Tech’s Answer to the Mailbox Revolution – Automation
Don’t call it a comeback. Direct mail’s been here for years. Now direct mail automation is upping the game.
Sure, some might argue print marketing cooled off when the internet took off (it didn’t), but direct mail is far from lukewarm now — hanging out in what Businesswire estimates as a $16 billion industry.
So, why do people still embrace marketing’s coolest vintage messaging? That’s easy. The act of checking your real-life mailbox is, well, fun.
COVID-19 and the Rise of Little Victories
Covid and its effects changed almost every aspect of our lives and mentalities. For many in quarantine, opening our front door and taking those few steps toward the mailbox became the highlight of our homebound days. Most restrictions have eased, but that delightful trek to the mailbox has kept its luster. Because the anticipation of seeing what’s inside that little box adds an irresistible layer of excitement to an everyday task.
Physical vs. Digital Interactions
It’s hard to argue that the public doesn’t love screens. Our devices bring many conveniences. Nonetheless, studies maintain that tangible experiences leave a deeper imprint on our hearts and minds. Afterall, we’re physical specimens, so why wouldn’t real world communication trump anything that comes with a screen?
How Today’s Companies are Embracing Direct Mail
Even though email marketing has tremendous strengths, more and more businesses have come to realize the power of direct mail. In fact, many top companies doubled their direct mail investments in 2022.
One of the primary reasons this approach stays profitable is because it lets brands retarget website visitors with offline messaging. It’s fairly easy to adopt a targeted digital-to-direct mail strategy that cuts waste and lets you reach only your intended audience. Here are some direct mail best practices to consider:
- Make it personal: Talking to your people like individuals is a fundamental marketing concept. Always use customer names (‘Current Resident’ is a no-go), keep content relevant (you fail if you pitch renter’s insurance to a homeowner), and customize images (entice customers with children by including pictures of happy families).
- Stand out: To attract long-term customers, you need distinct marketing assets. Your product or service should solve customers’ problems, but that’s not enough these days. You need something more to get people to pay attention. Direct mail that cuts through the mailbox clutter is extra creative. Think intricate folds, raised lettering or coating options, larger postcards, and clever copy (snappy taglines, questions, anything that catches someone off guard).
- Use a mailing list: You can maximize your campaign’s ROI by using a targeted mailing list. It works because mailing lists allow you to set and reach a specific audience. Try saturating neighborhoods within a certain distance of a storefront, cities you want to break into, or narrow demographics (homeowners in their 30s).
Direct Mail Automation
With big brands doubling down on direct mail, it’s no wonder technology helps them simplify and streamline their efforts. Back in the day, a hearty paper-to-person campaign meant finding a printer and braving the post office. Thankfully, those daunting logistics no longer weigh marketing teams down.
Because so much manual labor can be automated. When you let technology do the heavy lifting, you reap all the benefits:
- Time savings: Imagine using spreadsheets to find customer contact info., then addressing each mailer. Makes you want to cry, no? Now, think bigger. When your people don’t have to design, execute, and mail each campaign, they can spend their precious time creating knockout content and strategizing ways to keep customers coming back.
- Cost savings: Time is money. As repetitive tasks get streamlined, costs decline.
- Greater personalization capability: Quality automation software integrates with your existing CRM (or other platform of choice) to make sure each mailer contains first and last names. Not only that, but its built-in analytics should give you clear insight into who uses your business and why. The more you understand customers’ preferences and habits, the more you can tailor future communications.
- Fewer inaccuracies: As long as your customer management software stays clean (with accurate information), you shouldn’t have to worry about someone inadvertently typing the wrong address or misspelling a last name (woop!).
- Diversified customer communication: As your direct mail workflows get simpler and you diversify how, where, and when you message customers, you make their experience with your brand more positive. They feel seen. Your marketing crew doesn’t fall over from all the effort. Everyone high fives.
Physical + Digital Interactions
Yes, we’ve spent several paragraphs raving about the significance of direct mail. But here’s the thing. Direct mail complements digital campaigns. Really.
You don’t have to pick sides because when together, email and direct mail get along swimmingly. Use one method to say hello, then follow up with the other approach (or vice versa).
How Xpressdocs Can Help with Automated Direct Mail
Here at XD, we’ve long championed direct mail in all its varied shapes and sizes. And since we love easy, we had to get in on the automation game, as well.
Our solution, Automated Direct Mail (ADM), takes the hassle out of one-to-one marketing communications. By letting customer habits lead the way, our technology relies on triggers to prompt marketing messages. Here’s how it works.
ADM creates a direct mail asset only after a customer event or action. The software is spectacularly simple because it works on ifs and thens. If x happens, then do y. Your business sets the order in motion by defining a trigger, determining what action the system will perform, then creating personalized messaging. Here are some of the most popular use cases (though the possibilities are endless):
- Send a postcard to remind a customer of an upcoming appointment.
- Send a Happy Birthday (or service anniversary) offer for 20% off their next order.
- Use direct mail to cross-sell another product or service based on customer purchase patterns.
- Send a campaign to win back business based on inactive user statuses.
- Automate official notifications or collection notices.
We understand there are tons of automated options on the market. That’s why we include perks beyond the software itself. When you partner with XD, you also get:
- In-house printing and mailing: Other companies outsource these tasks, but we have a 125-square-foot facility with state-of-the-art presses and dedicated professionals. Because we handle these details ourselves, you enjoy unparalleled turntimes (one business day in most cases).
- On-site customer care: Multiple levels of humans ensure you receive guidance whenever you need it. Whether you need help with technical aspects of the platform, marketing strategy/inspiration, or feedback on data triggers and variable data design options, our contact center is here via phone, email, or live chat. Real humans. For real.
- Approval workflows: You need to stay on brand, so we offer a number of pre-approval options that make ordering fast and easy.
- A zillion product options: When you want to print more than business cards, stationery, and flyers, we offer goodies like promotional products, yard signs, pre-written newsletters, presentation covers and binding tools, Print + Video brochures, digital ads and social media images, and much more.
- API integrations: ADM seamlessly merges with any database, CRM, or other marketing software. Single sign-on gives clients control over access, while more APIs help users find templates for creating impactful assets and campaigns. This platform can even talk to other purchase order systems, if needed.
So, embrace less stress and more success by adding Automated Direct Mail to your arsenal. For more information about how Xpressdocs and ADM partner with your marketing crew to enhance your direct mail efforts, head to our website today or call us at (866) 977-3627.