Lob's website experience is not optimized for Internet Explorer.
Please choose another browser.

Tutorials
March 15, 2022

10 Things To Look For in a Direct Mail Service

by 
Kim Courvoisier

In the midst of an ever-changing global business landscape, as marketers, we are always seeking ways to stay ahead of the game. One way we've done so is by shifting from a traditional to a modern approach to direct mail marketing. Direct mail is a crucial part of omnichannel marketing strategy. The 2022 State of Direct Mail found 67% of marketers agree that direct mail has the best ROI of any channels they use.

When it comes to customer acquisition and retention, direct mail has proven to be a driver of bottom-line impact. Unprecedented results in revenue, customer lifetime value (CLTV), and ROI are attainable. Today, over half of all marketers use software to execute direct marketing campaigns. Finding the right platform can be a challenge, but we've compiled a list of 10 things to look for in an automated direct mail platform.

1. Easy design and production

The automated direct mail platform you use should be able to easily handle the entire process from design to delivery. Look for a direct mail platform that includes design templates and a streamlined workflow. By simplifying the production process, companies have realized an 85% cost savings and are able to get campaigns out the door in a week, not months.

2. 100% personalization and customization

Personalization is a powerful aspect of direct mail marketing because it can significantly boost your business's profitability. Personalization is proven to increase response and conversion rates. Consider these stats:

The service you choose must offer 100% customizability so that you can personalize each mailpiece based on customer data from your CRM or marketing automation platform. Consumers expect personalized experiences and you need to be able to deliver them.

3. Address verification

The success of your direct mail marketing campaign is tied to your mailpieces being received. The quality of your address database is essential. Your direct mail service should offer the ability to verify user-submitted addresses automatically. Then, you can make corrections and ensure each mailpiece gets delivered. Anaddress verification system can also sort out bad addresses, as well as help you segment your audience. A financial services company used Lob's address verification system, and potential mail costs were reduced by 50%.

4. Speed to market

Speed to market is very important when running direct mail campaigns, especially when integrated with other marketing channels as part of your omnichannel strategy. Your direct mail service should offer a streamlined workflow, integrations with your marketing tech stack, and be trackable every step of the way so you know where your mailpieces are in the process.  

5. Delivery tracking

It can be frustrating not knowing if your mailpiece was delivered. Rather than assume it got delivered, your direct mail service provider should offer a way to track it. Delivery tracking tells you everything from when a campaign was mailed to when it was delivered, including which individuals did or didn't receive mail. Using this insight, you can plan for customer service, follow-ups, etc.

6. Integrations

The purpose of integration is to improve workflows and processes. Off-the-shelf integrations should work seamlessly with eCommerce, CRM, marketing automation, and other platforms in your technology stack. This allows you to automate the printing and sending of direct mail into a fast, efficient workflow and one that enables you to do trigger-based direct mail campaigns.

7. Triggered direct mail

Using automated triggers in your direct mail marketing programs is an effective approach to maximizing conversions. Depending on the nature of events that occur during a customer’s lifecycle, you can use triggers to move quickly on unique opportunities to engage them. An automated direct mail platform makes it easy to send direct mail based on triggers based on individual customer actions (e.g., contacted a sales rep, bought a product, left an item in their shopping cart, etc.)

8. Printer network

It's to your advantage to select a direct mail provider that partners with a nationwide network of printers. Having a network of printers enables your campaigns to be printed in the most efficient manner possible, eliminating delays, risk, and downtime you may encounter working with a solo printer.

9. Analytics

An important part of marketing includes tracking and measuring campaigns. If you send a mailpiece, you need to know whether your campaign was effective or not. Your direct mail platform should include features for return on investment (ROI) attribution, with metrics that show the impact of each mailpiece. Using this information, you can adjust your strategies to improve your results. Companies measure conversion rates from direct mail using various methods:

  • 52% individual customer activity within a specific time period
  • 48% personalized URLs (PURLs)
  • 45% QR codes

10. Sustainability

Many companies have goals and requirements around sustainability. Choose a direct mail platform that helps you send direct mail in an environmentally responsible way. This can include carbon neutral offerings, use of paper stock that contains at least 10% post-consumer waste (PCW) pulp fiber for all letter and postcard mailings,  Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified stock paper, and reforestation efforts.

Why choose an automated direct mail platform?

Lob has helped tens of thousands of businesses — many top brand names you'll recognize — automate their direct mail efforts.

Direct mail marketing is a highly effective method to reach consumers. While mail works well on its own, you'll reap the most benefits when it's combined with other channels and customer interactions. Here's why ...

Direct mail alone:

  • 13x higher base response rate than email

Direct mail combined:

  • 6% response rate for direct mail alone
  • 18% response rate along with a previous purchase
  • 27% response rate along with email

Savvy marketers are leveraging automation and personalization to integrate direct marketing with digital campaigns. In turn, they enhance their omnichannel marketing strategies and improve the results of their efforts.

We can help you increase your ROI potential by 300% with automated technology. We cater to businesses in the retail/e-commerce, financial services, insurance, and healthcare fields, from startups to Fortune 500s. We even partner with a national network of printers and vendors to support eco-friendly business practices. So, schedule a demo to see just how to track direct mail using Lob.

Don't send it. Lob it.

This blog provides general information and discussion about direct mail marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

Continue Reading