Automated Direct Mail: Relevant. Targeted. Effective.

In the increasingly fragmented landscape of digital media, “new school” print marketing can be targeted at the individual, highly relevant to their interaction with your brand and, as a result, generate significant positive marketing ROI.

Looking around while in line at Starbucks in downtown Anytown, no one would judge you for empirically deriving that digital channels are the best way to reach millennials–or really any demographic these days. Everyone is staring at their phones or using them to place and/or pay for their orders.

But the reality, as you know, isn’t that simple. Digital isn’t just one channel, it’s really dozens. And there isn’t one digital channel that is a panacea of marketing ROI.

Email, at one time, was the closest thing to a panacea (for a hot minute) but email is getting more and more challenging to leverage as an effective marketing tool. The average open rate for email is 20.81% according to MailChimp. That means for every email you send, only 1 in 5 of your prospects or customers is actually opening your emails and being exposed to your message. Add to that the fact that the average click rate is about 2.43% and that means it takes about 206 emails to get just one visitor to your website—let alone what it then takes to actually convert one of those to an engaged MQL.

There are just too many marketers trying to reach the same people via email and with smart filtering in the inbox (and conscious filtering by humans), emails simply aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be.

Digital marketing in general is requiring increasingly higher levels of segmentation and targeting in order to be cost effective and efficient. This is great because it means you’re very specifically reaching your individual prospects and customers. But juggling multiple campaigns across multiple channels and devices, as well as mining data and analytics across multiple platforms, requires a well-thought-out strategy and some challenging decisions.

There are a lot of considerations from how long your sales cycle is to how niche your product or service is to the objectives of each marketing tactic. Only you can decide what works best for your business.

Regardless of the mix, one key consideration is how your marketing can be as relevant as possible wherever you decide to deploy it. The words you use and how you use them need to be as narrowly targeted to the individual as possible. Because the less relevant you are, the more likely your target is to ignore your communications and—even worse—form a negative impression of your brand.

Accenture reports that 91 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize them, remember them, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. So much so that even with the constant news about data breaches, 83 percent of consumers are still willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience. 

Thankfully, print marketing automation exists for this very purpose. Through print marketing automation, you can easily trigger highly relevant, individualized print marketing right from within your Marketing Automation Platform (e.g., Marketo, Hubspot, etc.).

And there are very good reasons to consider print in your marketing automation campaigns. IWCO Direct reports that direct mail integrated with digital ads can often increase conversion by 20 percent. That’s a huge increase.

Ultimately, it’s easy to argue that digital needs direct mail to seal the deal. Digital is a great way to build brand awareness and recognition. It does a great job of also creating consideration. Direct mail, on the other hand, does a great job at converting transactions. Research by ReachDynamics shows that campaigns can achieve three-times the ROI on direct mail spend when paired with digital through direct mail marketing.

Additionally, according to a Canada Post study—Connecting for Action—integrated campaigns that combine direct mail with digital media attract 39 percent more attention than campaigns that rely on a single medium. 

There have been many other studies that show the effectiveness of combining direct mail and print marketing with digital marketing. Now you can leverage that performance in your marketing automation campaigns by integrating triggered print marketing automation.

If you are a digital marketer, struggling to keep up with all the different channels and tactics, print marketing automation is an easy, “set it and forget it” addition to your MAP campaign.