Personalized marketing is in demand and is increasing exponentially. Did you know that marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized marketing tactics? [1] When personalizing print or email communications, it is important to remember that there are real people on the end of the line. Proper use of data can be very effective, but if misused, can backfire and make people uncomfortable.

There was an instance where a marketer caused a stir, by personalizing messages targeted at men. It used their names with “Jr.” added to the end to represent the son they might have someday . . . If they aren’t careful. Needless to say, plenty of recipients were uncomfortable with that approach! This is something many industry commentators call “the creepy factor.” So how can you personalize your content in a positive way without coming off as creepy? Here are three things to remember.

1. Protect private data. There is a difference between selling products versus selling services, educational materials for example versus selling refinancing offers. If you’re selling educational books to children, you might want to know that your neighbor down the street bought a set of the same materials. But you probably don’t want a mortgage company outing you as a good candidate for a refinancing offer.

2. Make sure your data is current. Keep your data clean and up to date. One company was criticized for marketing to recipients as if they were one step from a retirement home when, in fact, many of them were not even retired! Use surveys to stay in touch with your customers and get to know them. If necessary, use third party data houses to fill in critical details. Understanding your customers is key to a good marketing strategy.

3. Be considerate. Use the data in a way that is respectful and considerate of the person receiving it. You may not want to let recipients know just how much you know about them up front. Some marketers start with basic targeting and segmentation, then layer that communication with name personalization, rather than using highly personal details overtly.

60% of marketers note they struggle to personalize content in real-time, yet 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial [2] Remember that data is just data, It’s what you do with it that makes all the difference.
Need help to make sure that you are utilizing your data effectively? Talk to us—we’re here to help.

(Data and statistics from “The Tipping Point for Personalized Website Experiences: personalization by Hallie Mummert– Monetate.)

About Linemark Printing Inc
Linemark is an intensely customer focused company delivering robust & innovative communications solutions to a client base of associations, corporations, and non-profit organizations. The 90,000 sq. Ft. National headquarters is located within close proximity to the Washington DC / Baltimore Metro areas. As one of the leading and fastest growing communications companies in the country, Linemark has made their mark with best in class, technology driven, and measurable client results.