Direct Mail Delivers Double Digit Response Rates

Watch as acclaimed Chief Creative Officer Nancy Harhut and Postalytics CEO Dennis Kelly discuss ways that Postalytics clients are using direct mail to improve multi-touch campaign response rates. Nancy, one of the most successful creative directors in the world, demonstrated how the most successful marketers build pipeline faster and more effectively than their peers.

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Learn more about how direct mail response rates are determined.

Download Nancy’s Workflows

We are excited to exclusively offer Nancy’s proprietary workflows. These workflows are normally only available to Nancy’s paying customers.  These workflows give you the tactics you can implement right away that increase response rates.

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direct mail webinar

Advantages that direct mail adds to a campaign

In the webinar Nancy explained how today’s marketer has more options than ever to reach target audiences. Yet it has never been harder to earn attention and engagement. What’s a marketer to do? Nancy presented compelling data around combining Direct Mail with Email:

  • People spend more time with physical advertising than digital – Temple University, USPS
  • Because direct mail is tactile, it’s harder to ignore
  • Direct mail comes in a variety of sizes and formats that can be used to attract attention
  • Direct mail offers additional real estate in which to deliver your marketing message

Remember the 40/40/20 Rule. 40% of a mailer’s success will come from the list (targeting the right prospects at the right time); 40% from the offer (compelling and relevant offers are the best); and 20% from the creative (the copy and artwork must be attention-getting and motivating).

Learn How Direct Mail Delivers Double Digit Response Rates

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Webinar Transcription

thank you for joining us
here today we are excited to present
why wouldn’t you want double-digit
response rates how to combine direct
mail with email and effective workflows
we will be today presenting with our
friend Nancy Harhut than we thought
about this webinar we were really
responding to a lot of the questions
that we’ve been getting at postalytics
launched recently and we’ve been talking
to hundreds of different companies and
this idea of combining direct mail and
Email together to accomplish some common
marketing tactics coming up and so we
sought out an expert
we’ve known Nancy for years she’s been
living in eating this stuff for a long
time and so we’re excited Nancy with us
so Nancy why don’t you introduce
yourself and and we’ll go from there
hey hello everyone hi Dennis thank you
very much this is Nancy Hart I’m a
creative director and a consultant and
I’m pretty steeped in marketing direct
marketing whether it’s direct mail or
email or digital or dr TV or print but
anything to get that one-to-one response
and the thing that might make me a
little different and that might make me
a little bit more interesting to the
listeners today is i really focus on
combining direct marketing best
practices with what social scientists
have found about how people make
decisions because at the end of the day
if we’re in marketing we want people to
make decisions we want them to try by by
again we want them to download it like
and share what you know offer up some
data whatever it is we want to get that
response and social scientists have
found that people have certain hardwired
decisions decision defaults I should say
that they use they do their decision
making shortcuts and if these marketers
know about them and bake them into our
strategies and into our creative it
increases the likelihood we get the
response that we’re looking for so in a
nutshell that’s what I bring to the table
great okay so today in our agenda we’re
going to first talk about why we would
want to use direct mail email workflows
and as I mentioned this is a big talking
conversation a lot of marketers have
been using for a long time so we’ve been
using direct mail they typically lived
in different silos and what we’re
talking about now is bring them together
to solve some important lead gen and
other goals we’re going to focus on
three proven direct mail email workflows
to date and we’ve got a bunch more for
you later on so we’re going to hit a
leed generation workflow called skin the
cream a new lead nurture stream workflow
and then an event based workflow we’re
calling prime the pump
and so after we review them we’re going
to give you a link you can download all
of them plus three others and a series
of reg mail and email best practices and
tips that Nancy and we have post the
links I put together for you so we hope
that you enjoy this and we’re and
thankful and excited to present this to
you today
so so first nancy why don’t we talk a
little bit about why we want to use
direct mail and email together sure I
mean that’s it that’s a great question
and it’s certainly one that maybe some
marketers have if their dive level
emailers or diving or direct mailers and
they’ve gotten good results from those
individual channels it’s like both well
why do I want to combine them but the
answer is you should test combining them
because study after study after study in
market studies these are show that the
combination actually generates better
results so I wco run a study and they
found that using the two channels
together to get you a 35% list in terms
of response which is that’s pretty hefty
you know and not too long ago the Canada
Post ran a study and they found that if
you send Direct Mail after email you can
get 40% lift but what’s interesting is
this year the USPS ran a study and their
study found that the order wasn’t as
important as the fact that you’re using
multi-channel so well Canada Post was
saying you know Direct Mail after email
on the USPS this year-round a study and
United States Post Office and they found
that you know what you can vary the
order you can do direct mail email or
email direct mail but the important
thing is having that multi-channel
element and then the Direct Marketing
Association has found that it’s direct
mail volume has dropped and it has
fallen off some response rates every
prison you know it’s getting a piece of
direct mail is a little bit more unusual
it’s you know it’s not the you know it’s
not like you walk your mailbox in there
is like it’s stuffed with with
solicitations you spend a little bit
more time with mail now and as a result
response rates have gone up so why would
you want to put direct mail into your
email stream well you’re going to get
better results you’re getting you’re
going to see that uptick in response and
it’s certainly something that’s testable
and something that’s working for a lot
of other marketers that’s great and you
know the other thing
and this is something that we talked to
marketers a lot about over the last few
months it’s really hard to stand out if
you’re just using email you know there’s
been a an explosion of digital marketing
efforts the great folks at HubSpot have
really put out a tremendous play book
around inbound marketing and so
everybody and their brother is out there
generating content driving folks to
landing pages using email battling over
keywords for both social media ads
pay-per-click ads SEO and because
everybody’s doing the same thing all
that marketing kind of blends together
in the minds of your prospects and so if

you’re just using email it’s really hard
to stand out as a matter of fact the
average business user gets 95 emails per
day and so I don’t know about you guys
but I have a very hard time getting
through my mailbox every day my inbox
it’s a constant pressure I like I might
be missing an important message mixed in
with everything else and so you know
frankly I think a lot of his experiences
where we just do math delete on email
that maybe could be helpful but you just
don’t have time to deal with it all and
so it’s it’s very hard for marketers to
stand out if you’re just using that
email and then to Nancy’s point earlier
only half of b2b marketers are actually
using any direct mail and so the mailbox
is less crowded the box is more crowded
and so it makes sense to try to take
advantage of that economy and so Nancy
what are some of the ways that breck
mail when you add it to a campaign what
does it give you sure Dennis I that’s a
terrific question and there are a few
different answers to it
but one thing is when you think about it
you know recommend is physical so you
can touch it you can hold it you can see
it you know to your point about getting
all of those emails a lot of times you
know email drops below the fold that you
know it drops further down the inbox and
you just don’t see it and even if you
meant to respond even if you thought you
might be interested on a side out of
mind you know especially if you’re
looking on a mobile phone you know where
is with Direct Mail it doesn’t just
disappear but you know you hold it in
your hand it’s tangible it’s physical
and there are and it sticks around you
have to physically you know remove it in
order to get rid of get rid of it so I
the US Postal Service and Temple
University teamed up and they did a
study and they found that when it comes
to direct mail versus email now people
actually spend more time with with
direct mail with with physical ads they
also found that people have a stronger
emotional response to physical ads and
that they remember them better it was
interesting they tested I think
postcards against email in particular
and they found that people spent more
time with the physical mail they had
more of an emotional reaction they had
better recall and the mail actually did
a better job of building desire for the
product so there are a lot of advantages
to having that that physical mail it’s
tangible it’s you know it’s top of mind
and they’ve done a lot of neural
marketing testing that indicates that
you know people are just having a
stronger response to it and it’s seeing
them up you know to buy and then you
know if you are a digital marketer in
these days who isn’t Direct Mail that
actually now Walker is a very easy
bridge to digital landing pages you can
use personalized URLs you can use QR
codes I mean there are there are many
different ways that you can start to to
link the the online and the offline to
have a nice integrated campaign great
and so you know the boxing before we get
started you know why now what has
changed as you talk about mail volumes
have fallen we all know this from our
own personal experiences
and so there’s less mail being sent and
so therefore there’s a greater
opportunity to stand out when you do you
smell I the other thing is that you know

when our mailboxes used to be super
crowded I we came up with the term
called junk mail and you know junk mail
is really something that is an
old-fashioned spray-and-pray kind of
tactic and it’s used much much less
today because we can spray and pray all
we want with email for nothing and so
you know you don’t really need to use
mail to do some kind of mindless sending
of non-targeted not personalized mail
the technologies that printers use now
can produce 100% customized 100%
personalized pieces of mail we’ve got
great data and so now we can generate
much higher quality mail advertising and
of course there’s been some new
breakthroughs in in a direct mail
automation technology and so fools like
politics are there to really collapse
the production process from days and
weeks to minutes and so rather than you
know having these huge batch processes
that you’ve been out for the year and
you spend six weeks building toward you
can bang out a campaign in just a few
clicks of a mouse just like doing email
campaign we’re able to measure the
delivery and the response each piece of
felt that you get and so you have a
better understanding of your ROI and
then finally we can connect it all into
your CRM and marketing automation water
flows so the Direct Mail really is just
another digital panel it’s being
generated digitally it’s being printed
using digital technology and then it
just happens to get dropped in the mail
at the end
so so with that in mind let’s talk about
our first workflow and skim the cream
operation and and so the idea here is

you’ve got a list you’ve bought it
perhaps or you know it’s something that
your sales reps came up with or someone
in your lead gen group came up with a
new list of targets they hadn’t heard
from you before so so Nancy let’s talk
about what we want to do here
absolutely so in this particular case
we’re going to talk about it as if it’s
a six-week campaign and you know the
truth of the matter is and I think all
of all of our listeners will agree
converting prospects into lead should be
very challenging you know there are
there are a number of different factors
that influence the success and that
includes the quality of the prospect the
competitive environment that the fit of
your particular solution as well as the
timeliness of your campaign and so one
of the I think one of the smartest ways
to try to skim the cream if you will is
to start with some email and I think we
can maybe maybe even advance to the next
slide and take a look at at the flow
here we would would start with some
email to kind of skim the cream get the
people who are most likely to respond
right away and there will be a
percentage that will and then once you
do that you start to introduce some
direct mail against the you know the
target that needs a little bit more work
to to unblock and in what you want to do
is you know add in that direct know to
kind of quickly convert the holdouts on
your list so if you look at it this way
over a six-week campaign what you want
to do is you’d start in that first week
with one to three emails and there are a
lot of lot of statistics out there that
indicate the two emails are better than
one and three males or females are
better than two I think the latest stats
I saw if you think of 31% lift if you
use two emails and a 56% lift if you use
three emails so if you can come if your
if your product or service is right so
you can concentrate that that number in
the first week that’s good but basically
you want to flag the targets presume
need or their pain point you want to
introduce your company or your product
or your service is the answer you might
even want to put an offer in there
some point and then in week two
introduce that that postcard or that
letter package you know you skim the
cream in the first week you grab anyone
who was Reno had pent-up desire and was
most likely to respond you grab them
right away now you want to hit him you
know in another channel kind of shake
things up surprise them you know again
deliver your message and always start
with the prospect in mind it’s about
their needs their pain point their goals
and then how your company solves that
don’t lead with your company lead with
your prospect and how you’re the
solution then in week 3 you know another
series of emails recap your message you
know remind them what you told them and
maybe introduce some additional support
points so that you know if you’ve got
some new information that you’re having
and that you’re adding in their week
four a great opportunity to introduce
some social proof again you’re trying to
convert leads so let people know that
people like them have had success with
your product that’s the whole that’s the
beauty of social proof you know when
people aren’t certain of what to do they

look to others particularly others like
themselves and they follow their lead so
you have some names that you’re trying
to turn into customers
let those names know that people like
them found success with your product
people like them found your product to
be helpful so you know some case studies
some use cases some testimonials you
know add those in now at week five maybe
it’s time for another hit in the mail
you know we’re kind of varying this this
approach or email direct mail email
Direct Mail so maybe that you know a an
email and at this point maybe we’re
we’re going to add some urgency we’re
going to say it’s a last-chance postcard
and you know maybe we’ve we’ve upped the
offer there and we’ve put an expiration
date on it perhaps but really let people
know like this is it maybe they need to
respond this week and then after that
maybe going to bat cleanup with with a
Direct mail that just further underscores
the need to act again maybe hits that
that that more attractive offer but this
provides I think a tested and proven
approach to to try to convert those
leads to customers using both of the
channels in a very strategic way
excellent that’s great and so you know
by using these together you can and you
continually message over time your
messaging will will sink in and a much
better chance in converting some of
these cold leads into warm leads and so
speaking of which our next workflows
focused on those warm leads how are we
going to get these folks that have
expressed some level of interest but
really ready to engage with a sales rep
yet or in a sales process what are we
going to do with and so Nancy why don’t

we talk about that sure sure that’s an
effort I think dennis a situation a lot
of us find ourselves in it’s like art
where we’re getting some you know some
forward focuses you know some promise
but we haven’t quite you know nailed it
yet um and we want to make sure that we
keep you know keep those leads nurtured
and keep moving them along the sales
continuum because when you think about
it you know warm leads are precious I
mean I’ve you we’ve gotten something
from them and we get it we want to hang
on to them so they deserve special
treatment on their journey to becoming
customers so what you want to do is you
want to communicate with them in a way
that makes them feel valued and also
that highlights your value to them and I
think that the approach here is you want
to make a good first impression you know
with an immediate email to acknowledge
them and and you know follow up with a
more formal letter and you know the goal
is to always to be present to be top of
mind because the problem is sometimes we
don’t know when someone’s going to be
ready to buy and so we just want to be
there so that we’re always top of line
and not be overbearing so if we if we
look at this as a typical um eight week
stream here we could start with a start
with an email that immediately
acknowledges that you know there are
newly they’ve taken you know some
qualifying action that let’s move them
up into this stream and so we want to
acknowledge that and let them know that
some helpful information is also on its
way to them via the mail so we kind of
use the email the with direct mail
piece to tell people hey keep your eyes
open for this will be popping up soon
and then in week two we’ve got that that
letter package that introduces all the
benefits of doing business with your
company again you know as you know with
a focus on customer benefits it’s all
about what someone is going to get out
of doing business with you
then at week three we could perhaps send
another email and this one would attempt
to further qualify how you might be able
to help the target how you maybe could
help this lead
perhaps you drive them to a survey or a
poll on a Lange landing page you know
but just get a little bit of information
about them that will help you customize
your additional communications and also
it gets that engagement you know there’s
something known as the consistency
principle and if you can get that first
small yes from somebody they’re much
more likely to give you a second yes a
third yes a fourth yes and what you do
is you start to increase your ask so
maybe your first ask is just you know
take a quick survey or a quick poll and
that predisposes them to say yes when
your next asks comes along which might
be a little bit larger maybe then ask
them to watch a webinar or just you know
talk to a salesperson but um but if you
if you make that ask and someone does
answer it you know they visit the page
that should also trigger trigger a thank
you email and then in week four maybe we
introduced a direct mail again
perhaps a postcards it just recaps the
benefits of doing business with you it’s
quick it’s easy you skim it you scan it
but it delivers the message week five
maybe it’s a good time at this point to

have an email featuring some customer
testimonials maybe a link to a relevant
case study or to a video to a product
demo but you know have that have that
additional bit of information in there
at week six it might be time for one to
punch some email and direct mail working
in tandem designed to promote engagement
you know they’re getting both in the
same week and you know one or the other
should get the get their attention and
get them going a lot of times you see
one and you mean to do something just
don’t get around to it and the next one
you know remind you it week seven what
you might want to consider is a
follow-up email to remind the
non-responders of your special offer and
then a thank you email for people who
took advantage of the offer so you put
that offer out there if people did
something you say you know they
downloaded a white paper or watched a
video whatever it was um you know thank
them and if people didn’t remind them
hey we’ve still got the offer out there
and then it week eight maybe introduce
some relevant news maybe there’s
something about your product or service
that you changed or been enhanced or
been upgraded or maybe you just want to
send an email with some topical
commentary that
prospect might find useful you know but
the idea is to just have a steady
presence and a value-add presence and
obviously you know on all of these streams
you know once somebody is ready to
engage they you pull them out of this
flow and move them into another one and
in this one we’ve set it up for eight

weeks depending on your product or
service you know you can you can
compress that or you can want it even
longer and you’re really looking for
what the ROI is and you know the other
thing you can do at the end of this
eight weeks is you can drive people to a
preference Center where they can
indicate how often they want to be
communicated with how they want to be
communicated with which topics they want
to hear about but anything to make that
nurture scream a little bit more
personalized and a little bit more
relevant to them excellent that’s great
and so moving along to our next workflow
we’re calling prime the pump for events
then interesting in something we hadn’t
really anticipated prior to launch of
the postal annex that we it’s apparent
that event based marketing is a massive
part of everybody’s focus again it
doesn’t get that cut line is that a lot
of the newer digital stuff gets but it’s
very consistent and and using email
alone we’ve been hearing from folks is
not an optimal strategy for reaching
event audiences and so that’s rally we
wanted to focus on so imagine you’re
going to conference or tradeshow and you
need to reach out and talk to folks so
Nancy take us from here
sure sure it will it’s funny I think you
know events are popping up consistently
as one of the you know top top three
ways that content is being used to
generate business there is you know
there’s really no substitute for that
face-to-face communication so if you’ve
got the opportunity where you’re
participating in a conference or some

kind of an event you want to capitalize
on that and so registrants for that
event or even invitees for the event can
be especially well qualified prospects
for you and so what that means is you
want to communicate with them early and
often the idea here Dennis is expose
them to your brand get them familiar with
and then Prime them to connect with you
at the event you know but as you say one
snag is you may not have ready access to
the email addresses so what you might
want to do is send a direct mail piece
to drive someone to a landing page at
that landing page you can capture their
email and some other important
information although you know that the
tendency here is to say all right we’re
going to ask for everything and you know
this will have all of the information
and the truth of the matter is a lot of
times we don’t even use it so what you
really want to do is is ask you know ask
for the email and maybe one or two or
three at most other bits of information
that you’re really going to be able to
use to help customize you know your
communications going forward but
research shows that that you know each
additional field that you ask someone to
fill out actually gets you a lower
response it causes people to drop out so
at this critical point in the in the
flow don’t ask much capture that email
address and then once you do that you
can literally have a nice six-week
campaign that basically works one month
prior to the event and then as a couple
of weeks of follow-up after the event
and of course you know at that point you
might continue even beyond those two
weeks but if we go to the next slide we

can take a look at what this flow might
actually break out to be so we we start
with that that direct mail piece maybe
it’s a it’s a letter with some
high-level information about your
company and you’re going to focus it on
why the person will want to see you with
the event okay that’s what that’s the
goal you know why do they want to see
you and maybe include a link to a
landing page to capture a few details
about them but definitely include the
link to the landing page that captures
that email you might even consider in
sending them to visit the landing page
you know of course if they do visit and
they provide that email that should
immediately trigger the other thank you
they provide the email address so
acknowledge it and thank them then in
week two what you might want to do is
get a postcard out that reminds the
non-responders that they should visit
the landing page maybe you know week one
is a letter package it’s a little bit
more robust maybe wait can you two is
just a quick reminder because it was
something they meant to do and just you
know didn’t quite get to it it’s still
under to do list and getting that that
postcard reminds them week three how
about sending out an email recapping why
people should you know see whether you
know whether they should visit your
booth or whether they should attend your
session if you’re speaking or whether
they should set up
appointment to meet with you at the
event or get a product em or whatever
your goal is you want to you know get
that information out there and always
provide the reason why you know

sometimes we think it’s apparent like we
just got to tell them that were there
we’re going to have you know our product
there or we’re there we’re going to be
doing the presentation and it’s just
well of course they know why they should
attend but providing the reason why
someone should do something actually
increases the likelihood that they will
so send out that email recap why people
should visit you or attend your session
or meet with you now week four is
probably the week that the event is
going to be happening so you know maybe
send out a postcard that the recipient
can actually bring to the event because
it’s got some helpful information what I
found worked very well is maybe you give
you know the top three restaurants in
the area or maybe it’s an old diagram of
the showroom plan or the show for you
know show floor plan or maybe it’s the
you know the top ten you know things to
do and see in the area where the event
is but the kind of thing that someone
want to throw in their briefcase or in
their overnight bag and bring with them
so they can hang onto it and refer to it
and then perhaps the day of and as well
as even the day before the event great
times to send those reminder postcards
you know hey we’re going to be there
don’t forget you know schedule an
appointment or come by the booth here’s
our booth number or here’s the session
where we’re speaking then once the event
has happened you know if you’ve managed
to connect with people week five the
first week after the event send out a
piece of mail thanking them and we can
say it was great to see you it was
fabulous to connect with you and you
know maybe you know start to build that
relationship or further that
relationship and if there are people
that you didn’t get to connect with send
them an email anyway you know we didn’t
manage to see you but you know that
doesn’t mean that we still don’t have
the opportunity to connect so you know
centerpiece of mail to the people that
you did actually meet with send an email
to the people that that you’d hope to
but didn’t quite get to maybe in week
six send out an email that recaps the
key points from the event maybe make a
special event offer or discount you know
one who attended the conference you know
is entitled to X or you know is entitled
to this discount but it’s a nice way a
nice six weeks integrated campaign that
nicely packages your communications or
a particular event and you know if you
want to start a little bit before
certainly you can but the idea is you
know you want to keep providing exposure
to your company your product your
service so that you’re building
familiarity and anticipation and you
know if you want to start a little bit
earlier than four weeks out you can
but then heavy up your contacts that the
closer to the to the event but I think
that’s it’s a proven approach to engage
in with these very you know you could
argue well-qualified people for your
product or service that’s great Nancy