One key to success with direct mail is timing. If you send the right messages to the right customers at the right times, you will benefit from outstanding responses and conversions. The difficult part of this task is that at any point in time, your customers and prospects are at different points in the customer journey. A new generation of direct mailing API tools now make that process far easier.
The triggers that tell you when it’s time to connect with an individual customer can come from your CRM, a marketing automation system, CDP, eCommerce platform, or some other software running in your environment. To connect those systems to commercial print provider to fulfill the printing and mailing elements of the campaign, you’ll need to use a direct mailing API.
What Is an API?
API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. They’ve become very popular in recent years as the internet has enabled standardized methods for computers, and the software that run those computers, to communicate with each other.
You are likely using APIs in your organization. One of the most common uses of APIs the integrations between systems that help run your business, like your CRM. Here’s a great example of how the APIs from HubSpot and Postalytics work together to enable CRM driven direct mail campaigns.
What Is a Direct Mailing API?
A direct mailing API is a software “wrapper” around systems that can generate different types of direct mail marketing campaigns. These APIs are designed to enable software systems, rather than humans, to handle many of the mundane, repetitive tasks associated with putting together a direct mail campaign.
Among the tasks these APIs are capable of automating:
- List import – enabling lists to be imported into campaigns from CRM, Marketing Automation and CDP platforms
- “Triggered” mailings – the sending of individual pieces of mail when certain conditions are met in a marketing workflow. For example, a customer doesn’t open 3 consecutive emails, so a winback postcard is mailed to them.
- Mailer creation – the generating of high resolution PDF files of each piece of mail to be sent to a 3rd party print/mailer
- Delivery tracking – the capture of data from the postal services software to enable transparency around mail delivery
- Multichannel marketing workflows – automating the flow of data between postal and response tracking systems and the Marketing Automation tools that can generate emails and digital messages when mail is delivered or when recipients respond
Postalytics’ Direct Mail API is a powerful tool that allows the systems that run your business to send automated postcards and letters to your customers using the Postalytics solution. Once you connect through the API, you can eliminate time-consuming manual direct mail processes your organization relies upon to execute critical steps in your customer communications strategy. Automate the process and you can communicate with your customers, motivating them to actions such as renewing a subscription, making an appointment, updating their profiles, or purchasing products and services.
Triggered Drip and Batch/List Based Campaigns
Triggers that initiate direct mail come in two varieties: demographic and behavioral.
Demographic triggers might include events such as moving to a new home, the birth of a child, reaching a certain age, or the anniversary of a product purchase. Behavioral triggers result from a customer taking an action, usually online. These actions could include visiting a website, abandoning an online shopping cart, opening (or not opening) an email, or signing up for a new service. Not performing an action, such as going six months without placing an order, can also be a behavioral trigger.
Any trigger can initiate the production of a single mailpiece, or more commonly, a series of mailpieces through Postalytics, combined with digital messages generated by your CRM or marketing automation software. The actions customers take while enrolled in a triggered campaign can cause the series to be paused, cancelled, or switched to another series.
Demographic and behavioral triggers might be recognized in multiple systems running in your business. Fortunately, the Direct Mail API can connect all your systems to Postalytics. We can send effective direct mail to your customers as soon as their situation or actions activate a trigger.
Batch mailings have their place, of course, and the API allows you to access the batch mailing capabilities of Postalytics as well. Your users can set up and execute batch mailings from within your native environment. We call these types of mailings Smart Send campaigns.
API-Enabled Campaign Composition and Management
Postcard and letter composition can also integrate with your internal systems through the Direct Mail API. Allow your users to benefit from Postalytics’ easy direct mail design tools without requiring them to leave your internal system. Why spend time on complex user interfaces dedicated to direct mail creation and production when it already exists? Just construct the proper mail API calls, pass the data to Postalytics, and let your staff enjoy seamless integration.
We’ve made it easy for your employees to perform direct mail tasks from within your own software platforms. Our brandable Express Windows offer simplified methods for such operations as:
- Building, proofing, and saving postcard and letter templates
- Importing and managing mailing lists
- Running campaign wizards to generate direct mail campaigns
- Viewing campaign dashboards and analytics
The Direct Mail API even allows authorized users to set up and manage Postalytics accounts, manage campaigns and contact lists, and work with webhooks.
All the Express Window screens are fully brandable. Your users need not be aware they are using Postalytics. From their perspective, they’ve never left your environment, yet they will have full access to the direct mail functionality the Postalytics platform provides.
Depending on your systems and the available data, you may decide to handle some tasks, such as building and mapping contact lists, programmatically. If a list already exists within your system, it won’t be necessary for users to import the data to Postalytics, though that can also be an option.
Once campaigns are underway, users can check the results. Postalytics offers many helpful charts and graphs to monitor the execution and performance of direct mail campaigns. Use the Direct Mail API to access campaign analytics via brandable Express Windows.
Direct Mailing APIs Enable Flexibility and Agility
One of the reasons organizations are adopting API oriented approaches to building their internal systems is they let each customer tailor the workflows to the specific needs of their business. Often, “pre-packaged” software requires work to be done in specific ways. APIs, by their very nature, enable work to be done in ways that make sense for each business.
We built Postalytics to be a fully functional standalone direct mail system for executing Smart Send batch campaigns or Triggered Drip campaigns, but we also recognized the need to integrate direct mail capabilities into our customer’s native systems and platforms. That is exactly what the Direct Mail API does.
We built the Postalytics Direct Mail API using the REST architecture, which makes it easy for your developers to integrate it with your systems. REST runs over HTTP and is probably familiar to your technical staff. Postalytics is always here to help if you are lacking in resources or need help learning how to use our print and mail API to connect our platform to yours.
For a more detailed explanation of how the Direct Mail API works, see these two articles: