Modern Database Marketing with Direct Mail Personalization
In the database marketing industry, we always throw around the word “personalization” as if everyone already understands what we mean. It really is a generic term. Are you telling personal secrets? Are you talking about how much they drank on their last trip? Are you getting too “personal”?
The problem with using a generic term to describe what we are doing is that everyone has their own idea what the term means. To some people in the industry “personalization” means using the recipient’s name somewhere in the copy of the direct mailer. That is what it meant… five to ten years ago!
Modern personalization is an incredibly different animal that is not well represented by a one-word term.
Modern personalization is one-to-one conversations with each customer, en mass.
For example, Customer Mary visits the casino with her husband and enjoys playing Keno and eating at the buffet. Customer Jim is single and likes to come to your concerts, drink beer and bet on sports. How do you make one invitation that appeals to both of these people?
Just putting “Hey Jim” in the direct mail piece is usually not enough to make an offer more appealing to him if it isn’t relevant to his interest in your property.
A customer asked me the other day why they get so few responses to their concert promotions. They mail out 10,000 pieces and get 100 responses. “How come?” they asked. Well it turns out the exact same 10,000 people are invited to each concert and they aren’t sure if those particular people share a like for each particular type of concert.
They need to code their database with music interests and invite people that enjoy the type of concert you are promoting. This is the first step in modern personalization. Put the right act or promotion in front of your customers that like that act or promotion.
Music is a great way to have this conversation but it applies to everything about your Hotel Casino property. You don’t promote 80s hair band music to 60 year old guests and you don’t promote the steak house to people who like the buffet. Send blackjack invites only to people that like blackjack and send slot tournament invites only to people that like slot play. This is the heart of high response marketing.
This can be done all in ONE direct mail piece!
With today’s modern technology we can do all this in one direct mail piece. There are only a couple of hurdles to making this possible. First you have to find the easiest ways to match your event and hotel casino offerings to the guests that like each of your amenities. This is best established by tracking EVERYTHING your customer does. For example, you need to track the types of rooms they stay in and the types of food they prefer on property.
Next we need to establish things about your clients that you currently do not have access to. For example, do they golf? Are they married? What kind of music do they like? What kind of occupation are they in? There are many ways to do this with in-house surveys or modern data-append services using some great outside consumer databases to gather new information.
Finally, the last step is to learn how to build a marketing matrix. This is a spreadsheet where we describe the differences in each dataset we have pulled and what offers each database receives. Basically, we query each special interest we can find to market to and make a map to which offers will be rotating in each direct mail piece. This personalizes the offers, look and feel of each piece.
Now the fun happens. We build four different art sets for the invitation. One design caters to blackjack players, one design feels more like buffet and keno, one design is 80s hair band and buffet and the last design is a golf themed piece that includes a slot tournament and steakhouse offer for those people we know like those. This is all for offers for the same weekend, of course.
We compile your databases together and rotate the graphics in the printing and outputting process. This is the recipe for high response modern direct mail personalized casino marketing.
Everyone gets something that appeals directly to them and their interests in a gaming experience.
The biggest gain is that over time each person in your database starts to feel like your property is their favorite because it appears that your product is exactly what they are looking for. Every player gets a unique experience that feels most comfortable to them and they end up visiting more often. This gives you a greater share of their annual gaming budget.