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August 16, 2016

8 Integration Ideas to Supercharge Your Direct Mail Strategy

If you're running a direct mail marketing campaign, your to-do list is probably never-ending. You need an entire ecosystem to manage your marketing. We've put together some integration ideas to help you get from campaign idea to execution, faster.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through a list of 7 integrations that direct mail marketers are using to save time, scale their campaigns, and make more strategic optimizations.

Revising the basics

Before jumping into this list of integration ideas, let’s take a quick breather to make sure we’re aligned, technically. If you have a strong technical foundation already, feel free to skip this section. Here are some foundational concepts that you’ll want to keep in mind before reading further.

  • Software integrations are based on application program interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to connect a software solution with one or multiple pieces of software.
  • Digital marketers use integrations on a regular basis to run A/B test, connect customer relationship management (CRM) systems with personalization tools, and synchronize lead generation with email deployments.
  • Some platforms are more integration-friendly than others. It’s up to each individual company and their business objectives. For instance, Lob’s APIs connect with hundreds of services, seamlessly.

If you’re looking for an in-depth refresher on APIs and integrations, check out this guide here. Otherwise, keep reading for a list of ideas to try yourself.

Use Blockspring to Send Direct Mail From Spreadsheets

Benefits:

  • Simplify the sending of postcards, letters, and checks while writing far less code
  • Make API requests directly from spreadsheets
  • Leverage existing spreadsheet models, workflows, and datasets for targeted outreach

Many marketers want to send direct mail based on customer data that they’re tracking in spreadsheets. From mailing addresses, to first and last names, dates of birth, customer lifetime value forecasts and past purchase patterns, your direct mail marketing system likely needs a quick way to retrieve information.

Lob integrates with Blockspring, which allows you to upload a sheet to Google Drive, then send an API request to Lob through it. As a result, this integration allows you to send direct mail from spreadsheets.

Using Lob and Blockspring, you can scale up your campaigns to tens of thousands of mailings without touching a single line of code.

Use Customer.io Actions to Trigger Direct Mail Based on User Behavior

Benefits:

  • Harness your application data to automate personalized marketing and transactional mailings
  • Sync up your online and offline campaigns, using data from past purchases
  • Use advanced marketing automation tools to consolidate recipient experiences across email and mail

Customer.io is a tool which allows users to send emails based on what people do (or don’t do) on a web and mobile application.

For example, you could use the Lob and Customer.io integrations to send super-targeted direct mail like a thank you note to premium customers, a postcard with an offer code to people who haven’t logged into your app in 3 weeks, or a hard copy of a payment receipt following up from an email invoice.

Test out the integration yourself, following this tutorial here.

Use Marketo’s Marketing Automation Platform to Send Direct Mail

Benefits:

  • Leverage existing leads and contacts in your Marketo database for mail-based campaigns
  • Sync up your online and offline campaigns, using data from past purchases
  • Use advanced marketing automation tools to consolidate recipient experiences across email and mail

Marketo is a marketing automation solution which handles lead nurturing, email marketing, and a number of other marketing efforts. Lob’s integration with Marketo allows you to use Marketo’s webhooks and trigger functionality to send postcards, letters, or checks through Lob.

For example, you could use the Lob and Marketo integration to send direct mail when a customer completes a certain action. When a customer spends a certain amount of money with your business, you can automatically send them a piece of direct mail offering a promotion.

Test out the integration yourself, following this tutorial here.

Populate Letters with WebMerge

Benefits:

  • Create templates, set up deliveries, and merge cloud apps to populate documents with a few clicks
  • Customize documents at scale, without needing to edit each file individually
  • Work with CSV files to edit campaign parameters quickly

Lob also has an integration with WebMerge, which is a tool you can use to populate letters with Lob. You can create a .doc, PDF, or Excel file, and WebMerge will turn it into a letter format and send it out.

With this integration, you can merge data, so if you wanted to merge in a first name tag so that every letter in your template said “Hi Shrav, or Hi Harry,” you would be able to do that with WebMerge.

Try it out yourself, following the guide here.

Integrate Anything with Zapier

Benefits:

  • Build your marketing technology stack with the exact customizations you need for your unique audience and customers
  • Tailor your direct mail program to multiple marketing systems

Zapier is Lob’s most powerful integration because it lets you connect Lob to hundreds of different services. Zapier is a connecter platform-- it connects APIs or different services together and as a result provides a lot of functionality.

Here are some of the ways our customers are integrating Lob using Zapier:

Salesforce

If you’re using Salesforce to support your CRM and prospecting process, you can use Lob to send postcards as part of nurturing campaigns. For example, imagine you added a new lead to Salesforce, you could automatically trigger Zapier so that when you add a new lead to Salesforce you can send them a postcard or a letter.

Or maybe you are using Salesforce as a billing tool you can say once an opportunity is closed it sends out an invoice triggered through Zapier that sends a check through Lob.

Podio

Podio is a CRM used to manage leads and contacts. It’s especially popular in the real estate industry. Using Lob’s integration with Zapier, you can link Podio to Lob while simplifying direct mail campaigns.

With this integration, you can send out postcards based on customer behavior in Podio. Additionally, you can send postcards based on form submission. When someone fills out a form, they’ll automatically receive a postcard in the mail.

Eventbrite

You can integrate with Lob with Eventbrite using Zapier, as well, which is another great way to integrate an online event sign up with a physical mailing.

If you have an attendee who signs up for an event, you can then automatically send them a postcard, or letter that includes their tickets. This has numerous benefits but most of all ensures the attendee gets a great experience-- on and offline.

Other Integrations with Zapier

If you use Lob and Zapier, you can consequently integrate with whatever platforms you already have. Some of the most popular integrations are:

For a complete list of integrations to try with Lob, check out this compilation here.

Ready to Get Started?

The process of researching, building, and deploying integrations can be confusing. How do you know which solutions will make the most impact for your team? Most important, how can you make sure that your marketing technology stack continues to grow with your business?

Seems like the key is to work with a trusted partner who can guide you! Lob, for instance, works with over 6,000 customers and supports many integration partners. We receive millions of API calls each month and have dedicated resources to help you with direct mail.

Get in touch with the Lob team to brainstorm potential integration ideas for your team.

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