We are, as you may have noticed, very big on personalisation here at Nutshell Creative. This is because it works. If you take a quick look through our portfolio you will see just how well it works. There is no doubting that the past, present and potential customer for your products or services will respond much better to materials that have the feel of personalisation. In fact your customer will on average open 97% of correctly addresses mail.
This is more than just a name, though. Personalisation is all about appropriate methods and the right choice of when, where, and how you reach out to the customers. Having a name on the front of the materials will lose all value if the materials themselves have no relevance.
Research shows that over half (60%) of people asked say that the best mail advertising helps keep a sender’s brand top of mind. Imagine if the mail was individually tailored to the customer.
In essence, personalisation is not about using someone’s first name, it is about using their data, their buying habits, their general information, and their likely needs to provide them with relevant information. It is about giving back something that the customer wants, and there have been some great examples of this recently.
Waitrose took personalisation and actually gave it back to the consumer by launching a service where their shoppers could adapt the offers they received based on their own personal preferences and shopping habits. Of course, Waitrose controls the available offers and gate-keep the process but, for the consumer, there is an individualisation of the experience of the shopping.
When you consider that in relation to the fact that Waitrose does not fight on price as most other supermarkets do, you realise just how well considered they are being about their approach to the marketplace.
When a customer gives you their personal data, they are doing so on the understanding that they will receive something useful in return. Waitrose has utilised that unspoken contract very well with their promotions. Interestingly, they are also acknowledging the fact that they are gathering data and that the customer knows this is happening. Good personalisation is clearly, therefore, about the exchange of information on the understanding that it will be used fairly and effectively, and this is a totally understandable attitude. When all said and done, it is the personal data that is being utilised in the process, and that is information that the individual will naturally be protective of.
The approach that will work best is likely to be the one that will appeal to the consumer by not just personalising but by individualising. Tailoring the contact to the customer in relation to the products they have recently purchased will allow you to reach out with not only the right content but at the right time. A high-value purchase, such as a car or expensive perfume, is unlikely to be repeated, so a barrage of information on something the customer does not want to buy, personalised or not, is unlikely to have any effect except to reduce the impact of the approach.
Over use of personalisation and badly utilised data are something that will not only not work but could actually harm your relationship with the customer.