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Retargeting with Direct Mail & Digital


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Retargeting with Direct Mail & Digital," examines how direct mail marketing can be used with programmatic ad campaigns or automated email response based campaigns to retarget recipients based on their initial responses.  Retargeted direct mail is also commonly referred to as automated direct mail. Most marketers and brands are familiar with both email and direct mail marketing.  With today's latest technology, both platforms can interact with each other.  Response based emails can be automated to initiate bounce back emails that provide timely information that can be instrumental in generating follow up responses from customers and prospects with incentives such as opt-in-offers and other directives.  Thanks to digital technology, print campaigns can also be automated, including retargeting prospects and customers based on email and programmatic campaigns.

Quote of the Day: "Marketing Automation has played a key role in shaping the success of modern day marketers. We are on a mission to improve marketing automation, one workflow at a time." – Sourabh Mathur

Identifying Digital Behavior Triggers

Marketing 101 teaches us that excellent marketing outcomes lie within delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. When an organization fails to understand digital customer behaviors, direct mail retargeting is akin to shooting an arrow in the dark. Some will hit the targets; most will not.  Capturing digital behaviors allows for automated, seamlessly triggered, personalized direct mail retargeting.  When the correct digital behaviors are in place, direct mail is as easy to send as email communications.  Moreover, when a brand leverages programmatic technology, every piece of mail can be sent and delivered while the prospect or customer considers a product in their purview.

According to the USPS, when brands opt to leverage programmatic technology, they can experience conversions rates as high as 40%. Depending on budgeting, one may want to consider investing in a mail service/solutions provider to handle fulfillment, shipping, and tracking of automated direct mail campaigns.  There are four marketing stages to be cognizant of when creating a cost-efficient and effective direct mail retargeting campaign.

Prospect Awareness

A typical trigger for the prospect awareness marketing stage involves a user browsing an e-commerce site without making a purchase or a political site where the user fails to donate.  Programmatic technology, the core that supports automated mail, can capture various behaviors that trigger retargeting, including online users browsing a homepage, category-level pages, or product description pages.  To lift conversion rates, brands should create specific messages based on the user's activity.  A straightforward tactic involves sending a simple postcard mailpiece that highlights trends or sale items from a particular category that the customer or prospect was examining.

As we are in a political season, it is incumbent upon political candidates, activists, and party-affiliated super PACs to understand the gravity of the times we are facing.  The era of "Fake News" generates high degrees of skepticism.  Therefore, political campaigns must connect with voters on a much deeper, trustworthy level.  Moreover, political campaigning is abundant across digital channels; consequently, the campaign message must reach voters at the right time, with the right channel, via the most credible digital media.  The current voter stats reveal a 20% drop in television viewers who have cut the traditional television cord and now prefer digital devices for their communication updates.  Brands that are prospect aware will have taken the initial steps to develop an effective direct mail retargeting campaign. 

Recipient Consideration

Recipient consideration targets tend to demonstrate divergent behavior during this stage.  Identifying triggers can range from repeatedly revisiting the same product pages or registering for a retailer's email list.  To drive improved conversion rates in this scenario, you could send mail that focuses on the specific brand of interest with a particular offer to incentivize first-time prospects to complete a purchase.

Completing the Purchase

The abandoned shopping cart is a meaningful trigger for purchase behavior within this marketing stage. Abandoned carts lose tons of revenue; in fact, upwards of 4 trillion dollars of merchandise remains in abandoned digital shopping carts per annum.  Creating mail collateral for abandoned cart prospects should focus on reminding these prospects what they abandoned.  One way to incentivize carts that have been abandoned is to increase the message value by offering the prospect a discount or reward on their next purchase.

The Loyalty Aspect

The Pareto principle states that 20% of loyal customers generate 80% of sales, and that loyalty equation holds today.  That elevates the importance of targeting loyal customers.  A loyalty based mailer can bolster sales and provide a long term impact on the bottom line.  This retargeting trigger for the loyalty marketing phase is a simple one.  When a customer completes a purchase, use direct mail collateral to up-sell other products that complement the initial purchase, or impart information about the brand's loyalty program and benefits (if one is in place).   Suppose the brand is marketing a loyalty program.  In that case, it is critical to describe the perks for joining and, most importantly, impart the long-term benefits, such as savings, special shopping days, charitable support, or other relevant loyalty benefits. 

The Net-Net

The integration of digital and direct mail is possible, thanks to programmatic technology and personalized print messaging via variable digital printing.  When the correct marketing and remarketing strategies are in place, combined with the right triggers that compliment the right message, organizations of various sizes can successfully target and convert prospects into paying customers.  Thanks for reading "Retargeting with Direct Mail & Digital!

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