The more you automate, the more you achieve. That’s why marketing leaders are on board with automated direct mail. In fact, the practice expects to grow by more than 30% in the next year, according to research.


As its name suggests, marketing automation software helps automate repetitive marketing actions, like sending emails, posting to social media, and other website behaviors. The technology of marketing automation allows these tasks to happen according to a planned schedule—automatically.


So what does this have to do with direct mail? And how can you use it to set yourself apart from your competition? That’s what we’re about to find out. Here’s how to use marketing automation to help your direct mail campaigns stand out.


Automated Direct Mail Campaigns


marketing automationDirect mail campaigns receive 5x as much engagement when they’re triggered by a recipient’s own actions. That’s why smart marketers want to automate their direct mailings whenever possible. They can reach the right customers at the right time—with the right message. Direct mail automation makes it possible.


Here are a few examples of automated direct mail campaigns.


Direct Mail for Customer Reactivation


For those customers who haven’t purchased anything from you in a while, you can send them a friendly greeting to let them know you miss them. Their inactivity triggers the direct mail piece when you determine it’s appropriate. It helps to include an incentive, like a discount or a reward for purchasing again.


Naturebox, a healthy, custom snack box subscription service, issued a personalized direct mail postcard for some of their lapsed customers. Naturebox’s email opens and click-throughs were moving in the wrong direction, so they turned to direct mail for a boost. With a goal of increasing repeat orders, the direct mail campaign announced loyalty rewards balances. It included a trackable promotional code for an additional $10 off. The result? About 50,000 customers received the postcard. Naturebox enjoyed almost 60% more net revenue among those customers, as opposed to the customers that didn’t receive the postcard. During the six-week campaign period, the postcard mailing had a redemption rate of nearly 9%.


How to Stand Out: Send personalized, targeted direct mail campaigns at precise times using variable data printing (VDP). Almost 85% of consumers said they’d open personalized mail over non-personalized mail. After all, personalization creates a bond with your customers. Naturebox found success with it, then decided to use its distributed marketing automation method as a year-round customer retention strategy. You can, too. Personalize your mailings and base them on event triggers—like 30-, 60-, or 90-day lapses. Then reward your customers for reactivating their accounts.


Direct Mail Marketing Automation for Digital Nonresponders


direct mail marketing automationIf you’re not getting any response from your email marketing campaigns, consider direct mail to pull those stubborn customers out of their temporary doldrums. These types of automated direct mail campaigns are triggered by a specific period of non-responsiveness. When your emails go unopened or you don’t receive a response after a certain number of mailings, take action.


To track your results, provide each customer with their own unique pURL or promo code.


Fresh City is a Boston catering service that became disappointed with their email marketing results, specifically with those customers who weren’t responding at all. If customers didn’t respond to three consecutive emails, they received a direct mail postcard. Fresh City tracked redemptions with a pURL and the result was an ROI over 113% (based on those customers that visited the pURL within 30 days and filled out the online order form).


How to Stand Out: If customers aren’t responding to your emails, maybe it’s because you’re using the wrong channel to speak to them. Determine how much time you want to elapse without a response to your emails before triggering a direct mail piece. Then include a personalized URL to track your results. For the record, a promo code will work, but not quite as well. The DMA reports that pURLS garner the best response rates (61%) while coupon codes pick up 42%.


Direct Mail Thank-You Notes


After a customer makes a purchase, trigger a printed thank-you note to let them know how much you appreciate their business. A handwritten thank-you note is a great way to create a personal connection with a customer. It stands out amidst a seemingly endless barrage of emails and text messages. It creates a human connection and it very well could create a customer for life.


Research shows that 84% of people prefer an in-person thank you. When that’s not possible (and for most businesses it isn’t), the next best thing is a direct, personalized thank you in the form of a handwritten note. A Forbes article outlined the power of a handwritten message to customers, stating how effective it was at conveying emotions that run the gamut from congratulatory to sympathetic. The problems arise when the notes become a chore—and lacks spirit. After all, who has the time to handwrite thank-you notes every day?


Direct Mail Scheduled Reminders


marketing automationWhen you want to remind your customers of an upcoming event or appointment, automated direct mail campaigns based on scheduled dates can drive positive results. Select a reasonable amount of time leading into the targeted date. Then schedule a campaign that speaks to your recipients’ pending appointment or event. This will guard against forgotten dates and no-shows.


Let’s say you’re a veterinarian and you want to send a customer a reminder that it’s time for Rover’s checkup. You can set the date that will trigger a postcard to make that appointment with your office. Additionally, by using a personalization technique, you can send different reminders to dog and cat owners. The dog owner gets the mailing with a picture of a dog on it (plus your dog’s name), and the cat owner gets the mailer with a picture of a cat on it (with the cat’s name). It may seem like a small gesture, but studies show that personalized direct mail leads to increased response rates.


How to Stand Out: The visuals in your direct mail campaign not only set the tone for the content, they also draw the recipients into your message. Research proves that images are the best way to create that kind of engagement. Why? Your brain processes pictures much faster than words. Half the human brain commits to visual activity. So use relevant images and personalize your automated direct mail campaigns for the best results.


Stand Out with Automated Direct Mail Campaigns


Automating your direct mail marketing campaigns is standard practice for smart marketers. By eliminating repetitive marketing actions, you can speed up your time to market and stand out from your competitors. Use marketing automation for customer reactivation, digital nonresponders, handwritten thank-you notes, scheduled reminders, and more.


MSP is a national leader in direct mail management. To learn how our extensive knowledge, expertise, and technology can work for you, contact an MSP representative and let’s get started.

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