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Why personalisation in print is as relevant as ever

In the age of big data, personalisation in printed marketing is just as important as it is in the digital landscape.

You might argue that there isn’t room for print in this fast-paced world of digital media, not when interactivity and customisation can be implemented at the push of a button. Not in an age when brands like Walt Disney’s Orlando resort, give visitors MagicBands to reserve rides, unlock hotel rooms, make purchases and have an entirely personalised experience*.

The truth is that personalisation needs to access all areas. For example, can you remember the last time you received an anniversary e-card? And if you did, what if it didn’t even have your name on it? Nothing beats receiving a tangible, printed and personally written card – which is why we argue that print is as relevant as always, if not more so, as we discussed in, ‘Why are more and more digital marketers turning to print?

Consumers want companies to show them products and services that are specific to them and their needs, and they only want to receive relevant communications**. It’s important then that printed elements keep up with this – the card Disney send to welcome their guests to their rooms needs to be as personal as the rest of the Disney experience.

It’s important that brands are relevant in all communications, print or digital – and personalisation is key to that.

Why personalise at all?

When marketing, if you go a mile wide and an inch deep it’s not going to be as effective as taking things an inch wide but a mile deep. Put another way, if you could choose to reach ten thousand people for the same marketing spend as reaching five hundred, the temptation would be to go big. But for the same money, a quality, master-crafted mail piece, which is personalised and targeted to a specific audience, could be the difference that really makes a difference – something that actually grabs attention and makes your targets feel valued.

Imagine if you could raise your conversation rates for direct mail by 93% and enjoy significant increases in average order values and customer lifetime values***. Well that’s what personalisation of your printed marketing could do for your business.

How to personalise for print

When personalising printed marketing assets the solutions are very simple (and just the same as with digital marketing):

Be relevant

Use your data on purchase history to be relevant: direct mail should reflect product preferences and frequency. Use market research to target your marketing messages to suit each of your customer groups.

Bring it all together by seamlessly coordinating your message across all customer touchpoints. A customer should receive the same level of personalisation in statements and brochures as they do when you email them.

Be targeted

Be inspired by digital natives such as Amazon (take a look at your Amazon home page and see how many times you’re addressed by ‘you’, ‘your’ or your name) because the same principles apply offline as well as online.

Be personal

Respond to customer preferences, and demonstrate that you’re listening to them. Language can also provide that personal touch – address the customer directly, and talk about what you can do for them and how they will benefit.

There is no greater time to use print to make customers feel appreciated, capture a new audience or cement relationships with current clients.

Here are some of our favourite examples of printed personalisation in action …


This premium invitation was sent to a select number of CarGurus’s top dealers. It set the tone for their prestigious annual event with a 700gsm soft-touch invitation and wine label both personalised with gilt digital foil. Coupled with the personalised and high-quality gift, this is a great way for CarGurus to make their dealers feel special and to build excitement for the event itself.

Lily Pad

These note pads are individually personalised with the person’s name in gold foil on fluorescent paper.

DHL invitation

A 700gsm thick-foiled and white-ink printed invitation – each personalised with the person’s name and prize.

Read about BISON’s success stories

Find out how BISON can help your business grow with innovative brand communications. To start the conversation today, email mark@madebybison.co.uk.

*www.bcg.com **www.mckinsey.com ***econsultancy.com


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