One-Third of Marketers’ Campaigns Are Personalized

Still thinking about personalizing your direct mail campaigns but aren’t sure it’s worth the investment?

Wondering whether personalization is really the competitive advantage people say it is?

New research tells us that the answer to both questions is YES. Forty-four percent of respondents say that personalized marketing campaigns have increased their response rates—on average, by 16%.

Not only this, but if you aren’t personalizing your direct mail, you’re at a competitive disadvantage.

The research, titled “Personalization is Pushing the Envelope,” conducted by NAPCO Research, came from more than 1,300 marketers in a wide variety of industry verticals, from education to manufacturing to financial and nonprofit. Overall, researchers found that two-thirds of campaigns marketers are sending are either personalized or segmented. Of those, the split is even between fully personalized (35%) and segmented (31%). Only 34% of marketers are using the mass media approach.

Historically, most personalization used to be the simple kind: name only (“Dear <<FIRST NAME>>”). Today, the study finds, highly personalized mailings, defined as those including variable images, text, or large portions being fully dynamic, have become mainstream. In fact, 27% of marketers are using this level of personalization. Twenty-six percent are using custom text and offers.

Of course, it takes more investment to produce personalized mailings than static or segmented ones, but marketers are seeing the results. Overall, 44% of respondents say that personalized marketing campaigns have increased their response rates—on average, by 16%.

Importantly, however, high percentages of marketers are still not tracking their results. One of the segments with the lowest percentage seeing a benefit to personalization, for example, is nonprofits (41%), yet these same organizations are also the most likely to say they don’t know whether personalization helps or not (39%). Conversely, retailers are the most likely to be tracking their results (78%), and among this group, the percentage that say they are benefiting from personalization rises to 55%. You don’t know if it’s working if you’re not tracking!

The takeaway?

In today’s competitive marketing environment, personalized and segmented marketing works. But when you personalize, track. It’s critical to know what’s working and what’s not. This way, you can justify your additional investment and tweak your campaigns to produce the greatest possible return.