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Webinar Recap: Best Practices for Effective Direct Mail
Direct Mail
June 23, 2023

Webinar Recap: Best Practices for Effective Direct Mail

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Stephanie Donelson

We recently held a webinar where our VP of Solutions Engineering, Mike Tuffley, and Senior Director, Business Development, Tyler Dornenburg came on to talk about a topic we know all too well around Lob: direct mail optimization.

They joined our host, Kim Courvoisier, to walk us through best practices for creating and sending optimized direct mail campaigns, as well as building a real-life campaign for San Francisco-based Dynamo Donuts & Coffee in the Lob platform.

They covered the three stages of direct mail optimization:

  • Data and list management
  • Mailpiece formatting
  • Dynamic content and Calls To Action (CTAs)

Prefer to watch the recording? Find it here.

3 key takeaways from the Best Practices for Effective Direct Mail webinar

Let’s dive in and share some key highlights from the webinar and live demonstration on optimizing direct mail marketing.

Key takeaway #1: Customize your direct mail with your marketing lists

“There are two buckets of individuals who are watching right now. There are those that have a list and those that don’t have a list. Neither is better or worse, and ultimately your goal is to evolve your knowledge of your customers by engaging them,” said Dornenburg.

But, what if you have a list and it’s not giving you the full picture of your individual customers? Data enrichment can help marketers that have customer lists that are missing key pieces of information or even fill in the blanks.

Dornenburg then went on to give examples of how data enrichment can help personalize direct mail or any marketing communications, such as finding out what customers are interested in live music before hosting an event at a store, or figuring out who might be particularly interested in sampling a new bacon maple whiskey donut and targeting those customers directly.

Recommended learning: Intelligent Targeting for Direct Mail Campaigns

Key takeaway #2: Match your format to your use case

Next up, you need to choose the right format for your direct mail campaign. And, the format itself could be a great place to start when it comes to testing your direct mail and ultimately optimizing the channel based on what formats work best for your target audience.

Some of the more popular direct mail formats include:

  • Letters: Ideal choice for transactional mail or information that could include PII
  • Postcards: Use postcards for cost-effective marketing mail
  • Self-mailer: A fold-over mailer with four sections for your creative

You also need to consider your use case for your campaign.

  • Re-engagement: Customers have unsubscribed from other marketing communications or haven’t purchased in a specific period of time
  • Upselling: Inviting customers to purchase new products or services
  • New location launch: Promoting an event or the opening of a new location

Dornenburg noted that, “The most important part of this phase is to enter with assumptions but exit with data and next steps. For example, after digging into their Lob dashboard and sales data, Dynamo might be surprised to find that their upsell campaign was not a success. They thought they could rely on their most valuable customers to increase their spend, but instead they saw a low-level of conversions. However they’re happy to find that their re-engagement test returned big results. So they think, ‘What if I could make it easier for my customers to make a purchase once I re-egnage them? Can I increase this conversion rate more?’”

Key takeaway #3: What have you done in digital channels that you can apply to direct mail?

“When we’re talking about optimization, almost exclusively, what we’re really trying to optimize for is ROI. And that’s either going to be those things that generate revenue, or revenue itself, or somehow minimizing the costs associated,” said Tuffley.

He continued by saying, “What are those things that you’ve historically done in your digital channels that you can apply to our technology to see the same level of success but at an even higher response and conversion rate?”

Recommended listening: Lobcast Podcast Marketing Optimizations & Old Fashioneds

That’s a great place to start when it comes to creating effective direct mail campaigns. He continued talking about best practices through using dynamic CTAs and mapping the right data to the creative to create a relevant and personalized direct mail campaign.

Q&A recap

Our attendees asked some great questions during the webinar:

Q: How can I track and measure the success of my direct mail campaigns? Can Lob provide me with detailed analytics and insights on things like open rates, response, and conversions?

A: Tuffley jumped in to answer this question and said that the best way to answer this question depends on the marketing maturity curve of where that particular marketer is at. There’s a lot of complexity that goes into managing all of the marketing channels available. It also depends on the attribution model that marketing team is using. But, yes, Lob offers analytics and insights and can help with providing the right data based on your attribution model.

Q: What mail format does Lob offer and what format do your recommend A/B testing?

A: Dornenburg took the lead on this answer and said that it ultimately is up to the marketer and their business and their needs. He also recommended taking the postage class into consideration when it comes to A/B testing, across different formats, such as postcards, letters, and self-mailers.

At the end of the day, we encourage marketers to focus on the content. The format can be an important test variable, but also think about the timeliness, CTAs, and copy as those will be what drives conversions.

Watch the webinar recording or get your copy of the complementary eBook, Optimizing Your Direct Mail for Maximum Results.

Optimizing Direct Mail for Maximum Results

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