Monday, January 7, 2013

BIG’s Blog: Big Changes Are Coming…Message Change

When I started in the direct marketing business, most mass direct mail letters began with “Dear Friend.” The personalization technology of individual names in the salutation didn’t come into common usage until the 1980s. And, of course, it goes without saying that there was no variable text in the letter. The letters were all the same…word for word.

Of course this meant that we treated our prospects as one big homogeneous group; as if they were carbon copies of each other. What craziness!

Today we can…and should…know each individual supporter by name and what motivates them to support our organization. We need to speak to supporters based upon their interests. What do they view as valuable?

Can you use analytics and information to improve your direct mail response? Of course you can. But you are missing the big advantage of online communications. The real advantage of communication online is that you communicate in the NOW. With mail, you are dealing with a time delay, not the real-time interaction of using the Internet.

The other huge driver of message change is the ability to capture and analyze huge amounts of information about each and every supporter and would-be supporter. This phenomenon even has a name, they call it “big data.”

Expectations have changed. The same-o, same-o message sent to Baby Boomers and younger generations will get tossed out. What they will respond to are their interests in your organization.


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