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Sustainability
November 3, 2022

How Lob’s Carbon Neutral Campaign Reenergized Its Marketing Strategy

by 
Stephanie Donelson

We talk a lot about omnichannel marketing and best practices, but now we want to talk about how we practice what we teach. In August, we shared with the direct mail marketing world that our mail is completely carbon neutral through its lifecycle and we used an omnichannel approach to share this message.

Today, we want to look back on that marketing campaign and highlight our own learnings from it, as well as ways to test and optimize our future campaigns. 

First up, let’s look at the campaign itself.

Lob’s carbon neutral launch

The omnichannel marketing tactics used in our carbon neutral launch included:

  • Direct mail marketing (with an A/B test!)
  • Email marketing
  • Public relations and earned media
  • Sponsored content
  • PPC
  • Organic website marketing (web popups, a solutions page, and blogs)
  • Organic social media
  • Paid social media

Our coordinated effort worked well for this sustainability campaign, with the biggest wins coming from our email marketing, SEO optimization and PPC campaigns, and social media outreach. We saw a healthy open rate and CTR on our emails and a higher-than-average engagement rate on our social posts. Our earned media coverage had a higher-than-average click rate, proving that sustainability is an important topic in our industry and to our customers.

Lessons learned from this marketing campaign

Version A of our postcard in our A/B test.

Every marketing campaign is a learning opportunity and this one was no exception. Here’s what we learned about our customers and prospects throughout this campaign.

Our audience engages with email marketing

Our email audience took the most action from our campaign and were more likely to stay on the site and visit other pages while there or trigger a conversion. One thing that contributed to the success of the email campaign was that it was a personal letter from our Head of Social Impact and Sustainability, Christina Louie Dyer. 

Our audience is mobile

It seems our audience tends to have their phones at the ready. Those that engaged with our direct mail postcard by scanning the QR code, spent 3x as much time on our site than email visitors. This is an excellent reminder that we need to continue to ensure our website is optimized for mobile experiences.

On a related note, our audience is also social. The inbound traffic from social media had a lower bounce rate than email and CPC and the social audience spent more time on the site. 

Marketers are looking for sustainable direct mail solutions

Our CPC traffic had a lower bounce rate than traffic from other sources which indicates marketers are actively searching for sustainable direct mail. 

On the flip side, our organic social media efforts performed better than our paid social for this campaign. It’s interesting as people are actively visiting search engines for sustainable solutions but aren’t as engaged with paid social on the same topic. We need to dive deeper into our paid social media campaigns to see if our targeting, creative, or copy could be updated. 

Our audience is results-oriented

We did an A/B test on our direct mailpiece and tested two different images. Version A used an image of fully-grown trees (see the image above) and Version B (see the image below) had an image of a person holding a seedling. Version A was the winner. One insight this could tell us is that our audience wants to understand the end result, like seeing the trees fully grown.

This image-based A/B test can help us select results-oriented images in future campaigns on our website. 

Version B of our carbon neutral postcard.

Tests we can run in our next marketing campaign

Now that we’ve dug deeper into the data and metrics and understand what the numbers are telling us, we can apply those learnings to future campaigns. But that’s not all we need to do. We also need to identify tests we can run to prove our learnings are true or collect more insight into our audience’s preferences. 

Here are some ideas of tests we might implement in an upcoming marketing campaign:

  • With our powers combined: Both our direct mail and social media audiences are spending time on our site and engaging with our brand through these channels. We could test marrying the channels together and using our direct mail marketing to invite our direct mail audience to a live event on social, like an Ask Me Anything event with our Head of Social Impact and Sustainability or C-Suite executives. 
  • Messaging: We need to run a content analysis on our messaging from this campaign to see what kind of messaging to A/B test in future campaigns. What words inspire action? What format of messaging resonates? 
  • Sustainable, specific action: One test that would have been neat to run with this campaign would be tying sustainability into our CTAs on the landing page. Perhaps something like, one tree planted for every meeting booked. Or, maybe we could have tested an exclusive discount available through one of our marketing channels.

Our carbon neutral campaign wasn’t just a win for the brand; it was a win for the environment too. We’re incredibly thankful for the hard work our employees and partners, both print partners and consultants, put into this effort of making carbon neutral mail at Lob a reality. 

Learn more about our 100% carbon neutral direct mail.

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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