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As consumers, we are bombarded with messages every day, and it’s a tough call for any marketer to break through the defences and get the attention of your most wanted client.

The answer then is to personalise.  A “Dear Kim” email or letter will get far more attention from me than “Dear Business Owner”.

It was no surprise then to receive a direct mail letter (a real letter….in an envelope….in the post….on my doormat – woo hoo!!) that started “Dear Kim”.  I read on.

Half way down, with a fanfare of trumpets, the letter proudly announced “SO NOW, THE INVITATION!” (Yes, in capitals as well).  It followed:

“You have been pre-selected as one of my best customers and I would love to invite you….”


In my humble opinion, a customer is someone who has bought from you.  And I have never bought from this person in my life.  I was on the newsletter list for a while, yes, but that’s different.  That makes me a prospect, not a customer.

The over personal and incorrect copywriting then lost them any chance they had of me being slightly interested in what they had to offer.

It could have been very easy to remedy.  Personalisation – yes, absolutely.  Any professional marketer will tell you to personalise marketing communication, but then (and this is key) make it relevant to the recipient.  This is personalisation at its best.

It would have been very easy for this person’s marketing team to segment their database into different groups: suspects, prospects, different levels of customer, and lapsed customers.  Different groups need different messages.

Marketing is quite simple really: right message, to the right people, in the right media, at the right time.  Always keep this in mind and you won’t go far wrong.

And if that involves a little extra work to segment a database, then so be it.  But it does then mean you can make your message entirely relevant to the person receiving it.  And that’s when your chances of your marketing turning into sales increase considerably!

So if you have one goal for your marketing this year, look at your list (e-newsletter, snail mail, social media….) and segment them into different groups of people.  Then decide what message/s to send to each of them, and when.  And then stick to it!

Simples! 😮

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