I got an unusual complaint the other day. A guy had visited the website of a brand that we do business with. And afterward he didn’t get retargeted. “How come you didn’t send me anything in the mail?” he said, sounding disappointed. “I thought that’s what you guys do.”
He was half right.
Relevance and respect revisited
Regular readers of this space know that my philosophy of transactional media is rooted in relevance and respect for the consumer. That’s why I routinely rail against digital when it becomes intrusive to the consumer. After all, the whole point of a pop-up ad is to disrupt the user experience. Imagine if you had looked into some vacation options recently, but were in a theater enjoying a play when the person in front of you suddenly stood up, turned around and launched into a timeshare pitch for a resort you have no intention of ever visiting. How receptive would you be?
With Programmatic Direct Mail®, the idea is to use online data to make a physical world connection between a brand and its customers in the form of meaningful mail delivered to the home. To continue the theater analogy: Imagine if you enjoyed the play immensely without interruption. A few days later you receive material in the mail about the theater’s season ticket program. Think you’d be more receptive to that than a tone-deaf timeshare pitch mid-performance? That’s more or less how Programmatic Direct Mail® works compared to digital.
Transforming analytics into action
In short, Programmatic Direct Mail® is selective. We’ve devoted substantial resources to optimization. Besides going all out to simply not harass people, we also find blind spots in retail and other verticals and illuminate them.
We offer a menu of analytics to track the effectiveness of our campaigns — options that include online, in-store, mail order and telephone purchases. By determining which mail pieces drive the best performance, brands can further refine their campaigns to deliver even better results for their customers and for themselves.
And by the way: If you’re concerned about privacy issues — rest assured, we are, too. All data remains anonymized and in pools. So, while we can say that x number of pieces of mail resulted in y number of purchases in this geographical region, with this much lift based on at-location purchases, our analytics expose nothing about individual consumers. Our contracts insist on this.
Anything digital does, we can do better
At the risk of damning digital with faint praise, I’ll concede that display retargeting ads serve as good reminders for utility-driven purchases: You’d better click and buy right now while I’m blinking at you and disrupting your user experience!
But even in this instance, Programmatic Direct Mail® delivered to the home is superior. It’s particularly effective for delivering reminders that require visiting a physical location. The reason is simple: Mail is tangible. People can save it in a place that they can easily access like propped against the fruit bowl on the counter or taped to the fridge.
Not only is this better for the consumer but it is also better for the brand because it enables tracking a transaction from a website visit to at-home mail delivery and ultimately to the point of purchase through any channel — desktop web, mobile, in-app, mail order, telephone order or physical locations such as in the store, bank branch, car lot, venue, etc.
That’s huge. And brands that can’t measure the impact of marketing in physical location visits are really at a disadvantage.
Wish you were here
Now, to get back to the guy who was upset because we never retargeted him after he’d visited the site of one of our brands. Let me explain.
Yes, harvesting real-time online interest and intent data and using it to convert shoppers into buyers via meaningful mail is what we do. But the key word there is meaningful. Our mail wouldn’t be meaningful if we indiscriminately sent it to everyone who ever visited a particular brand’s site. (For adtech veterans: I know. Shocking.) Our approach is optimized to be far more selective, appending relevancy of purchase channel or household attributes, and solving for factors that other retargeters either haven’t figured out yet or don’t care about (even though they should).
In other words, we don’t waste our brands’ money or the consumers’ time (and goodwill) by retargeting low-percentage prospects. And we pour additional resources into finding high-percentage prospects that are hiding in retail’s long-standing blind spots.
So, be patient, my friend. If you continue to show genuine online interest in that brand of ours whose site you recently visited, you’ll likely receive a follow up via Programmatic Direct Mail®. And you will be delighted to discover that our direct mail offer is relevant and respectful, delivered in a format that makes it easy to follow up whenever, wherever and however you wish.