As an agency executive, you are always looking for an edge. A new insight, strategy, or channel can mean big gains for your clients, which in turn means big gains for your agency. Today, agency growth secrets often revolve around “land and expand” strategies that involve deploying new, fast growing software tools. Direct mail automation is quickly becoming one of those new secrets for agency growth.
See, many digital marketers want to use direct mail. They know that there are big budget dollars out there to be captured in the direct mail space. They’re also increasingly aware that traditional, offline channels can augment the email and digital marketing that many clients have invested in.
With customer acquisition costs growing at a rapid pace, agencies should look to diversify their own and client campaigns with a broader, multi-channel approach.
But, many marketers opt to skip out on direct mail. When you understand their line of thinking, you can understand how they might come to that decision, no matter how misinformed it might be.
Back In The Day Only Specialists Could Produce Direct Mail Campaigns
Traditional direct mail has a perception of being difficult and time-consuming for all but specialty direct agencies. Putting together a traditional direct mail campaign requires coordination between designers, copywriters, channel experts, and your broader marketing team at large to ensure that your direct mail campaigns (or even integrate with) your campaigns through other channels.
Agencies that focus on other channels, like email, digital and social, have never really tried to grow with direct mail. These agencies didn’t grow up using the channel, and have viewed it as highly manual, not integrated and not easily measured.
What’s Changed? Automation Comes To Direct Mail
One key agency growth secret has been the deployment of highly scalable software tools that agencies can develop expertise in and deploy with skill for their clients, who may lack the personnel or expertise to use them.
Unless you have a more modern solution that offers direct mail automation. Using a direct mail automation solution like Postalytics, you can seamlessly deliver white label direct mail campaigns on behalf of clients and integrate them with existing CRM and marketing automation software to maximize their effect.
No more tedious design, copywriting, and mailing processes. Using a modern system, the entire process is much more hands-off than it would have been in previous years. In fact, adding direct mail as a channel to an agency’s own campaigns, or client campaigns, isn’t much different than adding a new digital channel.
Let’s take a look at how direct mail automation has become one of the industry’s best-kept agency growth secrets.
Agency Growth Hack: Fight Rising Customer Acquisition Costs With Automated Direct Mail
The average cost of customer acquisition is rising rapidly. Marketers all over the world are deploying the same playbooks, with automated email an digital campaigns clogging and overwhelming buyers.
This means that agencies, on average, have to do more and spend more to deliver the same results for their clients.
In an industry where many are already operating on razor-thin margins, this can be a problem. The average agency margin is 17% — which means that these costs are often passed on to their clients.
Direct mail costs have risen as well, but not nearly as quickly. As a result, cost of sending mail, on a relevant basis compared to digital channels, has actually dropped!
For many, thinking outside of the box can mean embracing channels like direct mail. As marketers search for ways to combat rising CAC, they’re beginning to embrace direct mail automation as way to affordably add a physical, offline touch point.
Agencies That Offer Automated Direct Mail Stand Out
Agencies are always looking to highlight the differences between themselves and the competition. When everyone is providing the same service, it can be difficult for clients to see the benefits of working with one organization vs. another.
But — channel diversification gives agencies a simple, easy-to-understand way to sell your benefits to prospects and up-sell clients. “We get your business in front of more prospects, in more places, than the competition.” The benefits write themselves.
Most digital agencies lean into the digital aspect, completely neglecting more traditional advertising channels — many of which have experienced a decrease in competition in recent years. These channels are ripe for savvy agencies to take advantage of their relatively uncrowded status.
A true multi-channel approach requires that offline and online methods work together for a seamless, integrated, and consistent experience for prospects and customers. Automated direct mail can serve as an agency growth secret by bridging the gap between digital and offline marketing.
Little Known Agency Secret: Direct Mail is Profitable
One of the reasons why direct mail automation has become an agency growth secret for many of today’s most forward-thinking agencies is the fact that it is extremely profitable.
Without an understanding of how far the ‘automation’ aspect of direct mail automation can take you, it’s hard to understand just how profitable it could be for your own campaigns or client campaigns.
Too often, agencies associate direct mail campaigns with tedious planning and design processes, redundant tasks, and a general disconnection from your broader marketing strategies — but this just isn’t the truth in modern direct mail automation systems.
Direct mail is a channel that holds a lot of power on its own. But modern direct mail solutions really begin to shine when integrated into existing marketing sequences and paired with digital channels.
Further, the offline vs. online dynamic is much more blurred than it once was. Recipients who engage and connect with your direct mail materials will visit your website and social media properties to learn more about your company.
Direct mail correspondence is a great way for agencies and their clients to stand out, generate leads and build brand awareness. Often, it’s an extremely effective addition to any campaign, particularly where the prospect or customer is not expecting the company to reach out through direct mail. It’s a great way to catch their eye.
Agency Growth Hack: Integrate Mail with Existing Client Campaigns
The fact that modern direct mail automation software like Postalytics can integrate directly with popular CRM solutions and their current campaigns is a fact that is often unknown to agencies.
In fact, many see the integration of direct mail and digital campaigns as one of the biggest hurdles keeping them from making the jump into the channel. They might see it as a channel that essentially has to function as its own marketing pillar and instead look toward strategies and channels that will augment existing campaigns that are already working.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Postalytics, for example, allows you create triggered drip campaigns which are activated and automatically delivered to prospects when certain actions take place.
Here’s an example of a “closing touch letter” that is sent when a prospect or account is set to close in twenty days or less.
This is just one example of the many different ways that you can use simple direct mail automation. Using triggers, you can integrate direct mail seamlessly with existing campaigns or even trigger full sequences based on prospect or customer actions. This improves personalization and makes your brand seem in-tune.
Sprinkling direct mail touches into existing campaigns can help with brand recognition and improve response rates. According to a recent report from the Canada Post:
- Brand recall is 40% higher if you follow an email with a direct mail touch.
- Response rates are 26% higher when a direct mail follow up follows a digital display advertisement.
If you want direct mail to work in modern marketing campaigns, you need a way to track their effectiveness and integrate it with your broader marketing campaigns. Direct mail can’t exist in a silo, disconnected from your broader messaging efforts.
Using Postalytics, you can track whether your recipients engage with your mailers by using personalized URLs, which also help you to improve personalization within your campaigns.
Think Digital Marketing With Print
Some agencies feel like they won’t be able to use modern digital marketing techniques with offline channels like direct mail. Things like split testing, triggered messaging and detailed analytics are must-haves in modern marketing channels.
Here are a few facts about direct mail that show that deploying campaigns through modern direct mail software is actually likely much more like digital and email marketing than traditional direct mail:
- There are no minimums, meaning you can send a single piece of mail one day at 10,000 pieces the next, and they’re treated the same.
- Triggering mail from any number of databases is a simple to setup process.
- Campaigns can be configured in minutes, without need to speak with printers.
- Postalytics offers free direct mail design templates that take the hard work out of designing direct mail collateral. No more long, laborious back-and-forth design and approval processes that take weeks to complete.
- Make copywriting and approval processes simple and dynamic using the editor. Quickly change campaigns on the fly.
- Build and buy prospect lists directly in Postalytics, connecting to your CRM upon response.
- Split test your campaigns within Postalytics to optimize them over time.
- Analyze your campaigns with in-depth analytics.
- Connect your direct mail campaigns to your digital campaigns using CRM integrations.
Postalytics simplifies direct mail as a whole and makes it a simple, no-brainer channel addition for agencies that are looking to diversify and grow.
We’re Drowning In Email. Add More Channels To Boost It
Trying to compete for eyeballs through email alone can be difficult. The average office worker receives 121 emails per day. The response rate of those emails? A disappointing 0.12%. Compare that to direct mail’s response rate of 4.4% in the same study.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that email isn’t an effective channel. To the contrary, email generally provides exceptional returns on investment for agencies. But it is getting more difficult to get your audience to read and engage with your emails as email marketing automation becomes more readily available to businesses of all sizes.
Today, customers aren’t just being contacted through email by the internet-based companies they frequent. They are also receiving emails from their barber, local grocery store, landscaper — all industries stand to benefit from email marketing and as a result, it is becoming more difficult to compete.
Pairing email marketing with direct mail marketing can actually increase the effectiveness of your campaigns through both channels. Your direct mail campaigns will intrigue and surprise your audience, keeping your client’s top-of-mind and increasing the likelihood that they engage with your brand through all channels.
Automated Direct Mail For The Full Customer Journey
Traditionally, direct mail was deployed, and considered effective, for top of the funnel lead acquisition, sales or fundraising.
With all of the advantages that automated direct mail brings to the table, a little known agency growth secret is to apply direct mail to each phase of the customer journey.
At the top of the funnel, you can use direct mail to deliver quality educational materials and white papers that help you to educate customers or key accounts about your product or industry.
You can deliver case studies and important trust-building materials throughout the funnel, and supplement the materials that you deliver through digital channels.
Toward the bottom of the funnel, you can deliver product comparison content, spec sheets, closing letters, and other materials that put you in position to close the sale.
And after the sale has closed, marketers are deploying automated mail campaigns that focus on onboarding, cross-sell/up-sell, win-back and loyalty with great results. Sending mail to existing customers not only delivers very high ROI, but really makes clients feel like they’re important.
Introduce The Service By Sending Mail To Your Agency Clients & Prospects
Agencies should not only view direct mail as a potential addition to client campaigns. They should also consider whether integrating the channel into their current processes would be worthwhile for the agency itself.
Here’s a simple agency growth secret: Use automated direct mail to introduce the new agency service to your audience. You raise awareness of your new capability, while distinguishing your agency in the marketplace.
Running an agency can be competitive. At any given time, there might be several different agencies that are vying for a target account. Finding any way to stand out and demonstrate value is critical for the nurturing process.
Direct mail can be a great way to stand out from the competition and stay top-of-mind with critical targeted accounts. When you are competing against digital agencies, stepping outside of digital channels to connect with your intended audience can be a simple way to show them that you offer more than your typical digital agency. That small act can show them that you think outside of the box and bring more to the table.
Postalytics Direct Mail Automation as an Agency Growth Secret
If you’re looking for tools and secrets to grow your agency, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a channel that can more easily complement existing campaigns, stand out to customers, and seamlessly integrate with digital campaigns than direct mail.
With the Postalytics Agency Edition, agencies enjoy:
- Self-Service Design, Print, & Mail. Completely self-service and easy to use. Use pre-built direct mail templates to quickly design and deploy campaigns.
- Mail Delivery & Response Tracking Analytics. Know who engages with your direct mail campaigns. Optimize them for success over time.
- Integrate with Popular CRM. Postalytics integrates with popular CRM and sales solutions like HubSpot, Salesforce, and ActiveDemand.
- White Label. A branded dashboard and client login makes your agency look forward-thinking and professional.
Want to try Postalytics for free today?