One of the things we’ve learned at PebblePost is that there’s no single pathway to marketing success. There are recombinant strategies that you can bundle in order to achieve your specific goals as outlined here and here.
Your marketing strategy can be even more finely tuned when it comes to the actual pitch that you want to make. And that’s where Programmatic Direct Mail® really stands out. Let’s look at all the options.
Make an offer
Many brands find that promotional campaigns are much more effective when they include some kind of offer. If you operate a major retail chain, it makes no sense to send out marketing collateral that basically just says, “We exist.” Your customers already know that. You need to give them an incentive to come to your store or your site — whether it’s 10% off, $5 off, a special promo code or free shipping.
Programmatic Direct Mail® works especially well for these kinds of offers. For one thing, there’s evidence that the tangibility of direct mail creates an emotional connection that’s lacking in digital campaigns. The other thing that distinguishes Programmatic Direct Mail® is its capability for personalized offers. If the consumer receives a promo code that’s unique to them, that’s a powerful tactic that makes them feel they’re getting something of value. Because they are. And, to make a finer point, that offer will always work compared to promo code websites.
In addition, Programmatic Direct Mail® allows brands to test the efficacy of different promotions. If you offer a discount, does the bump in your conversion rate offset the reduction in profit? That’s the kind of data you need to shape a successful campaign.
Send a reminder
In theory, digital retargeting should be more versatile than direct mail because it not only works for demand generation but it also enables you to send reminders. The problem with digital retargeting technology, however, is that it is enabled immediately so that the moment you leave a site after looking at, say, a pair of shoes, those shoes start following you around the internet. It’s not really a reminder to buy shoes if you haven’t had enough time to forget that you looked at them yet. And the doggedness of the pursuit can be intrusive and annoying.
A Programmatic Direct Mail® reminder hits the sweet spot: It arrives a couple of days after the online activity — just long enough to spark an “Oh, yeah — I meant to follow up on that” response. And, again, the tangibility helps the consumer. For one thing, you can take that piece of direct mail to the store with you. And if you’re not ready to go to the store just yet, you can put a Programmatic Direct Mail® reminder on the fridge or add it to your “to-do” stack. This is especially effective for brands like credit card or insurance companies where promotional codes and discount offers would be inappropriate.
And other brands can choose a Programmatic Direct Mail® campaign that combines a reminder with an offer such as: “We’d like you to give us another look … and here’s an incentive.”
Provide more information
This is just what it sounds like. The “for more information” Programmatic Direct Mail® campaign is ideal for bigger-ticket items like cars where consumers traditionally do a lot of research before committing to a purchase.
Dyson has had a lot of success using us to market their unique vacuum cleaners this way. You’ve probably seen James Dyson on TV evangelizing about the advantages of his cordless, bagless vacuum. Programmatic Direct Mail® is the ideal way to deliver long-form content via a multipage Programmatic Direct Mail® piece that provides consumers with more detailed information than they can get in a 30-second TV spot. And neuroscience has proven that printed matter does a better job of engaging the senses than digital information, which we process through a more superficial method of scanning.
A “more information” campaign can be combined with a “reminder” campaign, an “offer” campaign or both.
Tell them what’s coming soon
This works great on the demand side. Brands can reach out to consumers who have displayed a particular pattern of behavior and tell them about a similar promotion that’s coming up. If people have shown a propensity to take advantage of sales on lawn and garden equipment or boating accessories, for example, you can use Programmatic Direct Mail® to tell them about your upcoming Fourth of July sale.
Once again, the primary advantage of Programmatic Direct Mail® is its tangibility. You can pin that Fourth of July collateral on the corkboard in your home office or in the garage where you keep your outdoor accessories. If the same “coming soon” ad was in the form of a banner ad, you could very well forget about it. Let’s be honest: Taking a screenshot, printing it and hanging it somewhere is just not a thing.
Drive them to the store
This is where the nitty-gritty of Programmatic Direct Mail® — the ability to cross-reference online activity with a physical address — really pays dividends. We can send Programmatic Direct Mail® to the consumer’s home that will allow them to either follow up online with the device of their choosing or visit a physical store and bring that offer with them. And we can fine-tune the offer with creative based on where the consumer lives and their proximity to a retail store. You can even provide directions in your call to action or include an offer specific to a particular store location.
That is especially helpful when testing various offers and trying to solve the specific challenges in retail of connecting the online experience with the offline experience. Also, by understanding the timing of when mail arrives in the home, brands can correlate the online activity and see how it matches up. For example, one popular clothing brand ran a Programmatic Direct Mail® promotion that could be redeemed either online or in store. During the week, redemptions were almost exclusively online, and when the weekend came, there was a surge of promo codes being redeemed in the physical store. And while that makes sense, it’s good to be able to verify the theory with actual testing because in marketing there are a lot of other theories that appear to make sense but actually don’t work that way in the real world.
In the end, that’s the true benefit of Programmatic Direct Mail®. If you’re trying to find solutions for marketing in the real world, it helps to start with something tangible.