How to deepen customer engagement in chaotic times

How to deepen customer engagement in chaotic times

If there is one area of American life that just keeps getting louder by the second; it’s the marketplace. The roar is beyond deafening as every brand shouts for attention (and survival).

But we’re sure you know the solution isn’t screaming louder than your competitors. It’s speaking in a voice that people can actually hear.

Let’s review time-honored methods for rising above the chaos, starting with techniques most of us know intuitively but don’t always utilize to their fullest potential.

The most magical words in any language

Brain research from the National Institutes of Health shows that, when we want to gain someone’s attention, all we need to do is say their name. This simple action activates brain circuits created before our first birthday, touching the very core of our identity.

In fact, names are so crucial to human engagement that educators want to make sure they say students’ names correctly. They don’t want to miss that first chance to connect deeply because they know it’s the gateway to being heard and understood.

But don’t forget, execution is everything

It’s no surprise that customer names should be part of your marketing appeal, whether you’re reaching out via digital, mobile, or print. But your success depends on strategy and skill. Here are 3 dimensions that determine how well your personalization efforts will perform.

  1. Accurate customer data.
  1. Timing: Relevancy of Data
  1. Degree of personalization.

Let’s look at how each factor plays out in creating a direct marketing campaign. (Pro tip: these same principles apply broadly to digital campaigns, too, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll use print as our lead example.)

The cringe-worthy mistakes even big brands make

Using the right data seems like Marketing 101. Yet we’ll bet that in the last 30 days, you’ve gotten something in the mail that was addressed to:

  • The person who lived there 5 years ago.
  • Someone else who lives with you, even though YOU’RE the one who buys the product(s) being promoted.
  • or Mrs. Last Name, even when context cues suggest your first name would have been more persuasive.

Only small-time marketers make these mistakes, right? We wish. In fact, our case study files are jammed with leading organizations that came to us, desperate to find more accurate and effective personalization strategies.

At American Litho, we use advanced data cleansing and updating techniques, paired with the power of Amerlytics℠ to ensure that brands are reaching the right individuals using the right names and the right level of formality or informality. We help clients think their offers through carefully so that the message will resonate, not irritate.

Speed, relevancy, and ROI

Relevancy drives direct mail engagement. We can’t overstate the value of being agile, insightful, and ready to pivot, not just in terms of timing but messaging too.

Have you noticed all the digital and print campaigns out there that sound tone-deaf, especially in the midst of rapid change? It’s crucial to review offers continuously to assure you’re not hitting the wrong note.

Effective messaging also needs to get into the hands of consumers with blazing speed. This, of course, depends on having the right data-driven print technology and the strongest USPS optimization techniques, starting with mailing from the right location.

Getting your offer into the mailbox sooner requires a well-integrated strategy that shaves days off cycle times, placing your personalized appeal in the hands of the buyer at the peak point of interest.

Why not go for maximum impact?

This is the question we consistently ask our clients. We acknowledge that adding customer names to any mailing will triple response rates, according to DMA figures. But we also point out that leveraging known customer preferences will boost ROI even more.

Here are 3 powerful ways to go beyond name personalization.

  1. Use full-color variable imaging and messaging to showcase products you know customers love, based on past buying patterns and other interest signals.
  2. Reach thousands, even millions of new customers with predictive modeling, paired with fast personalization and mailing techniques.
  3. Think beyond catalogs, postcards, and other standard appeals. USPS is now offering postage discounts for variable color messaging in billing statements and other first-class mailings, giving you yet another opportunity to speak directly with customers.

Make no mistake: it takes advanced technology to make these techniques work efficiently. But the reason they work is actually very simple. Customers feel seen, heard, understood, and appreciated when you speak directly to their interests. They see that you’re ready to bring them the goods and services they want most.

What could possibly be more powerful than that?

Adapting these concepts to your brand

American Litho is a print and all-channel marketing leader. We never stop expanding the knowledge and technology required to make personalization strategies work for you.

For a glimpse into our fast-paced production environment, watch this video featuring our new HP T240 digital press suite (we recently updated to a T250 and purchased a second T250). This is just one of many tech advancements we bring to the table that can transform response rates, sales, and revenues.

If you’re ready to see and reach your customers in new ways, we’re happy to explore the possibilities with you.

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