I remember the “olde days” when the very first online brands were still trying to make this “ecommerce” thing stick. I’d open my email to an avalanche of fabulous discounts and offers based on my browsing history. Ads would pop up all over the internet, reminding me I really did want to buy a watercolor set – and, by golly, I was going to do it!
But those ads barely rate a glance anymore. Yes, I, like many others out there, have become exhausted by digital ads. Nowadays, you’re 31 times more likely to win the lottery than you are to click on a banner ad. So it goes.
Savvy marketers are always looking for ways to catch the eye of digitally-fatigued consumers. That’s what makes Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM) so interesting. It goes beyond digital experiences by engaging people at home with a tangible piece of marketing mail.
But there’s a lot more that goes into how marketers can use the Programmatic Direct Mail channel to capture consumer attention than just the home environment. You need to be thinking beyond just “Awareness” and tap into the ability of PDM to use online intent data and machine learning to bolster performance and sales across the entire customer lifecycle.
This post will provide some best practices to keep top of mind as you think about all the ways to integrate PDM into your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Leverage Your First-Party Data
It’s no secret that third-party data cookies are on the way out. Safari and Firefox already block them by default and Google Chrome – the industry leader – is about to do the same. With this monumental change on the horizon, it’s essential that marketers learn to leverage first-party data to its full extent and add tools such as Programmatic Direct Mail to their marketing toolbox.
Here are some ways you can use your first-party data:
- Model an audience of prospects based on your customers with the highest Average Order Value (AOV) while also suppressing your existing customer file.
- Create custom segments and creatives for prospects and customers visiting your websites and retarget them based on conversion potential.
- Optimize large customer lists, like lapsed or seasonal buyers, based on recent shopping and purchase behaviors and re-engage them with specialized offers.
Of course, your data will only go as far as your PDM partner in capable. It’s important to understand the ways in which they will be able to augment or optimize your data. A model based on offline data is good, but a model that uses both online and offline data and improves in real-time is better.
Keep the Customer Experience Top of Mind
This is where we must learn from those who came before us. We’ve all clicked on the shirt once only to have it follow us around the internet for weeks, or the daily emails from brands we didn’t subscribe to and don’t even know. Those are bad customer experiences, and ones that are easy to avoid with the Programmatic Direct Mail channel.
With PDM, you’re sending a physical piece of marketing mail. If the recipient finds it relevant (which they should), it can live on a counter or refrigerator for days, weeks, or even months. These messages not only remind them of the purchase they were considering, but can further educate them about your brand, help tell your story, or showcase other relevant products and services. It’s a great way to keep your brand top of mind and build a relationship with the potential customer without having the same digital ad follow them around the internet.
You can also mitigate any poor experiences through features like frequency and pacing controls, and by suppressing possible recipients that have recently made a purchase. All of these capabilities should be available through your Programmatic Direct Mail partner, so make sure to ask.
Don’t Wait to Test New Strategies
In general, a best practice for all marketing professionals is to constantly test new strategies. We here at PebblePost, for instance, are always looking for innovative new ways to help marketers engage consumers at home and power sustainable performance. It’s a good idea to regularly review your entire marketing and sales cycles and ask your PDM partner about new opportunities as those cycles mature.
Now is the time to discover which strategies work and which don’t, so that when major changes happen, from economic uncertainty to Apple updating its app environment, you’ll be fully prepared.
Want to Learn More?
Marketers need to continually test unique channels that rises above the noise of digital channels, allows them to develop and leverage their first-party data, and put the customer experience first. One channel that ticks all these boxes is Programmatic Direct Mail.