On its own, data is a powerful asset. It informs who your current customers are and how they interact with your brand. Using information provided by customers — their names and email addresses, for example — and metrics from your website, you can build a repository that paints a clear picture of their demographics and behaviors.
Like data, creative is another critical piece in any marketer’s toolkit. When you send a piece of direct mail, you want it to grab your customer’s attention with personalized messaging, eye-catching imagery, and a clear call to action. According to Canon Solutions America, adding a person’s name and full color to a piece of direct mail can increase response rate by 135%.
The only way you can do this, though, is by cohesively bringing together every aspect of a marketing campaign. Your data must inform your creative, and creative should leverage data to speak to prospects or customers in a way that will uniquely resonate.
Creative teams have the ability to take an obscure idea and turn it into a valuable piece of direct mail. But it’s the data that fills in the details, giving creative teams the power to personalize and tailor their messaging to extremely specific audiences.
Let’s say you’re sending direct mail to alumni who previously donated to your school’s fundraising drive. You already have their names, physical addresses, and other chunks of identifying information. These bits and pieces of data create the basis of your customer database, but behavioral trends unlock even more marketing possibilities.
If you know previous donors responded at a higher rate to specific images and messages, your creative team can take that knowledge and adjust future campaigns to capitalize on those trends. Like Reverse IP Append, which informs mailing decisions based on your consumers’ website actions, data gathered from past mail campaigns can improve your future direct marketing efforts.
Take your data strategy a step further for a second. Recognizing trends and building your database is important, but acting on behaviors and using your data intelligently is only possible with captivating creative.
With your data — and technology like variable printing — you can personalize mail in a way that is sure to increase your ROI.
Your copy is the first option, as it’s likely the first item someone will engage with when they pick up an envelope. You can use relevant customer data points to personalize mail, and each subsequent piece of mail allows you to incorporate even more data into future campaigns.
The next is the call to action, which is the singular action you’d like your consumer to take. Whether it’s a subscription renewal or a request for new membership, consumers are more likely to engage with an offer if it’s been personalized to their previous engagements with the brand.
One last variable is the imagery your creative team chooses to use on the envelope or in the piece of mail. The design sets the mood and draws your customer in, but only if it appeals to each unique individual. Knowing your demographic, their interests, and the types of images that resonate with your audience will help you catch their attention from the moment they open their mailbox.
A full-service partner, such as Darwill, can manage the connection between your data, creative, and final production, helping you avoid silos between multiple teams or agencies. This way, you ensure your powerful data is handed over to the creative side of the house, where it’s eventually used to inform a design that marries the two, seamlessly.
Your data is the backbone of any successful marketing campaign, and the creative is the vehicle with which you reach the right customers, at the right time. Together, they can help you deliver consistent data-driven results for client acquisition and retention.