The modern marketing landscape is changing rapidly, and marketers are questioning conventional wisdom more than ever. This is particularly true in the digital sphere. With increasing competition for eyeballs, changing consumer attitudes towards digital, and more screen time fatigue than ever.
Let’s be clear — digital marketing isn’t going anywhere and is essential to any effective marketing mix. However, focusing on digital isn’t the competitive advantage it once was. Today, marketers require solutions that complement efforts on platforms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon to maximize ROI of their digital ad spend.
That’s precisely why marketers are turning towards Programmatic Digital Mail (PDM) to work in tandem with digital marketing. PDM isn’t simply sending out mailers to a list and hoping for the best. It’s an integrated approach that works together with digital, providing marketers with the ability to reach consumers at home with similar optimization and personalization as digital.
PDM work with — not against — your digital marketing strategies and in fact gives you the best of both worlds.
Why PDM is Critical to Digital Strategy
Consumers are flooded with thousands of digital ads and messages daily. There’s no better way to reach consumers than when they’re in the comfort of their homes and minimizing screen time. Research shows that 88% of all major purchasing decisions are made in the home and that 90% of millennials love receiving mail.
Consumers are also more likely to remember a digital ad when its followed up by a physical one. That’s why PDM should be used in concert with digital. By using the investment you’ve already made in gathering first-party CRM data — your most valuable assets — you’ll convert your customers at a higher rate.
By fueling offline engagements with CRM and online intent data, you can build new audiences and create experiences that can be optimized towards performance metrics like CPA and ROAS in real-time.
Now let’s dive into five ways that PDM can complement your digital strategy.
1. Customer Education
It’s easier to educate customers about your brand and products with PDM because you have more real estate to provide details and a longer exposure period.
Most people conceptualize PDM as simple postcards, but there are also multi-panel folds available that stretch from four to six panels. Innovative brands are also using QR codes to drive traffic to informational landing pages or digital catalogues. This allows them to educate consumers on an even deeper level and provide more detailed information, while simultaneously garnering digital insights into what they’re most interested through their interactions with the site.
Physical PDM “impressions” also have the benefit of longevity, as mail can sit on a countertop or fridge for weeks or months at a time. This makes PDM great for longer consideration cycles where consumers require more upfront education.
2. Lead Generation
With PDM and digital, you’ll be able to drive customer engagement on a wide variety of lead gen techniques. This includes app downloads, augmented reality (AR) experiences using storefronts or filters, and email signups.
This is also another opportunity to take advantage of the opportunity to employ QR codes that will give customers a memorable brand experience. 84% of Gen Z have received a piece of marketing mail with a QR code prompting them to interact with a brand online. This includes watching videos, going to a landing page with sales copy, and ordering by phone or mobile. No matter what digital channels or conversion platforms you use, PDM can support them and drive traffic seamlessly.
3. Enhance Email
Using PDM is also effective in enhancing engagement for your email programs. The reality is that some of the best email open rates hover around 20%, which means 80% of your customers are not opening your messages. Target these individuals with a piece of PDM and engage them just like you’d engage your other CRM audiences.
PDM also provides the perfect opportunity to re-engage lapsed customers. You can re-introduce your brand to consumers who haven’t made a purchase in some time that are simply sitting within your email database. Work with your PDM partner to optimize your customer list based on browsing behavior and intent, targeting customers most likely to re-convert.
4. Customer Discovery
Using PDM along with digital allows you to locate new customers who are similar or adjacent to your current best customers. Use your existing database, additional lists, or work with your PDM partner to find these individuals. Then, mail them a postcard with a CTA they simply can’t resist.
For instance, Ergatta, a game-based rowing machine company, was able to drive top-of-the-funnel performance with PDM by modeling audiences of potential prospects that act like their best customers and retargeting interested customers who were actively shopping on their website.
This proved to be a powerful combination for driving top-of-the-funnel performance, helping them to exceed their prospecting CPA goal by an incredible 117% and their retargeting CPA goal by 742%.
5. Visitor Retargeting
Finally, using PDM along with digital enables more powerful website visitor retargeting. For those customers who are ready to purchase but have not converted for whatever reason, integrating physical mail and PDM increases your chances and overall conversion percentage. You’ll be able to reach customers who are already in the purchasing mindset and convert them in a budget-efficient manner.
PebblePost conducted a study in partnership with a digital retargeting platform and a major jewelry retailer and media network in 2021 to determine the impact of how using digital and direct mail tactics together might impact performance.
The study took place over a two-month period and included over 490,000 households split into four groups:
- No Ads
- Digital Retargeting Only
- PDM Retargeting Only
- Both Digital and PDM Retargeting
By adding PDM to their retargeting mix, the jewelry retailer was able to reach an incremental 217K in-market consumers, but that there was a 167% lift in conversion rate for group that were exposed to both a digital and PDM retargeting impression over those that saw a digital impression alone.
Some Things to Remember
We’ve covered a lot here, but the key takeaway is to use PDM to complement what you’re already with digital. And as you set out to combat consumer digital fatigue, here are a few key takeaways:
- PDM has a longer shelf-life than digital impressions, making it ideal for staying top-of-mind during long consideration cycles.
- You can drive engagement to your landing or product pages with cleverly designed multi-panel mailers and custom QR codes.
- Squeeze every last drop out of your CRM and email list be re-activating stale contacts with a fresh approach.
- Combine the best of your CRM and website data to model audiences for prospecting and fill the top of the funnel with high-value leads.
- When combining PDM with digital retargeting, it can provide incremental reach and lift in performance.
With these tips under your belt, you’re well on your way to integrating PDM into your wider omnichannel marketing strategy.