Automated Direct Mail
Automated direct mail is not the old way of doing things. We work on top of continuously updated databases, defining triggers, actions and filters to produce custom campaign output right down to the tiniest segments.
As the database changes, the Magic Box goes to work matching recipients with campaigns, all the while checking for bad data, cleaning and filtering records.
Once the machines have done their work actual physical output is produced, on actual paper and ultimately handed over to the Royal Mail who do their thing in mailboxes.
Automated Direct Mail v Lickin' 'Lopes
OK, nobody really licks envelopes anymore, that would be gross. But let’s get something straight – a direct mail automation is a different beast from a one shot campaign.
Launch. Big Rocket Style…
In days of yore, marketers would buy a massive list based on a few criteria. They’d find the staffer who had the mail merge chops and could load the printer or they’d hire an external agency for giga-volumes and launch away. Boom. To the Moon.
A few weeks later, results would come back to earth and planning would begin again.
Better: Keep Sending Drones…
Metaphor brain on fire today. Direct Mail Automation is like a drone swarm. Instead of taking a boring old static list, every new data point heads directly into the machine to be scrubbed, filtered and matched against a campaign.
Each day artwork is compiled, printed and shipped out into the mail network.
As a marketer you get to focus on the good stuff – campaign targeting, message and offer – rather than the boring stuff – data management, fulfilment.
Picture This Crazy Automation Example
Your boss has decided to sell to marine acquiculturists, of which there are about four new companies formed every couple of weeks.
You grab a huge spreadsheet from Companies House and begin to sort through for the SIC code you need. You go back a few weeks and dig out some more records, grow your sample a bit. Print some letters, ship out, wait.
Then do it all again.
Not long until you give up. It’s human nature.
Even the best of us fail to complete a full cycle of A/B testing unless machines do it for us instead.
Real World Mail Automation Case Study
One of our clients sells to the motor trade. Specifically, to motor traders.
Believe it or not, there are around 400 new motor traders startup in the UK every month. Our client wanted to send each of them a sequence of direct mail pieces based on the date they started up in business. A kind of staged welcome to the industry campaign, sharing information and tips with the goals of direct client acquisition, support of physical salesforce and uplift to online channel marketing.
As a “normal” direct mail campaign, this would be almost impossible – the numbers are small and the organisation needed is far too onerous.
Working with their design agency, we provided the platform that was able to pick out the exact dealers matching their criteria, time and deliver campaigns in small volumes over a set time period with specific order and staggering between each piece.
Worked a treat (and continues – set and forget direct mail automation is the greatest!)