Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009 - (Page 38)

management Using Personalization Technology Tips to prevent a breach of mail privacy By David Henkel a national concern for the information databases constructed by mailers for commercial purpose. How is personalized marketing employed as an effective form of customer communication — and how can mailers distinguish when its use is inappropriate? Recent innovations in printing and mailing technology and database mining offer marketers the ability to create highly personalized campaigns for their target audiences. Messaging is becoming more relevant as companies are able to gather more data about their customers than ever before. Indeed, a close connection between a marketer and an audience generates increasingly satisfied and loyal customers. A DirecT mAilpiece cAn Be TAiloreD To THe recipienT in A numBer of wAys: Use Caution with Sensitive Information The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made efforts to strike a balance between the consumer’s right to privacy and the advertiser’s need to learn about consumers. THe Agency HAs DevelopeD A few Helpful guiDelines for inDusTry self-regulATion AnD HAs iDenTifieD severAl AreAs of informATion THAT HAve consisTenTly cAuseD legAl complicATion for mArkeTers: » Contextual personalization utilizes a customer’s individual preferences discovered through a variety of methods, such as previous purchases or a survey. » Conceptual personalization uses basic information received from standard billing records, such as geographic location, to tailor a marketing effort. This form of targeted marketing also utilizes demographic research to increase the chances of message relevancy. » Aesthetic personalization is perhaps the most creative form of tailored marketing and simply involves adjusting the visual appearance or tone of a piece to be relevant enough to capture a customer’s attention. In today’s cluttered mailbox, business mailers will have mere seconds to capture a customer’s attention. Using personalized, relevant messages is an excellent method of acquiring a recipient’s interest long enough to convey a message or promote a product or service. However, using customized data to personalize a message doesn’t automatically produce welcome results by the recipient. This personalization also has the potential to capture a prospect’s attention negatively. While personalized campaigns have been proven to yield high response rates, there is a growing consumer concern for customized communications that cross the line from a friendly, personal offer to an invasion of privacy. Cases of information misuse have raised 38 MAY - JUNE 2009 a » Financial Information: Includes bank account numbers, » credit ratings, stocks or investments, income tax or personal income. Personal Identification Information: Includes social security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s license information and physical descriptors such as body weight or height, eye and hair color as well as clothing sizes. Medical Information: Includes prescription drug use, medical history, genetic data, chronic health conditions, and especially health insurance information. Individual preference or sexual orientation. Any material directed to a minor. » » » The FTC has also developed some useful guidelines for mailing centers and marketers to follow in the storage, processing and disposal of this type of information. These tips include: Minimize risks: Legally, you may be required to save some long-term data, but some businesses may be storing private cus-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009

Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009
Editor’s Note
Real Life Management
Software Byte
Employing Technology
Everything IMB
Ship It
Best Practices
What You Think
From the Source
The Key to Approval
Practical Insights
Mail.XML and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Implementing the Intelligent Mail Barcode
Internet-Powered Postal Mail
Using Personalization Technology
Reality Check
Pushing the Envelope

Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009