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direct mail marketing strategy

As 2021 nears, one thing has become clear: the direct mail resurgence is only getting stronger, especially during this pandemic era. Direct mail provides an opportunity for brands to connect with customers and prospects at home—where most have been since March—and where 88% of purchasing decisions occur.

While consumers may be able to tune out traditional media and banner ads, they’re still checking their mailboxes each day. How can you make an impact and survive the mailbox sort? With high-performing direct mail.  

The key to high-performing direct mail is to ensure it’s relevant to the consumer and quickly reach them when they’re in the consideration window for that product or service. The strongest, freshest signals to determine this are expressed intent data, based on real-time online consumer behaviors. 

Many companies leverage Programmatic Direct Mail® to revamp their direct mail marketing strategy and capitalize on these powerful signals. These PDM programs help brands hit their ROI goals while complementing their existing marketing efforts and maintaining cost-efficiency.

Whether you’re a direct mail expert or a digital marketer new to direct mail, here are a few ideas on how to revamp your direct mail marketing strategy to see high-performing results.

6 Ways to Completely Revamp Your Direct Mail Marketing Strategy

1. Diversify Your Digital Marketing Strategy with Direct Mail

Traditional direct mail is a proven marketing tactic to drive consumer engagement with a history of strong response rates and effectively reaching consumers at home. However, traditional direct mail can be challenging to execute, requires long lead times, and doesn’t harness the power of recent, digital behavior. 

By integrating digital signals into your direct mail programs via the PDM® Platform, you can target your most valuable audience that is the most likely to convert based on their recent online activity. You can then reach them at home within 2–3 days when interest is still high and your brand is top of mind.

Alternatively, if you haven’t yet added Direct Mail to your marketing mix, incorporating PDM allows you to seamlessly capitalize on your online traffic to reach your consumers with a different touchpoint, via a tangible piece of mail at home,  while maintaining ROI.

2. Segment Your Target Audience

Whether this is your first direct mail campaign or you’ve been running them for years, it’s important to take a second to evaluate your campaign goals and objectives. Do you want to retarget recent site visitors who haven’t purchased? Acquire new customers? Winback lapsed customers? Once you determine that, you can then target and segment your audience.

The PDM Platform allows you to seamlessly activate direct mail campaigns to each of your segmented audiences. For example, use Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM) Retargeting to reach your anonymous website visitors who did not convert within 2–3 days of their site visit. Persuade them to come back to the site and purchase. 

Or, leverage Lookalikes to identify net-new consumers that share similar attributes to your best customers to drive customer acquisition and awareness. 

3. Personalize Your Direct Mail for Your Target Audience

Now that you’ve gotten your objectives and segmented your audience, it’s time to identify how you will personalize your messaging and offers to each audience.

Reaching lapsed consumers? Give them a compelling offer on their next purchase.

Reaching existing customers? Promote an upcoming sale, new product line, or seasonal items with high-quality brochures.   

Marrying personalization with recent online behaviors, you can ensure your ad creative is relevant to your target audience. Also, be sure to include an easy way for them to take action—whether it be driving to your website or in-store.

4. Take Advantage of Postcards

At PebblePost, we’re huge fans of the postcard—and for a good reason. On average, postcards outperform compared to other direct mail mediums, especially for high-value consideration items (from Direct Mail and the Shopping Shift). 

Additionally, according to the Data and Marketing Association, postcards typically see a high response rate of 4.25%. Postcards prove to be an excellent investment in driving ROI from your direct mail marketing strategies.

Leverage accurate targeting to ensure your mail is relevant, and then keep the message and offer front and center to Survive The Sort™. No need for extra steps like unsealing an envelope—your promotion or a new product will be front and center, driving awareness from the minute consumers reach it in their mailbox. 


Example of a postcard promotion

5. Change Your Frequency

Are you sending a lot of direct mail but not seeing a spike in sales or return on ad spend (ROAS)? The frequency could be the culprit—popping into people’s mailboxes too often is inefficient, wasteful, and is more likely to be ignored. 

Take a step back and examine your mailing schedule. If you are sending more than one mailpiece every 30 days, that is too much. You want to ensure respectful communication with the consumer because the better the consumer experience, the better your campaign will perform. 

One common culprit in managing frequencies is overlapping objectives. Some winback campaigns might overlap with customer campaigns, creating duplicate mailings. When you use the PDM Platform, you can place a frequency cap across all your campaigns, regardless of audience, to prevent duplicate mailings and increase cost-effectiveness.

6. Measure Your Direct Mail Performance

Proving performance is critical to any marketing objective. Understanding how different audiences perform against your ROI goals is crucial in adapting your strategy and maintaining performance as you scale.  

When you revamp your direct mail marketing strategy to include digitally-enhanced direct mail, you can see accurate performance results that reveal your successes.

With PDM, a Transaction Match performance analysis measures conversions across all points of sale at the address level. This analysis helps you figure out your incremental lift and any other key performance indicators you may have—cost per acquisition, return on investment, return on ad spend, across all your points of sale. 

In Conclusion

Whether you’re expanding your marketing mix to include direct mail or are looking for ways to improve upon your existing direct mail strategies, consider Programmatic Direct Mail. Programmatic Direct Mail provides a seamless way to integrate real-time online intent data with impactful direct mail. 

To learn more about Programmatic Direct Mail or PebblePost and how it can complement your marketing efforts, please reach out to us at hello@pebblepost.com.

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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