and personal URLs is getting more and more popular, especially since the prices are coming down and the quality is going up.

As a result, we thought it would make for a good post today to recap an article that was in the DM News not too long ago called “Get Personal With Print Marketing”.

Four experts were asked for their advice on how to take advantage of personalized print marketing. What follows is a quick summary of all four.

1. John Foley’s Takeaway

Maintain a customized print conversation with your customers. Mr. Foley talks about integrated marketing and how effective it can be to set up a campaign that includes a personalized mailer, personal URLs and then a follow up mailer based on how they answered certain questions on the PURL.

2. Chris Ryan’s Takeaway

The right trigger techniques make for highly effective personalization programs. Mr. Ryan talks about using time-sensitive “trigger” mailings that coincide with specific periods in a person’s life. For example, sending home-related coupons to new homeowners, or sending an investment-related mailer to a newly retired couple.

3. John Berger’s Takeaway

Successful personalization relies on information used responsibly by marketers. Mr. Berger stresses the importance of marketers protecting the privacy of their customers. He says you want to use the information you collect on them to personalize your offers, but not so much so that the customer feels their privacy has been violated.

4. Anna Chagnon’s Takeaway

More marketers are integrating software with production work flow systems. Ms. Chagnon points out how variable data software makes personalization easier. You create one template if you wish for your mailers and all your campaigns are fueled by this one shell. She also mentions the growing popularity of Web-to-print storefronts.

5. Ballantine’s Takeaway

We think certain industries are prime candidates for personalized variable data printing and should definitely consider creating a test campaign if budgets allow. These industries - to name a few - include retail, hospitality and auto.

These types of industries generally collect a great deal of information about their customers and can thus personalize their mailings with pinpoint accuracy. And they also thrive on customer relationship-building…which relevant offers help cultivate.

We have one retail client that holds regular events with various “themes”. We send out weekly variable data self-mailers for them and the images on the mail piece correspond with the event that the customer attended.

The mailings are wildly successful for them.

*As published on The Ballantine Blog on April 17th, 2008