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March 24, 2022

The Impact of Consumer Privacy for Marketers

by 
Kim Courvoisier

Let’s take a quick trip in our time machine to the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2021). During the event, Apple announced SKAdnetwork which, by default, severely limits the information apps can gather about their end-users. The release was done to help users control and monitor apps’ use of their data, including options to limit email tracking on the Mail app. In other words, Apple Mail will prevent senders from knowing who opens their emails. Marketers around the world face palmed in unison.

Now, fast forward to 2022 as Google announces releasing its own privacy restrictions. As a marketer, privacy acts and regulations hit hard but they don’t have to be the death of your digital tactics. 

Omnichannel marketing can help offset the pain and using a variety of channels and tactics will ensure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

How direct mail makes digital channels stronger

Over the last decade, much has changed for marketers and a key takeaway has been not to build your audience on “rented land” including social media networks. With one algorithm change, you can lose everything you've worked hard to build. On the other hand, it’s always a wise investment to grow your owned audience including website visitors, email subscribers, and customers. 

Using your owned audience and dependable channels together creates a symbiotic relationship and increased response rates and ROI. 67% of marketers surveyed for the 2022 State of Direct Mail agree that direct mail has the best ROI of any channel they use. For enterprise marketers, direct mail is a piece of the marketing strategy puzzle: Companies are integrating direct mail into their existing omnichannel strategy with email, marketing automation, and data from their CRMs. Only 5% are using direct mail as a stand-alone tactic. 

Furthermore, Lob has seen that direct mail has a response rate 13 times higher than email and when direct mail is combined with email marketing it packs a punch, rocketing response rate north of 27%. With CAC (customer acquisition costs) on the rise, marketers are using direct mail campaigns strategically as part of an omnichannel campaign to keep existing customers engaged with cross-sells, upsells, education, and other value add content that keeps the brand top of mind. Once customers are happy, direct mail is used to encourage advocacy, positive reviews, and referrals.  

How direct mail enables you to work with privacy restrictions

Used strategically, you can employ direct mail as part of your omnichannel strategy as a touchpoint or as multiple touch points. Just as you would trigger emails based on customer behavior, you can trigger direct mail. Using data from your CRM and marketing automation platform integrated with your automated direct mail platform makes this a cinch. 

Direct mail can help in unique ways, as well. ThirdLove, an intimate apparel brand had a large number of email subscribers that had unsubscribed from its mailing list. In the past, this would have meant the brand could not contact these customers. However, with direct mail, ThirdLove was able to reach unsubscribers with a reactivation campaign that had an incredible response rate. Translating the digital into the physical realm was a game changer for the brand and being able to connect direct mail and map it into other marketing flows allowed ThirdLove to be journey minded and focused. 

Tracking and analytics in the shadow of privacy regulations

An obvious concern for marketers with privacy regulations has been losing the visibility and the data you have to be able to track, target, and market to your prospects and customers effectively. Your automated direct mail platform should help you offset some of these challenges. 

Your automated direct mail platform’s analytics and reporting will provide helpful data and insights. You should be able to:

  • Track conversions, by embedding dynamic offers, QR codes, or unique URLs or phone numbers
  • Experiment with A/B and multivariate testing to fine-tune your tactics and address the needs of a group, such as first-time customers or repeat shoppers
  • Know the impact of the direct mail channel with built-in campaign attribution dashboards.

Being able to accurately attribute consumer behavior to a mailpiece provides you the attribution you need to prove the ROI of your efforts. The 2022 State of Direct Mail reports that companies measure conversion rates from direct mail using a variety of methods:

  • 52% Individual customer activity within a specific period of time
  • 48% Personalized URLs (PURLs)
  • 45% QR codes

Marketers feel confident in their ability to measure their effectiveness:

  • 86% believe their company can determine the ROI of its direct mail efforts and accept that typical methods used to measure it are generally reliable 
  • 60%  say their company’s methods of measuring ROI are more reliable than typical methods

Wrap up 

In a rapidly changing world where consumer privacy and preferences will continue to evolve and likely become more strict, marketers are faced with the ever-growing challenge of finding ways to deliver high-targeted and relevant offers and messaging that will resonate with and compel consumers to take action. Using an omnichannel strategy with direct mail touchpoints can help you mitigate some of the ever-present privacy challenges. 

Contact Lob today for a demo and learn how direct mail automation is changing the world of 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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