It's all about me, after all

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It's all about me, after all
It's all about me, after all

I'm the typical customer. I like to feel valued and recognized by my favorite brands—especially if I'm a member of their loyalty program or spend, let's say, “a significant share of wallet” with them. Which is why I love when those brands connect with me via direct marketing: Because it's all about me. Or at least it should be.

Not surprisingly, that's why September is my favorite "holiday season" in terms of direct marketing. The holiday? My birthday, of course. Beginning in late August I start to receive birthday greetings from my preferred brands. Whether it's simply an email greeting with no offer or a discount on a future purchase, each communication—primarily email and direct mail—is like a gift. And who doesn't love a gift?! 

One of the things I enjoy most—besides the discounts, to be honest—is comparing who sent what in terms of quality and creativity. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but hey, I write about this stuff so I feel compelled to analyze it. 

I've received beautifully designed emails or humorous one, simple postcards and flashy one, and birthday cards in red or pink envelopes--all as individual messages; all nicely produced. The "winner" this year, however, is White House | Black Market for its multichannel birthday messaging. The clothing retailer mailed a card with an offer for a discount on a purchase during my birthday month. Then it followed that up a few days later with an email that was simply a birthday greeting. 

It wasn't just the multichannel nature of WHBM's birthday notes that I liked; it was that the retailer's follow-up message wasn't just about using my birthday to get me into the store—which is clearly the primary goal of these triggered birthday campaigns (even so, I have to admit that I feel more valued by the brands that send birthday greetings than those that don't). It was just a note to say thanks for being a loyal customer. And there's nothing so loyalty-inspiring than feeling appreciated by a favorite brand.

Because direct marketing done well is all about me, after all. 

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