Direct Response Marketing: Personalize and Profit!

During the recent Glazer-Kennedy InfoSUMMIT, an attendee came up to me to thank me for the recent success he had with using CopyDoodles® on a direct response marketing mail piece.

He was excited that something as simple as adding a few handwritten CopyDoodles could bring new life (and response) to one of his existing direct response marketing campaigns. We discussed his direct response marketing and then he asked me what I thought was a very interesting question…

“Mike, if you could do only one thing in 2011 to create better-performing marketing, what would you do?”

And without even having to think about it, I answered, “Increase the 1:1 personalization of all my marketing efforts.”

Friends, I believe in this day and age of “too much noise” we don’t have to be searching out the latest and greatest shiny object to cure what ails our marketing.

Sure, things like social media and video marketing have their rightful place in our direct response marketing arsenal, but I believe THE MOST IMPORTANT marketing strategy we can all use is to increase the feeling that I am talking directly to you and only to you with information that is relevant to your business or life.

This is the power of personalized marketing and it’s more important than ever to be using these strategies as much as you can.

To give you some ideas on how you can increase the personalization of your marketing, here are 7 easy-to-implement personalized marketing strategies I recommend.

1) Personalize your story – Everybody knows that in order for people to do business with us, there’s a “know, like and trust” factor that comes into play. Depending on what you’re selling the degree varies, but regardless, it’s important for our prospects and customers to have an insider’s glimpse on why we do what we do.

How much of your life you want to broadcast is up to you, but sharing at some level is important. Sharing stories and things that have happened to you (that are relevant to your market) via direct response marketing, email marketing, social media, newsletters or even a Web TV show are important ways to help build the know, like and trust factor.

2) Personalize your copy writing – Today’s technology makes generic, “Dear Reader”-type marketing obsolete. At a minimum you can personalize your copy writing and direct response marketing pieces by simply dropping the recipient’s name in your copy, but there’s so much more you can do, including adding personalization to offers and guarantees.

You can personalize the copy of your offer in a way that makes it feel like I am the only one receiving the offer, by including specific copy based on my previous buying history or knowing something specific about me (e.g. the type of pet I own or the type of car I drive, etc.).

For example, if I was marketing dog food, which do you think will get more attention and more response?

“Dear Dog Owner, we can help keep your dog fit and trim with our natural dog food.”


“Dear Mike, we can help you keep your dog Zoe fit and trim with our natural dog food formulated exclusively for German Shepherds ages 2 – 8.”

Obviously the second example is much more relevant to me, since by using this type of direct response marketing technique, they are talking to me directly about my specific pet. This example includes four specific personalized elements that illustrate how you can increase the personalization of your copy. Of course this does put the burden of collecting and using this data on you, but once started, it’s not difficult.

3) Personalize with CopyDoodles In this day and age where just about everything is computer generated, the use of CopyDoodles has a unique “pattern interrupt” effect on readers.

CopyDoodles create the effect the writer had some final important points to make after the copy was written and wanted to especially make sure the reader saw them. Used in the proper context, there’s nothing like CopyDoodles to convey the “me to you” connection.

Study any of the great copywriters and direct response marketing designers and they will all tell you the proper use of handwriting and doodles in your copy can increase readership and response.

4) Personalize with photos – Did you know readership and response studies have shown that photographs are one of the first things people look at when looking at any direct response marketing piece, advertisement, letter or marketing piece?

Photos are an important way to connect with others, not only to tell your story, but also to create more of a 1:1 connection to support the personalized copy. You can include fun and interesting photos of your workplace, employees, family, vacations, etc. in direct response marketing.  Again the goal is to create a connection with your market.

Going back to the dog food example… consider how much more powerful it would be to include a picture of a German Shepherd in the piece that was sent to me?

Whenever you use photos in your marketing, make sure you include a caption (studies have shown captions are the next thing readers look at after the photo) that has personalization in it.

5) Personalize with comics, cartoons and caricatures – The use of these unique graphics in direct response marketing is underutilized in most business owners marketing efforts and offer a unique opportunity to connect with people for many of the same reasons photographs do.

Comics, cartoons and caricatures can allow the smart marketer to create visual connections that simply cannot done any other way, including the use of humor, which is a powerful human connection.

You can put comics, cartoons and caricatures on your direct mail pieces, in your direct response marketing emails, on your web sites, wherever you want to create an emotional connection and don’t forget to use personalized elements in your captions!

6) Personalize with handwritten notes and thank you notes – Recently I wrote an article on my blog and created a video ( about the power of handwritten thank you notes. For the sake of this article I am going to expand and include the use of handwritten notes as an important personalized direct response marketing technique.

Today, when everybody complains of receiving too much email, junk mail and irrelevant marketing and advertising messages, NOBODY is complaining of receiving too many handwritten notes or thank you notes. The use of handwritten notes (either real handwriting or simulated handwriting fonts) offers every business owner a unique opportunity to connect with their readers.

7) Personalize with PURLs – A lot of successful direct response marketing uses personalized URLs, which are a relatively new way for marketers to create unique, 1:1 messages and help drive people to personalized and customized web sites that have been created specifically for the individual reader.

An example of an effective PURL would be:

This PURL arouses curiosity for Julie and with the proper motivation will get her to visit the PURL (in this case to see what the gift is I am giving her). Once she arrives at her site, I can now personalize the page using all of the strategies I described above.

I’ve used PURLs in my marketing since 2004 and they offer many unique benefits, including a relatively inexpensive way to create a very personalized, 1:1 message with your market.

Personalize and Profit!

If you would like know more about how I use personalized direct response marketing and about a brand new special software system I developed for my business, I invite you to download a free, 28-page report at

One important final note… there’s always a few critics who poo-poo the ideas and strategies I outline above. Their contention is that these are all thinly veiled techniques that reek of “fakeness.”

I want to make it clear that I am not supporting any strategy that is not congruent, meaningful, and real to your business and helping improve the lives and businesses of your market. These personalized marketing strategies must be used in ways that are real and authentic.

In order make the human connection personalized marketing offers you, it must not appear contrived. The goal is not to use personalized marketing for the sake of personalized marketing, but to make your marketing appear as real, natural and 1:1 as humanly possible!

If you would like to discover more ways that your marketing can stand out with the use of CopyDoodles and copy cosmetics, check out our Copy Boosting Profits Secrets Course and our CopyDoodles Best Practices Webinar Series!

This article originally appeared on the NO B.S. Not So Daily E-Zine which publishes useful direct response marketing tips and business advice.

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Lindsey on December 20, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Great article! However I tried to download the 28 page report and only got an error. Any chance you could email me a copy? Thanks!

    • Mike Capuzzi on December 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

      Hi Lindsey,

      I just checked and the article is working on our end. I will email you a copy though right now!

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