The power of thoughtful, one-on-one marketing

Feeling emotional when collecting the mail is unusual, as mostly I only get the odd bill or my regular New Yorker magazine. But recently, two envelopes turned up in my letterbox and really moved me.

The first was a card from World Vison thanking me for my support, enclosed with a framed photograph of the child I sponsor in Mozambique. The second was a card from pet food supplier Pet Circle, sending me condolences on the death of my beloved cat, Remi. Both were handwritten and addressed specifically to me – written and signed by a real person.

My instant reaction to each was OMG! That is so thoughtful and kind. My next thought was that I’ll always buy my dog’s food from Pet Circle. If the cost of living crisis is permanent, World Vision is the last charity I’ll ever stop donating to.

The power of uniqueness

These cards are real, tangible, lasting things. They’re stuck to the pin board over my desk. They stand out from the deluge of emails, posts and newsletters that come at me every day, mostly to be deleted or forgotten in minutes. (Although there are plenty of newsletters I love and read every time.) The senders didn’t use a carefully chosen font; they wrote in their unique, human, flawed handwriting. Somebody thought about the message, wrote it down, sealed the envelope, stuck on the stamp and addressed it to me.

Then I thought about why they moved me so, and what object lessons they were for all businesses and organisations. The first is personal connection: the idea that somebody thought about me. The communication was one-to-one, not an algorithm that sends ‘Dear [subscriber’s name here] to me and every other person on their list. Next, they connected with my emotions, and not just my thoughts. They were real, imperfect and stood out from what everybody else was doing.

Winning loyalty

And by doing that, they won my loyalty (and yes, my money too). It doesn’t mean we should all inundate Australia Post with greeting cards, but it does show how far a little thoughtful, personalised and meaningful marketing activity can go. And now I’m going to write to a client and thank them for communicating with me so clearly and consistently on a recent big project.

What will you do to make a one-on-one connection in your business today?

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