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Better Targeting Using Direct Mail & Digital


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Better Targeting Using Direct Mail & Digital," focuses on how brands can use direct mail marketing to improve engagement, increase response rates, and retarget consumers based on their initial responses.  When tied to social media marketing, programmatic ad campaigns, and automated email response-based campaigns, digital and direct mail together are more effective.  Targeting and retargeting using direct mail is also commonly referred to as automated direct mail.  The automated direct mail process includes variable digital printing, or the newer term, variable data printing, a digital application.  Most marketers and brands are familiar with both email and direct mail marketing.  With today's latest technology, both platforms can interact with each other.  Automated response-based emails can initiate bounce-back emails that provide timely information, which can be instrumental in generating follow-up responses for consumers and prospects with incentives such as opt-in-offers and other calls to action.  Thanks to digital technology, marketers can also automate direct mail print campaigns.  Marketers can use these campaigns to retarget prospects and customers based on email and programmatic campaigns. 

Quote of the Day: "Marketing Automation has played a key role in shaping the success of modern day marketers. We are on a mission to improve marketing automation, one workflow at a time."
– Sourabh Mathur

Identifying Digital Behavior Triggers

Marketing 101 teaches us that superior marketing outcomes lie within delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. This type of marketing is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination.  Yet, many fail to market on that premise.  However, when an organization fails to understand consumers' digital behaviors, direct mail retargeting is akin to shooting an arrow in the dark.  Some will hit the targets; most will not. 

Capturing digital behaviors allows for automated, seamlessly triggered, personalized direct mail targeting or retargeting.   When the correct digital behaviors are in place, direct mail is as easy to send as email communications.  Moreover, when a brand leverages programmatic technology, every piece of mail can be sent and delivered while the prospect or customer is in consideration mode for a product or service.  

According to the USPS, when brands opt to leverage programmatic technology, they can experience conversion rates as high as 40%. Depending on the budget, one may want to consider investing in a mail service/solutions provider to handle fulfillment, shipping, and tracking automated direct mail campaigns.  An integrated business solutions provider can be a game-changer, extending expertise, resources, and support.  There are four marketing stages to be cognizant of when creating a cost-efficient and effective direct mail targeting or retargeting campaign. The stages include prospect awareness, recipient consideration, completing the purchase, and the loyalty aspect.

Prospect Awareness

A typical trigger for the prospect awareness marketing stage involves a user browsing an e-commerce site, or any other website, without making a purchase or leaving a donation.  Programmatic technology, which is the backbone that supports automated mail efforts, can capture various behaviors that trigger retargeting.  You can retarget online browsing behaviors on any page, including but not limited to the homepage, category-level pages, or product description pages.   To lift conversion rates, brands should create specific engaging messages based on a user's activity.  A straightforward tactic involves sending a simple postcard mailpiece that highlights trends or sale items for a particular category that the customer or prospect examined during their most recent online visit.

When we are in a political season, it is incumbent upon political candidates, activists, and party-affiliated super PACs to understand the gravity of the times we are facing.  The era of "Fake News" generates high degrees of skepticism.  With so much false or misleading information currently ongoing during the Biden Administration, everyone, but especially marketers must understand that fake news continues to be widespread; therefore, people continue to grapple with trust.

In this example, political campaigns must connect with voters on a much deeper, trustworthy level.  Moreover, political campaigning is abundant across digital channels; consequently, the campaign message must reach voters at the right time, with the right channel, with the right message, via the most credible digital media.  The current voter stats as of September 2020 reveal a 20% drop in television viewers who have cut the traditional television cord and who now prefer digital devices for their communication updates.  Brands that are prospect aware will have taken the initial steps to develop an effective direct mail targeting/retargeting campaign for these voters.

Recipient Consideration 

Recipient consideration targets tend to demonstrate divergent behavior during this stage.  Identifying triggers can range from repeat visits to the same product pages or registering for a retailer email list.  To drive improved conversion rates in this scenario, you could send a direct mail piece that focuses on the specific brand of interest with a particular offer that incentivizes first-time prospects to complete a purchase.  This effort would require compiling those digital website visits and adding them to a CRM system that collects the data.

Completing the Purchase 

The abandoned shopping cart is a meaningful trigger for purchase behavior within this marketing stage.  Abandoned carts mean the loss of revenue; in fact, upwards of 4 trillion dollars of merchandise remains in abandoned digital shopping carts per annum.  Creating mail collateral for abandoned cart prospects should focus on reminding these prospects of the value they have abandoned.  One way to incentivize carts that have been abandoned is to increase the message value by offering the prospect a discount or reward on their next purchase. 

The Loyalty Aspect 

The Pareto principle states that 20% of loyal customers generate 80% of sales.  For the record, that loyalty equation holds today.  This principle elevates the importance of targeting loyal customers.  As an example, AT&T is currently running a new customer/customer loyalty deal that provides the same discount for newbies and long-time loyalists.  A loyalty-based mailer can bolster sales and deliver a long-term impact on the bottom line.  Retargeting for the loyalty marketing phase is reasonably straightforward.

Whenever a customer completes a purchase, use direct mail collateral to up-sell other products that complement the initial purchase, or impart information about the brand's benefits or loyalty program, if a loyalty program is in place.  

Let's suppose that the brand is marketing a loyalty program.  In this case, it is critical to describe the advantages of joining and, most importantly, impart the long-term benefits, such as savings, special shopping days, charitable support, or other relevant loyalty benefits.  The pandemic continues to challenge in-person activities; therefore, marketers must exercise prudence and market to folks where they are.  A direct mail marketing initiative coupled with the consumers' most recent online activities, especially any products, solutions, and services they have shown interest in while perusing online, can be particularly effective. 

The Net-Net

The integration of digital and direct mail is possible, thanks to programmatic technology and personalized print messaging via variable digital printing.  When the correct marketing, targeting, and retargeting strategies are in place, combined with the right triggers that compliment the right message, organizations of various sizes can successfully target and convert prospects into paying customers.  Through ongoing marketing, brands can nurture and develop those customers to consider other products and services the organization may offer.  Thanks for reading "Better Targeting Using Direct Mail & Digital!"

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you. 

For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions:

  • Data Management

  • Variable Digital Printing 

  • Digital Scanning Services
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  • LetterShop and Fulfillment

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  • Secure Data Life Cycle Management

If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the Contact Form for Dove Direct.

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