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Monday, January 11, 2010

This Is Getting Personal...

Monday, January 11, 2010

I just read a great comment from someone about personalized messaging. As you know, I'm a big proponent of GETTING PERSONAL. When communicating to your prospects, how personal are you getting?

Now you might say that you deliver very personalized communication. This could be in the form of emails or direct marketing pieces that address your customers or prospects by name. But in today's marketing environment, you need to do better. Addressing someone by name is simply a starting point. If you want to be effective, go deeper.

A great example is a recent communication I received from the college I graduated from. I could tell from the envelope and wasn't at all disappointed when I ripped it open. "Dear former student" it read. Come on! They didn't even have the decency to call me by my name. So of course, it went immediately into the trash. But it got me thinking...

Here is an establishment that knows a lot about me: my name, birthday, the courses I took in school, my fraternity, how many on campus parking tickets I got, etc. Yet they have failed to leverage that information from the perspective of getting my attention or giving me a reason to support their cause - very disappointing.

As a marketing person, I pride myself on not only gathering information about prospects and customers, but using that information to create a meaningful experience for them. If the letter addressed me by name and referenced personal information, it would dramatically improve my interest. "Dear Michael, we know it's been X amount of years since you graduated, but a lot has changed. The marketing program here has been expanded..." OK. Now you've got my attention.

Personalization is your friend. Even if you're sending thousands of emails or direct marketing pieces out to your audience, make it personal. Not only should you be using the information you've collected, but focusing on messaging that addresses the fundamental needs of your prospects. We'll discuss more advanced messaging strategies in later posts, but for now, remember to get personal!


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