October 03, 2015

Programmatic Direct Mail®: Direct Mail With Digital Control

Digital Marketing is celebrating a major milestone this year – it turns 20 years old. While there were some fits and starts in the early years, it has grown into a measurable, substantial medium that gets itself into trouble as any young adult does.  But it had some great educators to learn from: TV, print, and most notably direct mail provided the fundamentals of advertising that groomed this broad and substantial newcomer.

These have always been great media. If you want to reach a mass audience, nothing works better than TV ads for efficiency. If you want emotion and design, print is the best route. If you want desk-space in the home office, direct mail is golden with the highest response rate next to telemarketing. Now the time has come for digital lessons to be taught to the teachers, bringing these traditional media into the 21st century.

PebblePost is driving that effort to bring direct mail into the digital age. Like TV, direct mail has never been perceived as a real-time medium that can be executed, measured, and optimized in real time. That’s why PebblePost is proud to announce the invention of Programmatic Direct Mail, which applies digital thinking to direct mail to help marketers drive great results. For example:

  • Website activity feeds direct mail segments. Through a simple tag, PebblePost identifies the best segment and offer for the visitor. This digital data kicks off the printing and sending of a mail piece, which arrives at the consumer’s door in three days.
  • Attribution of mail closes the digital loop. With a known recipient of the mail, marketers can track the funnel of return visits, overall conversions, and redemption of promotions when an offer is included. This connects visits to transactions, with results that are an order of magnitude greater than what marketers experience with digital marketing vehicles.
  • Optimization happens daily. Unlike a typical direct campaign, which takes weeks to set up, mail, and track for results, PebblePost allows marketers to identify success, adjust messaging, test creative, and improve performance on a daily basis for the next day’s sends.
  • Digital mysteries do not need to be solved. Bots, fraud, ad blockers, and spam are issues for the digital bad boys. Direct mail is 100% fraud-free, transparent, and guaranteed to be delivered.

How Direct Mail Becomes Programmatic

According to John Nardone, former CEO of x+1 and now CEO of Flashtalking (a UK-based ad server), “The best programmatic marketing recognizes the consumer as he moves between channels and touch points, so that each interaction informs the next.” (see full context here)

When applied to digital media, it means better targeting, better pricing, faster execution, and improved results. When applied to direct mail, programmatic means faster time to market, spending only based on actual customer actions, lower waste from over-serving an audience, and capturing and acting on attribution data more efficiently.

  • Faster. Direct mail campaigns commonly take from 12-24 weeks to implement and analyze, and they take place entirely in the physical world. With PebblePost, direct mail to an interested customer gets into the postal stream in 12-24 hours.
  • Smarter.  By using clickstream data, CRM insights, and third-party data, direct mail can be sent that is relevant, actionable, and impactful.
  • More measurable. With the combination of custom offer codes, site tags, viewership data, and the use of real addresses, it is now possible to determine the impact of direct mail on an individual sale. This ultimate measure of ROI is only possible when mail is sent based on real-time intent data.
  • More profitable. Better attribution determines the optimal creative, offer, or call to action. The end result: more sales, with a higher average order value. Programmatic Direct Mail has delivered results as high as 10x the typical mail response rate, and a five times greater return on ad spend.

Programmatic Direct Mail Brings Direct Mail Back Into The Limelight

In the world of direct mail – in the world of direct marketing – there’s never been anything as immediately game-changing as Programmatic Direct Mail from PebblePost. Programmatic direct mail takes the elements of direct mail that work so well and marries them with the big-data insights and real-time efficiencies of today’s digital marketing ecosystem, giving this high-performing medium a modern twist.

The home mailbox has never been more relevant.