Marketers today are constantly looking for new channels that will drive the next leg of growth. It’s a cycle of testing different channels (breadth), doubling down on ones that work (depth), and then riding the wave until the channel dries up. Most of these efforts tend to lie in the digital realm — email, content, PPC ads, social media posts, etc — where your potential and existing customers spend a significant amount of time. The problem here is that everything is fighting for their attention. And it’s not just ads or content, it’s notifications from Facebook, Youtube videos that autoplay from one to the next, and 100’s of other things fighting for that attention span. So, what other channels should you be considering? Mail.
Direct mail — physical commercial mail that is — isn’t dead and still remains a great channel to acquire new customers or reengage ones you already have.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “who reads mail anymore?” Well, as it turns out, your physical mailbox is a lot less noisy than your digital inbox or social streams. A mailer will at least get in front of someone for a few seconds and cut through much of the noise that others channels have to deal with. Similar to channels like email and PPC, there’s still an art and science to the right targeting and creative to drive action.
Direct mail — physical commercial mail that is — isn’t dead and still remains a great channel to acquire new customers or reengage ones you already have. It just hasn’t evolved to match the sophistication and expectations of today’s digital marketers. Digital marketers today take an experimental approach that requires tools to test ideas quickly, ways to segment their audience, and, most importantly, receive data so they can make better decisions. If you want to experiment with mail today, it’s a time-intensive, costly endeavor with long lead times and minimal feedback data.
To send a targeted marketing mail campaign today you need to:
- Call around to find a print shop to work with.
- Acquire a mailing list by working with a data provider to find an audience to target or provide your own list.
- Choose from a dizzying array of options — mailer format and size, paper type, coating, postage, etc.
- Hire a designer to create a mailer design. Often these are only a single design with no custom messaging for the whole audience.
- Get hit with fees for campaign setup, color vs. B&W prints, mailing list deduplication, personalization, or other trivial things they want to charge for. There’s also usually a minimum production size.
- Mail off your campaign — which could take weeks — and hope for the best.
And to make things more difficult, you have to go through this process each and every time.
Now let’s compare that to sending an email marketing campaign today:
- Use the web or an app to login into any of the dozens of great email marketing tools out there.
- Segment your contact database or choose an email list you’ve been growing as your audience.
- Choose a premade design or customize your own using a WYSIWYG editor.
- Add your copy and easily personalize each email with merge fields like “Hello $fname!”
- Mail off your campaign and watch the data flow in — opens, clicks, conversions, etc.
This might only take minutes and typically doesn’t cost more than the monthly service fee you’re paying. These are all self-service tools to create communications, manage contacts and lists, track results, and provide a history of prior communications. Email platforms have turned today’s marketers into forces of nature. They can reach large audiences with relevant messages in an extremely short amount of time.
At Mailjoy, we’re working to make sending physical mail more like sending email. We’re building a self-service tool for marketers to send data-driven mail campaigns with the simplicity and functionality of their favorite email marketing platforms. By using software and automating the process from creation to mailing, we’re able to cut all unnecessary fees and make the costs associated with sending a campaign directly related to your total volume. We don’t even require campaign minimums — send one mailer or send 100,000.
At Mailjoy, we’re working to make sending physical mail more like sending email.
We’ll be using this blog as a way to share clever methods and best practices of using mail for both acquisition and reengagement, along with product updates as we release new features. It’s early days for Mailjoy, but we hope you join us for the adventure.
Give Mailjoy a try for free or reach out if you questions about getting started with mail.