Why Direct Mail Automation? Why Now?

why direct mail automation now

Postalytics is a powerful direct mail automation software platform. It was created to solve thorny problems with direct mail marketing that the founding team experienced while building a related software called Boingnet. Our software has been used for years to help direct mailers personalize and measure the online impact of direct mail marketing campaigns – we have had a lot of success doing so. Boingnet has helped thousands of marketers with easy-to-use tools and deep insights into the online behavior of direct mail recipients.

Along the way we created quite a bit of proprietary IP – and accumulated lot of knowledge on how direct mail marketing works. And we noticed that the marketing technology world has largely forgotten about direct mail marketing. Many of the processes used to create and measure direct mail campaigns haven’t changed in 20 years.

The Marketing Landscape Has Changed

Marketers today are typically spread pretty thin. They’re expected to be able to identify software tools that can help them get more out of their limited resources, while at the same time focus their efforts on channels that work. A few key trends have created the demand for a new type of product focused on direct mail automation:

  • More and more businesses have invested in a marketing technology stack, or a set of critical infrastructure tools that act as the basis of the marketing efforts. CRM, Marketing Automation, email marketing and others form the basis of the modern marketing technology stack.
  • Direct mail marketing performance – as measured by response rates – remains very high. As does the time, energy and costs associated with deploying targeted, personalized and timely direct mail.
  • Macro trends around digital privacy are causing disruption to the way that digital and email marketing work. Marketers need to target specific audiences with specific messages in a scalable way.

Postalytics is software that is designed to help marketers take advantage of these trends with ease and power.

The Copycat Marketing Problem

copy cat b2b - why direct mail automation now
One of the biggest problems facing marketers today is the fact that all digital marketing looks the same. Every sales and marketing organization is essentially running a variation of the same playbook (create personas & content for them, try to attract interested buyers, nurture with email, you know the drill).

As a result, email marketing, display ads, PPC and SEO have grown overly crowded. Companies are pushing the same content and the production of ebooks, case studies, and white papers has gone into overdrive.

Email marketers are thrilled with 30% open rates, and are in a constant battle with spam filters, bounces and unsubscribes. The end result is the situation we find ourselves in today where marketers are finding it really difficult to get their message in front of prospects. The copycat effect is in full flow and standing out from the crowd has never been so difficult.

Direct Mail Delivers…ROI

While high quality digital content will always be very important, it is clear that the marketing playbook needs to be freshened up. Direct mail is an under utilized channel with a strong value proposition:

  • USPS direct mail volumes have dropped from their 2007 peak of 113 million pieces to 86 million in 2016 , while spending has increased. This is a function of better targeting and less “junk mail”, resulting in better physical mail experiences than in the past.
  • QR code use in direct mail campaigns has exploded, giving easy online access to consumers who receive personalized direct mail.
  • Response rates for direct mail campaigns are 3.7% for a house list and 1% for a prospect list. Compare these rates to email which average only 0.1% for both list types. Furthermore, the CMO Council found that 79% of people act on direct mail while only 45% act on email.

Traditional Direct Mail Feels Very…Traditional

While direct mail has strong benefits, there has always been something of a disconnect between digital marketing and direct. Email, for instance, gives marketers insights into open rates, clicks, unsubscribes and more. Direct mail metrics? There’s a bit of a mystery, for all but the most sophisticated direct mailers.  A CMO Council statistic shows that 44% of direct mail is never opened. The question most direct mailers have? Which 44%??

The other argument against direct mail is that it can be time consuming and complex to set up. The traditional direct mail production process, which involves Photoshop, FTP, email lists, and multiple hand-offs between marketers, designers, printers and fulfillment, can take up to 6 weeks.  To add a pURL for digital tracking requires another vendor and custom landing page in a proprietary system.

Direct Mail Should Behave More Like Email

Contrast this with email and other digital channels, which let a marketer or salesperson login to a web based solution, make a few selections, drag & drop some creative and press send. Without coordinating, calling, emailing, FTP’ing, and conference calling humans.

There is something of a divergence between the digital channels in today’s marketing mix and direct mail as we know it. While each digital campaign can be tightly linked together through system integrations and analytics tools, direct mail has occupied a realm of its own, cut adrift from core marketing campaigns and viewed as a “one-off”. There is a perception that direct mail is somewhat antiquated. These issues have resulted in a new generation of digital marketers that really have not embraced direct mail.

Marketers have reached an impasse. Digital techniques are decreasing in effectiveness while direct mail – which would be one way to cut through the noise – comes with its own set of issues. This is the heart of the reason why we developed Postalytics. The time has come for direct mail automation.

Direct Mail Automation – A Digital Marketing Channel

home dashboard - direct mail analytics
Direct mail automation empowers marketers to deploy highly targeted, personalized and measured direct mail campaigns in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods.

How? By creating a self serve SaaS application that consolidates the creation, production, printing, mailing and tracking of direct mail into one easy to use solution.

Marketers who are comfortable creating email templates can compose high quality, personalized letters and postcards with patent-pending tracking in minutes. Designers can use Postalytics to build templates directly in the production environment, bypassing old fashioned proofing processes. For the first time, marketers can tie direct mail campaigns into automated workflows. Leveraging our nationwide print delivery network, Postalytics cuts the direct mail production cycle from 4-6 weeks to 1 week.

Integrated CRM Direct Mail Just Got Really Easy

Any digital channel today has to be tightly integrated with the leading CRM and Marketing Automation tools. Direct mail automation can use the data captured in these systems to intelligently create personalized, targeted mailpieces with content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Postalytics comes with custom integrations into popular CRM, Marketing Automation and other tools, along with open integration tools and the Direct Mail API to be able to automatically generate direct mail from any modern technology stack.

For marketing technology customers who are using direct mail currently, Postalytics gives you the ability to integrate transactional mailpieces into your workflows, drastically cut the time associated with batch sends, and unparalleled insights into the most important metrics of your campaigns.

For marketing technology customers who do not run direct mail campaigns and are struggling to stand out, Postalytics is a platform that allows you to build unexpected experiences that engage your prospects and accelerate your pipeline. You can stand out from your competitors by delivering your message directly into the hands of your prospects.

Detailed Analytics and Deep Insights

why direct mail - detailed insights
Unlike traditional direct mail, direct mail automation shows you what happens after you send, and gives you insights to make better decisions and tools to take action. Each piece of mail is tracked through the delivery process, and each recipient is tracked when they respond online. Dashboards keep you up to date on where your mailpieces are in the USPS tracking systems, while segmented analysis of which pages your recipients visited and their goal conversions are tracked in real time.

Try Postalytics – Get A Free Direct Mail Automation Account

It’s super easy to try out Postalytics. Marketers that create email templates can crank out beautiful pieces quickly and easily with our easy to use direct mail editor. You can also pick from a growing list of pre-built templates or build your template offline using traditional tools. Upload a small list and see how easy it is to launch a personalized, tracked campaign for short money.

Try Postalytics For Free