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Programmatic Direct Mail Should Be Top-of-Mind This Holiday Season— Here’s Why

Holiday season has a habit of creeping up on all of us. We’ve all participated in a last-minute dash around a store, desperately looking for gifts, food, or perhaps just our sanity. Marketers are no different.

For many sectors it’s vital to the year’s profits. According to the NRF, holiday sales in November and December have averaged about 19 percent of annual retail sales over the last five years. But as we strap in for a bumpy period of economic uncertainty, this year will be more challenging than most. You need a stable marketing channel that can provide performance, predictability, and flexibility; a channel like Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM).

With Programmatic Direct Mail, you can plan your holiday strategy in plenty of time, drive predictable performance, and leave enough wiggle room to adjust as needed.

If only everything was so easy during the holidays…

Why Choose Programmatic Direct Mail This Holiday Season?

The world of marketing is changing, and at a crucial period like the holidays—where the stakes are high, and most of us are hoping for even a few days of rest and relaxation—you need to stay up to date. Here are some reasons Programmatic Direct Mail should be in your toolkit this year:

You’re engaging customers in a truly differentiated environment – the home.

The holiday season is all about being at home with the family, and marketing should be that way too. Believe it or not, 88% of major purchase decisions are made or discussed at home. When consumers engage with Programmatic Direct Mail in their homes, they’re not distracted like they are digitally. There’s no half-watched YouTube video waiting in the background, no instant message notification drawing their attention away, and no competition with other ads on their screen. Programmatic Direct Mail helps consumers choose to engage with a physical extension of your brand on their terms and give it their undivided attention.

It’s cost stable.

Let’s be honest, it’s not easy out there. Brands have found it challenging to acquire new customers with rising digital ad prices. eMarketer reports a year-over-year increase in digital ad prices of between 20% and 40%. Why? For one, 62% of U.S digital ad spend goes to the triopoly: Google, Meta, and Amazon. With so much spend flowing through so few platforms, demand greatly outpaces supply and drives up costs. This is especially true during the holidays. PDM circumvents rising digital ad prices because it’s not subject to “holiday surges” like digital ads. Postage rates, by comparison, are far more stable, making it easier to project performance and manage budgets.

It combats digital fatigue.

Every day, we’re bombarded with digital advertising. During the holidays, it’s a veritable blizzard of pop-ups, pre-rolls, and email blasts. According to Forbes, U.S. consumers are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads daily — digital overstimulation is very real. So, in this digitally crowded moment, receiving a piece of physical media not connected to a screen can be a breath of fresh air to consumers. Can you imagine only having to digest one message at a time? It’s like a holiday miracle!

It speaks to changing consumer expectations.

Consumers’ expectations are shifting, and they are demanding more relevant and engaging experiences and tuning out everything that is not relevant. And while a great deal of research and browsing happens online, shoppers are also returning to stores. Google map searches for “shopping near me” are up 100% year-over-year, and supply chain issues are only going to send more people back to the brick-and-mortar to ensure they get their hands on the goods they want and need. PDM helps bridge that gap between online behavior and the “real world,” creating relevant experiences that can be carried into stores or even handed to a friend or family member.

It can be optimized based on performance.

Adaptability is critical during the holidays, something to which anyone who’s rushed out to replace a burned holiday meal will attest! Programmatic Direct Mail leverages optimization algorithms that are always learning and improving performance based on your goals, which helps brands quickly (and profitably!) scale in time to maximize the influx of holiday traffic. Depending on your PDM partner, you may also have access to real-time insights into how your program is performing, so you can make adjustments as needed. For instance, with PebblePost’s Performance Dashboard, you can monitor things like spend, conversion rate, cost-per-action (CPA) and return on ad spend, all while the program is running.

It’s measurable across both online and offline.

Transactions from Programmatic Direct Mail are measurable across both online and offline points of sale. With in-store sales jumping 17.3% in 2021 versus 6.2% the year before, the ability to confidently connect transactions back to specific channels and strategies is incredibly valuable – not just in understanding how this year went, but in preparing for next year.

With PDM, you can track conversions and purchases anywhere and anytime, apply those learnings to your holiday marketing in real-time, and create a baseline performance to plan against for next holiday season.

Seize the Holiday Season by Taking This Step…

We all worry about meeting our sales goals during the holiday season, but by adding Programmatic Direct Mail to your marketing mix, you can confidently plan a strategy that will make for an easy end to a rollercoaster year.

By choosing the right PDM partner, you can unlock advanced targeting and optimization features to help you capture the hearts and mind of new and returning customers and make the holidays a little easier for everyone.

Are you ready to hit your holiday goals this year? Learn more about our Acquisition Solutions and Retention Solutions.

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