**This is a re-post from Mail Print’s early days of blogging.  Our readership has grown quite a bit since then, so I wanted to resurrect an early post.  Enjoy!

Using the recipient’s name is an easy way to make your direct mail and email marketing relevant to the recipient, but I am often asked, “How do I use my data to create a more personalized direct marketing experience?”

The answer lies in using your data. I know many people have a hard time making the connection between “using data” and how that translates into variable direct marketing, so let’s look at some examples:

1) Getting people to interact with your web site is great, but making them search for information that you should already know… not cool.  (And not personalized or relevant.)

In the personalized email below, you’ll see all the variable information highlighted, including the location, price, discounted savings, show logos, dates and even a Personalized URL  The recipient doesn’t have to go to a web site and then search for the information that applies to them.

Variable Data Print Piece, VDP

By the way the video that plays at the Personalized URL, is a variable video.  The only video that plays is the one for the location of the recipient.  They don’t have to select or weed through the videos of shows that aren’t coming to their area.  Check it out at:  www.BroadwayForASong.com/KristinaSmith.

2) Write copy for each audience as if you were speaking directly to a recipient within that audience.

The example below is tailored to families.   The variable data in it speaks specifically to the amenities that a family will value, not to singles or seniors, and it certainly doesn’t try to address all the audiences at the same time.

Variable Data, VDP

3) Location, location, location. When proximity is important, tell them just how close they are.

Variable Data Printing, VDP

4) All customers are not created equal, so why would you offer them all the same thing?

Variable Data Printing, VDP

5) If nothing else, always use their name.

It’s easy to get creative with imagery, but don’t forget basic copywriting techniques, like using their name within the text.

variable data
MPvday Personalized Marketing: Beyond the Name Game
MJBank1 Personalized Marketing: Beyond the Name Game
ESemail Personalized Marketing: Beyond the Name Game
MarathonPC1 Personalized Marketing: Beyond the Name Game

6) And finally…

Just for fun, the piece below contains over 75 variables to make the direct mail piece relevant to the recipient.  Can you find them all?  I’ll give you a hint… there is variable copy within variable copy.

Variable Data Printing, VDP

Using variable data in mail, email and personalized web pages becomes much easier when you understand how to apply what you already know to create relevant marketing materials.  The significant improvement in response and purchase rates makes it well worth the effort.


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