Pushing the Boundaries of Direct Mail to Build a Great Customer Experience
In the past direct mail lived in a vacuum. It couldn't
provide feedback very well at all, certainly not as
quickly as digital channels. It couldn't be easily
personalized and building a bridge to the digital world
was difficult. Yet, it remains a strategic channel for
leading financial institutions. Why? Thanks in part to
its innate ability to boost brand recall and deliver a
average response rate as a standalone channel
(doubling when combined with digital marketing
efforts). In fact, direct mail remains the preferred
channel for receiving brand promotions and updates
by Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. 2
Understanding that direct mail is a powerful way to
connect with its audiences, top financial institutions
are now leveraging advances in technology to
overcome workflow inefficiencies inherent to "old
school" operations and deliver a more consistent and
meaningful customer experience on and offline.
...being able to synchronize your direct mail program
with email, social and web.
...keeping your message on brand on and offline.
...your advisors being able to get instant access to
customizable, brand-compliant collateral.
...the time they'd save in the field.
...if the story customers hold in their hands was only
limited by your imagination.
1 Direct Marketing Association, April 2015
2 MarketingSherpa Consumer Purchase Preference Survey
The Definition of What You Can Send in the Mail is Only Limited by your Imagination
Companies like Liberty Mutual, ING Direct, and
American Express are pushing the boundaries
of direct mail to stand out and get noticed with
Let's dig deeper into some of the best direct mail
campaigns from leading financial institutions and
see how offline and online marketing is merging
into a meaningful customer experience.
Liberty Mutual needed an affordable way to let
customers know their auto insurance offered quick
body-work, repair services, personalized customer
care and exclusive solutions. And they needed to say
it all at once.
Liberty Mutual kept their outreach affordable by
adding the unique scratch-off feature to a standard
postcard. With this interactive self-mailer, they were
able to put the problem, as well as solution, in their
We'd suggest filling in the area under the scratch-off
with a response option. Give customers a PURL, or,
if the audience is particularly tech-savvy, a QR code
to scan with their mobile. Have it take them to a
landing page where they can request a quote or talk
to a representative.
Product: Liberty Auto Xpress Insurance
Credit: Rai Sao Paulo
Product: Direct Savings Account
Credit: Rapp Collins DDB France
This campaign targeted one of ING's toughest
markets—spend-happy males in their late twenties/
early thirties who view savings as a change of
lifestyle. ING sent a doll with personality descriptions
that the audience would relate to, only with one
addition: an ING Direct account.
This is a great use of data when it comes to targeting.
Using physical pieces like this doll adds a touch of
humor that makes the brand relatable, while the
content drives the message home to deliver results.
We'd suggest pairing it with a digital campaign that
kicks off with an email inquiring if they received the
perfect son-in-law. Now that's a subject line that
would gain some attention.
American Express wanted to drive card members
to a price-drop travel site where destinations were
being auctioned each day.
The fun piece creates a sense of urgency with the
"Get the best of Hong Kong before someone else
does," message and the already "eaten" fortune
Create a multi-channel campaign by encouraging
them to tweet an image of their Fortune Cookie for
a chance to win free airfare.
Product: Rewards Credit Card
Credit: Ogilvy and Mather London
Making it Work in the Field
These examples are inspiring, but they're the product
of large corporate marketing teams with centralized
talent and coordinated effort. What about localized
marketing efforts? How can corporate marketing
teams reach financial advisors in the field?
Imagine Your Advisors Getting Instant
Access to Brand-Compliant Marketing
Imagine that collateral automatically personalized
with prospect data from Salesforce. Imagine the
time you'd save in the field. Imagine keeping your
message on brand.
You can leverage Salesforce and marketing
automation platforms to create personalized direct
mail, emails, social posts and more. PFL's Personal
Marketing Center combines sales and marketing
platforms to empower advisors in the field to
create, manage and execute their own marketing
campaigns. The assets they use are locked by
marketing, so the message never goes off brand.