The Complete Guide to Direct Mail Management Tools

The Complete Guide to Direct Mail Management Tools

Consumers are bombarded with digital ads.

And cutting through this noise to reach your potential customers can be challenging.

Direct mail marketing offers an innovative way to achieve this effort. You can provide your customers with a unique, fast, and personalized experience that makes your business stand out from the competition.

You can even integrate direct mail marketing with your other marketing initiatives to have a unified experience. At Postalytics, we provide a range of direct mail tools to help you get started with direct mail marketing immediately.

But before we do that, let’s understand the basics.

What is Direct Mail?

Direct mail involves sending a physical piece of promotional or educational material to your clients or other stakeholders via a courier service such as the U.S. Postal Service.

The most common forms of direct mail include:

  • Letters
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Newsletters
  • Postcards
  • Coupon envelopes
  • Packages
  • Catalogs
  • Event invites

Digital marketing has become so popular these days that businesses forget the importance of direct mail marketing and the benefits it can provide. 

While we won’t recommend one over the other, here are four reasons to complement your digital marketing efforts with direct mailing initiatives:

1. You get better response rates. Direct mail often feels personalized and makes customers feel more important than generic emails sent to thousands of people. The average response rate for direct mail is between 2.7% and 4.4% compared to email’s 0.6%.

2. You face lesser competition. The number of emails we get in our inboxes is increasing daily. Compared to that, the average U.S. household received 361 pieces of direct mail in 2021. This shows you can let your business stand out with the correct strategy.

3. People love getting mail. According to Deloitte, many people feel overwhelmed by digital devices and subscription management. But according to USPS research, 72% of Gen Z say they look forward to getting mail with excitement. 38% also visit a website after getting relevant direct mail. 73% of American consumers say they prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail as they can read it at their convenience.

4.  It lets you be creative. You can come up with many creative ideas for direct mail campaigns. For example, a Brazilian gym gave out calendars to their customers that were cut out in the shape of a man and a woman. As they flipped the pages each month, these silhouettes got slimmer, promoting the message of consistently working out each month.

What is Direct Mail Management?

While direct mail offers many benefits, managing this process is not as easy as it seems. Here are a few key factors you need to start with direct mail marketing.

  • Defining your target market: Basic demographics, like age, gender, income level, etc., should be defined at this stage. The more specific you get, the better results you’ll achieve.
  • Creating a mailing list: You may need to create different mailing lists for different purposes. With Postalytics, you can create triggered drip campaigns by saving all the different mailing lists.
  • Track everything from start to finish: Your campaigns don’t end when you send direct mail to your consumers. You must track responses and effectiveness and take the guesswork out of the picture.

Why is Direct Mail Management Important?

Direct mail management is critical because it enables you to track the effectiveness of your campaigns and optimize your strategy to get the best results and reach the right kind of people. Here are the four benefits of managing your direct mail campaigns effectively.

  1. Analytics

Direct mail management gives you access to real-time data and analytics to ensure your campaigns are running smoothly. Using Postalytics, you can track how often your recipients engage with your website via personalized URL tracking and see who has responded to your CTAs or which web pages they have visited. With this data, you can spot trends and improvise your campaigns at each step.

  1. Creative

Want to create direct mail that attracts readers and encourages them to take the desired action? Postalytics makes it possible by helping you design and edit online so that there are no jagged lines or blurry text on your postcards or newsletters. You can even get access to design templates that are created by skilled designers.

  1. Print production

The best part about subscribing to a direct mail management platform is that you don’t have to worry about printing your direct mail, sending it to a postal service, ensuring it gets delivered properly, and all the steps in between. A platform like Postalytics takes care of everything for you, from designing and print production to delivering direct mail.

  1. Finishing

The final part of the process involves closing off your campaigns. To do that, you need a direct mail management platform that stores all your campaign details and the results you generate. This brings the entire process to an end, and you can even replicate the templates and everything for future campaigns based on the data stored.

Management Tools for Direct Mail

It’s not enough to send direct mail to your potential customer base and hope it resonates with them. An effective direct mail campaign makes use of the many tools available. Here are seven you’ll need for your business.

  1. Account activity dashboard

Platforms like Postalytics provide you with account activity dashboards that help marketers and managers get a quick read on their direct mail activity.

You can select the desired time period and find charts, data, and controls that give you a detailed breakdown of important metrics like:

  • Mail sent
  • Mail delivered
  • Returned/Forwarded mail
  • Responses
  • Conversions
  • Media/formats

These graphs, charts, and metrics can be further used for analysis and refining your campaigns. 

With Postalytics, you get access to two dashboards: the campaign dashboard (offers detailed analytics of each campaign) and the home page dashboard (see recent campaigns, success, and summaries of the last ten pieces of mail delivered)

This is great for tracking important campaigns and ensuring things are running on time.

  1.  Activity report download

Need to share reports with your colleagues for a meeting? Or are you managing a direct mail campaign for your client, and you need to share the report of response rates with them?

With the activity report download tool, you can make that possible.

These reports contain details like the number of mailpieces created for the campaign, PDF or any other format of the mailpiece, the delivery status information, etc.

This report can also provide relevant metrics like delivered mail to online visit rate, delivered mail to online conversion rate, average days between direct mail send and online opens, and average days between direct mail send and online conversions.

You can also view each campaign’s unique visitors, conversions, page views, etc.

  1.  Account activity logging – Timeline/Feed

To manage client account orders, you can log in to Postalytics and navigate to the “Transactions” section to view the chronological listing of all the campaigns that have been processed in your client accounts.

You can even view orders for a particular client account. If you want to send this list, you can download or export the campaign orders.

It’s important to note that when a client logs in to the account via the agency URL, the monthly agency subscription invoices will not be visible.

This helps you manage your client accounts easily, and you don’t have to handle multiple Excel files for the same. Everything you need is on the platform.

  1.  Unlimited users role management

To eliminate any confusion, Postalytics provides different access rights when you have a team that handles multiple direct mailing responsibilities.

This way, you can control which users have access to different parts of the platform.

Here are the user types you can define:

  • Account owner: Is given full privileges that include the ability to add/delete users, create an unlimited number of users, manage billing information, etc.
  • Administrator: Can do everything the account owner does except no changing plans, no user management, no drip credit management, and no viewing/downloading of monthly invoices.
  • Designer: Can do everything an administrator does except no campaign creation, no goal management, no field mapping management, no list creation, and no online tracking.
  • Read only: Can do everything a designer does except template creation, editing, and deleting.
  1.  Postage permit management – U.S. & Canada

Whether your business is in the U.S. or Canada, you may have existing postage accounts with USPS or Canada Post that you’ll want to continue with.

With Postalytics, you can configure the same on the platform to launch campaigns by splitting the costs between your postal service and Postalytics platform.

This ensures that the payment happens systematically, and you do not have to pay double the fees.

In order to set up this post permit in Postalytics, you’ll have to provide some details and agree to some terms and conditions. 

After doing that, it will take a few days to confirm and configure the permit information. Once it is done, you can start creating and launching your direct mail campaigns.

  1.  U.S. Non-profit permit process

Qualified non-profits can receive significant discounts from USPS for certain types of mailing in the U.S.

The type of organizations that can qualify for these privileges are:

  • Educational
  • Agricultural
  • Fraternal
  • Philanthropic
  • Labor
  • Religious
  • Veterans
  • Scientific
  • Political Committees (some)

Postalytics has created a process for these qualifying organizations to configure USPS Non-Profit Mailing Permits within their Postalytics account and with our print partners.

You’ll need to enter your details in a form using your permit and agree to some terms and conditions.

The process will take a few days, and upon confirmation, the appropriate non-profit indicia will be applied to your mailers.

If you’re yet to apply for your nonprofit mailing permit, read our detailed guide to make your application process easier.

  1.  Account activity notifications

It’s important to stay notified of all the major happenings in your direct mail campaigns. Instead of performing hundreds of steps or contacting your teammates to ask for every detail, you can turn to the account activity notifications in Postalytics.

You can find this bell icon on the left side of the Activity Report. 

This bell icon shows you all the latest news, updates, and new features to see what’s happening and how to take advantage of these features in your campaigns.

How Does Direct Mail Management Work?

To make your direct mail marketing strategy work effectively, here are five steps you can undertake:

  • Define your campaign goals: Do you want to educate customers about your new product or services? Or do you want to bring more traffic to your website? Setting such goals will make it easier for you to decide later.
  • Know your target audience: Use customer data like demographics, behavior, likes, and dislikes to engage your audience better with your campaigns
  • Create mail lists: Instead of purchasing lists, create one from existing customer data.
  • Decide on the direct mail format: Direct mailers come in various shapes and sizes. Depending on your goals and marketing budget, you can choose the format that will meet your requirements.
  • Design and send your mail: While designing, your direct mail manager should keep your goal in focus and set a CTA accordingly. Once the design is made and tested, you can send your mail via Postalytics.

Final Thoughts

With the digital marketing space getting more cluttered by the day, combining direct mail marketing with your online marketing efforts can provide your business with many benefits.

But it’s also important to adopt marketing automation in the form of direct mail management tools that help you with the entire process from start to finish, and to provide you with the necessary data and analytics to optimize your campaigns. 

With Postalytics, you get all the tools you need to create engaging direct mail campaigns that improve conversions. Subscribe to it today!