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Is Print Personalization a Gimmick?

PostcardsPrint personalization — you hear about it everywhere. Use printed pieces to talk directly to recipients based on name, gender, past purchase history, or other information to achieve higher response rates and better return on investment (ROI). Is this really a smart marketing approach? Or is it just a gimmick to get you to buy more print?

Consider the way you are being marketed to. When you shop online, cookies follow your every move so that when you return to the page, the view is customized to your preferences. At the grocery store, your receipt is printed with coupons based on the items you just purchased. When you receive mail from your financial services provider, it contains information only on those funds in which you have invested.

Personalization has become so ingrained in our consumer experience that it’s just become our default expectation. If you aren’t incorporating 1:1 print into your print marketing, you are out of step with the overall trend in marketing.

What about cost? Today, every marketing cost is increasingly scrutinized. Although marketers tend to think of 1:1 printing as a high-cost luxury, when handled properly, the opposite is true.

  • 1:1 printing optimizes your marketing investment by not mailing irrelevant information to the wrong people. It makes every record count.
  • 1:1 printing provides provable ROI so you can compare its value against other marketing methods and justify your spending based on real numbers.
  • By generating higher response rates and per-order values from targeted customer segments, you can spend less and bring in more revenues.
  • More relevant communications (including newsletters, bills and other correspondence) help companies improve customer retention and reduce turnover. This has a direct impact on the bottom line.

From this perspective, 1:1 printing seems less like a luxury and more like a business necessity.