When we think about more deeply engaging customers and prospects and boosting response and conversion rates, we typically think about personalizing the message. But we can engage people more deeply by personalizing the images, as well. Setting up the file for image personalization is a little different than setting up a file for text personalization, however, so let’s take look at how that works.
Our Alchemy VDP workflow is designed to make the process easy. It offers a variety of standard mailing formats and lets you use up to six variable fields, each of which can be used to swap out text or images.
If you want to swap out text, you embed in the layout file the same label you use for the field in the database. If you want to personalize by first name, for example, the variable field in the database might be “FNAME.” In the layout, you would also use <<FNAME>>.
When swapping out images, you need to take the extra step of setting up the data file so that the image name is included with the record you want the image to be associated with. Let’s use an example of a pharmaceutical company. They want to send out B2B materials to doctor’s offices and identify the customer’s specific sales rep. As the corporate communication department, you need to make sure everything is consistent with brand guidelines. You also want to include personalization to the recipient and information about their sales rep. Both are possible. In the data file below – we are able to create content specific to the recipient. We can send to John and Mary materials that include their rep’s pictures and contact information. John’s agent is Bob White. Mary’s is Susan Green. In this case, John Smith’s and Mary Brown’s records might look like this:
|John||Smith||123 Main St.||Bob White||BobWhite.jpg|
|Mary||Brown||123 Broad St.||Susan Green||SusanGreen.jpg|
The ability to personalize not just text but also the images for each piece boosts relevance and increases engagement. The result is higher response rates, and conversions, too.
Personalization has cost and efficiency benefits, too, especially at higher volumes. For example, a corporate brand might have 50 offices across the country. Each office might have 5-10 sales reps. Having the name, image, and contact information married to each recipient’s record enables the company to use templates with consistent branding, while still personalizing the pieces with each recipient’s agent, their agent’s picture, and their agent’s contact information.
To see this process in action – check out our tutorial video.
Personalizing text and images in direct mail and marketing collateral doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s just another step in the preparation of the database that can be pay huge dividends if you take the time to get it right.