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Direct Mail Triggers for Retail & How to Match It to the Right Format
Direct Mail
February 28, 2023

Direct Mail Triggers for Retail & How to Match It to the Right Format

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Fortunately, modern marketing isn't all manual labor like it was in the old days. Today, marketers are chomping at the bit to automate as much as they can. This need for automation tools is where the value of trigger-based marketing becomes apparent. While it's a common strategy in the digital marketing world, not every enterprise is capitalizing on direct mail triggers. Setting up multiple triggers can streamline direct mail for retail and put your direct mail marketing strategy on autopilot – and it's not as cumbersome as you'd think.

Trigger-based marketing to the rescue

Marketing triggers allow companies to target customers with specific messages when they take a particular action or pass a certain milestone. Whether it's an old customer's tenth anniversary as a subscriber or a new customer's first time on your website, you want them both to feel engaged and connected with what you offer.

What makes trigger-based marketing so powerful is that it helps you gather audience data and immediately use it. You can better personalize calls-to-action, get in touch faster, and make the content of your messages as relevant as possible. This boosts mail open rates and the likelihood that customers will choose to act. Today, personalization and relevance are the names of the game, and triggers allow you to be personal and relevant consistently and effortlessly.

Recommended reading: How To Improve Your Marketing Workflow With Direct Mail Automation

Types of triggers

What triggers you decide to use will depend on your unique brand and how people engage with you. Common examples of customer behavior triggers include:

  • First purchase — When someone becomes a customer, it's an exciting time. They are new to your offers and looking to learn more. This makes it a great time to reach out with a mailer that helps them get acquainted with your brand.
  • Website visit — When visitors check out your website, it's an excellent opportunity to reach out, express appreciation, and invite them to explore a special offer.
  • Items in shopping cart — It's all too common for customers to leave items in digital shopping carts. Giving them a nudge and a quick reminder can help them follow through on the checkout process.
  • Subscription renewal — Subscriptions are vital for long-term customer retention. Most customers will need a reminder when it's time to renew.
  • Personal event - A great way to stay in contact with your customers is to respond to special events in their life. Birthdays are one of the most common reasons brands reach out to individuals with a thoughtful piece of mail.

Again, this is all about what makes sense for each retailer. You might set up triggers after a customer downloads a product or app or even when the season changes. Once you know when you want to contact a specific customer segment, the next step is choosing the right format.

Recommended reading: How To Use Marketing Automation Triggers To Send Direct Mail

Matching triggers to formats

One of the biggest challenges in modern marketing is the sheer amount of options. With so many ways to set up direct mail for retail, how do you know what's suitable for your brand? When it comes to direct mail, you'll want to look at the relationship between customer behavior triggers and mailer formats.

Direct mail for retail formats includes:

  • Postcards
  • Catalogs & magazines
  • Letters & envelopes
  • Brochures

Pairing the right trigger and mailer is both a science and an art. Brands need to know their unique audience and what they have responded to in the past. This also means considering sub-demographics within your audience and how to get creative when reaching out. But it's also about looking at big-picture trends. Fortunately, there's plenty of data about direct mail for retail that you can use to round out your strategy.

In Lob's 2022 State of Direct Mail Report, consumers stated that catalogs and magazines were the best direct mail formats for retail. They were just as likely to read offers for new products as they were products they already owned. But age factored in, too. According to the report, "Respondents 18-34 are significantly more likely to prefer to receive letters and envelopes than those 35+, while those 35-54 are more likely to be interested in postcards than their older or younger counterparts."

The idea that consumers hate receiving mail is a myth–What they really hate is spam. Consumers have reported that they are happy to receive mail from brands they know and even reputable brands they don't know. When your direct mail marketing hits the right audience with the right offer, the results are phenomenal.

Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer's Guide to Personalization

Light a fire under your direct mail ROI

All it takes is the right spark to take your direct mail marketing to the next level. We believe Lob is that spark, offering direct mail automation at scale so you can:

  • Delight your audience
  • Strengthen customer retention
  • Streamline the mailing process
  • Raise ROI with a direct mail strategy that compliments your digital marketing efforts

With address verification, custom templates, and direct mail tracking, you'll reduce waste and save time, money, and effort. The sky's the limit. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how direct mail automation can revolutionize your business.

Statistic from State of Direct Mail: 87% in eCommerce agree direct mail shows best ROI

Find out how marketers in the retail and eCommerce segment are using direct mail to drive ROI by downloading your copy of the 2023 State of Direct Mail!

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