Printed direct mail should be a part of creative agencies’ integrated multimedia marketing campaigns for their clients. “Triggered” mailing is a proven method of generating referrals and repeating business, but what are the best ways to reach existing customers at the right time?
“As much as possible, agencies need to align omnichannel messaging to B2C lifecycle events,” advises Jack Noonan, VP of business development at the PRINTING United Alliance trade association. Trackable data supports these demographic triggers throughout people’s life journeys.
“Building CRM profiling models is critical to helping brands map out these ‘triggers,’” notes Noonan, who serves on the U.S. Postal Service Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee. The MTAC task force links the mailing industry with the Post Office.
“Maybe a family is in the market for a loan because one of their young adults bought his or her first car or soon will attend college,” he illustrates. “Wise financial companies track this type of information.”
There also is a behavioral targeting approach that aggregates consumer purchasing histories as triggers. “Someone may have landed a new job or bought a new home that requires lawn maintenance services,” Noonan adds. Many mailing triggers are of a seasonal character, especially in the home services arena. Scheduling mail based on the last service dates is another way to expose customers to new offers at a time they are already primed to respond.
As the leading direct mail automation platform, we spend a lot of time looking for the latest and greatest ways agencies can help clients improve their lead generation, conversions, and customer retention.
Here’s how you can leverage triggered mail to grow your and your clients’ businesses.
High-level, integrated campaigns often evolve into more focused brand marketing. Noonan offers an angler analogy: “Basically, what the industry calls ‘drip marketing’ is like a fishing expedition,” he says. “You have to put different bait on the hook to see what will bite.” In the omnichannel world, some prospects may make a purchase; some may visit a website; others may call a toll-free 800 number.
The goal is for agencies to establish constant and repeated touchpoints on behalf of their clients. Messages and offers that coincide with life events are an especially effective way to gain customer attention. “Cultivating these types of consumer relationships takes time,” Noonan notes. Repetition is good, he says, advocating for multiple monthly campaigns.
Businesses can afford more frequent mailings to highly targeted individuals. With triggered direct mail, the campaign size is smaller, but the returns are higher.
Once customers are on the mail trail, agencies, and brand managers should seize the opportunity to garner even more data, which can be used to foster long-term, competitive advantage. Collecting data from the right sources or affiliates is the first of a two-part process. “This is when tools such as the USPS new mover address list can come into play,” Noonan says.
Data Quality and Analytics
Clean-up is the second step. “Cleansing and scrubbing lists are essential to getting the most bang for your direct-mail buck,” he explains. List maintenance is critical. “Software technology, like that offered by Postalytics, can monitor and track data, update addresses, and filter undeliverables, making for highly refined lists. The ideal strategy is to blend current customer information with outside data.”
Don’t underestimate the value of tracking direct mail performance for your clients. Information you can gather about individual customer mailpiece delivery and response informs future personalized communication. The aggregated information helps to fine-tune overall campaign strategies. Tracking and analytics are areas where Postalytics excels.
“Is the postal address information and delivery identification outdated, or is it ‘good?’” Noonan asks. Most agencies leave the address data work to their printers and mailers, but handling this task for your agency clients offers benefits. The better the list, the better the mailing campaign’s return on investment. And, as postage rates continue to rise, getting a solid ROI from direct mail is more essential than ever.
Postalytics builds address-cleansing features into the platform. Read more about address verification on our address verification page.
Agency-Enabled Precise Marketing
Agencies will impress clients when they go beyond the traditional mass-mailing approach and help them contact customers with the right messages delivered at the right time. Connecting a CRM system to a solution like Postalytics makes it possible for agencies to offer these services with no need for in-house mailing experts.
Triggered mailings are cost-effective. Companies spend less money on postage and production and generate more conversions. Customers like the triggered approach as well. Direct mail tied to relevant events shows them the company recognizes them as individuals and values their business. Consider adding triggered direct mail to your agency offerings and deepen relationships with your clients.