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Why Programmatic Direct Mail Needs to Be a Part of Your Customer Acquisition Strategy


Acquiring new customers has never been trickier. Marketers need to incorporate fresh and engaging methods in their customer acquisition strategy, all while battling rising costs and ensuring they measure and understand performance accurately.

This post will cover why it’s crucial to diversify acquisition channels, what goes into a strong customer acquisition strategy, and what makes Programmatic Direct Mail a crucial channel for discovering, engaging, and converting potential customers.

What is Customer Acquisition?

Customer acquisition is the process of finding, engaging, and converting new prospective customers. Marketers use many channels — like Email, SMS, Search, Social, and Programmatic Direct Mail — to introduce people to their brand and entice them to take action. The goal is to create a plan to sustain and grow your business profitably over time.

It’s vital to diversify acquisition channels for several reasons:

Meet people where they are

Consumers are active on multiple channels and platforms, so it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. Your marketing messages are going to be more effective if received in an environment where your customers naturally interact. You never know what channels are going to inspire that next step, or even just influence the journey.

Defend and grow market share

There are fewer barriers for new brands to enter the market these days than ever before. Not-so-coincidentally, there are also fewer barriers to consumers switching brands than ever before. You need to make sure your brand doesn’t have a “blindspot” in terms of acquisition channels, otherwise you risk losing ground to competitors.

Combat rising customer acquisition costs

Increased competition has contributed to rising costs on monopolized digital platforms, as well. As the growth of significant players like Facebook and Instagram decelerates, and online environments like Apple, Android, and Chrome restrict the use of digital identifiers, the size of audiences pools on these platforms are being greatly outpaced by the number of brands competing for their attention. In other words, demand is greater than supply, and so costs are going up.

What to Look for in a New Customer Acquisition Channel

Look for the following as you embark on your search for the right customer acquisition channels:

An incremental environment

“Incrementality in marketing allows you to see which audiences should be served which ads and on what platforms,” says You don’t want to pay for the same audiences in the same environment more than it is effective. Sounds simple, but it can be harder than you think. Even across the “open web,” the ten largest web publishers capture half of all advertising spend.

The ability to connect your first-party data

It’s essential to market in channels where you can model, optimize, and target specific audiences using the data from your website, CRM, and points of sale. Not only does this data help improve the relevance and performance of your acquisition program, it is also the cleanest, most accurate way to identify audiences. That will only grow in importance as digital identifiers like third-party cookies continue to disappear.

A balance of both scale and control

It doesn’t matter how differentiated a marketing channel or platform is if the audience isn’t there. You need an audience large enough for your program to drive repeatable outcomes over time, even if you’re using certain frequency controls or suppressing specific audiences. Ideally, you want a channel to have a high percentage of your target audience while still being large enough to experiment and expand into new markets as needed.

Real-time optimization and measurement

Ultimately, maintaining a strong customer acquisition strategy is a game of efficiency. As long as you’re getting back more value than you’re investing, you’re doing a-ok. So whether you’re goal is email signups or first-purchases, the ability to optimize towards those goals and measure performance reliably in real-time is critical.

What Makes Programmatic Direct Mail an Ideal Customer Acquisition Channel?

Programmatic Direct Mail offers many advantages for marketers seeking to acquire new customers.

Home is where purchase decisions are made

A study conducted in 2019 revealed that most major purchase decisions are pre-planned and made at home with other members of the household. Since then, the home has only grown in importance. As one of the only ways to engage consumers at home that is both performance-driven and doesn’t rely on a screen, Programmatic Direct Mail provides you with a greater opportunity as a brand to stand out and hit your acquisition goals.

Programmatic Direct Mail is cost stable

Programmatic Direct Mail has more stable pricing that its digital-only counterparts, which are subject to massive CPM swings due to everything from seasonality to privacy regulations. Postage costs, on the other hand, only change about once or twice a year and are regulated by a federal oversight agency. It’s also worth mentioning that this kind of physical media has a longer shelf life that digital impression, which presents the opportunity to influence decisions during more extended consideration periods.

Programmatic Direct Mail is performance-driven

With Programmatic Direct Mail, you can use performance-driven “online” strategies based on your data and your goals to engage consumers in the “offline” environment of the home. That means you can effectively:

  • Model Prospecting Audiences: Model audiences of net-new prospects based on a seed audience and real-time behavioral data from your website.
  • Retarget Website Visitors: Re-engage in-market prospects actively browsing your website based on conversion potential, not just trigger events.
  • Customer suppression: Increase efficiency by suppressing existing customers from being included in prospecting campaigns on a 1:1 basis.
  • Measurement: Track conversions and purchases reliably across all points of sale and apply those learnings to future acquisition programs.

How Ergatta Beat Their Acquisition Goal with Programmatic Direct Mail and PebblePost

Ergatta, a game-based rowing machine company, knows the importance of diversifying their customer acquisition channels – and also how difficult it can be.

“We’ve looked for channels that give us the opportunity to have moments with consumers and have been experiencing a lot of success with Programmatic Direct Mail and streaming TV,” explained Randi Charles, VP of Marketing at Ergatta during a fireside chat at CommerceNext. “We also look for channels that afford flexibility.”

“The great thing about Programmatic Direct Mail is it provides that flexibility,” she continued. “I can test different messages, get results quickly, and try again to have that moment with consumers. So, when you find channels that check those boxes that’s where you really hit the sweet spot.”

With PebblePost’s Acquisition Solutions, the company was able to make the “home” environment a part of its omnichannel acquisition strategy, 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%.

“PebblePost understands acquisition and retargeting. They are able to offer precision and targeting, which offline channels simply cannot. Their commitment to measurability and their thorough causal lift analysis validated the value they add to our acquisition program. I will personally continue to recommend PebblePost to fellow marketers,” Randi Charles, VP of Marketing at Ergatta said.

Want to take Randi’s recommendation to heart? Visit our Acquisition Solution page to learn more.

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