Marketers integrating email marketing or direct mail campaigns into their strategy is nothing new. But in a highly competitive and fast-paced world, we’re always striving to keep up with new marketing trends and innovations.
In recent years, the buzzword ‘programmatic’ has been thrown around relentlessly in relation to real-time bidding digital marketing campaigns and, more recently, the use of third-party data to strengthen TV broadcasting processes. What if there was a way to combine traditional methods of email and direct mail marketing, with an added boost of real-time and audience data?
Let me introduce you to the new kid on the block: Programmatic Mail.
It’s exactly that: a means of producing tangible direct mail campaigns for customers actively looking for your products or services, virtually right in the moment they’re looking for it. Gone are the days of dynamically inserting customers’ names into the headline of an email to make your brand appear more personal – with Programmatic Mail marketers can actually be personal, using real-time online behaviour into campaigns which are delivered straight to the customer’s doors. It’s already made a huge impact in the US due to its powerful results, and is being utilised by mailing giants Royal Mail, US innovators PebblePost and has recently been brought to the UK by start-up Paperplanes.
So what can a Programmatic Mail campaign actually bring to the table?
Highly targeted, customised campaigns can be rendered and delivered to customers within as little as 24 hours, often even within just 12. This immediacy of delivery gives campaigns that little bit more impact, helping to push potential customers towards their first enquiry or driving existing ones to come back for more.
Image credit: Royal Mail
Programmatic Mail has been proven to produce great results for businesses, and Royal Mail claim the campaigns have a higher ROI than those not processed programmatically. Furthermore, according to Royal Mail’s case study with huge homestore JD Williams, the rate at which customers abandoned their shopping basket online reduced by 16%, whilst PebblePost reports that travel lifestyle brand TUMI saw a 17x increase on return on ad spend – pretty impressive-sounding stuff.
Data, Data, Data
A good programmatic campaign should always start with data and end with data, and Programmatic Mail campaigns are no different. One of the best things for marketers is that they’re always driven by existing customer engagement, like signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
As it’s using online data from an audience that’s already started to build a relationship with the brand, Programmatic Mail campaigns boast impressive open rates – tracked using ‘Mailmark barcoding’ by Royal Mail or PebblePost’s online integrated reporting platform. Using the data obtained from Programmatic Mail campaigns, marketers can gain a valuable insight into who and where their customers are, as well as identify the most powerful online behaviour triggers for their business.
All pretty exciting. So where does that leave us with the outlook for programmatic mail? In its data-driven approach, programmatic can provide a revolutionary solution for businesses tired of producing the same email or direct mail campaigns. It’s still early days, but we definitely can’t rule out programmatic mail playing a major part in the future of digital marketing.
To learn more about programmatic mail or how it could benefit your business, download Royal Mail’s report here.