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The Benefits of Evolving Direct Mail Into Intelligent Mail

Direct mail will become even more critical with the pending death of the third-party cookie. The key going forward will be implementing intelligent mail.

Direct mail is a $42B industry but has long been a passive part of marketing strategies. It is often touted as the channel with the highest ROI but has lagged behind its digital counterparts due to its manual, time-consuming workflows, siloed approach and the inability to measure campaign data. Fortunately, direct mail automation solves the connection challenge in a digital noisy world by providing marketers with a solution to create a seamless experience across both physical channels and digital touchpoints – in a personalized, connected, and measurable way. Intelligent mail, an evolution of the direct mail channel, can improve overall marketing campaign performance, boost response rates and increase customer engagement. 

Direct mail will become even more critical with the pending death of the third-party cookie. The key going forward will be implementing intelligent mail alongside digital marketing efforts, like triggering an email campaign to be sent the moment a mail piece has arrived in a consumer’s mailbox. Enterprise marketers must be able to optimize and connect a variety of channels, physical and digital, to acquire, convert and retain customers. This omnichannel approach has already proven its worth – as a recent study found that marketers using three or more channels within a single campaign generated a two hundred eighty-seven percent higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel approach.

And when marketers include automated mail as one of their core channels, the benefits are clear. According to our report, sixty-seven percent of marketers say direct mail provides the best ROI of any channel they use.

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Better Brand Awareness

One advantage of integrating direct mail with digital marketing strategies is better overall brand awareness. Together, direct mail and digital channels have the potential to increase brand visibility dramatically and improve a company’s reputation. At a time when brands are competing for attention in a digital noisy space, high-impact mail items can help companies separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Direct mail also creates a tangible experience for customers that is missing on the digital side. Direct mail recipients can hold physical materials and have the ability to share creative mail pieces with others, which accelerates brand awareness.

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Plus, when digital and direct mail is combined, ROI skyrockets.

According to our research, marketers saw a sixty percent increase in ROI when they executed digital and direct campaigns in tandem. 

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Higher Response Rates

Coordinating digital and direct mail campaigns can boost response rates, too. The reason is that brands can deliver a hyper-personalized experience consisting of multiple touchpoints based on consumers’ previous activity. 

For example, consider a brand that recently ran a successful digital campaign. The marketing team could follow up with a direct mail piece targeting consumers who made a purchase. This physical campaign could offer a coupon or promo code, thanking customers for their business and encouraging them to take additional action.

According to one Marketo survey, this type of personalization goes a long way. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they are much more likely to engage with companies whose offers reflect previous interactions. Direct mail automation enables this seamless integration of direct and digital campaigns. 

The right automation solution enables marketers to trigger mail pieces to go out based on specific consumer behaviors or interactions. This data could come from a multitude of sources and take countless forms—cart abandonments, last purchase date, birthday, renewal date, etc. Direct mail automation allows companies to create tailored customer experiences without the operational complexity that many have come to expect with physical marketing tactics.

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Increased Customer Engagement & Loyalty

Direct mail and digital campaigns that are in sync also increase customer engagement and loyalty. To be clear, engagement in this context covers all interactions that happen between a brand and its customers. When people feel connected to a brand, they are more likely to choose it repeatedly. Gallup had confirmed this with a recent study, reporting brands that ramped up customer engagement saw a twenty-five percent bump in loyalty. 

By integrating online and offline channels, marketers can attract more consumers and generate compelling results across the entire customer journey. With the right suite of martech tools, it is easy to discover how and when to engage customers at different points in their journeys, whether it be through direct mail or digital channels.

Marketers who understand the role of intelligent mail in today’s world will create significant value for their organizations going forward. As the digital marketing landscape further emphasizes privacy, trust, and security, it will be direct mail that helps brands cut through the noise, making direct mail automation essential. Combined with digital marketing, intelligent mail empowers companies to expand brand awareness, boost response rates and increase marketing ROI. Moreover, marketers can do all this with the backing of rich analytical marketing insights that extend throughout the larger martech ecosystem. Ultimately, integrating intelligent mail with digital marketing strategies is a critical piece of the modern martech stack.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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