Innovative solutions that elevate direct mail

4 minute read

We know it’s hard to keep up. Right before our eyes, consumers are forming new habits and discovering new preferences for how, where and when they want to engage with brands.

It may seem impossible to stand out amidst such a rapidly evolving, even frustrating, environment.

Successful businesses and brands, however, are doing just that by tapping into a series of tools and technologies built to support their marketing efforts. When deployed in association with data-backed strategies (and a bit of creativity), these innovations are helping brands captivate consumers in new and surprising ways.

There’s evidence that the media effect when combining web, email and mobile with print is a 45 per cent increase in response rates over a digital-only media mix. Eighty-six per cent of marketers also say that combining online channels with offline marketing as part of an integrated and synchronized campaign is critical to long-term success.1

Connect with customers in new ways

Here are a few considerations in making your marketing efforts stand out:

Programmatic Mail: Maximize impact with personalized communication

Programmatic mail is the physical version of digital remarketing that uses customer insights and signals to continue a conversation with an audience. A personalized direct mail piece is sent to the prospect’s home, after an interaction via an online or offline channel, in order to drive action. New technological developments make it possible to send timely, targeted and relevant triggered messages within as little as 48 hours of interaction.

Here’s what that might look like:

  • A customer visits a store and buys a pair of jeans. The store then mails them a piece promoting the latest complementary tops and accessories.
  • A prospect visits an automotive dealership. This triggers a follow-up mail package which includes information on the model the customer inquired about, in their preferred colour, with an incentive to book a test drive.
  • A prospect makes a request for an insurance quote online. They are then sent a detailed information package with a special offer and the contact details of an insurance specialist.

Here are some of the online events that could activate a physical follow-up:

Abandoned cart, abandoned form, social follow, website visit, opened email, first purchase, birthday/membership anniversary.

Create an effective direct mail campaign that will drive better results.

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Programmatic mail delivers results

Simply put, programmatic mail campaigns can be extremely effective. These leading brands have discovered what they can deliver:

  • Online retail giant Wayfair Canada teamed up with Canada Post to test the effectiveness of programmatic mail. Their mailing resulted in double the response rate compared to digital-only efforts (online and email retargeting).
  • Golf Town, Canada’s largest specialty golf retailer, ran a triggered marketing campaign to turn online browsers into in-store shoppers. They identified their most popular product categories (clubs, balls, shoes, apparel and bags) and mailed promotional offers to customers who visited those web pages within three days. The resulting sales revenue was worth $158,000.
  • Barbies Restaurants combined strong value offers with data-driven geotargeting and doubled redemption rates.

Direct mail is a first-class way to communicate with people. You can touch it. You can see it. When a flyer arrives, it feels like home.2

Spyros Christopoulos

Co-owner and co-founder,

Barbies Restaurants

Get to know the QR code: Back and better than ever

Technology and user behaviour have finally caught up with the QR code. Now easily scanned directly from a smartphone camera, they instantly take a customer anywhere you would like to lead them. Over the past year, QR codes have become a welcome addition to the touchless world – from reading restaurant menus to making purchases.

Simple to create, accessible to all and popular across generations, these easy-to-spot checkered graphics offer marketing possibilities limited only by your creativity. QR codes let you collect customer data, track campaign results and create memorable experiences that drive conversion and sales.

Find inspiration in how top brands use QR codes to drive their businesses.

Predictive eye tracking: Land your message with impact

What if you knew what part of a direct mail piece a consumer would focus on even before they knew themselves? Predictive eye tracking does just that. It’s a powerful technology that helps marketers optimize campaign creative.

Predictive eye tracking software (PET) simulates human vision and identifies the areas of your mail piece that have the best potential to draw the human eye. This means potential customers see your message loud and clear. By eliminating the need for in-person focus groups, PET speeds up decision making – a key factor in a rapidly changing environment.

With consumers’ attention spans shrinking – from an average of 12 seconds in 2000 to just eight seconds in 2015 – direct mail has a proven ability to draw consumers in for a long time. In one study, participants spent 37 seconds, on average, with their first exposure of direct mail.3

That kind of prolonged, exploratory engagement gives marketers a leg up in the battle for attention and increases the odds that their messages will be noticed and absorbed.
When looking to garner not just attention but meaningful connections, PET is about as close as you can get to predicting the future.

Predictive eye tracking works

These brands generated strong results and PET was an integral part of the process:

Get the results your brand deserves

Even in a rapidly evolving world, it’s hard not to be excited about these new possibilities for reaching and engaging audiences. Tech that tracks, targets and delivers with unrivaled precision. Tools that set no limits on creativity. Data that evaluates success like never before.

Direct mail has always been an effective way of reaching Canadian audiences. Now enhanced by a new generation of tools and technology, the channel has become a versatile companion that can amplify marketing campaigns and drive results.

Read more from our ‘direct mail essentials’ blog series.

1 The Globe and Mail. “Mix digital and physical marketing to build an integrated plan,” September 2020.
2 Canada Post. Amping up the media mix, 2020.
3 Canada Post. Connecting for Action, 2015

Direct mail can be a key part of converting your audience.

Let’s talk about making your next campaign a success.

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