When it comes to communicating with your members, direct mail is considered to be one of the most effective outreach methods. However, sending a mass of direct mail pieces to your recipients is not effective in itself. In fact, customizing direct mail pieces per the preferences of your members is more appealing and effective than sending identical mail pieces. To properly appeal to your members and garnish more reception from them, you should consider personalizing or individualizing your mail pieces. The personalization or individualization of your recipient’s direct mail piece can make them feel unique and valuable to your organization.
Difference Between Personalized and Individualized Mail
Both personalization and individualization are effective methods for customizing direct mail. However, the two methods involve different ways of customizing a mail piece. Let’s start with personalized mailing. A personalized mail piece generally involves customizing that mail based on what you already know about the recipient. In other words, you would craft your member’s mail piece based on the general or “surface-level” of information you know about them. When you personalize a mail piece, there are five common ways to do so:
The most common way to personalize a mail piece is by adding your recipient’s name. This can go beyond including your member’s name in the address section. You can add your member’s name directly in the letter or announcement by writing “Dear Jane”, rather than “Dear Member”.
You can add information about your member’s past donation when discussing in your letter future donation opportunities, for example. Recollecting what your member donated to and how much they donated in your letter shows them how important their support of your organization is and can even encourage them provide further support to your organization
Another way to personalize a mail piece is the inclusion of gender. If your organization is supporting a cause that directly relates to a specific gender, you can include that facet of information in your letters to the recipients of that specified gender. Members that are of that gender will relate to the information in your letter more and will be more inclined to lend their support.
Incorporating location into your letter is another way to personalize your mail piece. For example, if you have a group of members within the same location, but only a few have responded or donated to your cause, you can encourage the members that have yet to respond by including in their mail pieces that their neighbors are on board with your cause. Notifying members that their neighbors support the causes of your organization can motivate them to support your causes as well. This method of personalization can also help to recruit new members who may become inclined to support your organization if they see their neighbors have already done so.
Including reminders in your letters is another personalization tool. Reminding your members about donating to certain causes and deadlines can help your members feel appreciated and remembered. However, it is advised not to send too many reminders to your members, as this can make them feel pressured.
Though personalization is an effective tool for customizing mail pieces based on a surface-level member information, individualization is a more effective way to customize direct mail pieces and make them feel more unique. Individualized direct mail delves deeper into a member’s preferences and is crafted based on a member’s current status and interests. For example, instead of encouraging members to support a new cause because they’ve supported a few your organization’s previous causes, you would send your member information of causes related to those they supported in the past. So, if a member were to support sending books to children for education, you would then send that member information on other education-related causes supported by your organization. Individualized direct mail shows you have a deeper understanding of your members and will make them feel more appreciated.
How Valtim Can Individualize Your Direct Mail
As shown, simply adding your recipient’s name and address to your mail piece is no longer enough. With Valtim, you can individualize every aspect of your mail piece. From variable 4-color graphics, to color and font selection, to personalized call-to-actions, we do it all! Go beyond personalization by making every mail piece you send out unique. Contact Valtim for more information on how we can help you with your individualized direct mail campaign.