Direct Mail Automation
“I have all the targeting capabilities of Hubspot®, allowing me to send the best postcards to the right people with Postalytics®. The integration allows me to get very specific.”
Dr. Alex Rinehart, MS, DC, CMS
Dr. Alex Rinehart, MS, DC, CNS is formerly trained as a chiropractor and is also a Certified Nutrition Specialist™. He operates AZ Nutrition Center, offering nutrition coaching and a nutritional supplement dispensary. Dr. Rinehart serves clients nationwide with teleconsulting from his company base in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He created an online dispensary as a convenience for himself and his nutrition counseling clients. What began as a companion service to his nutrition practice eventually became a full-time endeavor. Customers began ordering from over 100 brands and >10,000 products through his supplement store, or over the phone and the business flourished. He now also offers his own line of products known as Doctor Alex Supplements.
Besides supplying the nutritional supplements his customers need, Dr. Rinehart creates and publishes unbiased educational material about nutrition and health. His website, DrAlexRinehart.com offers evidence-based articles covering a variety of topics like microbiome diversity, natural immunity, and stress balance. His mission is to help individuals self-actualize wellness through personalized lifestyle nutrition
As his nutritional supplement business grew, so did the demand on Dr. Rinehart’s time. He wanted to make improvements and grow the business with a more comprehensive marketing plan but found it difficult to find time to work on such projects. Much of his time was spent attending to details necessary to keep the business going. Expanding his marketing strategy wouldn’t happen unless he could do it without a significant time investment.
From the beginning, his nutritional supplement business succeeded by keeping in touch with his customers via email. This method worked, but Dr. Rinehart noticed some of his customers were not responding consistently. Emails went out, but they didn’t generate the desired reorder activity and his single-channel communication approach was causing him to lose contact with a portion of his customer base. His research showed that sending direct mail to email non-responders could be the best way to connect with his customers that were unreachable or unresponsive to phone or email.
Testing a channel like traditional direct mail would require a significant investment. Time and money would have to be spent for:
Dr. Rinehart needed a different direct mail approach. A modern software tool that let him focus on his patients and his business rather than being a campaign project manager.
Postalytics® gave Dr. Rinehart a way to test the effectiveness of direct mail without making a huge investment in graphic design, large batches, or large-scale mailings.
Everything he needed was included in the Postalytics® system, including postcard templates and a design interface, address verification, connection to Rinehart’s HubSpot® CRM system, and tracking.
Dr. Rinehart created a series of postcards offering order reminders to customers who had already purchased from him. He tried different color schemes and discount amounts, using offer codes and QR codes so he could measure the performance of each mail-piece and make adjustments if necessary.
With the Postalytics® design software, Rinehart created the postcards in-house, including the QR codes that allow customers to access the online storefront directly from the mailpieces. AZ Nutrition Center creates and sends all its mail through Postalytics®.
“I generally reach out to customers with email first. If they respond, I don’t have to spend the money to send them postal mail. If they don’t respond, then I’ll send postcards. We know that only about 20% or less of emails even get opened, but over 80% of people will see our messages that come to their postal mailboxes,” said Dr. Rinehart.
Additionally, Dr. Rinehart said “With direct mail, fewer clients fall through the cracks of our communication, and they see better results from their nutrition strategies. Foremost, we are able to create long-term, trusted relationships that otherwise would be lost due to thinning online attention spans.”
Dr. Rinehart has developed several postcard variants that are designed to engage with his audience of customers who need to reorder their supplements. Using the Postalytics® drag & drop editor, it is easy to simply make variants to deploy in test or multiple touch campaigns. A click of the mouse will create a copy of a base template and empower marketers to modify elements such as headlines, colors and calls to action. The online proofing process enables fast and easy proofing of a postcard, using real data, without the need to spend days or weeks going back and forth with a printer using a physical proofing process.
The Postalytics® platform includes a drag and drop QR code tool that gives recipients an easy way to hop online and respond to offers. The patented Postalytics® QR code solution is that each QR code that is printed and mailed is unique. When recipients receive the offer and scan the QR code, the Postalytics® system is tracking the unique visits, so that Dr. Rinehart knows specifically who is responding to each offer.
All of the data about the campaign is tracked in a campaign dashboard, including:
Account level views of all campaigns are easily analyzed in the home dashboard where cross campaign data can be filtered and analyzed to see the overall impact of the direct mail effort.
Automated postcards have been a success for the AZ Nutrition Center, with an average increase in ROI of 30%. The automated systems designed in HubSpot to send direct mail to email non-responders via Postalytics® run with little to no ongoing maintenance.
Direct mail automation has allowed Dr. Rinehart to reconnect with customers when email communications falter. If emails bounce or remain unopened, Rinehart’s HubSpot® database triggers the production of physical postcards, allowing the company to re-establish relationships with dormant customers. The company now has a hot list of every customer who has purchased products promoted by a direct mail postcard.
Rinehart also found that direct mail lengthens the buying window. The average time between postcard delivery and order placement is 12 days. Dr. Rinehart states “You can’t expect an email to generate results more than a day or so after we send it”.
Besides the benefits of adding a new direct mail communication channel to his marketing strategy, Dr. Rinehart says the Postalytics® experience of trying something completely new in a low-risk manner has given him what he describes as “entrepreneurial confidence”. He’s seen that positive results can come from trusting vendors to help him implement new ideas for his business, making him more likely to try other techniques that offer similar opportunities.
The nutritional supplement business is an ideal application for triggered direct mail based on past customer purchases and interests. This is the next area that Dr. Rinehart intends to explore. By offering products to customers according to their interests in informational content and past purchases, he can effectively cross-sell with targeted offers. Additionally, he can schedule his reorder reminders to arrive in customer mailboxes at exactly the right time, based on how long each customer’s order of supplements will last.
Finding new clients is another area of opportunity for the AZ Nutrition Center. So far, they have focused all their direct mail efforts on generating repeat business from customers with whom the company has existing relationships. In coming months, Dr. Rinehart intends to explore the possibilities of using the direct mail channel to attract first-time customers.
Postalytics’ support for Canada Post is another area of interest for Dr. Rinehart’s company. They already do business with customers worldwide, but an easy way to engage with customers and prospects in Canada via direct mail presents opportunities to grow his sales to his Canadian customers.
Health practices like the AZ Nutrition Center can test direct mail conversion rates without committing the time and money associated with traditional direct mail campaigns. By connecting their direct mail efforts to events and conditions recorded in their CRM systems, direct mail becomes less like a mass mailing and much more strategic. Increased positive results are expected when mail arrives at a time when customers are most likely to respond. This is only possible when the direct mail solution is built to support mailings of any size, with no minimum volume.
Postalytics Business Spotlight: Dr. Alex Rinehart, DC, MS, CNS is a chiropractor and functional nutrition specialist practicing in Scottsdale, AZ. His articles and resources feature strategies and tips for improving the gut microbiome, supporting immune health, and balancing energy and stress. He uses a number of client engagement strategies including direct mail with Postalytics. Find his resources and supplements at https://www.DrAlexRinehart.com.