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June 7, 2022

How to Automate Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns This Summer

by 
Stephanie Donelson

While summer doesn’t come with a few months off like it did when we were kids, it can be slower in terms of marketing and sales campaigns. Keeping consumers engaged and your brand top of mind during the dog days of summer can be a challenge. 

But, summer can also be an excellent time to integrate direct mail marketing into your omnichannel strategy as you can reach your customers at home and have your message stand out from the (digital) noise. 

In our digital world, people truly enjoy getting traditional mail. In fact, a recent Gallup poll shows that 41% of Americans look forward to checking their mailbox each day.

Additionally, most Americans aged 65 and older, and 36% of those 30 and older, have a positive reaction to their direct mail. According to the United States Postal Service’s recent report, 67% of millennials use direct mail as a trigger to go online.

Ready to integrate offline with your online marketing? Discover our best tips and tactics for summertime campaigns as well as how to automate them so you can enjoy some summer fun away from the office and have the peace of mind that your campaigns are delivering results.

Source: Who's Mailing What!

The heat is on with these summer direct mail campaign ideas

  • Summer sale: It’s a classic go-to with a variety of holidays to pair your sale with or simply run a hot promotion. As you schedule email sends and social posts, send out a postcard to customers with a QR code, unique discount code, or even a variant of the promotion landing page to see which channel drives the most sales.
  • Keep your cool: Have a nurture campaign that often has exhausted leads or a high number of unsubscribes? Stay cool and add a trigger for a piece of direct mail to arrive in their physical mailbox instead of their inbox. Imagine the Kool-Aid man kicking down the door to their mailbox to make its presence known instead of falling into the promotions tab - or worse, the junk folder. 
  • Summer program: Send out physical save the date cards or a postcard with a mini calendar or map that highlights upcoming live events, like special shopping nights, parades, farmers’ markets, wine tastings, etc., your company will be hosting or attending so they can make plans to attend too. 
  • Throw some shade at your competition: You don’t need to put down your competition in your marketing campaigns as that’s generally not a winning strategy. But you can ask your customers to leave reviews for your company on review sites, social media, or through a form on your site. 
  • A social gathering: Running a contest on social media? Send out a postcard with all the details to encourage more people to join in on the fun.
  • Virtual BBQ: Invite your customers to a virtual summer BBQ or cookout. This can easily be done with live video on your social channels or a livestream on YouTube. This would also be an excellent opportunity to partner with an influencer. 
Source: Who's Mailing What!

How to automate your direct mail

  • Work backward: As marketers, we often live weeks or months ahead of real-time as we plan campaigns in advance. By proactively working direct mail into your campaign’s tactics, you can better understand if you want it to be the first touchpoint during a campaign or if it’s the last, which will then determine when you need to send it so it hits mailboxes at the right time. With the right direct mail automation software, like Lob, you can choose a target delivery date for your mailpieces to ensure your collateral hits at the right time.
  • Set the right triggers: Based on where direct mail fits in your campaign, your next step is to set the right triggers in your marketing automation tool and/or in your direct mail solution. Your trigger could also be simply date-based too.
  • Identify your merge variables: Personalize your direct mail with merge variables, like the customer’s name or a photo of their previous purchase.
  • Add tracking: For the best results, add personalized one-to-one tracking with a personalized URL, unique coupon code, phone number, or QR code with appended UTM tracking. 
  • Set your attribution window: Even if you’re adding personalized tracking, it’s worthwhile to set an attribution window of about three to six weeks after a piece of direct mail for it to receive credit for its work. On average, a piece of direct mail has a lifespan of 17 days

Best practices when automating your direct mail campaigns

It is in your company’s best interest to integrate its direct mail campaigns with its digital marketing strategies. Your digital mail analytics gives you the hard data you need to create a successful integrated direct mail campaign to add to your overall marketing strategy. Here are some best practices to help automate your direct mail campaigns:

  • Use your digital marketing data to integrate your direct mail marketing. Your social media, email marketing, and other digital assets contain abundant analytics that can focus your direct mail campaigns where they will be the most effective, like customer acquisition and retention.
  • Personalize your direct mail marketing. The physical connection that direct mail offers can go one step further with personalization. This gives your mail piece the punch of an emotional connection that can increase your ROI. 
  • Use automation tools to maximize ROI. When you use automation tools like a SaaS app with your social media and email analytics, it becomes a powerful force for customer outreach. Automating things like address verification, personalization, and trigger-based direct mail can help you maximize ROI by reducing the time it takes to get things done and increasing productivity. 
  • Track your data. Surprise! With a SaaS automation tool for direct mail marketing, you can easily perform all the analytics that an email-based campaign delivers, making things like split-testing your direct mail campaigns and measuring your ROI not only possible but necessary.

Want to see how easy it is to add direct mail to your marketing mix? See how Marley Spoon is using direct mail to mitigate customer churn and bring them back to the table.

Lob for marketers

As a marketer, the last thing you want to do is learn a whole new system and way of managing another marketing tactic. That’s why we made Lob’s direct mail workflow match how you’re already sending email campaigns. 

Get to know Lob for marketers and see how easy it is to add direct mail to your summertime 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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