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December 1, 2021

How To Integrate Your Direct Mail and Digital To Increase Customer Lifetime Value

by 
Kim Courvoisier

When you marry direct mail with digital channels, you’re set to strengthen your campaigns across the board and increase customer lifetime value. In Demand Metric’s survey of 579 marketers, 80% of those who used direct mail in a multichannel campaign said that it improved campaign performance.

Why the improvement? When you have data from direct mail campaigns, you can better target your digital initiatives (and vice versa). You can sync you direct mail platform with the rest of your digital marketing stack—from your CRM to social media channels—so you have campaign insights to personalize all of your marketing.

In this post, we'll show you how to tap into your digital marketing channels to use data more strategically to send direct mail campaigns to the right customers at the right time.

Use digital marketing data to improve direct mail targeting

Connect your CRM and ecommerce platform with your direct mail platform, and you’re ready to send relevant, targeted mailers that get first-time buyers over the line.

Say you use Shopify, Salesforce CRM, and a direct mail platform like Lob. When a customer abandons their shopping cart after entering their address, Salesforce can send that data to Lob to trigger a special offer postcard for the abandoned product.

It’s even possible to send a mailer to a prospective customer who visits your website but doesn’t give you their home address. TowerData can match cookies with addresses for 20% of the traffic that visits your website if you have the tool’s pixel on your website. Connect TowerData to your CRM and your direct mail platform, so address discoveries trigger postcards with offers.

In both cases, you can track mailers with personalized URLs on your mailers to see if the lead engaged. If a recipient visits the URL, you now have prospects who have moved from cold to warm. With that data, you’ll know that you should continue nurturing those potential customers (and you’ll know which leads aren’t worth pursuing).

Reengage new customers based on purchase data

A single purchase means you’ve acquired a customer. But to increase customer lifetime value, you need to retain that customer. While one purchase is great, Yotpo finds that 37% of consumers don’t consider themselves brand loyal until they’ve made at least five purchases.

API-powered direct mail platforms like Lob can pull customer data from your CRM, so you can reengage new customers with relevant follow-up direct mail campaigns. You might send an upsell mailer a certain number of days after the initial purchase. You can tell Lob to put an image of a related product on the mailer along with a trackable offer and send it 30 days after the first conversion.

If you’re not sure which image will drive the most engagement, target half of your intended audience with an A/B test. Segment the test audience in your CRM, send that data to your direct mail provider, and generate separate mailers for each half. You can send the mailer with the most engagement to the audience segment you didn’t test.

The online fashion consignment boutique ThredUP knows firsthand that personalized direct mail gets customers to return. The brand sent customers mailers that featured items similar to products they bought in the past, and repeat purchases increased by 20%.

Reconnect with email subscribers via direct mail

Email is a wonderful way to connect with customers—but with so many messages being sent, brands have to watch out and not overwhelm their audience. Statista estimates that 306.4 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2020. That number is expected to increase to 376.4 billion by 2025.

Direct mail can help combat email fatigue. Use mailers to reach customers who don’t respond to email messages and to stay in touch with customers who do respond to email (but don’t want their inbox overflowing).

You can easily identify these recipients if you first integrate your CRM with an email provider such as Mailchimp. Then connect your direct mail provider via an API and start sending direct mail campaigns based on customers’ email behaviors.

Direct mail can even reengage people who have unsubscribed from your email list. The intimate apparel brand ThirdLove used direct mail as part of a retention campaign to increase customer lifetime value. They decided to include a segment of their email unsubscribers.

To their surprise, the email unsubscribers had the highest response rate. And these were customers who would have dropped out of reach were it not for their CRM’s integration with Lob.

Speed up direct mail deliveries with integrations

The legacy marketing “Rule of 7” states that a customer is likely to purchase after an average of seven interactions with your brand. But considering the number of messages customers receive from brands—on social media, email, TV, direct mail, just to name a few—seven interactions may not cut it. Your messages must stand out, and they need to stand out quickly.

Thanks to Lob’s platform, direct mail can now be fine-tuned as quickly as an email. Postcards or letters can be in the mail within 48 hours of sending the relevant data to Lob from your CRM.

That fast timing is especially helpful if you want to use direct mail for a time-sensitive event, like a product release or sale, and respond to customer responses rapidly. You can use Lob to coordinate your direct mail with other channels and better predict when the mailings will arrive.

Say you announce the product via a Facebook ad and email blast, followed two days later by a direct mail piece for a multichannel conversion punch.

Increase customer lifetime value with campaigns customers want

If a customer doesn’t respond to your communication—whether that’s emails or Facebook retargeting—you’re probably not connecting in a way that they like. Direct mail gives you yet another channel to discover how customers want to interact with you. Use your campaign data to delight your customers across all of your marketing channels and encourage repeat business.

Ready for more direct mail tips? Grab our Running a Tactical Direct Mail Campaign mini guide to hit the ground running.

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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