A new generation of direct mail management tools are offering a wealth of new ways to understand exactly what happens after you send a campaign.
Traditionally, direct mail campaigns were sent out into the dark, with limited tracking and reporting in place.
Why? Because traditional direct mail campaigns were generated via manual, offline processes.
Modern, automated direct mail management tools use cloud based software to track both the delivery and the response of direct mail campaigns.
Direct Mail Management Tools Provide Answers
Here’s a common Q&A that researchers have with marketers:
Question: How Do You Know Direct Mail Works?
Answer: Because If I Stop Sending Sales Drop
In modern marketing, that simply isn’t going to cut it.
Analytics and tracking are critical for identifying what channels are working for your company and appropriately assigning budgets that favor the higher performing channels.
Without proof – how do you KNOW that your marketing is working?
Modern direct mail management software can help you to treat direct mail like you would a digital marketing channel.
This includes the in-depth analytics, CRM and other software integrations, and optimization tools that you need to not only run effective campaigns but track and improve them over time.
In this article, we’ll dive into some of the tracking and reporting features that we offer here at Postalytics. These features may have the biggest effect on the ROI of our customers as any that we offer, and certainly, make direct mail a more serious and viable medium within modern marketing teams.
Better Understand Campaign Activity
It’s impossible to understand the effectiveness and measure ROI of direct mail campaigns without having an inside look into what actually happens once your mailings have been sent out.
Simply waiting for the sales to come in or relying on your customers to answer a “How Did You Hear About Us” field in your checkout process isn’t going to provide reliable data that you can have faith in.
Postalytics is a direct mail management tool that allows you to gain a deeper understanding of what happens to your campaigns after it is sent out. We’re able to do this using a variety of different features and data points that provide insight into whether or not a piece of mail was delivered as expected and what actions the recipient took after receiving the mailer.
Those data points include:
USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode Scans
The USPS offers the “Intelligent Mail Barcode” (or IMB) system to any printer/mailer that opts to use it.
The IMB system can help companies track the delivery rates of their campaigns and track each piece of mail individually through the delivery process.
Each scan provides in-depth data about the location of your campaigns, which you can use to inform future campaigns and make adjustments over time.
Knowing the delivery rate of your campaigns is incredibly important. If your campaign suffers from high return-to-sender rates, you’re mailing lists need upgrading and you’re wasting your budget.
USPS provides very specific data about where each piece of mail is in the delivery process. There are hundreds of “scan events” that happen on each campaign. Good direct mail management tools can help you make sense of them.
Postalytics rolls up the scan events into easy to understand status codes. These include:
- In Transit — The mailpiece is being processed at the origin facility.
- In Local Area — The mailpiece is being processed at the destination facility.
- Processed for Delivery — The mailpiece has been approved for delivery at the recipient’s nearest postal facility. When processed for delivery, the package is expected to be delivered within one to two business days.
- Rerouted — The mailpiece has been re-routed due to a change in the address of the recipient, address errors, or required relabeling.
- Returned to Sender — The mailpiece is being returned due to barcode issues, ID tag area, or address errors.
By grouping the scans into these categories, you can get a quick snapshot into your campaign delivery status. You can also drill down into the details of each mailpiece, to see exactly where it is in the delivery process.
The next layer of tracking that direct mail management tools provide comes from personalized URLs (pURLs). Each package that goes out can include a unique personalized URL that tracks the actions that a recipient takes on the web after receiving your package.
This is done by placing the Postalytics tracking code on the webpage your recipients will be visiting.
Our pURL tracking system gives you access to a number of metrics that you can use to better understand your campaigns, including:
- Pageviews (Unique and Non-Unique)
- Unique Visitors
When a recipient lands on your website, they are automatically flagged within our system. They could be flagged as “opened,” “not opened,” or “converted.” You can then use these tags within your triggered drip direct mail campaigns.
The great thing about Postalytics’ in-depth direct mail management features is the fact that everything within our system is displayed visually.
That means that you won’t have cumbersome Excel files that you need to comb through to understand your campaigns. About 40% of people retain information at a higher level when that information is presented visually.
Our dashboards contain flexible charts and graphs that can help you to better understand your drip campaigns.
Our customization options are deep and include the ability to alter dates, annotate the graphs, use a wide range of tags and data points to customize your dashboard or download the chart directly as an image file, PDF, or spreadsheet file.
Integrate With CRM/Marketing Automation Tools
Having detailed analytics available in your direct mail management solution is important.
Being able to sync those details into the CRM or Marketing Automation systems that you use to drive campaigns using other channels is even better!
In total, we offer integration with more than 20 of the most popular CRM, sales, and marketing tools. This allows you to engage leads and prospects through multiple channels and deliver a better overall experience.
Direct Mail Management Tools Provide Actionable Insights
You can only make decisions using the information that you have on hand.
Without proper tracking and analytics in place, marketers are groping blindly. With modern management tools, smart marketers are able to pinpoint exactly what is working and what isn’t in their direct mail campaigns.
Interested in learning more about how direct mail automation can provide insights into your direct mail campaign performance?