If you compare the postcard you received in your mailbox today with the one your parents received a decade ago, the drastic evolution of direct mail may surprise you. However, due to speed, tracking, and integration challenges, sending an effective direct mail isn't possible. There is no integration of the offline channel with digital or email marketing.
According to the 2022 State of Direct Mail, 67% of marketers say direct mail delivers excellent ROI. To tap into this demand, you have to automate and integrate it.
Although direct mail has been around for centuries, direct mail automation is a new category of SaaS. Wondering which direct mail automation softwares and strategies should you adopt to increase your ROI? Let's dig into the guide to see how automating direct mail can help you improve your response rates and boost your brand impact.
Table of contents
What is direct mail automation?
Direct mail automation includes personalizing postcards, letters, and physical mail using automation tools. These tools customize the pre-press and small-batch printing processes with data triggers. That means you can trace, track, and measure the impact of your direct mail with real-time analytics, insights, and dashboards. You save time and workload and work more efficiently with these metrics.
Consumers who start but don't finish an order, for example, may receive discounts in the mail in addition to digital offers. You could send thank you notes to your customers while providing them a free present if they haven't ordered in a while.
Related guide: 10 Great Marketing Automation Examples for B2B and B2C
Benefits of direct mail automation
You can't ignore the surplus advantages of direct mail automation for your current and prospective customers.
It's simple to select the template, add customization components, print, and package mail for delivery on the same day if you've pre-configured the creative.
For example, you can deliver a personalized direct mail campaign with discount offers to clients a few days before their birthday. You may set up rules in a marketing automation platform to send information to direct mail printers with each individual's name and special offer.
Reach prospective customers directly
It might be tough to contact those at the top of the decision-making chain via email. Direct mail, on the other hand, may reach practically anybody.
According to the United States Postal Service, 98 percent of consumers receive their mail daily, typically sorted by the person in charge of running operations. Almost every customer has a postal address and reads their mail when they have free time.
Suitable for mass mailing
Automated direct mail eliminates the time and expense of the traditional pre-press process. It is suitable for mass mailing, thanks to its simple drag-and-drop functionality. You may automatically send a direct mail to the masses once you've made a strategy.
Easier to scale
You can grow your outreach and membership using marketing automation. Automation is a valuable tool for helping businesses approach prospects at the right time in their buying cycle. You can easily manage data and generate detailed profiles for target audiences.
Related guide: How to Build Customer Journey Maps for Your Users
You can email your users a pleasant greeting to let them know you miss them if they haven't connected with you in a while. Their inactivity can activate the direct mail piece when you decide the suitable moment. Reaching out to non-active members is a terrific strategy to keep them engaged.
Related guide: Re-engagement Email Series for E-commerce and D2C Brands
What to look for in direct mail automation software?
Here are 4 factors to consider when choosing a direct mail automation software.
Integrated verification of addresses
Addresses that are incomplete, wrong, or improperly formatted can be inconvenient for you and your consumers. Look for software that scrubs your addresses against USPS address databases, kicks out bad addresses, and intelligently routes your mail through a nationwide network of high speed, print & mail partners.
Easy to use templates
Opt for software that has print-ready templates. It makes it simple for your clients to provide appropriately structured designs, eliminating the need for design bandwidth and reducing the possibility of print errors. Drag and drop builders, for example, allow you to create, design, and edit your mail within minutes.
Simple installation and use
Make sure the software is user-friendly and simple to set up. Because every print shop is different, integrating an API into your process will always involve some effort. It shouldn't, however, be a massive task.
Links to your CRM
Send direct mail to your customers by importing a segmented list from the CRM program you use. You can leverage marketing automation tools and CRM to drive automated print campaigns.
5 best direct mail automation softwares
We tested the 5 best direct mail automation softwares, so you don't have to.
Because Postanalytics is synchronized to your CRM, it'll update you on the delivery and response status of each item you send. Additionally, they cross-check all of your addresses against USPS databases before mailing them to your list.
Features: Automated Direct Mail, Mailing Lists, Analytics, Response Tracking
Pros: Keeps track of how well mailings are performing
Cons: Lack of personalization and customization
Lob allows you to create and handle your direct mail initiatives in the same manner that you would an email or other digital marketing campaign.
Features: Automated Triggers, Print Delivery Network, Dashboard and Analytics, Easy API Integration
Pros: API that is straightforward to use; developer documentation is excellent
Cons: Setting up and delivering mail takes longer
SaasMQL integrates with your existing incoming and outbound funnels to send the appropriate individual the correct message at the right time. Their marketing funnel integrates direct mail into a consistent workflow.
Features: Direct Mail Campaign, ABM Analytics, Demand Generation
Pros: Excellent customer service and support
Cons: Works largely with SaaS startups that have received venture capital funding
Postable allows you to send custom-designed cards with handwriting typeface. You may choose one of their hundreds of templates or create your own.
Features: Card Printing, Customized Cards, Automated Letters
Pros: Website is simple to navigate; 100% recycled cards
Cons: On the more expensive side
5. Cactus Mailing
Cactus Mailing provides 'smart marketing' by coordinating direct mail efforts with other marketing, like Google display and landing sites, to optimize direct mail campaigns.
Features: Direct Mail Brochures and Postcards, Targeted Mailing Lists, Call Tracking
Pros: Has a lot of extra features, such as mailing lists and tracking choices
Cons: Only specializes in brochures and postcards
Strategies for optimizing direct mail automation
Here are 4 strategies to help you build an effective direct mail campaign.
1. Set your direct mail campaign KPIs
To build successful direct mail campaigns, you must first set campaign goals. Goals will keep everyone on the team engaged while also allowing you to track performance correctly. The following are some examples of quality direct mail campaign objectives:
Boost outreach response rates
Increase the number of sales
Book more demos
Generate more ROI
2. Establish your direct mail marketing metrics
You can't track open or click rates with direct mail. Instead, you can look at how direct mail campaigns affect other variables. Here are some metrics to track and assess the effectiveness of your direct mails:
Response Rate = Responses/Sends
Conversion Rate = Number of Customers Generated/Responses
Close Rate = Customers Generated/Leads in Pipeline
3. Determine the success of your direct mail campaign
Calculating a direct mail campaign's entire cost and comparing it to the pipeline or income produced might assist steer future initiatives. ROI is a useful indicator for determining how successful your direct mail efforts were. Divide the net profit by the total campaign investment and multiply by 100 to get your direct mail marketing ROI.
4. Tie direct mails to email campaigns
To increase the reach of your message, use direct mail and email marketing. Integrating direct mail and email campaigns allows businesses to promote their core values and strengthen client connections. Mailmodo provides you with the necessary tools to create email marketing campaigns, manage email lists, track email metrics, etc. Book a demo with us to automate your email campaigns.
While direct mail is beneficial throughout the client lifecycle, it's a good idea to start by combining it with digital channels to create extra points of contact. We can help you expand your user base and boost engagement by integrating direct mail automation with effective email marketing campaigns to get actionable results.
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