VentureStack brings home 2x marketing results with intelligent direct mail
“ In our industry, companies normally target a 4 to 5 times return to be a viable, sustainable marketing channel. We have an 8.3 return on ad spend from direct mail, so we're blowing that out of the water.”
The challenge - Campaigns lacked personalization and customization
Direct mail for the real estate investing market hasn’t changed much in the last decade resulting in many firms using very similar-looking boilerplate mail. The templates were basic, handwritten letter formats and lacked personalization, customization options, and elements like QR codes for tracking and attribution. Because of the limiting templates, VentureStack struggled to stand out from the competition in its efforts to acquire new home-selling clients with its direct mail campaigns. VentureStack wanted options for its direct mail marketing, aiming to have the capability to personalize and craft its unique designs. Additionally, VentureStack sought the ability to experiment with various aspects, such as mail piece structure, length, content, calls to action, and methods of response, including QR codes, URLs, and phone numbers.
VentureStack was also getting hamstrung by the manual, time-consuming nature in which it was executing its direct mail campaigns. It was placing individual orders and then sending emails to representatives for different batches of mail. Furthermore, it was using Google Sheets to manage all of its lists.
Enter Lob’s automated direct mail. VentureStack was introduced to Lob through a friend in the FinTech industry who was using Lob in a highly scalable manner. VentureStack was intrigued.
A real differentiator was the ability to customize our mail pieces. And something that stood out immediately was not having the bottleneck of someone fulfilling an order. Having a technology integration to be able to get some of my time back and not have to focus on placing orders was a big win from the start. I could focus on A/B testing and finding new data, and tweaking different things, so Lob was a big game changer for us. - Tim McGarvey, Co-Founder, VentureStack
VentureStack began using Lob in its new customer acquisition campaigns. It found near immediate success with a two-page letter. On the first page, VentureStack introduces its services and benefits. The second page provides the company's qualifications and the properties it’s purchased in the area. Lastly, it includes a trackable link to its website and an image of the person the prospect would be working with to give it a personal, human touch.
VentureStack has also had success using direct mail postcards. Its postcard includes a QR code to drive traffic to its website leading prospects to fill out a form. It then uses a Facebook pixel and pixels on its website to retarget and capture leads that way.
McGarvey explains, “We're able to craft very specific messages that we think resonate with each person and customize it, including pictures of properties that look like their property in their neighborhood, and that’s been really powerful.”
VentureStack has also had success using direct mail postcards. Its postcards include a QR code to drive traffic to its website leading prospects to fill out a form. It then uses a Facebook pixel and pixels on its website to retarget and start to kind of capture leads that way.
Direct mail has been a nice complement to our online initiatives. We’ve found that many people who receive direct mail will never pick up the phone and call us, but they'll check us out online. It's a highly effective way to be able to drive traffic to our online presence. And then we have the protocol set up with retargeting and recapturing that information to be able to monetize that later on down the line. - Tim McGarvey, Co-Founder, VentureStack
The most important metric VentureStack uses to measure the efficacy of its direct mail campaigns is return on ad spend (ROAS), essentially return on investment. It tracks each campaign with an individual phone number. VentureStack has done a lot of A/B testing of different types of content and types of lists to achieve its target of six times return on a campaign. McGarvey told us, “If we're at or above that mark, that's an indicator that we need to put effort into the channel, and we'll break that apart and figure out how to continue to increase the return.”
"In our industry, companies normally target a 4 to 5 times return to be a viable, sustainable marketing channel. We have an 8.3 return on ad spend from direct mail, so we're blowing that out of the water."
McGarvey and his team only realized how successful their direct mail campaigns were once they met with other companies and started benchmarking results. They quickly realized they had very successful campaigns and decided they needed to double down on direct mail marketing and optimize what was working.
VentureStack recently began using Lob’s integration with Podio’s customizable work management solution about six months ago and is layering in address verification and following up with people through Podio.
VentureStack plans to continue scaling up its direct mail marketing and has shifted 90% of its marketing budget to the channel.
Direct mail is the cornerstone of our marketing program, and we’re going to continue to double down on what's working for us. - Tim McGarvey, Co-Founder, VentureStack
See VentureStack's campaign examples on the Best Direct Mail Campaigns page here.
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