How to use personalization in direct mail for best results

Personalization & Direct Mail


If you are unfamiliar with personalization, it is a form of direct marketing that helps to keep the attention of consumers long enough to deliver your message via direct mail.

How does it work? Personalization is used in the message text along with the images that are included in direct mail campaigns. For example, if you as a business owner wanted to get the attention of a recipient who is a parent, you would include images related to children on your mailer.

Businesses love using personalization in their direct mail campaigns because of the great results. Research has proven that personalizing direct mail can increase response rates by 30%-50%.

Here are some examples of how you can use personalization in your direct mail campaign for the best results.

Print Recipient’s Name on Your Communication

Printing the recipient’s name in the actual communication will get them to take notice and further examine what it is you have to offer. In a piece published on, the writer points out “personalization can enhance a consumer’s inclination to read your direct mail piece by creating a sense of familiarity.” Whether it is a postcard with art or a handwritten letter, seeing their name printed will get them to review your mailer first when they retrieve it from the mailbox.

Include and Use Personalization for the Response Device

If your communication asks that the recipient respond with either signing up for services or making a purchase that requires they respond by mail, you can make things easier and more effective by personalizing the response device. Including an envelope with a postage will make it easy for them to just seal and send. According to Jacobs & Clevenger, a direct marketing agency, about 20% to 25% of target customers will respond with a printed response device.

Create Communication Relevant to Consumers

Another way that you can keep the attention of consumers who receive your communication is for it to be relevant to the recipient. One way to do this is to be aware of their purchasing behavior. What have they purchased from you in the past? Did they add something to their shopping carts or wish lists on your website but not make a purchase? A good example of this is what Target does with their circulars.

In the book, The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg points out that one of the ways Target gets customers to keep returning and shopping at their stores is by sending personalized mailers in the form of circulars. The circulars include products similar or relative to the items purchased during a previous visit. If you have this useful data and include personalization in your communication, you can expect to have great response rates because your recipient will find your communication relevant.

These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate personalization in your campaign for the best response rates. Your recipients will take notice because their mailer will be customized to their likes, wants and wishes. Consider using personalization in these suggested ways and experience a boost in your campaign.

Are you looking to include personalization in your direct mail campaign?

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