Strategies for Personalizing Your Print Communications
August 9, 2023
Let’s face it, we all like to receive personalized communications, like flyers with our names and customized offers and recommendations. It may seem like a little thing, but it makes us feel special and goes a long way in creating lasting and engaging relationships between customers and businesses.
In our previous blog post, we looked at the benefits of personalizing your print communications, which included boosting customer engagement and improving payment speed. Now, in the second installment of this series, we’ll share strategies to deploy this effectively.
Effective Personalization Needs Accurate Data
While most businesses have access to an abundance of customer data, it’s not always accurate. The key point here is accurate data is the foundation of effective personalization. When you can tap into the right data, you unlock your customers' preferences, behaviors, and needs. What exactly is the right data? We recommend you focus on customer payment history, data from your CSM platform, customer surveys, web analytics, and CSR interactions. All of these are data-rich sources, but remember that the only way to get actionable information is by maintaining robust and accurate customer data.
Create Customer Segments
Once you’ve got your data in order, consider segmenting your customers. Doing so allows you to create tailored content just for them. A good start is to divide customers according to things like geography, demographics, or even certain behaviors like how they pay or how they choose to receive their bills.
When you’ve established your customer segments, leverage the power of variable data printing (VDP) techniques to generate individualized content. VDP allows printed transactional document content to change from one printed piece to the next (e.g., customer name, address, usage). Pairing VDP with your customer data provides endless ways to personalize your transactional documents.
Tailor Messages & Campaigns to Specific Customer Segments
When you’ve got your customer segments down, now you need to decide which type of messaging makes sense for each. For your geography segment, you’ll want to share things like weather information, events in their area, or specific programs they may be eligible for. For instance you can send energy-saving tips to customers facing a cold snap or heat wave. Another customer group may be first-time customers or potential new homeowners/renters. These segments will appreciate a personalized welcome letter and an explanation of the options available to pay their bills. Finding groups with similar behaviors can be as easy as reviewing your data for perpetually late payers or high-energy users and creating targeted messages for these groups, for example, encouraging late payers to enroll in auto-pay or sending high-energy users recommendations on how they can curb energy usage during the summer.
Expand Your Communications Tools
If you’re relying on the same print communications you always have, you likely haven’t incorporated a lot of personalization into your documents. Increasing the ways you connect with customers and ensuring those tools include a personal touch helps boost customer experience. Inserts, onserts, and on-document messaging offer innovative and very effective ways to engage with target audiences. Inserts (physical notices or bucklsips) are strategically placed in the envelope with transactional documents to capture customers' attention. Onserts take a similar approach but are printed directly in line with the document on the pages that follow a bill or statement. On-document messaging, on the other hand, leverages digital technology to embed personalized messages directly in the documents like invoices or statements. When you’re able to personalize your outreach and create impactful connections with customers, you’re more likely to build lasting relationships.
Integrate With Other Channels
Most businesses have gotten the memo on the importance of offering customers a variety of communication channels. We encourage you not to stop there. The key to success isn’t just offering options. It’s also ensuring you can integrate your messages across other channels. Using QR codes, personalized URLs, and secure emails that deliver the same bills via email instead of print offers convenience to customers and streamlines communication processes. Integrating messages across multiple channels creates a robust omni-channel experience, where customers can seamlessly transition between platforms without encountering disjointedness or inconsistencies.
Boost Customer Satisfaction and Engagement With Personalized Print Communications
Showing your customers that you care and understand their challenges and preferences is critical to a successful customer experience strategy. Personalizing print documents can go a long way in achieving this goal. By creating customer segments based on accurate data, you can tailor your messages and campaigns to cater to the specific needs and preferences of each customer group. When you’re able to deliver your communications in various ways and channels, you’re giving your customers the seamless customer experience they’re looking for.