How does an increase of $380K in business and 250% increase in engagement sound? Check out a blueprint one of our clients used leveraging automated direct mail and gifting within their nurture paths to achieve such results.
What Gets Your Attention?
An email in your junk mail or a personalized coffee set delivered to your desk?
As we know, ALL businesses send email, even Ken the barber might send out a newsletter. Email is a relatively cheap medium, it’s easy, and no matter what anyone tells you, it still works. But email is clutter–I received 388 emails yesterday. Plus, many companies block email making it difficult to reach prospects behind the corporate wall.
How do you break through the noise? How do you reach your top accounts?
The Challenge: How to Create a Multi-Touch Experience
When the opportunity arose to help PFL with a project, my team jumped on it. PFL is one of the leaders in direct mail and it is integrated with Marketo, Salesforce and Eloqua to enable marketers to send physical mail and gifts directly from those systems.
But the challenge wasn’t to just send a list of folks from Marketo to PFL to drive a bulk mail–that’s a glorified list import like sending your holiday list a box of cookies all at once. Instead, the challenge was to drive systematic evergreen communications as part of an ongoing nurture conversation–and test the heck out it. So, instead of a nurture campaign sending an email, it would send a tactile piece as part of the nurture journey when the time was right–very cool stuff.
But how would it perform?
The Project: Email and Mail are Better Together
PFL’s goal was to build trust and provide educational content to high target leads and accounts and, of course, drive leads and accounts down the funnel.
A decision to move to automated direct mail is a big decision that requires a lot of education. The calls-to-action were low pressure (a Case Study) asking if a prospect wanted to learn more, rather than asking for a meeting or a demo.
Systematic Evergreen Communications
As part of the campaign, PFL decided to make the fifth touch the direct mail gift. If a prospect hit certain criteria and an address existed, the prospect would get the kit. Otherwise, the recipient would receive the email.
The special sauce to the campaign was that it was built to be evergreen, meaning that as new qualified leads entered the system, they would automatically drop into this content stream. This process had the double benefit of automating the gift send while also ensuring that the recipient received it at the right time during the nurture conversation.
As recipients received the gifts, PFL tracked all Case Study downloads and lifecycle successes that came from the campaign.
The Better Together Package
The physical package that PFL sent was fun–a notepad that had humorous examples of how physical mail and digital outreach are just better together.
Example of the physical Better Together kit, the banner ad and the email.
Test, Test, Test
PFL started with four simultaneous test groups that included Marketo Real-time personalization (RTP) as well as retargeting campaigns using Facebook.
In the tests, we started RTP a bit late so the audience was too small to show any real impact. The plan is to try this method again in a future test.
On the retargeting, PFL leveraged Facebook to promote the Case Study download to the same people who received the gift. However, since PFL focuses on B2B, the match rates for Facebook emails were extremely low. LinkedIn would be the perfect retargeting medium but their pricing model is focused on high volume Enterprise customers (Translation: Super expensive for low-mid volume). Hopefully, LinkedIn will come downstream in the near future.
End Results – 258% Lift and Massive Boost in Revenue
The end result was one of the top producing campaigns I’ve ever worked on. We had 4 separate test groups to test offers and in the end, the combination of direct mail and email won big time. Using emails, in combination with automated direct mail and a few other tactics, PFL was able to deliver a cohesive experience across multiple channels to get the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
In the first three months the campaign:
- Generated a 258% lift in Engagement (People who downloaded content, became MQLs or better) vs people who didn’t receive direct mail.
- Ignited Sales bringing in $384K+ in revenue in the first three months.
- Delivered strong and rewarding 1,967% ROI (Based on investment vs revenue).
- Drove 71% more sales opportunities over the control group.
- Significantly streamlined marketing with a set-and-forget systematic evergreen approach as the direct mail sits within a nurture stream.
Other Automated Direct Mail Considerations
Before jumping on the automated direct mail bandwagon, here are a few things to consider.
Your Price Point. If you are selling $15 calculators or $99 software packages, physical gifting beyond a post card probably doesn’t make sense. If you are selling in a B2B environment where your Sales reps are trying to generate enterprise deals faster or close renewals easier, consider automated direct mail.
Getting Buy-in. Most digital marketers are used to spending budget on digital marketing as physical mail is old school. Asking for budget for direct mail is like asking for a CD for Christmas. So yes, you’ll have to make a case for it but the opportunity is large because so few companies are taking advantage of automated direct mail.
Costs. Direct mail is way more expensive than email. You’ll need to find a way to justify it within your organization but as this example shows, the ROI is there in the right situation. PFL spent about $20K to generate nearly $400K in revenue.
We are Here to Help
Direct mail is making a comeback, especially when it’s done in a systematic evergreen way. We’ve seen the success firsthand with PFL, ourselves, and are recommending the solution to select clients.
If you are interested in taking your marketing to the next level, we are here to help as a PFL partner. Learn more about the partnership here or reach out directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
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