Recent statistics show just how well direct mail marketing works. The DMA Response Rate Report shows that over 5% of U.S. households respond to direct mail. Plus the ROI is high—almost 30%. These are impressive numbers, but direct mail works even better when you use direct mail tools and apply direct mail marketing automation. In fact, a direct mailing receives 5x as much engagement when it’s triggered by a recipient’s own actions. Here are six automation features to help you reach the right customers with the right message at the right time.


1. Detailed Targeting


direct mail tools target marketingLet’s talk about the right customers, aka your target audience. These are your people—those consumers who not only want your product or service, they need it to help solve their problems. With the proper direct mail marketing tools, you can create customized materials to reach them with the right message at the right time.


Variable Data Printing + Personalization


Variable data printing (VDP) allows you to change one aspect of your direct mail piece without disrupting the printing process. That means you could change the text, color, or graphics from one printed piece to the next. This allows you to print as many personalized, targeted direct mail pieces as necessary in a single run. Maybe it’s hundreds, maybe it’s millions. The process remains the same.


Retailers and customers agree that personalization matters. Most retailers believe that personalization has an influence on what their customers buy. Meanwhile, approximately 90% of shoppers say they’re more likely to buy something if they’re under the influence of personalized marketing.


VDP, in it’s most basic form, is printing a different address on each mail piece. But you could also personalize with the recipient’s name or a custom image, to name a couple possibilities.


Don’t feel that VDP limits you to one instance of personalization per mail piece, though. Maybe you’re running a campaign where you want to highlight the local branch of a business and include the customer’s name on the mailing. You can accomplish that and speak directly to that customer with both examples.


You can also use VDP based on a customer’s actions. Let’s say you want to thank your customers for a purchase. Using VDP, you could trigger a personalized, handwritten thank-you note for each sale. You could also add a personal touch to any type of written correspondence with them, such as invoices and letters. If a customer has been inactive for a certain amount of time, you could trigger a direct mailing after two months elapses (or whatever time frame you choose).


Make Your Customers Feel Special with a Personalized URL


What if you included a personalized URL, aka pURL, for each recipient? When direct mail companies offer customers their own trackable URL, they’re getting an interactive, personalized experience. In turn, you can collect valuable information from your customers and track their responses in real time. Then you can use email alerts to quickly follow up with those who show an interest in your product or service. One study at Idaho’s Albertson College revealed that response rates rose almost 17% when a pURL was added to a direct mail recruiting campaign.


2. Scalable Systems


scalable direct mail marketing automationAs your business grows, it’s good to know your direct mail tools will grow with it. Your marketing resource management software shouldn’t require additional apps or tools to meet the needs of your growing business. Everything should be provided as an all-in-one resource with breathing room for your ever-changing business demands. Let’s illustrate with some examples.


If you have a thriving business, you’re likely going to add new locations and users. Your direct mail marketing tools should provide a scalable system so they’re easy to add. Then once they’re entered into your system, they can develop their own authorized marketing collateral just like any other user. The same applies to more customers. More locations and users are undoubtedly going to provide more customers. As the number of your contacts grows, your workload will (thankfully) not grow with it. Thus you can create a brand marketing campaign around automated events, like direct mail, email, text messages, social media, etc.


3. Custom Marketing Templates


If you have a consistent brand, you can increase your revenue by almost 25%. Direct mail marketing tools with custom templates can help. Your end users will appreciate that they have more control while your brand stays consistent across your entire organization, no matter how many locations you have. Let’s apply it to a real-world situation to see how it looks.


Imagine you’re rolling out a new marketing campaign. One piece of collateral is a direct mailer that allows for some local customization, like space for a map with the street address or room to highlight a product with a particularly local appeal. You can control every element of the direct mail piece, while giving distributed marketers the freedom to change only certain aspects. This type of direct mail marketing automation saves time and money, and keeps your brand consistent.


4. Cross-Media Marketing


cross-media marketingYou can combine your direct mail and other print communications with your digital marketing for the ultimate, streamlined cross-media marketing mix. There’s no need to use direct mail by itself. In fact, you’ll likely experience better results if you combine it with digital marketing. About 50% of multichannel marketers say they usually reach their financial goals with a cross-media marketing plan.


Multichannel Marketing


Multichannel marketing involves a combination of direct and indirect communication channels. For example, you could use your business’s website, retail location, mail-order catalog, direct mailings, email, etc. in tandem to achieve your marketing goals. You might send an email to your mailing list telling them to weatch for a direct mail piece arriving in their physical mailbox soon. An integrated approach like this is especially effective when you keep the customer experience consistent throughout the process. That means the images and tone are in sync with one another.


Omnichannel Marketing


Omnichannel marketing is multichannel marketing on steroids. All of your direct and indirect channels are working together in unison. This gives your customer the best of all worlds. Meanwhile, omnichannel marketing gives your bottom line a boost. Companies with a powerful omnichannel plan enjoy a year-over-year annual revenue increase of almost 10%. Here’s an example.


Franchise Retailer


Imagine you’re browsing through a national retail chain’s app. You find an item you’re interested in and add it to your shopping cart. For whatever reason, you’re not ready to make the purchase so you move on with your day. At a later time, you walk into your local store of that same franchise. That’s when you receive a notice on your phone letting you know the item you left in your shopping cart is in stock at that very store. That prompts you to buy the item. A couple weeks later, you receive a printed catalog in the mail from that retailer. Inside, it offers a discount on items related to the one you bought. Now that’s a full omnichannel marketing experience at work.


5. CRM Integration


direct mail managementYour direct mail tools should ensure clean data input and clear, measurable results for every campaign. Customer relationship management (CRM) integration allows various departments in one organization to better understand their customers. That way, the marketing department, customer service personnel, sales reps, and any other departments know how their customers interact with their business via the data that’s available.


CRM integration produces a single customer view that allows a business to deliver the right products and services to their customers. Take the customer journey as an example. A customer might have incoming data from various sources, like Salesforce, SAP, Facebook, and a point-of-sale (POS) system. CRM integration brings all this information together to form a singular view of each customer.


Did you know that MSP’s infrastructure is built around data hygiene and list management features? This ensures clean data input and clear, measurable results for every campaign? It’s one of the many direct mail marketing tools we offer to help your business succeed. Contact us for a free consultation.


6. Detailed Reporting and Tracking


direct mail marketing toolsWhen you measure the results of your direct mail marketing campaign, you’ll know if it was successful. Your direct mail marketing tools should be able to help you connect the dots between your direct mail campaigns and revenue for your organization. That way, if something isn’t working correctly, you can make the necessary adjustments before your next mailing. It helps when you can create simple, yet extremely detailed reports that are easy to analyze and share.


Marketing reports should hone in on the things that matter most to you. That might be user-engagement figures, or e-commerce sales totals, or any number of other criteria. When you have detailed reporting and tracking capabilities, you’ll understand the story your data is telling you. As a result, the more you learn from your reports, the better you’ll be able to use that information to make your next marketing campaign better than the last.


Manage Your Direct Mail Campaigns with Direct Mail Panorama


Direct Mail Panorama is a new, cutting-edge software solution created by BlueSky ETO to help make your direct mail marketing campaigns more manageable. This game-changing program streamlines your direct mail management efforts, boosts your campaign’s time to market, and reveals important production insights.


Direct Mail Lookup


When your customer support staff takes calls about your direct mail campaigns, they can find each piece of mail and see when it was delivered. A detailed production dashboard allows them to locate a digitized version based on a variety of search criteria. Then you can download a report to figure out what you spent per piece.


Simplified Editing and Approvals


An automated proofing system? It’s true. This feature gives you an official workflow that detects changes and sends only relevant proofs directly to those authorized users that need to know. It increases both transparency and accountability. It’s a faster, simpler way to do direct mail management.


Detailed Reporting


You can track and analyze every step of the direct mail process—from production to delivery to engagement. This sets you up for improved campaigns and increased ROI.


Learn more about Direct Mail Panorama.


Get Started With Direct Mail Tools


MSP uses the latest direct mail marketing automation technology to give you the direct mail marketing tools you need for a successful campaign, regardless of size. Automated data processing saves time and improves your speed to market while integrating with your digital marketing strategy. Contact an MSP representative today and to learn more about how our direct mail tools can help your business.

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