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How to Select the Best Programmatic Direct Mail Partner

There are a lot of challenges out there for marketers. For any number of reasons, it can feel like tried-and-true channels stop being as effective as they once were. That’s why the best marketers (like you) are always on the lookout for new channels to add to their mix. And adding Programmatic Direct Mail (and choosing a Programmatic Direct Mail partner) can greatly boost your marketing mix.

But, as with any new channel, who you partner with when getting started is critical to fostering long-term success. It’s not only that the right partner can provide insights into the best practices and strategies for integrating Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM) into your broader omnichannel marketing strategy. They can also help you understand its overall impact and performance.

There are three key questions you need to ask when selecting a Programmatic Direct Mail partner:

Is it more than just automation?

Every website visitor is not created equal. Someone visiting a webpage or clicking “Add to Cart” isn’t always an accurate proxy for intent to purchase. And while automating direct mail sends based on these “event triggers” can be effective, it’s a blunt instrument compared to Programmatic Direct Mail.

PDM has automated elements but goes a step further. It behaves much more like other performance channels like Search or Social, using machine learning algorithms to select recipients based on online intent and transaction data in order to drive the most efficient performance for your brand. And because PDM is an “always-on” channel, it will continue to learn and improve as it receives more information.

Understanding this difference is crucial when selecting your partner, because you want to make sure you’re getting the best technology—and the best implementation of that technology—to help you achieve your marketing goals.

Does it use real-time, online intent data?

Demographic and household data is useful, but hardly differentiated. Most PDM platforms will have access to this kind of data (and often from the same sources).

What will make one PDM platform stand out from the rest is the ability to connect real-time, online intent data to a unique household. Access to this kind of data at scale is far more difficult, but will be a critical factor in driving performance. It will also be a major indicator in how effective that partner might be in helping you discover new audiences for customer acquisition campaigns. The more unique their data sources, the greater the incremental value they can add to your efforts at the top of the funnel.

When selecting a Programmatic Direct Mail partner, you need to ask:

  1. What is the source of the data?
  2. How often it is refreshed?
  3. What is the scale and scope of the data?

For instance, the PebblePost Graph, which fuels our platform, is able to connect over 10,000 online intent signals to every piece of marketing mail we send on behalf of a brand.

How much support do I need?

Marketers are busy people, spending about 16 hours a week on routine tasks, according to a recent survey. They don’t always have the time to set up campaigns, track them, and optimize them. The obvious alternative is to have a team that lives and breathes Programmatic Direct Mail, supporting you and implementing and optimizing the campaigns while reporting the results to you.

Depending on the bandwidth of the marketing team, companies will need differing levels of support. It’s important to factor in the extra resources required to learn the nuances of a new platform. The ideal for most marketers is a blend of some self-service elements with access to a team of dedicated experts that can help you scale and understand performance — this will help you attain success faster and sustain it longer.

Got more questions? We’ve got answers.

Adding Programmatic Direct Mail to your omnichannel marketing strategy can be a powerful way to fuel profitable growth for your company, but only if you have the right partner.

If you’re in the market for a Programmatic Direct Mail marketing platform, give us a shout. Even if we don’t end up being the right fit for your brand, we’d still love to help you figure out what would be the right fit.

To learn more, check out our Acquisition and Retention solutions, or contact us directly via our Contact Us page.

Free Guide: PebblePost's Guide to Programmatic Direct Mail

Download our short guide and learn the who, what, why, and how of Programmatic Direct Mail.

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