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Here’s why personalisation is the key to increasing your response rate

If you’re anything like me, you probably have at least one email address with an inbox full of messages from businesses you vaguely remember giving your details to. Additionally, you probably read next to none of them. “Dear X”, just isn’t a compelling enough reason to read a letter, email, tweet, Instagram message, etc.

But, giving me something that is ‘me specific’ (or at least appears to be) probably is.

In industry, personalised copy is typically referred to as variable data entry (VDE).

At it’s most basic, this is the personalisation of an address on the front of an envelope or the name at the start of a letter. But the scope of what can be personalised in a direct mail marketing piece, a newsletter or brochure, is limited only by the strength of your database.

Exactly how effective is personalisation?

Source 1Source 2


Your personalisation can only be as good as your database.

So here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter how much you might want to personalise your communications, if your database isn’t up to scratch, then you ain’t got squat. I might want to be a Formula One driver, but since I don’t have the training, it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.

The degree of information you have about your customers will significantly influence how personal you can get with your marketing.

Your database and how much information you have stored on the recipient is ultimately what determines how effective your personalisation can be. At a minimum, most databases will include person’s name/ their business, their age, and the individual’s address. These details should be more than enough for an effective personalised campaign. That said, with a bit of planning and the right software, you can really make an impact with your communications.


How do I data?

Most businesses with have some form of customer relationship management (CRM) tool that will allow them to export their database with the associated tags or categories. Some businesses use nothing more than the humble spreadsheet, while others will employ the services of CRM software like Hubspot. If you don’t have a CRM in place already, most accounting programs (Xero, MYOB, etc.) will allow you to export a list of customer details. This list lays the perfect foundations for an initial database.


So what can be personalised?

Quite literally, any aspect of your piece can be personalised. Starting with the basics like a recipient’s name, right through to the imagery and various elements of the text used in the advertising piece. If you want to get really fancy, you can even use personalisation to modify special offers so that they’re specifically targeted to individual users. That last one does require a level of investment that is generally out of the scope of an SME, however.

A skilled copywriter and graphic designer will help tailor the piece to be as personalised as possible. This will create many opportunities in the text and graphics for personalisation to be used.

Now of course you don’t want to go too far with the personal details. Not only might some things be irrelevant to your business, but also no one wants an email that sounds like it came from a stalker.

Dear Jennifer.

We wanted to let you know about our new engagement jewelry line; especially since you’ve been seeing that hunk Derek for quite some time now.

Might want to give him some encouragement about popping the question sometime soon… God knows neither of you are getting younger. 

Also since your sister just announced her baby shower, maybe some Swarovski baby rattles are in order?

Oh and you’re out of milk. 

Love you lots, can’t wait to see you again soon,. 

OTT Jewelers.


Alternatively, here some examples of effective and appropriate personalised communication.


Fields required on database: Name, business name, address, industry.

If you do it right, using personalisation in your marketing communication can pay off, big time. You’ve just got to take the time to invest in it, and make sure you don’t cross the line.

We know you and your business are really busy. So why not get in touch and let us help you nail your Marketing communications?

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