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February 1, 2022

5 Personalized Direct Mail Examples to Inspire Your Marketing Campaigns

by 
Guest Author

As a marketer, you know personalized communication is important. But do you know just how much it matters to customers?

A late 2021 McKinsey study found that 76% of customers get “frustrated” when companies fail to deliver personalized interactions. Businesses that excel at personalization, the same study finds, generate 40% more revenue than competitors who don’t personalize as customers expect.

To offer the personalized experiences customers want, tailor content for all of your channels — especially direct mail. Thanks to automation, you can now easily and affordably personalize multiple mailer elements, including:

  • Images
  • Text
  • QR codes
  • Personalized URLs
  • Referral or promo codes

If you’re wondering how to tailor these elements, we’ve got your back. Check out these five examples of personalized direct mail marketing to see how brands are customizing it for their target audience.

Generate better leads with personalized images

77% of USPS customers who check their mail daily sort through it immediately. Your postcard has a much better shot of grabbing someone’s attention if it features a personalized image. For example, Expedia might send a postcard with an image of the Eiffel Tower to a customer who’s recently traveled to France.

Add a personal touch to your direct mail by including visuals curated just for your recipient. Inside Real Estate (IRE) uses hyper-personalized images to connect with prospective home sellers. These sellers first fill out an online form, and IRE automatically follows up with a text and a postcard.

Inside Real Estate - Personalization.jpeg

The postcard doesn’t just contain a random image of a home in the seller’s zip code; it contains a Google Street View of the seller’s house with its estimated sales price. It also conveniently includes an agent’s contact information. This direct mail personalization lifted IRE’s postcard response rates fivefold over industry standards. The back view of this postcard is a sample and does not reflect the recipient, nor the realtor's name.

Supercharge gratitude with automated thank-you letters

There's a reason you get a holiday postcard from your dentist every year. When brands thank customers for their business, customers are more likely to feel connected to them. And that connection pays off. When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand, and 76% will choose them over a competitor.

A direct mail automation platform can help with personalized thank you note templates and address verification, so you don’t waste your marketing spend.

The Travis Manion Foundation, a national veterans service organization, used Lob’s Address Verification API to ensure personalized thank-you letters to donors arrived without incident. Better yet, our integration with Travis Manion’s CRM meant that welcome letters could go out the day a new customer placed an order.

Travis Manion not only improved the customer experience with this automated personalized mail—but they also reduced their costs by 50%.

Save time with QR codes

Now that nearly everyone has a smartphone, quick response (QR) codes are an excellent tactic to personalize direct mail. Place a code on your mailer that leads each recipient to content curated just for them. For example, you can create different codes for “Mike” and “Mary” that send each to their own landing pages with personalized greetings, products, and/or offers.

You’ll likely see engagement with your direct mail since people seem to like QR codes. Consumers have embraced them because a scan saves them time typing the URL into their mobile web browsers. According to a September 2020 survey of U.S. and UK customers, 31.98% of those surveyed had scanned a QR code within the last week.

Cruise operator Carnival segmented their loyal customers and used direct mail QR codes to offer them a $200 credit.

Carnival Cruise QR Code.jpg

The QR code also made it possible for Carnival to track the ROI of this particular direct mail campaign. The company can track how many scans and bookings came from the QR code’s unique URL and compare the number of conversions to the total recipient amount to see if the campaign was worthwhile.

Use referral codes to acquire new customers

Up to 40% of leads come from word-of-mouth marketing. So if your customers are genuinely happy with you—and you offer them something in return—they’ll likely take advantage of your referral program.

Make it easy for customers to send referrals your way with personalized mailers. Put a unique referral ID for the recipient on your direct mailpiece, so you can easily see if a customer sends someone your way and reward them. You might also add their name to the mailer to personalize it even more.

Texas-based Reliant uses direct mail to encourage customers to share a personalized referral code with friends. If the friend signs up, both the new and referring customers get statement credits.

Reliant Referral Program.jpg

With a direct mailpiece, your friend can clip the ID to their refrigerator as a reminder. Your friend can then hand it to one of their friends, and so on.

Like QR codes, referral IDs can help you track the success of your campaign and open up additional direct mail marketing possibilities. Similar to Travis Manion, what if each referral ID redemption triggered a personalized thank-you letter from Reliant to the referring customer?

Vary multiple elements in your personalized marketing campaign

If you’re reading this post and thinking, “I want to use all of these personalization tactics,” we’ve got good news for you—your direct mail doesn’t need to be personalized in just one way. You can tailor multiple elements in a single mailer.

When resale fashion site thredUP approached us about using direct mail to encourage repeat purchases, it wasn’t enough to personalize a single element of a postcard. They wanted to personalize multiple elements and had enough customer data to do it. If personalizing one element improved customer engagement, they reasoned, then personalizing multiple elements would improve it even more.

Lob’s direct mail platform integrated seamlessly with thredUP’s e-commerce software, so the brand could easily populate product suggestions, images, and discount expiration dates into mailers. thredUP could now automatically personalize each postcard based on the customer’s purchase history without creating multiple card designs.

The result? thredUP saw a 15% increase in repeat purchases after implementing our automated direct mail solution.

Make direct mail a part of your personalized marketing strategy

These examples probably leave you jazzed about sending direct mail, but you might wonder, “how am I supposed to curate so many mailers?” We get it—the process seems daunting when considering your entire customer list.

Luckily, you can use a direct mail automation platform like Lob to handle the personalization process. Using API technology, Lob can easily pull relevant customer data from your CRM or e-commerce platform and auto-populate your mailers.

Schedule a demo with Lob today to see how we can help inspire your marketing campaigns.

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.

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