Why Programmatic Direct Mail Might Be Your Next New Competitive Edge
  • Karen Wood
  • Jul 29, 2022

Direct mail is having a bit of a renaissance. It’s hard for marketers to break through the noise of the digital ecosystem and get high value prospects and customers to engage, but a marketing strategy that includes many channels of engagement – including direct mail – is more likely to make an impact. Consider the often-cited fact that customers and prospects who engage on multiple channels typically have a 30% higher customer lifetime value than those who engage only on digital channels. 

But direct mail has gotten a bad marketing reputation for a few valid reasons. The cost of printing and mailing is expensive. It’s hard to get accurate household data and know you are delivering direct mail to the right individuals. It’s difficult to measure the results of a direct mail campaign. And, the fact that the campaign is offline means that it often lives out of the real-time sync of all the other digital and email campaigns in the mix, it’s hard to correctly measure attribution or influence.

But direct mail is seeing a resurgence. New technologies are helping marketers use direct mail strategically, and giving them the power to use data and analytics to drive really tight, effective direct mail campaigns. Consider these industry trends shared by Lob in a recent webinar:

  • 67% of marketers surveyed believe DM shows the best ROI of all the channels their company is using.
  • Direct mail response rates increase when they are paired with email and digital marketing, and this holds true for both acquisition and retention campaigns.
  • Millennials are a very effective target for direct mail, as they’re flooded with digital advertising and emails constantly, and are used to tuning them out. Millennials are 20% more likely to respond to a mailer than to a digital ad.
  • Using automated processes for direct mail workflows can lead to 85% cost savings for direct mail campaigns.

Part of what is driving this resurgence is that data, machine learning, and AI can be harnessed to activate insights into automated direct mail workflows. Data can be used to find the right targets, personalize the mailers beyond just the name field, and measure campaign effectiveness. Technology can also be used to enhance the way direct mail campaign performance is measured and optimized. 

Windfall’s people insights at the household level, combined with predictive intelligence and rich analytics, can drive powerful, high-impact programmatic direct mail campaigns. Typically used in conjunction with social/digital remarketing, Windfall’s programmatic direct mail targets households that are most likely to convert into high value customers, investors, constituents, etc. By evaluating key fields about any given lead list, Windfall can pinpoint the right recipients for the direct mail campaign by examining attributes such as:

  • Marketing fit score
  • Lead grade or lead score
  • High potential lifetime value 
  • Net worth
  • Number of interactions with the brand
  • Where they live
  • Etc.

These insights help growth marketers keep costs in check by targeting only the very best fits to receive direct mail. With Windfall, marketers can automate workflows so that direct marketing focuses on the leads that are most likely to convert, and they can be a key part of the conversion process. 

Also, lifecycle marketing campaigns can benefit. By identifying which existing customers would be a good fit for cross-sell/upsell messaging, retention campaigns, and churn reduction campaigns, marketers can more effectively engage them. By accurately identifying your highest value customers and activating them into workflows, you can automate the way you engage, retain, and grow the loyalty of your highest value segments. 

But it’s not just marketing teams who can benefit. Organizations that have a sales team can empower sellers with automated sales workflows. If sales reps are having trouble moving leads through the sales funnel, and traditional methods such as phone or email are not having an impact, you can automate direct mail workflows to retarget existing “warm” leads to expedite their movement through the sales process. 

While direct mail can be notoriously difficult to accurately attribute to a future conversion, Windfall has developed best practices for measuring direct mail responses. By looking at specific attribution windows tailored to each organization, we can connect the dots between a recipient of direct mail and their downstream engagement and conversion. 

Many successful organizations are leveraging Windfall’s intelligence and insights for programmatic direct mail campaigns. One example is with a leading vacation rental company, which uses Windfall to identify potential high value prospects who visit the company’s website. On a daily basis, selected leads are activated into a workflow that sends targeted direct mail to their home. Using a seven-day attribution window, this campaign drove up to $1MM in incremental revenue for the company. 

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