Direct Mail for the Digital Age Part 1:
The Power of Engagement
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How a Handwritten Note Elevated One Executive’s Customer Experience
Global executive Jan-Patrick Schmitz recently found a handwritten note on his seat on a flight out of Frankfurt. It got him thinking about how businesses must think about ways to enhance customer experience with more personal moments, personal touches, such as this note. This is the story of the note.
Core Values: Progress—The Link to Results
We must be diligent to leave the old things behind and move forward with the knowledge and expertise we've gained from our experience.
It’s a ‘Brand’-New Day for PFL
Our new brand, our new look and design, are all ways to say to today's marketers that direct mail is the way of the future, and we are here to partner with you to make the process simple and successful.
Failing to Acknowledge Digital Fatigue Will Be a Fatal Marketing Flaw in 2023
As marketers plan their customer-engagement strategies for 2023 and beyond, failing to consider current levels of widespread consumer burnout will be a costly mistake.
Top 10 PFL Blogs in 2022
2022 was an interesting and challenging year, to say the least, and readers of the PFL blog were interested in many and varied topics, from budgets and personalization to content marketing and even baking.
Core Values: Relationships—A Matter of Trust
The reason is clear: the right people build relationships that create progress and deliver results. In the same way that not all people are destined to be a part of the team, not all relationships lead to progress.
Core Values: People—Friendly Relations
As part of the continual improvement of PFL, the executive leadership team and I recently settled on some new “Core Values” that represent our priorities as a company.
Three Ways PFL Can Help Quickly Launch Direct Mail Programs
It has been definitively proven that direct mail allows marketers to counter digital burnout. Its usefulness across the entire buyers’ journey makes direct mail a valuable marketing tactic.
Put Some Life in Your Lifecycle with Direct Mail
When all the various touchpoints are aligned across the customer lifecycle, it’s possible to focus less on the act of selling and more on building a stronger and more attractive brand.
PFL’s 12 Tips of Holiday Gifting for Marketers
Now you might be thinking, “Really? A holiday greeting a week before Halloween?” Believe it or not, now is the time to get your holiday strategy in place, and we have the tips and tricks to make your planning painless.
Budgeting Blunders: Don’t Slash Marketing Spend in 2023, Streamline Instead
With looming reports of economic uncertainty in the days ahead, many businesses will be forced to carefully evaluate budgets across departments—and marketing is no exception.
5 Scary Direct Mail Myths Busted
Today, marketers have processes they need to follow and analytics they need to gather, so the thought of dealing with direct mail again is enough to intimidate even the most intrepid marketer.
5 Ways to Spark Joy and Peace of Mind with Your Corporate Holiday Gifts
The last few holiday seasons have been anything but normal, with continuing supply-chain troubles, a dicey economic climate, and the ever-growing public consciousness of the environmental impact of holiday largesse.
Where are Marketing Budgets Headed in 2023?
Marketing leaders do believe that there are significant gaps in the ability of their teams to execute on strategies. From increased cost of ad spend due to cookie changes to lower-than-expected returns on their investments, marketing leaders will have their budgets put to more scrutiny than ever.
In the Crowded Attention Economy, Direct Mail Still Stands Out
One of the common traps marketing leaders fall into is expecting lightning-quick results. If a program or initiative doesn’t deliver immediate, decisive wins, it’s tempting to double down or, more often than not, move onto the “Next Great Thing.” Quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive digital messaging feeds this tornado.
Three Trends for B2B Marketers To Watch in the Coming Year
As marketers seek out new ways to revitalize their engagement tactics for the coming year, establishing marketing objectives with data and hybrid experiences at the forefront—and planning to budget for all of this now—will be important in the development of effective campaigns.
The Metaverse and Web3 are Coming but the Physical World Rules
It’s remarkably easy to get caught up in digital hype. As wave after wave of new technologies appear, pundits and prognosticators inevitably forecast all the ways these newfangled systems will change the world.
Digital Gives Direct Mail the Boost It Needs
When integrated with SF Marketing Cloud, today’s direct mail is highly personalized—and effective. Hybrid is the future of marketing. By bridging real-world interactions with digital engagement, you can ensure your message doesn’t just reach your ideal customers—it will inspire them to take action and engage.
The Media Speaks, So Listen: Direct Mail Is Back with a Vengeance
Digital marketing was all the rage a decade ago, and the media was quick to sing its praises. But it became so ubiquitous that people are now pretty sick of it. Digital fatigue is a real thing—it, too, has been written about extensively over the past year or so.
More Tech Does Not Equal Better Martech
It’s no small matter. Forrester concluded that a more personalized, contextualized, and scalable hybrid platform makes it possible to take relationships and performance to a new level. Suddenly, automation is an ally rather than a hinderance.
Consider Physical Marketing as Another Channel
Back in the days before the internet, “physical,” or “analog,” marketing was the name of the game. It was a booming, heady industry. Direct mail provided a way for marketers to use data to understand how well their efforts were converting to sales. But it was an expensive proposition—all that printing, assembly, and postage cost a bundle.
Tough Economic Times Require Smarter Marketing Decisions
Behaving in economical and opportunistic ways isn’t mutually exclusive; they actually are two pieces of the same puzzle. When CMOs approach marketing from a hybrid perspective and use the right analytics tools to understand customers and conditions, their organization is positioned to make smarter investments and maximize ROI.
Modern Marketing is All About Conversations
There is no doubt that, as far as marketing is concerned, the internet changed everything. Companies that failed to participate in the conversation in the marketplace, at best, put themselves at great disadvantage.
Salesforce Report: Customers Want to Know and Be Known
Our CEO, Nick Runyon, sends out these great Sunday night “Updates”—musings, really, that are sometimes about our business, sometimes about his personal philosophies, sometimes just “hey, hope everyone’s doing well and ready for another successful week.”
Attention Economy, Meet Hybrid Experience
This article, from almost a year ago, still resonates today. This is one of our most popular posts. As we emerge from the pandemic and get back to business as usual, nothing has really changed–in fact, people’s attention might even be harder to secure today than ever.
Wake Up, Marketers, Digital Fatigue is A Real Thing
When the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the United States and forced millions to work remotely, the technology and devices people used were no longer nice-to-haves, but essential tools to get everyday work done.
Engagement, Not Reach, Is the Marketer’s Challenge Today
We’ve come a long way from the early digital marketing days covered by CMO.com. And, in some ways, what’s old is new again. And the combination of digital and physical marketing—the hybrid experience—is the future of marketing.
It’s Time for Businesses to 'Keep it Real'
We all know a phony when we see one: someone who is talking himself up, showing off, trying hard to be something she’s not. It’s an immediate turnoff. Humans crave honesty, and we gravitate toward people who are authentic.
Elevating the Hybrid Experience is Critical for Customer Engagement
As marketing executives sort through today’s often confusing array of digital tools and channels, it’s painfully clear that success requires more than state-of-the-art technology. How a company approaches and interacts with customers is at the heart of engagement—and business success.
Pssst [YOUR NAME HERE], Have I Got a Deal for You!
Strategies must evolve with the channel. Many marketers don’t recognize the availability or value of modern hybrid platforms that marry the best of digital and physical and make direct mail even more effective.
Beauty Is in the Eye of the Receiver
All gifting is direct mail, but not all direct mail is gifting. So, what does a high-quality direct mail experience look like?
Has Content Marketing Reached a Saturation Point? Part 2
Content Marketing is going to have to become a product in and of itself.
Has Content Marketing Reached a Saturation Point? Part 1
To this day, HubSpot define it this way: “Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have”.
Ensuring Your Customers’ Privacy is Good Business
Protecting customers’ data privacy might be viewed by many marketers as an unwelcome impediment to their ability to effectively tailor customer communications and experiences. Not so. In fact, on the contrary, ensuring such privacy and data security can be both a business benefit and differentiator.
5 Ways CMOs Can Transform Marketing
If there’s a mantra for the digital age, it’s automate, automate, automate. To be sure, the ability to use computers to handle various tasks is often transformative. It slashes costs, boosts speed, and improves productivity—thus making a business more competitive.
Bringing Direct Mail into the Digital Age
Direct mail has been an effective tool for marketers across industries since the dawn of, well, mail. In fact, research shows that more than half of consumers want direct mail from brands that interest them. What’s more, 70 percent of them say these physical engagements are more personal than online interactions. Now it’s time for direct mail to realize its full potential in the digital age.
Why Every Company Should Be a Data Company
The reality for modern businesses is that the ability to gather, ingest, integrate, and deliver customer data to the appropriate marketing technology platforms—and to achieve goals, such as personalizing the customer experience—is going to be a key differentiator that can set your business apart from competitors.
Personalization v. Personal: A Story of Two Couples
And that is how “Personal” beats “Personalization” every time, in every way.
Building Brand Affinity: How to Remain Competitive in the B2B Sales Landscape
As buyers seek more nuanced customer experiences and emotional connections with brands that transcend traditional marketing practices, building brand affinity in the bustling—and crowded—business-to-business (B2B) sales landscape has become increasingly complex.
Leadership Alliance 2021 Report: ABM Gets Personal
There’s no longer any debate about the value of personalized and relevant marketing. It’s an essential element for establishing trusted relationships with customers and building long-term brand affinity. Nevertheless, organizations of all shapes and sizes continue to struggle with the concept.
It’s Time to Put the Human Back in Marketing
In a world becoming more and more automated, we don’t want to lose sight of the human touch. While marketing has evolved to incorporate automation for manual processes rife with redundancy, companies must also empathize with their customers as they interact with the organization, its products, or its services.
Three Ways to Fight Digital Fatigue in the Attention Economy
Monday through Friday—and oftentimes on the weekends—our work inboxes and various chat applications continually demand much of our digital mindshare.
PFL Partners With Iterable to Bring Direct Mail Into the Leading Omnichannel Marketing Ecosystem
PFL brings a new level of direct mail capabilities to Iterable’s customers by providing a holistic marketing solution that eliminates data silos when executing marketing programs and provides full transparency into campaign performance.
PFL + Iterable: A match made in omnichannel heaven
Capturing an audience and earning their engagement is no easy feat in today’s Attention Economy. More than half of enterprise employees are facing increasing levels of digital fatigue, forcing brands to find fresh, innovative approaches to more effectively reach their audiences—and inspire them to take action.
Women’s History Month: Diversity Is Clearly Good for Business
When I’m asked for advice about how to promote women in technology, my response is typically: “If you want to see more women in tech, you need to start today with your daughters, your nieces, the girls in your neighborhood, the classmates of your sons, and the girls you teach, coach, or mentor. It starts with girls, not women.”
How Well Do You Really Know Your Customers?
Truly knowing your customers thoroughly allows you to meet their current needs and anticipate their future desires. That’s why it is a core differentiator today for businesses that want to stay competitive in an unpredictable world.
When Worlds Collide
At times, the task will seem formidable. Yet, as we wade deeper into the digital age, it becomes clearer that the online and offline worlds have indeed collided—and the right combination of digital and human touch is essential.
Infographic: PFL’s “2022 Hybrid Audience Engagement Survey
The results of PFL’s “2022 Hybrid Audience Engagement Survey” found that personalization, content, and physical marketing tactics, such as direct mail, can have a significant impact on brands’ abilities to reach burnt-out audience.
PFL Survey: Organizations Struggle to Adapt to the Attention Economy
While marketing isn’t likely to get any easier in the months and years ahead, it’s possible for business leaders to think smarter and act more strategically. The results of the 2022 PFL “Hybrid Audience Engagement Survey” clearly show that marketers must expand and deepen their thinking about how to gain traction in the attention economy of today, a place where personalization matters and content counts.
PFL Unveils Vision for the Hybrid Experience
The key to successful marketing, customer experience, and employee engagement is attention, but it’s hard to captivate people fatigued by digital engagement methods. PFL’s industry-leading Hybrid Experience Platform combines the emotional power of offline marketing with the measurement and predictability of digital so that brands can deliver one-to-one personalization at scale.
Survey: Personalization and Direct Mail Spark Higher Engagement Among Digitally Fatigued Audiences
In today’s business landscape, the competition for impressions, clicks, and mindshare is fierce.
PFL Announces New Leadership Team to Drive Company Expansion and Market Adoption of Hybrid Experience Solutions
PFL, a leading hybrid experience company, orchestrates physical and digital engagement for brands with their key audiences, using data to automate direct mail and create more authentic human experiences at infinite scale.
February Celebrations: The Romantic and the Cynic
Part of PFL’s business involves helping its customers celebrate both big and little occasions—a successful meeting, a new employee, a long-time customer, or a holiday.
The Right Audience-Engagement Strategy: It’s A Gift
With more than 50 percent of the U.S. population continuing to work remotely and more than one-third of U.S. consumers reporting digital fatigue, marketers need every strategy that will help their brands stand out to their digitally overwhelmed customers.
Business Must Understand Context to Create the Right CX At the Right Time
As organizations scale up business initiatives, data points replace physical touch points. Duplicating—or, at least, approximating—human interaction becomes more difficult…and the stakes are magnified.
B2B Has Made an Omnichannel Pandemic Pivot, With Direct Mail Part of the Mix
A new survey from McKinsey & Co. found that the pandemic pivot to remote operations has increased the adoption of digital channels by enterprises and led them to accommodate omnichannel sales and marketing.
Andrew Field, PFL CEO and Founder, Is Retiring; President Nick Runyon to Assume CEO Role
PFL has announced that, after 25 years of growth and category creation, founder and CEO, Andrew Field, is retiring from the company. PFL President Nick Runyon will assume the role of CEO.
Customer Experience: Something Worth Getting Emotional About
Organizations that go beyond delivering on customer experience to elevating the human experience will be better positioned to create more meaningful connections, foster loyalty, and ultimately drive growth.
HYBRID EXPERIENCE 2022 Orchestrate Direct Mail to Increase Response Rates By 20x
Orchestrating direct mail within your multichannel strategy can increase response rates by 20x or more. Whether you’re driving awareness, pipeline, or customer engagement, combining physical and digital marketing produces greater results than can be achieved by either alone.
Has Digital Marketing Failed to Deliver? Consider Martech Ops
Whether your martech stack is an assemblage of free tools skirting expiration dates or a marketing automation platform deployed enterprise-wide, the role of marketing operations is key to making sure the technology does what you need according to the strategy you have painstakingly crafted.
As Consumers Seek to Minimize Digital Footprint, Savvy Marketers See an Opportunity
The concept of data ownership is changing, and consumers have increasing power and control over their personal data.
PFLers Share the Experience of Holiday Traditions, Recipes
With the holiday season well underway, companies of all shapes and sizes have sought fresh ways to drive employee engagement amid the realities of hybrid and remote work.
PFL Predicts: What’s In Store for Business in 2022?
The leadership team at PFL has some considered thoughts about what it’s going to take in the business, marketing, and technology areas to make 2022 better than 2021.
Don’t Give Up on Direct Mail—It Can Really Deliver
The channel was declared endangered with the rise of digital media, as email volume clearly outpaced that of direct mail. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses struggle to recover, mail volumes have gone up, and marketers are coming back to the channel.
So Many Email Accounts—What’s a Marketer to Do?
Brands that complement their email strategy with personalized direct mail offerings will be taking advantage of this key opportunity to reach consumers of all ages.
Using Ideal Customer Profiles Can Help Create Authentic Experiences
The reality is that today’s consumers might have moved towards digital as a primary form of interaction with brands, but many still have one foot firmly in the physical world.
Holiday Traditions Around the World: It’s a Physical Gift
As we approach that time of the year when giving gifts, both personally and for business, is top of mind for many of us, I wondered what gift-giving looked like around the world.
Creating Customer Personas for Data-Driven Marketing
Whether your company is just beginning it digital transformation, or if it is well along on the path to maturity, customer personas are foundational to establishing consistent and replicable criteria about your customers that provide the data-driven basis for your customer-facing business strategy.
Four Ways Mere Mortal Brands Can Create Disney-like ‘Magical Moments’
How can your brand give employees wide latitude in making every customer happy? Allowing staff to dole out small discounts, rewards, or other goodies, whether through direct mail or in-person, might instantly engender deep loyalty.
Don’t Let the Supply-chain Be the Weak Link in Your Holiday Experience
The holidays are coming and will be here before we know it. But if news about the supply chain is to be believed, what might not be coming are the items you plan to buy for the various celebrations.
‘Orchestrated Serendipity’ and the Viral Marketing Campaign
Whether it’s a segment of your collected leads or a sales-driven personalized step, marketers can drive significant individual attention by enabling sales staff to personalize a step in the sequence.
If Your Brand Vanished Tomorrow, Would Anybody Care?
When brand do these things right, and when they create integrated, orchestrated and impactful experiences at scale, they’re suddenly able to establish connections that transcend a simple transactional.
Come for The Digital, Stay for the Physical
Come for the digital, stay for the physical. As stated: The human experience is hybrid.
The Customer Experience: It’s A Generational Thing
Traditional marketing programs used in tandem with advanced digital programs and analog elements might be the optimal solution for your business and customers.
Let’s Get Physical, In a Digital Kind of Way
In a world where the signal-to-noise ratio is often deafening, marketers and sales professionals must step back and assess what works best in a particular situation.
Heeding Digital Signals: Which Customer-Behavior Metrics Count
As customer data has become deeper and more complex, businesses are able to tap into even more insight into customer behaviors, with an unparalleled understanding of their habits and preferences persistently over time.
Forget ‘Black Friday’: For Business, the Time to Shop is Now
Even if you’re not mentally prepared for all the holiday music and trappings, you should prepare your business for the holiday season ASAP
It’s the Thought that Counts: The Story of Business Gifts at the Holidays
Interested in learning more about how to create some magical moments for your prospects, customers, and employees this holiday season?
The Era of the Hybrid Experience
The importance of relational experiences is coming to the forefront as a distinctly human and critically necessary part of life.
The Real Secret to Amazon’s Success
PFL has created a way to deliver authentic human experiences—much like those Amazon serves up—by orchestrating impactful direct mail in an ecosystem fueled by data.
It’s a Hybrid World
Our 21st century is more of a hybrid world than ever. Home and office; public and private; online and offline; digital and analog. At PFL, we have created a platform to accelerate relationships with prospects and customers that can help move businesses forward in this new world.
5 Ways to Use Preferred Address Capture
PFL has developed a method to capture not only your contact’s attention but also their preferred address. We call it the Preferred Address Capture solution, and it’s the market leader in address confirmation.
What is Tactile Marketing Automation? Definition, Best Practices, and Real-World Examples
There’s more digital noise than ever in the world of B2B marketing. To help marketers break through the noise, Oracle just launched a special Spark Series educating marketers on how physical marketing triggered by audience behavior shines through in a sea teeming with marketing messages.