How iExit drives 155% ROI with intelligent direct mail
“Our sales methods couldn’t scale in any form or fashion. It was around this time that we came across Lob and the light switch for direct mail came on. Not only could it scale, but direct mail was profitable right off the bat.”
iExit Interstate Exit Guide, much like TripAdvisor, is a free app that’s trusted by thousands of travelers to guide them to the best stops on U.S. interstates. From I-5 to I-95, travelers can open the app and discover what exit to take to fuel up, get food, or find lodging for the night.
New customer acquisition
iExit also allows the businesses on interstate exits to claim a listing for their business and sponsor the exit closest to their location - ensuring travelers see their listing first for that exit. By sponsoring an exit, businesses often get over 75 times more visibility and engagement with their listing than they would have received with a free listing.
iExit was looking to acquire new customers to fuel its growth and recurring revenue. Its challenge was engaging and connecting with local businesses to make them aware of iExit and the advertising opportunity.
Pump the brakes: Digital communication channels not driving results
iExit Founder and CEO Evan Metrock and his team were using traditional digital marketing tactics to reach out to local businesses across the country. From email outreach to sales pitches on social media, iExit’s sales reps were spending a lot of time online and seeing little success. Metrock summed it up as, “people are really on guard for unsolicited emails.”
The iExit team ran a month-long cold calling campaign that didn’t garner the results they wanted but it provided them with a myriad of questions that potential customers. They were able to turn those questions into a sales pitch and deliver it via a different vehicle. It was time to change lanes and bring in a new offline marketing channel: direct mail.
We tested a postcard campaign with Lob and got immediate results with an Annual Recurring Revenue ROI of 155%. We realized that this has potential. Our sales methods couldn’t scale in any form or fashion. It was around this time that we came across Lob and the light switch for direct mail came on. Not only could it scale, but direct mail was profitable right off the bat.
On the highway to success: Hyper-local and personalized intelligent direct mail
After the initial success of the postcard campaign and some hefty A/B testing, Metrock now uses intelligent direct mail to send hyper-local and personalized direct mail letters to businesses within a certain radius of interstate exits across the country.
The iExit team sent out almost 64,000 mailers and signed on hundreds of new customers for the exit sponsorship program and generated over almost $30,000 in profit from the direct mail campaign. Also, by removing undeliverable addresses from the database, the iExit team saved thousands of dollars on the campaign.
“You have to get prospects' attention quickly and we found that letters feel more official and include enough information for the business owner to make a decision,” says Metrock.
Letters sent by iExit aren’t your standard, “Dear Customer,” letter either. iExit harnesses the power of data to prove the value of its advertising opportunity by including personalized information such as a map of the exit with the business they are targeting highlighted, a preview image of the business’ sponsorship on the app, the number of customers that opened the app within a certain radius of that exit, how many clicks the business had on its listing, as well as what iExit users were searching for when they opened the app.
Step on the gas: A/B testing fueled measurable results
“A/B testing has been huge for us. Whether it’s the format like a postcard or the messaging,” shares Metrock. “We needed more space for information which is how we ended up with a two-page letter and the second page, the FAQ page, was a big turning point in boosting conversion rates.”
iExit saw a 40% increase in users claiming their business listing on the app, and a 60% increase in purchased sponsorships when sending a two-page letter. The new format not only increased sales, but it also drastically cut down on customer support time by proactively providing the information customers needed.
Watch the video below to hear how iExit's used A/B testing to arrive at the right format of direct mail for its target audience.
Metrock shares they’ll continue experimenting and testing the messaging and visuals on their current letters to drive more ROI but it seems for iExit they’re on cruise control in terms of automating their direct mail. Metrock tells us, “the vast majority of our efforts have been in direct mail to arrive at a business mailer with highly predictable and highly profitable results.”
By leveraging Lob’s intelligent direct mail platform, the iExit team saves time on sales outreach so they can focus time, productivity, and resources on other business development initiatives.
The next mile of the journey
Metrock tells us that the next step of the iExit journey in direct mail is going to come in the form of an A/B test around a partnership with a major map app that will benefit businesses by pooling data sources.
Want to dive deeper into iExit's A/B testing? Founder and CEO Evan Metrock was a guest speaker in our webinar: Retain Customers and Boost Revenue with Personalized Direct Mail. Watch the on-demand webinar now!
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