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Having read those, are you feeling all jumped up about marketing now? Or are you a little bummed out?
Personalization should make your customers/readers feel you understand them. It can have a warming effect on your relationship with them. It can even allow you to target products and messages specifically to their interests. These are universally agreed to be good things.
The challenge now for players in industry is to set a few guidelines and limitations for themselves, i.e. just how personal can we get before we've gone too far? As a heavy user of e-zines, I love personalization - within limits:
Please, use your e-zine to speak to me in a one-on-one, relaxed style about marketing or whatever your topic is.
Speak to me personally about your own professional experiences, failures and successes.
Speak to me of inspiring case studies involving real people.
Survey me to find out what I need.
Subdivide your opt-in database into super-specific categories so you can narrowcast your messages to your various target audiences.
Use software to personalize your e-zine by sprinkling my first name throughout copy. (Yes, I still get a kick out of that!)
That's personalization at its finest. But hamsters in your colon? Like guy breathing down my neck in bank line-up, you just got much, much too close. And instead of inspiring me, you've creeped me out.
Heather Reimer was a journalist and broadcaster for 16 years. She now specializes in custom e-zine and web content, sales letters, press releases and articles like this one. For fast, effective and memorable e-content, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org