Best Practices for Automated Direct Mail Campaigns

Effective marketing means getting the right message to the right person at the right time. With automated direct mail, companies can now connect digital behavior with personalized direct mail. Automated direct mail can be seamlessly triggered, personalized and sent based on customers’ digital behaviors. This makes direct mail as easy to send as email.

Better yet, by leveraging programmatic technology, each piece of mail can be sent while products are still top of mind. One company saw conversion rates as high as 40% using this strategy.1 If you have the budget, consider contacting a mail service provider who can help handle the fulfillment, shipping and tracking of your automated direct mail campaigns.

To optimize an automated direct mail campaign, companies must identify the right digital behavior triggers for their marketing needs. Below, we dissect the triggers and messaging that can help you create effective programmatic direct mail for four different marketing stages.

  1. 1

    Awareness Stage

    A common trigger for this marketing stage entails a user browsing an e-commerce site without making a purchase. The programmatic technology behind automated mail can capture a number of events for this purpose: customers browsing the homepage, category-level pages, and product pages. To drive conversion, a business should tailor messaging to the user’s activity. For example, send a mailpiece as simple as a postcard that speaks to trends or sales in a category they were exploring.

  2. 2

    Consideration Stage

    Users in this marketing stage have a slightly different behavior. Possible triggers for these customers include: consistently browsing the same product pages over and over or signing up for a retailer’s email list. To drive conversion in this case, send a mailpiece that highlights the specific brand they were interested in with an offer to help first-time customers make a purchase.

  3. 3

    Purchase Stage

    In this marketing stage, the telltale trigger for purchase behavior is the abandoned shopping cart. Over four trillion dollars of merchandise is left unpurchased in digital shopping carts each year.2 When creating mailpieces for these customers, it’s important to remind them what’s been abandoned. Up the ante of the message by offering the customer a discount on their next purchase.

  4. 4

    Loyalty Stage

    Following the Pareto principle, 80% of sales come from 20% of customers. That means loyalty mail can have a lasting impact on your bottom line.3 The trigger for this marketing stage is simple—once a customer makes a purchase. Use direct mail to upsell products that complement their recent purchase or deliver information about your loyalty program, if you have one. If you choose the latter, describe the perks of joining the program and the long-term savings customers can see.

In Conclusion

Automated mail sits at a powerful crossroads of digital and direct mail, thanks to programmatic technology and personalized print messaging. With the right marketing strategy, the right triggers, and the right message, any size business can begin targeting and converting prospects into customers.

7 Reasons Why FinTech Companies Need Programmatic Direct Mail

In a competitive market like financial technology, where growing startups brush up against traditional finance companies, marketers need a way to differentiate and convert customers. One way to turn prospects into customers is through programmatic direct mail.

By observing the actions of prospects on your website or mobile app, you can trigger personalized direct mail that is sent out within 48 hours of the interaction.

Direct Mail Has a Huge Impact

Reaching people in their mailboxes can impact growth.

In fact, one financial services company found that 90% of borrowers were acquired through offline channels — the largest of which was direct mail.1

Compared to emails and display ads, direct mail:
Generates 10% more customers2
10%
Has a 90% or higher open rate (compared to email’s 30%)3
90%
Drives 60% of consumers back to the website4
60%
Has a house-list response rate of 5.1%
(compared 0.06% click-through rate on digital ads)5
5.1%

Mail is also secure. There are more than 200 federal laws enforced by the Postal Inspection Service to protect Americans from fraud.6 This assurance, as well as the less intrusive and more tactile experience of direct mail, leads 76% of consumers to trust direct mail when it comes to purchasing decisions.7

Programmatic Direct Mail Converts Prospects

When you use data gathered from digital channels to inform direct mail pieces, you get the best of both worlds. You can understand what a visitor to your website or mobile app is interested in based on what they looked at, then send a personalized piece of direct mail to help convert them from prospect to customer.

7 Reasons to invest in programmatic Direct mail

1

Combining the scale of digital and the efficacy of direct mail yields close to a 40% conversion rate.8

40%

In a space as competitive as FinTech, where customer acquisition costs are high, conversion rates matter. When a company sends a personalized email, conversion rates hover between 1% and 5%.9 A physical direct mailpiece is 8 to 40 times more effective, converting close to 40% of prospects into customers.8,9

2

Used together, digital and direct mail can result in 20% or higher response rates.10

20%

That’s ten times higher than the response rate for all digital channels combined and more than 200 times higher than the click-through rate for digital retargeting.10 To get prospects to invest, borrow or bank with your business, consider using programmatic mail to translate digital behavior into an opportunity to engage and ultimately convert prospects.

3

Multi-channel campaigns saw a 37% increase in response over single-channel campaigns.11

37%

On its own, direct mail outperforms other marketing channels. But combining direct mail with other digital media, such as email, gives you a greater chance of reaching your customer with the right message at the right time. A site visitor may not be ready to sign up today; if you send regular reminders to their inbox and mailbox, response rates could see growth.

4

One study showed that using direct mail and digital media together increased customer purchase or signup intent by 10x.12

10x

FinTech businesses need a sustainable customer base to survive. When digital media and direct mail are used in conjunction, one large study of a telecommunications advertiser showed a brand-to-customer connection that is 10-times stronger than digital-only campaigns.12 This translates to greater rates of consideration or intent to sign up and could mean a strong opportunity to capture and convert consumers in search of investing, borrowing or banking services.

5

Research has shown that campaigns that use direct mail and digital together produced 10% higher brand recollection than single-channel digital campaigns.13

10%

Brand recognition is vital for FinTech companies solidifying their place in the market. Using well-branded content across digital and direct mail channels has been shown to increase a customer’s recollection of a business: Brand memorability in one study was 5.5 times higher after an omni-channel campaign than that of a digital-only campaign.12 When a person recognizes a brand in a competitive market, they are more likely to give that company their business.

6

Recipients of omni-channel campaigns paid 39% more attention to the messaging than to that of single-channel campaigns.12

39%

Messaging helps differentiate your FinTech business from competitors. When you use a mix of digital media and direct mail to communicate a consistent message, people will pay more attention than they would if you were using just one channel or the other.

7

Research has shown that integrating digital and direct mail in campaigns resulted in 5% higher emotional intensity than single-channel digital campaigns.13

5%

Ninety-five percent of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, based on emotional connections and brand recall.14 It’s possible that positive emotions could correlate to an increase in a prospect’s likelihood of investing, borrowing or banking with you instead of your competitors.

Key Takeaway

Combine your rich digital data with effective direct mail communications to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that works. You can convert prospects visiting your site into customers at a higher rate and build a strong, loyal customer base that will help your FinTech business stay ahead of the competition.

USPS Can Help

Looking to learn more about programmatic mail? USPS representatives can help you find the best solution for your business needs.

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3 Companies Talk Holiday Shopping, Abandoned Shopping Carts and Programmatic Mail

Abandoned shopping cart rates are a burden for many businesses, especially so during the holidays. In fact, 3 out of 4 shoppers never complete the intended purchase on a site.1 And with the holidays driving a frenzy of online shopping, those rates can be even more problematic.

To combat this problem, companies have turned to a new marketing tool: programmatic mail or, in simpler terms, automated mail triggered by programmatic technology. Programmatic technology monitors users’ digital behaviors to trigger personalized mail that’s sent within 24-48 hours while brands are still top of mind. We spoke to three vendors about the role programmatic mail has played in their clients’ marketing. Read on to hear from executives at Printing for Less, Amazingmail and Amplified Mail.

What is a common holiday concern for the brands you work with?

“We recognize there is always a percentage of people that prefer to shop around and add products to the shopping cart for future orders. We find holiday time intensifies abandoned shopping cart rates because people are purposely window-shopping and holding before making an educated purchase.”
—Devin Smalley, Director of Program Management, Amplified Mail

“Abandoned shopping carts are certainly a concern and big focus for our B2C customers year-round. B2B customers don’t necessarily have abandoned carts but are often concerned with abandoned sales cycles or deals that have suddenly gone cold.”
—Frances McCutchon, Director of Marketing, Printing for Less

“Shopping cart abandonment is a significant issue for our brands. Many employ a cross-channel strategy to address it.”
—Dave Olesen, Executive Vice President, Amazingmail

How do you leverage programmatic mail to target abandoned shopping cart rates and lower them?

“Overall, we work on constant improvements to lower abandoned shopping carts. It can be difficult to accomplish. Our focus continues to be re-engaging potential customers with programmatic direct mail or email to bring them back quickly for a completed shopping cart order. On average, we wait two days before sending an email if the mailpiece is First-Class. Waiting time is longer for standard, marketing-class mailpieces.”
—Devin Smalley, Director of Program Management, Amplified Mail

“Both B2C and B2B businesses combat abandoned shopping carts and sales cycles by triggering direct mail through our company’s customer relationship management system (CRM) and marketing automation platform (MAP) integrations. When the CRM or MAP signals that an item has been left in a cart, programmatic direct mail, or tactile marketing automation as we like to call it, triggers a data-driven direct mailpiece to be sent.

Programmatic direct mail leverages variable fields which populate text and images unique to the receiver. In the abandoned shopping cart case, you could automatically populate the direct mailpiece with an image of the item left in the cart and the person’s name in the copy.”
—Frances McCutchon, Director of Marketing, Printing for Less

Why is programmatic mail an effective medium in this regard for combatting high abandoned shopping cart rates?

“People are growing more and more conditioned to ignore digital messages—and are especially overwhelmed by the quantity of messages during the holidays—so a personalized print piece stands out and gets noticed. Print is inherently more engaging and memorable too, so customers are more likely to follow up and complete a transaction.”
—Frances McCutchon, Director of Marketing, Printing for Less

“We believe programmatic mail is not effective on its own. There are analytics that show segments of our population are impacted by direct mail. We have seen for years that adults 50 and older tend to have higher direct mail response rates than younger age groups. However, recent numbers show us that 25- to 35-year-olds are responding well, specifically when it comes to programmatic mail. Our goal is using direct mail as our primary medium, but it’ essential to integrate additional mediums based on what we know about the consumer.
—Devin Smalley, Director of Program Management, Amplified Mail

“It has been demonstrated by USPS-sponsored neuroscience research that digital and physical advertising are complementary.2 In the case of cart abandonment, buyers hesitate for one reason or another. There is pause and reservation. The use of a physical advertisement has been shown to have “a longer-lasting impact than digital” and may serve to increase confidence in a brand. Moreover, there appears to be a ‘greater subconscious value and desire for products advertised in a physical format.’2
—Dave Olesen, Executive Vice President, Amazingmail

Do you have real-world examples of companies who have succeeded at lowering abandoned shopping carts with programmatic mail?

“We have one customer who focuses on selling blinds and curtains. They use [a marketing automation software] to listen for cancelled consultation appointments and also for people who have not purchased 20 days post-consultation. Those data points trigger personalized postcards that include a limited-time discount offer.

The customer just started with this program, so no hard numbers yet, but it is a great example of how tactile marketing automation helps you to send relevant offers to those who it will impact most. Customers not only automate their direct mail programs and cut out messy spreadsheets, but they can optimize their direct mail spend by letting the data dictate who deserves a printed piece.”
—Frances McCutchon, Director of Marketing, Printing for Less

“Yes, we have seen success using programmatic mail for [an automobile client’s] web portal software business. One of our web portals for the company produces millions of mailpieces on a monthly basis. We measure users and web actions on our portal and make decisions to contact them based on mail templates they look at and other data fed to and from the website.

In another area of the business, we leverage car technology to trigger direct mail. Consumers around the country drive [these] vehicles with connected systems that track vehicle performance. When an alert lamp comes on in a vehicle, our website is notified within minutes. In some cases, this data triggers direct mail to be sent to the consumer with a call to action and offer personalized to the consumer’s dealer and service needs.”
—Devin Smalley, Director of Program Management, Amplified Mail

In Summary

The holidays are a crucial time to convert customers and lower abandoned shopping cart rates. Thanks to the quick turnaround of programmatic mail, companies have been able to move the needle on this important statistic. By sending timely direct mail based on a customer’s digital behavior, you too can help your holiday business with this marketing tool.