Direct Mail Automation and Engagement Explained

Erik Kostelnik

Direct mail is uncharted territory for many sales and marketing teams. Here's our take on the concept and how it's meaningful engagement can exceed any other channel.

What is Direct Mail Automation?

Until recently, sending mail has been a tedious, manual process. Imagine if there was a way to send bulk mail with meaningful content at the push of a button. Order filling, fulfillment, packaging, and mailing are all available at your fingertips, without having to do any of the above.

Essentially, this is the concept of direct mail automation.You may now be asking, “Why on earth would I want to use something like this?”. Well, to be honest, if you’re looking to send Aunt Susan a Christmas card, chances are you wouldn’t use direct mail automation.

However, as digital marketing channels are flooded with meaningless content, sales and marketing teams have begun looking elsewhere to effectively engage with people.

This is where direct mail automation can flourish and serves as the foundation of Postal's platform. Despite the fact that this concept has been around for a few years now, it is commonly perceived as a logistical nightmare.

The value that Postal brings to the table is an affordable and simple solution to boost sales engagement. Sales organizations throughout all industries can reach current and potential customers with personalized pieces of mail tailored to them. According to Sales Hacker, in the B2B industry, research shows that only 38.5% of companies are using direct mail.

Evidently, direct mail is an underutilized approach in the B2B realm. From postcards to coffee mugs, the options are only limited by creativity. Not to mention, the data behind how direct mail provides higher engagement speaks tremendously.

According to the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail had a 5-9 times higher response rate than email (membership and fees required). In fact, letter-sized direct mail performed best for lead generation with a 15.1% response rate.

When direct mail and digital marketing are combined, conversion rates can increase to upwards of 40%. Additionally, 60% of marketing respondents said when they combined direct mail with their digital channels, ROI increased.

Direct mail used to enhance sales engagement could very well be a new horizon for sales organizations. Scaling this process from SMBs to corporate sized businesses is what we aim to do at Postal.

Definitely not your grandpa’s mail, that’s for sure. In all seriousness, it really isn’t.


How can it Boost Engagement?

In the typical workday, we spend on average 11 hours staring at screens. On top of that, digital marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. To say the least, the digital world has become stagnated with irrelevant messages and pop-up advertisements that we subconsciously bypass.

Our lives are engulfed by the digital world and we don’t even realize the magnitude of it. Now is the era of taking the online world offline.

Direct mail is a channel that can cut through the clutter of hollow pixelated advertisements. Leveraging it efficiently is the final frontier for sales and marketing organizations.

According to USPS, 81% of recipients read or scan their direct mail on a daily basis. Imagine if this number corresponded to the open rate of the messages you send. You could see an ROI increase of up to 20% when used inline with an integrated campaign.

What is it exactly about direct mail that evokes such a strong buyer engagement? The answer to this question might lay within the households to which the mail is sent.

When you receive an appealing coupon or promotion in the mail, chances are you discuss it with the people you live with. Naturally, attractive offers in the mail will make consumers discuss it with their peers, roommates, or family members. While email does this to some extent, pieces of mail are much easier to pass around because they exist in the physical world. Direct mail provides tactile experiences with consumers and allows them to effortlessly share the message with others.

There's something about holding a paper coupon that is simply more engaging than a digital coupon. Just ask any shopaholic who's into extreme couponing about what is so attractive about the concept.

It's no question that people who keep an eye on their mailbox are generally more engaged buyers than others. Direct mail reaches people who are naturally going to respond more to your messages and ultimately buy more. This methodology can be successfully utilized by corporate sales and marketing organizations as well.

Any team that is questioning ways to increase effectiveness of campaigns should consider utilizing direct mail automation. It has been proven to drive customer traffic and sales, and is the lurking dark horse waiting to be implemented at scale.

offline automation

Offline Has Become the New Online

What was old has become cool again; not only in fashion (think high-top converse, polaroid cameras) but also in sales. At Postal, we say that offline is the new online. Why do we believe this?

The response rate to email, social media, and paid search as of 2018 was 1% (2018 DMA Response Rate Report). Statistics like these illustrate the monotony of current digital advertising.

Few companies have considered this or started looking at modernized offline tactics. Direct mail is officially back in style.

When we think about this huge contrast in response rates, it's not all that surprising - right now because of the tech-boom, we are more connected than ever. Online, that is. Our online hyper-connectivity is creating a lack of authentic offline connections, especially in the business world. In sales, contacts are commonly treated as tasks in a workflow sequence rather than individual, unique humans.

Postal allows users to create authentic connections with their potential customers. Research points towards personalization as the cornerstone which drives response and this feeling of engagement. As a sales person or marketer, try to focus on solving a need and adding value for your customers while simultaneously providing personalized connections. Postal is a perfect tool to accomplish this mix and achieve the results you want.

Account-Based Marketing
Erik Kostelnik

Erik Kostelnik is the co-founder and CEO of Postal, an Offline Marketing Automation platform that generates leads, increases sales, and improves customer retention. Prior to, Erik founded TextRecruit, one of the fastest-growing HR technology companies in the world, leading it to acquisition in 2018 by iCIMS, Inc. He also served as the Head of Sales at Wrike from 2014 to 2016 helping it reach #116 in 2015 Deloitte Fastest 500. Erik was named an Upstart 50 Top Inventor by the Silicon Valley Business Journal in 2017 and lives in San Luis Obispo, CA with his wife and three kids.