Marketing Technology Can Power Direct Mail and Digital Omnichannel Campaigns
I am often asked how best to manage an omnichannel campaign that includes both online and offline channels. People have seen the stats on how direct mail drives digital engagement – such as that 84 percent of people who have received mail from an etailer have taken action based on this mail. However, they are uncertain about how to effectively incorporate offline channels, like direct mail, in their campaigns.
The good news is that although few marketers are aware of the breadth of Direct Mail™ technology available today, it has done the same thing for offline campaigns that other Marketing Technology has done for online campaigns – enable the coordination of messages to the same prospect across channels, make the creative process more efficient, and enable the impact of each channel to be measured.
One example of cross-channel communication that Direct Mail tech enables is triggered direct mail. We are all familiar with browsing a website and then having the item we were looking at follow us around the internet or be highlighted in an email. Today, companies can automatically put a personalized postcard or small catalog in the mail the next day that uses Variable Data Printing (VDP) to provide information and a discount on exactly the item we were looking at. The even better news is that while most people ignore display ads, direct mail response rates are often 30X higher than display ads and 9X higher than email ads so you have a better chance of making a sale.
Direct Mail tech can also deliver the right message to the right person at the right point in the customer journey by triggering a message based on a consumer’s behavior. Direct Mail platforms can integrate with Customer Relationship Management (CRMs) software and Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) to send a letter, a handwritten note, or even a gift package to thank customers for signing up, to congratulate them for reaching gold status, or to win them back if their attention has been lagging.
Technology can also enable marketers to coordinate their digital and direct mail messaging. Our free Informed Delivery® feature provides an interactive digital email with information on their incoming mail pieces to the millions of mail recipients who have signed up. Additionally, marketers can use our Informed Visibility® service to know when a mail piece will be delivered and send the recipient complementary digital messages shortly after she has opened her mail.
Marketing Technology has also made it easier to target individuals or customer segments with messages in different channels. Customer Data Platforms (CDP) can store a prospect’s physical and digital addresses so marketers can coordinate all the messages that a prospect sees. For companies that don’t have all of a prospect’s addresses, CDPs can link to 3rd party databases and Identity Graphs that contain both a consumers postal addresses and her digital addresses.
Technology has also made it easier to design direct mail campaigns that integrate with digital campaigns. Today, designers can leverage Marketing Asset Management (MAM) software and direct mail templates to design mail pieces at the same time they are designing digital campaign elements.
Lastly, new tools can also help with the key question of omnichannel campaigns – how much to spend on each segment and each channel. By comparing data about the impressions a consumer receives, and data about her purchase and the stores and websites she visits, Analytics and Marketing Attribution software can identify a company’s most impactful advertising channels, and most profitable customers. By comparing this data against databases of other consumers, this software can also identify look alike consumers who marketers can target in their next campaign.
Gary Reblin, USPS Product Innovation vice president