Any Business Can Harness the Power of Personalized Letters…Here’s How.
There are several methods to writing a personal letter that create a strong connection and generate a positive response. However, you must start by determining what data is available. Without the proper data there is no way you can know or make an educated guess about your audience. You can look for the available data in two different locations:
The first is the data that has been collected by the business through transactions such as information requested, inquiries received, and purchases made. The second is the data that can be purchased. Information like age, gender, presence of children, home type, home square footage, number of employees, years in business, etc…can all be utilized to create a specific message to the individual. Whether you use the data that is self-collected or you purchase data all depends on who you’re looking to target and what you are marketing.
When looking to generate additional business from your current client base or clients of the past, you should dissect your own database. Businesses typically have the data they need to create a personalized letter but often times don’t realize it. Look at the data in your order system if you use one. Many companies have systems which are used every time an order is placed. Information like which customer ordered, what they ordered, and when, are all basic parts of an order entry system. Businesses who are very proactive about building a strong list will also store info like birthdays as well as special interest. For example, you may know that a certain customer celebrates their birthday on Sept 2 and has an interest in fishing. If you’re a store like Dicks’s Sporting Goods you can send a greeting card wishing your customer a happy birthday and a great free gift from the fishing department. This really shows your customer you care about them and will build strong brand loyalty.
Another place to look would be the company’s accounting software. This will often have the same or sometimes additional information like total amount spent over a certain period of time. Many times combining the information from your transaction and accounting system will provide in depth information about your customer base. Below are some examples of possible variable data messages you can create from your internal database:
All areas in <> represent variable data fields.
Length of time doing business.
Ex. We haven’t heard form you since <2013> and wanted to inform you about a great welcome back promotion.
Ex. We thank you for being a loyal customer since <2009>. We hope you enjoy this free gift.
Product or service ordered or expressed interest in.
Ex. We hope you’re still enjoying your <John Deere push mower>…Many of our customers just like you have been thrilled with the blade sharpening service we now offer.
Ex. You previously inquired about our <wine tastings>. Our next event will be this Friday at 7:00 PM. We hope you can make it!
Ex. We hope this month when you celebrate your birthday you enjoy this great promo especially for you!
When you’re interested in finding new customers and would like to send a prospect mailer, you can rely on purchasing good data to craft a personalized message. Depending on your target audience there can be very little or ample amounts of available data. Direct mail data has been very well developed for many years so in most cases there will be plenty of data available. Any mail service provider or list broker can help you in determining this. You can find very specific information like:
Date of birth
Loan to value amount
Renter or homeowner
Presence of children and their ages
Car make and model
Lifestyle interest like sports, dining, and shopping
And many more.
When drafting your letter you can specifically reference the information that you have purchased but you can also create educated guesses about the individual from the information. This will allow you to write in a specific way that will appeal to them. If you’re writing to a single parent with a presence of children and a steady income you can make the assumption that this individual is a professional who is very busy. You should write your letter expressing your understanding of having limited time and how your product or service can benefit them. Below are some examples of messages that can be written from purchased data:
Ex. We know how important a reliable work force is when it comes to the construction industry. We specialize in construction working staffing….
Ex. This April shouldn’t bring the same stress as last year. We have automated the tax filing workload for over 1,500 accountants around the country. We can do the same for you.
Ex. Being a single parent is tough. Not only do you have to focus on your career, but you also need to provide the love and care your children need…
You can get very creative when it comes to utilizing your data or purchasing new data to draft up personal letters. The key is to write as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation and to clearly show that your product or service can fulfill a need or desire of the individual you’re writing to. If you would like to talk about the data you have collected or targeting new customers feel free to contact us at 561-393-4722 and we can talk specifically about your business.