We spend a lot of time talking generally about how APIs can make workflows more efficient. But it’s often easier to show than to tell, which is why we’re launching this series. Each post examines how automation via Lob’s APIs could positively disrupt a precise use case. In today’s entry, we consider acquisition marketing for lending companies.
Lending Companies' Acquisition Workflow Today
On a monthly basis, a lending institution might pull a CSV of potential leads from one of the major credit bureaus or a data provider. A marketing manager at the lending institution will receive the list from their business intelligence contact, but that’s just the start of the process.
Before collateral can even be generated, the list needs to be cleaned up. Every step of this process is manual, from suppressions and treatment to de-duping. The marketing manager has to match variants in the collateral artwork to specific names in the list. If the lender is processing a million records, that’s a million variables to align. Even if the manager is blocking the list and processing by cohort, they are burning serious man-hours.
Once the marketing manager has cleaned up the list and aligned the variables, they'll send it over to the print and mail vendor. Images need to be up to printer spec, so the P&M account manager is brought into the loop. Phone tag ensues to verify that the artwork is correct and meets both parties’ standards.
Now compliance steps in and works alongside the marketing manager for QA. The marketing manager has to manually review the artwork, and the compliance team has to confirm copyrights and designs.
The green light doesn't typically come until 4 to 5 weeks after the work started. If this use case resonates, your marketing team is feeling a lot of pain. A programmatic approach is the antidote.
The Workflow, Automated
Instead of a manual CSV dump from a BI contact, how about a weekly automatic pull from a data provider? Marketing managers can completely automate the process of suppressions, treatment, and de-duping. In fact, pre-built logic will even automatically match variants of artwork and data.
The second major time sink, compliance and QA, can be automated as well. Rather than a series of phone calls, the marketing manager can receive an automated email containing a random sample for QA. They can choose their percentage; 1 in 20, 1 in 50, and so on.
Compliance can automatically receive 1 of each specific art variant or design to ensure it follows guidelines. Once all parties agree that the collateral functions as intended, they can give a green light and trigger printing via an easy API call.
The question to ask yourself is: how efficiently are my acquisition marketers using their time? Are they still wasting 4-5 weeks per batch on acquisition drops and phone tag with P&M account managers? What could they accomplish if that time horizon dwindled down to twenty minutes?
We’ve seen companies take this further and build marketing engines around our API. With each acquisition marketing drop they can deploy data-driven, granular triggers. What’s the best day to release a given piece? What’s the best follow-up cadence? Replicate these methodologies across your audience to optimize and maximize ROI on every single mail piece.
Automating execution allows marketing managers to focus on strategy. Your marketing managers are capable of amazing things when you free them from the minutiae! Smart lenders know that direct mail is not in its own category as a channel.
Just because the messages can be physically handled doesn’t mean digital methodologies are ruled out. When integrated into your omnichannel strategy with email and SMS, direct mail will turbocharge your acquisition marketing.
Still not convinced? Give Lob a try and see how we bring the best out of your marketers.