Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing? It’s Not The Oxymoron That You Think It Is

[POSTALYTICS] Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing It’s Not The Oxymoron That You Think It Is

If you’re a marketer, you’re always looking for an edge to improve your lead generation, nurturing, retargeting, bottom of the funnel and retention campaigns. Savvy marketers are deploying an old-school channel combined with a modern twist to bolster their email and digital efforts. 

This new approach is “programmatic direct mail marketing.”

The use of the word “programmatic” and the phrase “direct mail marketing” together might sound odd. It sounds like a mash-up of new technology and a marketing channel that peaked years ago. 

And that’s exactly what it is. Programmatic direct mail marketing leverages the investments marketers have made into the marketing tech stacks with new cloud-based software designed to alleviate the pain points of traditional direct mail. 

Until recently, programmatic direct mail was out of the reach of many organizations. 

But now, the technology trends have shifted. Modern marketing automation software has enabled non-technical teams to inject direct mail marketing into their existing email and digital marketing campaigns. 

Programmatic direct mail makes the channel a fluid part of your overarching strategy. It’s no longer a standalone direct response channel in the way that so many companies have traditionally used it.

What is Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing? 

Programmatic direct mail marketing is bringing aspects of digital and direct mail marketing together through automation. Depending on the level of sophistication of your system, programmatic direct mail may only include parts or all of the process of launching a campaign. 

Using programmatic direct mail marketing, companies can leverage online and offline data to deliver better experiences to prospects and customers. They can also improve the return on ad spend (ROAS) for the company employing it. 

When the Internet was first launched, the prospect of receiving an email was new and exciting. Receiving printed marketing collateral in the mail was mundane and typical. Now, more than twenty-five years later, the opposite is true. Direct mail is getting more recognition nowadays, with 71% of consumers feeling that direct mail is more personal than online digital communication. Better yet, new data tells us that consumers trust direct mail far more than digital channels when making a purchase decision.

With programmatic direct mail marketing, you can bring the same level of automation you would expect from your digital campaigns to the physical mailbox. Adding a new channel or expanding your use allows you to deepen your connection with existing customers and make better connections with prospects. 

Differences Between Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing and Traditional Direct Mail 

Differences Between Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing and Traditional Direct Mail

Programmatic direct mail marketing automates most of the processes associated with traditional direct mail campaigns. This involves activities like

  • Building your mailing list
  • Designing the direct mail piece
  • Sending and tracking 

With programmatic direct mail marketing, you can integrate your direct mail campaigns with other marketing activities. 

So, for instance, you could set up a triggered direct mail campaign that will run after an email marketing sequence ends. Let’s say an abandoned cart sequence for an eCommerce company. You know — the emails you receive after adding an item to your cart and failing to complete the purchase.

Adding a direct mail step to a campaign like this will achieve two things. It will grab the attention of a customer who may be more likely to ignore emails and put you in a position to improve your ROAS. 

This allows you to set up multiple touchpoints with your marketing strategies. With multiple direct mail touchpoints, you can push your customers to complete a purchase or subscribe to your offer, improving engagement and conversions.  

Direct Mail Automation Brings Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing to Companies of All Sizes 

Direct mail has benefited from the growth of the B2B software industry, opening up the channel to make it viable for companies of all sizes.

The B2B SaaS industry has grown rapidly in the last decade. Solutions are sprouting up for every channel and in even the most niche markets:

Direct Mail Automation Brings Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing to Companies of All Sizes

In previous years, companies would have had to invest in developing their solutions for programmatic direct mail marketing campaigns.

Now, there are many options to automate your direct mail, including Postalytics.

Modern direct mail automation platforms deliver features far surpassing the experience of working with full-service direct mail vendors from previous decades. Even today, many companies still lean on these outdated vendor relationships and have yet to make the jump into more modern solutions. If these companies can be successful using “old school” methods, imagine what is possible with modern automation.

Some of the features you can expect when using a direct mail automation platform include:

Integrations With CRM and Marketing Automation Software 

Most direct mail automation platforms allow you to automate portions of your direct mail workflow. That is powerful enough on its own. 

But imagine how powerful it could be to integrate your existing tech with other top marketing and sales automation platforms. Postalytics offers integrations with all the best tools like Salesforce, HubSpot and ActiveCampaign. You can also use platforms like Zapier to connect to Postalytics or tap into the powerful direct mail API

How do these integrations help?  

  • When you inject direct mail into campaigns that are already producing an excellent ROI, the additional touchpoint will increase conversion rates. They can augment your messaging and engage with them in a new, more tangible way.
  • It saves your team time getting rid of manual activities like physically creating mailing lists or getting customer data on different platforms.
  • Set up triggered campaigns by laying down certain conditions in your CRM or sales tools. For example, you could build a single or several direct mail steps into an existing email marketing campaign. Maybe each subscriber will receive a series of emails. If they don’t engage, they receive direct mail.
Set up triggered campaigns by laying down certain conditions in your CRM or sales tools
  • Use customer data in CRM to create more personalized and relevant campaigns. For example, if you have segmented lists, you can use features like variable data and logic to display different content to different audiences.

Compared to adopting other channels, direct mail campaigns are affordable. Even with larger lists, your cost-per-recipient shrinks with higher volumes. The value of direct mail is undeniable for the level of engagement it delivers.  

This gives your marketing teams a brand new channel to play in and a variety of new approaches they can test. 

Triggered Direct Mail 

Triggered direct mail is where the ROI in direct mail automation rises. Why? It allows your business to send the right message at the right time to the right audience. 

Triggered direct mail refers to using user actions as a “trigger” to affect the next steps that a customer will go through. It removes any manual work from your team. You can set specific sequences in Postalytics, so you don’t have to get involved in day-to-day promotions or marketing.   

Triggered Direct Mail

Here are some real-life examples to get you inspired. 

  • An eCommerce store could have a specific direct mail campaign when purchasing a certain product. That campaign could include discount codes, specific upsell requests, or invite them to join a loyalty program.
  • When a customer spends “X” dollars on your ecommerce store, you can trigger a direct mail encouraging more purchases to get them free access to exclusive deals or VIP memberships.
  • A retargeting campaign can be triggered when a prospect adds a product to their shopping cart but never finishes the purchase. Typically, the eCommerce company will send 2-3 emails. However, adding a direct mail sequence can be an attention-grabber that causes the customer to take action.
  • With 92% of millennials making a purchase decision influenced by direct mail, you can have a survey form on your website that asks users about their preferences. You can then trigger a direct mail based on that data.

Design and Delivery Information 

One of the most significant objections many marketers face when pitching an expansion into direct mail to management is the time factor. Traditionally, direct mail campaigns could become a big time sink, particularly when they need approval from several stakeholders. 

This process could stretch for weeks on end, with a lot of back-and-forth communication and rounds of revisions. By the time your campaign is finally ready, it might be too late. Add to that the costs incurred, and you might want to give up on direct mail altogether. 

But gone are these problems with the advent of direct mail tools like Postalytics. 

For example, Postlaytics offers several professional templates you can edit through a drag-and-drop editor—no more expensive design costs. You can quickly decide on a design and roll out your campaign for testing. 

For example, Postlaytics offers several professional templates you can edit through

The packaging and shipping can be automated through the platform. All you have to do is make the relevant connections with integrated software and watch as the numbers roll in. You can design, launch, and evaluate direct mail campaigns at speed.

In a case study we published about the company’s marketing program, Mr. Sullivan said, “Sending out a stream of emails, just like every other company in our space, didn’t set us apart enough, at least to our standards.” He wanted to send a personal letter from the company’s CEO but thought they’d be “hand assembling them in a completely disconnected process.”

Tracking and Analytics 

One common obstacle marketers often quote when it comes to direct marketing is, “It’s so difficult to track and analyze direct mail campaigns. It’s not as easy as managing email campaigns.” 

That’s not true. Recent technological advances leverage software to track detailed campaign metrics at the individual recipient level. Today’s programmatic direct mail marketing tools use the USPS’s powerful Intelligent Mail Barcode system to track mail delivery. They can even track when the USPS determines an address is invalid. 

What about response tracking? In the old days of direct mail, marketers would use self-addressed and stamped Business Reply Cards to manually tally results, often weeks and months after the campaign ended. 

This led to inefficiency and fewer chances of optimizing campaigns. Marketers have started using savvy features like pURLs and QR codes to track response rates and conversions as quickly as you can follow in email campaigns. 

All you need to do is set up these codes and URLs in your direct mail pieces. When the recipient scans this code or uses the URL, you can track their online activity and see who’s clicking on your CTAs. 

Postalytics delivers many metrics that provide specific insights into your campaign: 

Viewability and Adblocking 

With so many companies resorting to digital ads like PPC and social media ads, consumers increasingly use adblockers to escape the marketing noise. 

Viewability and Adblocking

Image source 

These numbers will only rise in the coming years. This means marketers need to find alternative mediums to ensure their message reaches the audience, as the reach of digital campaigns may drop even further. 

Another concern comes from bots. Competition levels are high, and nefarious actors often use bots to click ads and drive up CPC costs. It’s estimated that eCommerce companies lose up to almost $4 billion annually through click fraud

Another concern comes from bots

Programmatic direct mail marketing takes these worries away. Bots don’t have mailing addresses. The only “adblocker” for direct mail is the recipient throwing the mailer away without looking at it. 

The best part? The automation capabilities of tools like Postalytics are no longer limited to large-scale organizations. Even small businesses and startups can easily subscribe to these platforms and use all the above features. 

Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing Automation – A Logical Choice 

If your company isn’t already leveraging direct mail marketing automation, you should ask yourself, “why?”

With the ability to connect direct mail as a channel to your other marketing activities and generate deep analytics about the campaigns you send, the common misconceptions that keep companies from using direct mail aren’t all that relevant anymore.

With the different features and functions in Postalytics, you can quickly ideate, design, and launch highly effective triggered direct mail campaigns without the back-and-forth hassle and miscommunication.  

Register for your free account today!