Historically, producing direct mail has been a hands-on affair. The process involved lots of planning, graphic designers, coordination among parties, traveling to print shops for press checks, postal preparation, labeling, and driving trays of mail to the post office.
We’ve heard from many businesses who tried direct mail once and never went back. The experience was too time-consuming and confusing. The direct mail process wasn’t nearly as efficient and straightforward as email or other channels with which marketers were more familiar. Many experienced digital marketers decided direct mail wasn’t worth the effort.
Postalytics automates the process, shielding businesses from the complexities usually associated with direct mail marketing. Automated direct mail is welcoming many businesses back to mail–one of the most productive methods for attracting and nurturing leads.
This article highlights the value and benefits the Postalytics automated direct mail platform offers marketers who may have eliminated direct mail as a strategic element in their marketing strategies because it was too difficult.
What We’ll Cover:
The Challenges of Traditional Direct Mail
You may not remember the old days of direct mail. Some very successful marketing professionals steered away from mail early in their careers and focused on the exciting and upcoming opportunities offered by modern technology. They saw direct mail as confusing and outdated, and they avoided the channel as much as possible.
We would not describe the old way of producing direct mail as easy. The process was filled with logistical nightmares and endless processes. Managing a campaign was comparable to running a marathon. It was an exhaustive long trek to the finish line.
Traditionally, direct mail required a laborious sequence of activities that stretched over weeks or even months. It started with meticulous planning, then moved to the design phase, where graphic designers were engaged. Later, marketers worked with list brokers, printing and mailing companies, and the postal service. The coordination between various parties was often a daunting task, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources. Careful planning and quality control were critical. Companies made large investments in materials, printing, mailing services, and postage. Once an operation was complete, any subsequent changes became very expensive.
Visiting print shops for press checks was an integral part of the process. Marketers had to make sure everything was just right—from the color schemes to the text alignment. This was followed by the cumbersome tasks of postal preparation, labeling, and, finally, delivering trays of mail to the post office.
For many businesses, their first direct mail project was also their last. The experience was so time-consuming and painful it caused them to stray away from direct mail as a marketing strategy.
The Advent of Automation in Direct Mail
Enter Postalytics, an innovator in the world of direct mail. Postalytics eliminated the tedium and complexity usually associated with direct mail marketing. This innovative platform has automated the entire process, offering businesses a much-needed respite.
The automation process by Postalytics encompasses the myriad of steps in a direct mail project. We meticulously automated each aspect of the process, from planning to postal preparation to labeling. With automation, marketers will experience no more coordination hassles, no more trips to the print shops, and certainly no more manual labeling.
Design: No more hiring expensive graphic designers or waiting for them to send you files. Automation platforms have built-in templates that make creating eye-catching designs a breeze.
Printing: Forget about those time-consuming trips to the print shop. Automation means you can proof and order your printing right from your office.
Addressing: Say goodbye to the tedious task of labeling. Automation platforms import your mailing lists and take care of addressing them for you. Non-deliverable addresses are dropped from the mailing file, saving you the expense of printing and mailing pieces that will never reach their destinations.
Mailing: No one will have to load up their car with trays of mail, drive to the post office, and wait in line. Automation takes care of it all, including qualifying your mail for reduced postage rates where applicable, filling out postal service forms, funding permit accounts, and inducting the mail into the delivery network.
Tracking: Modern direct mail automation platforms like Postalytics will monitor your mail after handing it off to the US Postal Service. You’ll know which pieces the postal service has delivered and when they arrived. If your mailing included a trackable call-to-action such as a personal URL (pURL) or QR code, you’d know exactly which of the people on your mailing list responded to your offer.
The Benefits of Automated Direct Mail for Your Business
Automated direct mail offers greater accuracy and consistency than manual processes. With automation, businesses can ensure their mailings are error-free and meet all postal regulations, reducing the risk of costly mistakes and delays. Additionally, automation allows for greater personalization and targeting, as businesses can easily segment their mailing lists and tailor their messages to specific audiences.
Another key benefit of automated direct mail is its ability to integrate with other marketing channels. With Postalytics, businesses can easily track the effectiveness of their direct mail campaigns and integrate them with their digital marketing efforts, such as email and social media. This allows for a more cohesive and effective marketing strategy that reaches customers across multiple channels.
Because automation makes it so much easier and less expensive to use direct mail, marketers can now take advantage of mail’s properties that make it so much more effective than the deluge of electronic marketing messages consumers and businesses receive every day. Response rates for direct mail typically outperform digital alternatives by a wide margin. People pay attention to direct mail, making it a perfect way to reach prospects who do not engage via email, text message, or social media.
Adding direct mail enables marketers to supplement their marketing strategies that may be missing an important physical touch point. Automated direct mail makes it easy.
Automation takes care of the time-consuming tasks involved in direct mail marketing, such as design, printing, and postal preparation. You can focus your energy on more strategic aspects of your business.
- Cost-effective: Automation cuts down on expenses related to manual labor, design, and printing. This means more budget is available for other important business initiatives.
- Accurate: Automated systems decrease the chance of human error, ensuring your mail goes to the right people at the right time.
- Scalable: With automation, the size of your campaign doesn’t matter. Whether it’s 50 or 50,000 pieces of mail, automation can handle it with the same level of efficiency.
Triggered Direct Mail
Many marketers, even those who embrace direct mail as a viable component of their marketing campaigns, do not take advantage of triggered mail. The minimum job sizes demanded by print/mail service providers make it necessary to handle triggered direct mail as a manual in-house task one that is frequently overlooked or delayed. It takes a great deal of time to send a single mailpiece to a prospective client.
Triggered direct mail occurs when an individual prospect in your CRM system reaches a milestone, takes action, or fails to take action. This behavior then triggers the CRM to generate a relevant and personalized direct mailpiece that arrives at just the right time. Birthday cards or a letter recognizing a customer’s purchase anniversary are examples of triggered direct mail. So is an offer sent to customers who have ceased opening your emails.
Some Postalytics customers send direct mail triggered by public information, such as home purchases or bankruptcies. Others may use CRM information to identify when a warranty is about to expire or to follow up on an abandoned online shopping cart with a personalized discount offer. The possibilities are endless. Triggered communications are highly personal. The recipients recognize when companies treat them as individuals and respond positively.
Automating the process by connecting your CRM to a platform like Postalytics solves both problems that keep companies from leveraging the power of triggered direct mail. The CRM recognizes the trigger and then sends the necessary information to Postalytics to personalize and customize a single direct mail piece. Because no minimums exist, you can send a single mailpiece without incurring the minimum charges normally associated with direct mail marketing.
Let Automation Enable Direct Mail for You
Companies and agencies that have shied away from direct mail because of the challenges and barriers of the past can now take advantage of the benefits this marketing channel offers. Using an automated platform to plan, develop, and execute direct mail campaigns allows any marketer to use direct mail marketing with confidence.