Digital marketing is all about using data to make profitable adjustments to our campaigns, but you can use data from direct mail the same way. It requires more planning, and attention to detail, but the rewards are enormous. Here’s how you get started turning boring direct mail into a data-rich.
What’s Tactile Marketing Automation?
Tactile Marketing Automation (TMA) is PFL’s solution for automated, scalable dimensional and direct mail. It automatically sends tactile marketing pieces based on preset triggers, much like an email drip campaign in digital marketing.
When used to its full potential, tactile marketing can actually help you gather valuable demographic data about your prospects.
This article is for our customers – but we hope it inspires marketers to use tactile marketing in more interesting ways.
#1: Study Responses to Direct Mail
Your customers’ responses to your different direct mailings can be a goldmine of information. For example, small businesses may be thrilled to receive a personalized letter – and you know because they’re regularly following the PURL code within and converting into customers.
Larger companies, however, don’t seem as interested. Maybe your letters are being tossed out with the junk mail, and a 3D gift would be more eye-catching. This demographic information about your customers’ interest based on their size and operating structure is very valuable, and can be used to better inform future marketing campaigns.
The takeaway: Use offline-to-online metrics, like coupon codes, PURLs, or QR codes to see which customers are taking action based on your direct mail. Convert that information into demographic data you can use to create effective campaigns in the future.
#2: Use TMA Insights for Customer Segmentation
Segmentation is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. With the capabilities of most modern CRMs, you can get extremely granular in how you categorize your customers — going way beyond basic demographic data like location, gender, and marital status.
One way to strengthen your segmentation game is to pull data from your TMA campaigns. Categorize and tag customers based on how they interact with your dimensional mail. Here are a few things to measure and note:
- How often prospects follow up after receiving direct mail
- How quickly prospects follow up after receiving direct mail
- Behavior based on position in the customer journey (How many top-funnel customers are taking action? How many existing customers are making repeat purchases?)
This data will help you determine the ideal cadence and frequency of direct mailings, while also giving you an idea of which types of direct mail (postcards, letters, gifts, mailers, etc.) are the most effective for different customers.
The takeaway: Utilize PFL’s built-in reporting tools to document how your customers respond to your TMA campaigns.
#3: Learn More About Online vs. Offline Communication
One way to learn more about your customers while also saving money on your campaigns is to use TMA to experiment with online versus offline communication. Some customers may truly prefer digital contact only from you, while others may deeply appreciate the personal touch of a message in the mail.
By sending both digital and dimensional mail to your prospects and tracking the results, you can customize future communications to make sure you’re only sending the more expensive stuff to subscribers who truly want it.
The takeaway: Segment your customers based on their preferred method of contact: email or direct mail. Then, create separate campaigns for each audience based on these preferences.
#4: Offer a Survey by Direct Mail
Use Tactile Marketing Automation to send surveys and questionnaires to your current customers. A direct mail survey is more eye-catching than an email, especially when paired with a reward (try offering an Amazon gift card, a discount on a future purchase, or a “refer a friend” reward).
The key to getting useful feedback from customers is to keep your survey succinct and easy to submit. Include a link on their mailer that your recipients can follow to complete the survey and claim their reward. Keep it short and sweet – five questions or less is a good rule of thumb – and have a specific goal in mind when you craft your questions.
The takeaway: Send direct mail to entice customers to fill out a demographic survey.
#5: Offer a Direct Mail Reward for an In-Depth Survey
Here’s the flip-side of the previous tip: offer a physical reward for completing a digital questionnaire. This tactic serves double-duty in terms of gaining demographic data. First, you’ll gather answers to the most important marketing questions directly through your surveys. But secondly, you can use your customers’ responsiveness (or lack thereof) to your offer to “test drive” different types of direct mail freebies.
Example: let’s say you’re a manufacturer of trade show gifts, and your main prospects are marketing managers. You want to get more information about marketing managers’ key pain points, so you create an in-depth survey and send out an email to promote it. You run an A/B test: “A” participants get a free branded key chain for completing the survey, and “B” recipients get a free branded calculator.
If significantly more people fill out the survey to obtain the calculator, you’ve learned that this product is the more alluring reward. Now, you can save money by opening up the survey to a larger group of prospects – and gain far more information back through your survey.
The takeaway: Use direct mail rewards to incentivize customers to provide you with deeper information about their critical business issues.
Looking for ways to capitalize on the TMA trend? PFL has everything you need to make your campaigns more effective and more rewarding. Learn more here.