Even though we're fully embracing the "new year, new marketing strategies" mantra, we still have to reflect on the past year and identify the challenges we faced with our marketing campaigns. Many marketers across many industries run into the same issues:
- Quality of customer or prospect data.
- Mapping out the customer journey.
- Having the right triggers in place for marketing automation to be as successful as possible.
These pain points can hurt various channels, like email marketing, custom landing pages, or PPC campaigns. But these challenges can also impact your direct mail marketing. Let's take a closer look at some common challenges marketers faced when working in direct mail last year - and share pointers on how to solve those challenges in 2023.
Common direct mail problems in 2022
Direct mail marketing is a timeless tactic, but some still think it needs to be updated or requires a lot of manual labor and takes up a lot of time from budget and resource-strapped marketing teams. With today's marketing automation platforms and API configurations, direct mail is as modern as any digital channel. That's not to say it's free of its challenges, though. What common problems do marketers encounter when creating direct mail marketing campaigns?
Problem: Ask any marketer about their customer data or marketable database, and you'll likely hear a heavy sigh. Our CRM tools or marketing automation platforms should make managing our customer data super easy, but that's only sometimes the case. And all marketers agree that bad data leads to bad segmentation, leading to poor results. If you can't trust your data, you can't very well add personalization variables to your campaign.
Solution: Invest in Address Verification upfront when collecting data about your customers or prospects to verify you can reach them in their mailbox. Identity validation is the next step you can take by running your address data against customer names to ensure that name is associated with that address.
Problem: Many professionals in marketing frequently ask, isn't it difficult or impossible to track direct mail? The answer to that question is no. Just because you can't track direct mail with cookies or tracking events set up in your CRM or customer interactions dashboard doesn't mean you can't track mail and learn more about its path to the customer.
Solution: Send direct mail through a system that provides tracking data via the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb).
Gone are the days of sending a mailer and hoping it makes it there. Tracking technology and metrics have grown leaps and bounds over the last few years. Aside from ensuring your pieces make it to their destination, tracking is also an excellent tool for keeping up with each customer's interactions and connections. Easily accomplish this by using the dashboard features integrated into Lob automation.
Problem: How can the customer lifecycle be extended and keep them engaged with promotions, need fulfillment, and interest in future products or services? The answer is direct mail.
Customers anticipate receiving offers and interactions with a company via direct mail. It's an incentive to go online to check out the details. Once the customer is online, there are highly likely to engage with the page and convert. But how can you stay on top of each customer's events, customer interactions, and activity and send direct mail relevant to the customer journey?
Solution: The solution is automation. Incorporating automation into your direct mail campaign offers the best solution to extending the customer lifecycle.
Retaining customers and customer interest is a challenge for any size business. Give your company the edge with tools and options that help you connect and stay connected with your customers. Reach out to them with exciting personalized offers and special discounts for loyalty.
Send free gifts and other exciting recommendations curated just for them. These mail offers are highly appealing and have higher engagement numbers than other marketing platforms.
Problem: How can a company increase customer engagement to improve conversions? Customer engagement is a facet of marketing most businesses strive to improve. The answer to increasing engagement figures is adding or enhancing direct mail campaigns.
Solution: Current and potential customers are more like to be intrigued or engage with direct mail pieces. These mailers can feature QR codes that take the recipient to a particular page with details on offers or landing pages with exciting features and information.
Get a better approach with direct mail to add eye-catching elements and unique content curated for those who receive them. Add compelling CTAs and more with ease and watch engagement numbers increase.
The right channel for the right customer?
Problem: We're all human and have our own preferences - especially when getting marketing messages from brands. Some prefer brands only slide into their DMs, others only want emails, and others would like no communication via digital channels and want something tangible.
Solution: One solution is to build a preference center where your customers can tell you exactly how they want you to communicate with them.
Recommended viewing: See how ThirdLove used direct mail to engage those who unsubscribed from emails. Watch their video case study.
Problem: Companies may erroneously believe that working with direct mail services is a significant expense and may stretch the current marketing budget. The set budget may need more room for fluctuations and additions.
Solution: When a business teams up with a direct mail provider that offers a fixed price plan, it's easy to stay on budget and have predictable costs that provide a better ROI than many other popular marketing platforms and channels.
Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer's Guide to Crush ROI & Budget Goals with Direct Mail
Problem: How do companies know which direct mail approaches work best for individual customers, campaigns, and brands? A/B testing is essential to know which approaches work best and save time and money.
Solution: Work with a direct mail service provider that has built-in A/B testing included with their service dashboards. Quickly determine which approach is the best for your specific campaign and implement changes on the fly to create the best engagement and conversions.
Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer's Guide to Direct Mail Analytics & Testing
Problem: Some companies are very focused on ESG concerns and environmental protocols. Direct mail can impact the environment and add to carbon footprints and ecological issues. So, how can you have a robust direct mail campaign, keep eco-friendly practices in mind, and integrate them into the direct mail marketing campaign?
Solution: Teaming up with a direct mail automation provider with features that make it carbon-neutral at every level is the answer to addressing ESG concerns.
Problem: Accurate information that's up to the minute is essential for staying connected and ensuring your customer doesn't miss a communication. When you have the current details, you'll take advantage of opportunities to send them exciting offers they love, which improves conversion.
Solution: Stay on top of your data and scrub old pieces with expert software and built-in tools from Lob that make it simple to avoid latent data.
The benefits of direct mail marketing automation
Avoid direct mail challenges by teaming up with industry leaders to provide integration and automation services that propel a business to new heights. Stay on top of customer data, changes, intersections, and anything related to your direct mail campaign.
Gain access to numerous customization features, mail tracking, and so much more by using proven strategies offered by Lob. Never miss a birthday, a chance to say thank you, or an opportunity to give customers special offers.
Lob integrates with your current CRM or customer relationship management software. Easily connect via APIs and integrate with other third-party SaaS providers to gain a complete picture of your customer base and its behaviors and activities and get a higher level of customization.
Did you know that over 80% of direct mail recipients prefer it to other marketing avenues such as email and text messages? They are much more likely to read and engage with direct mail. Companies notice, on average, a 40% increase in conversion, and over 60% of those direct mail recipients visit your website or visit a custom landing page printed on the mailer. It's a surefire way to get noticeable results with fewer problems and headaches.
Send great direct mail campaigns with Lob
Reach out today to access the most effective direct mail tools and features for businesses of any size to increase ROI, reduce labor costs, and improve direct mail campaign effectiveness.
Visit our website to schedule a demo of services or to connect with an expert. Don't wait to overcome your direct mail challenges. Eliminate them now and see your company's incredible results with effective direct mail automation integration.