Marketers are always looking for new opportunities to break through. As consumers get increasingly inundated with digital marketing messages, it’s hard to capture their attention—even if your messages are relevant and compelling. Messaging fatigue is real, and when you are one of the 80+ emails the average consumer receives in a day, your odds of getting attention aren’t great.
At Lob, we believe that a new breakthrough opportunity is actually something old: direct mail. Yes, direct mail’s been around forever, but here’s the thing: while response rates for digital channels has been declining, direct mail continues to perform well. According to the Association of National Advertisers direct mail has a 13x higher response rate than email, and that response rate triples if the consumer has an existing relationship with you.
Sounds great, right? So why aren’t we hearing more about the power of direct mail? It’s because direct mail isn’t really technologically compatible with the way marketing is done today. Marketers are focused on creating compelling personalized experiences—using sophisticated automation and predictive data models to maximize not just leads or conversions, but the lifetime value of their customers.
Direct mail, on the other hand, is a largely manual process with long lead times, batch ordering, and limited visibility into performance. It’s no wonder then that despite its potential, most marketing teams only use direct mail for broad-base acquisition campaigns.
Today at the Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas, we announced a set of new capabilities designed to help marketers use the Lob platform to integrate direct mail with their campaigns across the customer lifecycle. Lob’s intelligent mail API allows marketers to use direct mail like digital channels, with timely, personalized messages that can be triggered based on customer profile, behavior, or milestones.
Our new enhancements modernize 5 key aspects of direct mail:
- Visibility & Tracking: Lack of visibility into mail production and delivery has traditionally made it really hard to accurately attribute the impact of direct mail, or time it with other campaign elements. Lob provides “Fedex-like” tracking for direct mail campaigns, providing automated alerts when a piece of direct mail completes production as well as when it moves through the delivery process.
- Accuracy: Lob pairs print and mail capabilities with USPS-certified address verification. Before sending any piece of mail, Lob checks the address deliverability, and corrects minor formatting errors. This increases the delivery success rate, and reduces wasted postage fees on pieces “returned to sender”. In addition, for enterprise clients, We’ll now run addresses through the National Change of Address (NCOALINK) database and return that information, helping you keep customer data up to date.
- Flexibility: In addition to HTML templating, Lob has added a number of new form-factors (additional postcard sizes and perforated letters) and mailing options (first class, standard, and certified). These options allow marketing teams to experiment broadly–testing different sizes, letters vs postcards, content & copy variations–while still optimizing costs.
- Templating & Design: Lob’s new template library provides a number of pre-built HTML direct mail template designs that marketers can quickly tailor for their campaigns. HTML templates allow marketing teams to easily iterate on copy and imagery in a campaign without heavy design work.
- Speed: Lob’s expanded global network of print delivery partners allows each piece of mail to be optimally routed for capacity and speed. With an average of 4 days from inception to mailbox, marketers can use direct mail for time-sensitive outreach based on customer behavior or milestones.
These capabilities are delivered as a programmable service that allows direct mail execution and analytics to be tightly integrated with CRM, marketing automation, and data tools. Using Lob, marketing teams can trigger a piece of direct mail through the same workflows they use to manage emails, retargeting, or other digital ad campaigns.
Our team is demoing these new features at the Shoptalk conference this week (booth #4237). If you’d like to learn more but aren’t attending the event, drop us a line, and we’d be happy to schedule a custom demo.