feature

If digital direct mail isn’t on your company’s radar, it may be time for that to change. Many digital native brands are now leveraging digital direct mail as an outreach channel. Here’s how.

You know how to engage your customers in the online world. That's what your team is hard at work doing every day—keeping people coming back to your brand's app, website, and more. But what about in the offline world? It may be surprising to hear, but communicating via actual paper mail can be a highly effective method for customer engagement, one many brands don't even consider.

If digital direct mail isn’t on your company’s radar, it may be time for that to change. For one thing, advances in technology now make it possible to trigger personalized direct mail the same way you trigger push notifications. For another, direct mail actually saw a stronger recipient response rate in 2018, making it a powerful tool for driving user engagement. And with many digital native brands now leveraging digital direct mail as an outreach channel, there are signs that this neglected outreach option may be in the midst of making a marketing comeback.

How Braze Alloys Partnerships Can Support Your Digital Direct Mail Campaigns

Thanks to partnerships with direct mail automation platforms Lob and Inkit, Braze customers can now send direct mail—such as letters, postcards, and even checks through the mail—right to their users, just as easily as deploying an email marketing campaign.

Where traditional print mailing efforts and other offline marketing tactics usually don't offer advanced marketing capabilities like segmentation, personalization, A/B testing, and more, with Braze and our partners you can set up data-driven direct mailing campaigns. For instance, you could try:

  • A/B testing your direct mailer creative, promotional offers, and more
  • Comparing how direct mail to lapsing users performs compared with direct mail sent to your engaged user segment
  • Experimenting to see how direct mail performs by demographics, such as age, gender, and geographical market
  • Seeing how direct mail performs among churned users versus other re-engagement campaigns sent via other channels

The simplest gesture may have the biggest impact. Consider piloting sending heartfelt personal notes from members of your team at the holidays, on customers' birthdays, to celebrate membership milestones, or on other special occasions.

“While many of today’s top brands focus almost exclusively on digital marketing, there are still a lot of industries where classic mailers and flyers are an essential part of the outreach mix,” said Scott Dzialo, Director of Customer Success, Enterprise and Strategic Accounts at Braze. “In particular, local marketing groups and small businesses find that physical mailers are still one of the best ways of engaging with their communities. The combined power of Inkit and Braze allows you to get the best of both your digital and physical marketing worlds. With Braze as the orchestration layer, Inkit can send all sorts of physical mail to your end users. This messaging combined with your digital communications ensures you're reaching all of your customers across all of their touchpoints, creating a truly holistic discussion with your users.”

The Braze platform’s integrations with Lob and Inkit also mean that it’s possible for marketers to incorporate digital direct mail into their existing cross-channel messaging campaigns. That can do a lot to move the needle when it comes to engagement. Braze research has shown that communicating with customers via a single channel, such as email, push, or in-app messaging, only has the potential to increase engagement by 179% compared to conducting no outreach at all. But when brands are able to offer true cross-channel messaging, engagement rates jump up by as much as 844%.

Next Steps

Today’s consumers expect to be able to engage with brands across a wide range of devices and digital platforms—which increasingly means that smart marketers need to look to a cross-channel approach to customer engagement. That's why whatever marketing tech stack you invest in needs to be as flexible and quick to evolve as your overall marketing strategy. Brilliant experiences come together when marketing systems do, too.

To get up to speed about the technologies that can help you take care of everything from eliminating data silos to improving team collaboration, learn the latest from our Ecosystems and Integrations Roundup.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip