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Mail Tech 2024: Exploring NextGen Trends & Future Evolution

Posted Jan 18, 2024 | Views 131
# Direct Mail
# Technology
# Trends
# Webinar
# Automation
# Disruption
# Leadership
# Sustainability
# Omnichannel Marketing
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SUMMARY

This informative event brings together industry leaders, experts, and innovators from the mailing technology community and other cutting-edge mail automation services.

•Review the current state of mailing technology •Glimpse into the exciting advancements shaping the industry’s future •Engage with influential leaders as they discuss emerging trends and disruptive technologies •Explore collaborative efforts between the USPS and industry partners, highlighting initiatives aimed at improving efficiency, sustainability, and customer experience

Our moderator Morgan DiGiorgio, SVP Sales & Marketing at DirectMail2.0, will lead this esteemed panel of professionals to exchange ideas and discuss key takeaways:

•Brad Kugler, CEO/Co-Founder of DirectMail2.0 •Lemay Sanchez, CEO of PlanProphet •Michael Pope, CEO of DirectMailer.io •Matthew Holliday, Director of Sales & Marketing at Franklin •Rick Elmore, CEO of Simply Noted

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TRANSCRIPT

0:00 all right it's 2 o'clock pm on a Tuesday January 16th I'm excited to kick off our 0:07 mail Tech webinar for 2024 my name is Morgan de Georgio I'm the senior vice president sales and 0:13 marketing for Direct Mail 2.0 we had a webinar last month uh on the state of the industry and honestly I don't know 0:21 about you Brad but I felt like we could have talked for hours and I think that we just realize that there's so much to 0:27 Encompass and we have so much value that we can offer or proliferate through these educational platforms um like our 0:34 webinars so we thought hey why don't we break some of this content down and host a series with some industry 0:40 professionals on different nuances and facets within the industry so for January we wanted to kick it off uh with 0:48 mail technology or technology in mail in the print industry so we put together a 0:53 solid panel for you today just a little bit about Direct Mail 2.0 and our organization uh it is our sole program 1:00 to make Direct Mail the most effective form of marketing by integrating it with Cutting Edge technology so we have a 14 1:06 technology platform that integrates specifically into direct mail with a real-time reporting dashboard and it's geared towards doing a couple of 1:13 different things one we want to seamlessly track mail either the deliverability of or we want to show 1:18 attribution of mail and really keep it as a contender in the ring the other piece to our platform is we want to lift 1:24 the response rate to mail we just want to make mail as effective as we possibly can by integrating an omni Channel 1:29 marketing approach so that's a little bit about us um printers and msps all over the United States buy a license to 1:36 resell our technology to their direct mail customers to boost revenue and grow their organization and also add a lot of 1:43 value for their clients in their direct mail campaigns so today one of our esteem panelists is none other than our 1:49 CEO and co-founder Bradley cougler so he will be joining us today uh from here I 1:55 just want to go over to each one of our our panelists and let them give a quick intro on themselves and tell us a little 2:00 bit about their organization so Matt uh Matthew holiday we'll start with you 2:06 sure thanks so much Morgan um hi everyone I'm Matt holiday I am the 2:11 director of sales and marketing at Franklin and we are a very data focused 2:18 print and Direct Mail provider um celebrating our 101st year in business 2:23 and yes yeah we've been around a long time um and you know I as director of 2:31 sales and marketing I oversee all of our sales and marketing aspects but I also manage our system development team and 2:39 so via that I really have my hands in pretty much any and all technology that 2:45 we Implement and again we are very technology forward so definitely stay 2:50 busy around here absolutely and that is why I thought you would be a perfect fit for our webinar today so thank you so 2:57 much for joining us Matt um next let's go over to uh you Rick sure yeah thanks 3:03 for having me my name is Rick Elmore um I'm the owner founder of a company called simply noted um been doing this 3:11 for six years what we do and specialize in is handwritten mail um we have 3:17 created our own handwriting robot you know there were Auto pens in the past that did something uh like what we do 3:24 but in order to help our clients achieve what we're trying to help you achieve is integrate and a and scale it efficiently 3:31 we had to build our own handwriting robot so our goal is to help you send handwritten envelopes handwritten 3:37 letters handwritten notes um through API Integrations zappier Integrations make 3:43 Integrations you know within your software so wherever you are um we want to be there as a part of your business 3:49 and help you do that personalization completely automated or do it at scale um and that's all we focus on we don't 3:55 do any print um all we do is the the handwritten aspect so um we have a platform you can do it 4:01 online you can do it through apis you can do it zap your integration um but yeah that's our our hyper focus is to 4:09 create purposeful creative impactful personalized genuine handwritten mail at 4:16 scale I love that I mean personalization in print is huge I mean it it definitely 4:21 increases the response rate and I love how you're taking it to the next level with the integration and and 4:27 streamlining those processes super neat all right Lei what about you hey guys 4:34 pleasure to be here I'm Lei Sanchez I'm CEO of plan profit plan profit is a CRM and marketing automation engine 4:40 specifically dedicated to the print world we integrate today with more than five if not six different mis's or 4:47 estimating systems in the print world what we do is we grab your data live from your estimating system we bring it 4:53 over to our end to give you better visualization of your data pipelines and automation for sales activ activities 4:59 such as quote follow-ups inactive account checkins uh all the marketing Journey nurturing that your customers 5:05 would expect that they receive the moment that they buy something from you that's what our customer does as a matter of fact a significant number of 5:11 our customers also Direct Mail 2.0 clients that's a cool thing super cool yeah I mean if there's anything that we 5:16 need in the industry with the lack of resources and Personnel it's a streamlining of those processes and 5:22 automation so I mean like broad said i' I'd like to get a demo of that that that platform too at some point in time all 5:29 right and um last but not least Michael tell us a little bit about yourself and your organization sure Morgan uh thanks 5:36 for having me today guys appreciate the invite um I'm Michael uh CEO and uh co-founder of direct mailer uh direct 5:42 mailer is an automated uh Direct Mail agency uh and platform uh we focus in uh 5:48 clients in the Health Care Health Insurance uh SAS and small business space um our goal is to set out to 5:54 leverage direct mail um just as powerful as any other digital Mark uh digital marketing channel so a testing 6:00 personalization attribution tracking um and we're really excited to to to talk a little bit about that today um and 6:08 appreciate you having me on the panel interesting I'm I'm looking forward to learning a little bit more about that too Michael thank you so we're thrilled 6:15 to have you all here um I I thank everybody who's on and joining us and taking a little slice out of their day 6:20 and deciding to spend it with us if anybody does have any questions as we're going through this webinar please just 6:25 pop it in the chat I'd like to try to get through as much content as we possibly can and and we'll dive into 6:30 those questions and answer them at the end um so our our first question that I'd like to post to our panelist and 6:36 I'll just have each one of you give me your Insight on this um is what is one 6:42 technology that everyone in the print mail industry should be using in their business ASAP right now and why and Brad 6:50 I'll just go ahead and I will start with you great uh listen there's a reason 6:56 that these people are on this panel and they were on before they were not just randomly picked out of the Hat I 7:02 feel it's before I answer this question I want to explain that if if traditional 7:07 Inc on paper printers have not adopted some of the disruptive technology in the print industry it's really a disservice 7:14 to their to their own company and their employees because this is where the future is all right if I really had to 7:21 drill down each one of these people on here has has some very interesting technology that will help keep your 7:27 print business relevant and and we are all tied to print and it's in everyone's 7:33 best interest to see print Thrive and expand and I really do think it is but that being said oh man it's it is really 7:41 a hard question but if I really had to focus on one I would almost think it's probably some of either the variable 7:48 data technology that's come out for printers if you haven't invested in that yet which I think most have that's 7:55 needed short of that which is sort of the same thing is some sort of webt 8:00 print application software now you know people would expect me to say our software for sure but you know even what 8:08 comes ahead of that is some of the variable data print technology or the web to print stuff our sort of layers on 8:14 at any point with any one of these people's technology but that is is a 8:20 much bigger investment and it's it's much more technology Savvy companies that are able 8:27 to do that so I'd have to say either variable data print technology or web to print technology that's yeah two sense 8:34 and and you feel that way because that we're moving more towards targeted mailings and personalization I think 8:41 hyper targeted mailings personalization segmentation all of those things are key 8:47 to being and staying relevant in the marketing World digital marketing came about because of its ability to hyper 8:55 Target specific people and track those results now those pieces of Technology 9:01 can't necessarily track the results but it gives printers the ability to hyper Target individuals with print marketing 9:09 yep absolutely love that Matt what about you yeah so so Brad really I share your 9:17 sentiment I was gonna say bdp software is it's kind of the unsung hero of our 9:22 industry you know it sits behind the scenes but it does so much and I think these days with digital print becoming 9:29 more and more prominent and and really just the sheer amount of data that's out there about consumers that now empowers 9:36 us to be able to hypert Target you know that old school sort of basic mail merge software package just isn't going to cut 9:43 it um you know the software package that that we've employed gives our data programmers Endless Options for 9:49 variability we act we tell our clients if you can dream it up we can build it literally you know sky the limit um but 9:56 we also have a web-based component that allow allows our customers to actually manage their own variable design 10:02 templates should they be so inclined to do so so we've got a lot of automation built on top of that we're big on 10:08 automation from just a you know kind of risk mitigation and a cost saving standpoint and we've been able to build 10:14 some layers on top of that software that's allowed us to to create some automation within some of our other 10:19 systems nice just taking it to the next level yeah and Rick what about you yeah 10:26 so I actually I've recommend two different things I'll give one for businesses just any business should 10:31 should learn and understand a tool such as zappier or some type of automation tool because it's just so you know 10 10:38 years ago when that program was launched it was such a new idea to automate anything um but zap here is just such a 10:44 a fundamental tool that we use in our business not only for lead management for sales and marketing automation but 10:50 it's also great a great tool that you can use on your campaigns to track leads when people are integr or um interacting 10:57 with QR codes or calling your call tracking numbers or or going to landing pages it's just such a phenomenal tool 11:04 and it's extremely cheap and it's extremely intuitive and there's so many people out there that can help you get 11:09 started but if you're not leveraging a tool like that just within your business or even uh connecting it to your your 11:15 mailing campaigns I think you're really missing out and then for us since we we um you know we focus more on the 11:22 handwritten mail something we've really struggled with and we've been spending a lot of time in in building and 11:27 developing is a way to track um uh I guess leads or people who interact with your mailing campaigns 11:34 like through QR codes um you know we've used QR codes predominantly in the past 11:39 just to send people to landing pages but um now it's simply noted we can actually 11:45 track who scans engagements I know that's something that's been done in the print mail in the past but this is something we haven't been able to do 11:51 because there's a lot of behind the scenes with the production with hand stuffing but now with the the 11:56 technologies that we have that are available out there using and leveraging Technologies like that you can actually track engagement um which there just 12:03 hasn't really been something like that in the handwritten space so I would definitely recommend you know really understand a tool like zapier and how 12:10 you can integrate it into your your business but leveraging tracking tools 12:15 um if it's a call rail phone wagon um a landing page whatever types of codes 12:20 really get that data I think people really look over that data and don't track it enough and really just wing it 12:27 uh more often than not yeah absolutely I mean I couldn't agree more on the tracking and attribution side of things 12:32 historically you know a channel like Direct Mail has just been so challenging to track but now with the integration of 12:38 Technology we have access to so many tools where we can really prove its viability even above and beyond you know 12:44 the QR codes and and the call and text tracking and things like that when you're integrating with these crms and 12:49 you can actually track leads inbound into the CRM show that attribution because a lot of the challenges that 12:55 print and mailers have too is that when they're trying to prove the effecacy of sh it's attribution they're heavily 13:00 relying upon their customer to be willing to provide that data but when you have programs that are actually 13:06 injected or connected to those crms and you can go through and pull that reporting and do those PBS on your own 13:12 now you're really showing that the mail is working and who is actually responding and really helping your customers get the most out of their mail 13:18 yeah and I think a lot of people get intimidated you know by data or how to set it up but there's just so many 13:24 resources out there if it's not reaching out to you know somebody on this panel you know who runs a business that can 13:29 help you do it or even just on upw work or Fiverr there's just so many people out there that know how to leverage 13:34 these tools um and these tools are just at your fingertips and just don't be intimidated to get your hands dirty and 13:41 start diving into them and learning how to leverage them correctly yeah I agree and I think a lot of the reasons why we 13:47 don't see more adoption is because of that fear or that intimidation and not knowing how to utilize it but you know 13:54 grow and evolve or die right I mean we have to consistently be growing evolving 13:59 and and tapping into all of this new technology so that's awesome all right 14:04 Lei what about you what are your thoughts I'll take a take off where you guys left off on adapting adaptation 14:11 right um I was reading the other day that it took um 20 years 20,000 people 14:17 run 2500 BC to build the Great Pyramids of Giza right and those people got paid 14:24 um popular belief says that it was slaves it was really whole bunch of people working for bread 14:30 and beer back back in the good old days right best 14:36 commodity just last year right here in Florida where I am where you guys are at to they finished I if you read the news 14:42 they finished a building in just two months um with 11 people only there were highly paid Engineers no more bread and 14:49 beer highly paid Engineers um that finished it in exactly two months and 14:54 that's pretty much what's going on right the days of especially in the print world of how having a staff heavy 15:00 operation with low Reliance on technology and paying people very little that's gone the new age is get the best 15:07 people you can regardless of what the money those people command is right and then use automation technology to run 15:14 your business so my answer will be anything that involves perfecting whatever your trade is and automating it 15:20 if it's Direct Mail look into Direct Mail 2.0 if it's sales that you guys need with maybe maybe looking plan 15:26 profit right if it's anything you guys want to do enhancing Direct Mail you know looking to rig software there's a 15:31 lot of things that you guys can do to just supercharge your existing staff and have them basically do more without 15:37 having to hire more people so that's my vote anything that automates processes today should be where your focus is at 15:45 yeah absolutely I mean I think that there's been so many challenges in finding bodies right and and having the 15:53 ability to actually hire and I know that a lot of these print providers and msps are just stretched so thin and we can 15:59 cure and solve a lot of these problems with technology right so Michael what 16:05 about you what's your opinion um yeah so I'm gonna I'm gonna pick a technology that's kind of been 16:10 out there for for a wee bit but um I mean really a lot of this framed in you know in direct mail stems from usps's 16:17 informed visibility mail tracking uh for for a small business or marketing 16:23 professional um that's a GameChanger because it gives a signal that you normally don't necessarily leverage you 16:29 know a lot of time um just in past experience as a as a as a healthcare marketer um your only unit of trash 16:36 attribution or or signal was like if the phone rang or not um and so uh mail 16:42 tracking leverages the ability to have multiple touches in a campaign we I have a good bit of clients that leverage it 16:48 as maybe a second or third touch but that transparency uh gives them the ability 16:54 to create additional touches whether it be follow-up uh you know if it's not marketing mail it's operational mail 17:00 making sure that it goes from there a lot of small businesses a lot of healthcare providers are missing out um 17:05 on something that is readily available yes the technology learning is a little steep um yes you might have to 17:11 mechanically kind of understand that um but it really is a robust uh uh set of 17:17 signals that if you're leveraging it through uh you know whatever platform or 17:22 technology um it adds impact uh because at the end of the day you know mail is 17:27 not getting any cheaper so understanding these signals that you can kind of iterate and and and uh rework off of to 17:33 me you know in in in my space uh that is been critical absolutely yeah I mean and 17:39 today's current marketing ecosystem we don't want to utilize any just one channel right and there's so much data 17:45 available from informed visibility that you can really tap into and see when is the mail projected to be delivered right 17:51 if I'm utilizing other channels like email or digital marketing I can layer those onto my mail to just create more 17:56 effective marketing C campaigns and lift and improve their response not to mention that we're giving customers 18:02 peace of mind that what they're paying for is actually being delivered right and they believe more in the viability 18:08 of mail and its deliverability and they have tangible results there and there's so many platforms out there you know we 18:13 have a mail tracking platform if you're not sure how to grab those results from informed visibility there's tons of providers out there that can 18:20 inexpensively provide you a platform that you can have access to the data and you can even give your customers access to the data so that they're not picking 18:26 up the phone and calling you and driving you nuts and asking you hey when is my mail going to be delivered where is it why is my phone not ringing yet um so 18:33 just so much available out there you know why we're on the subject I know I said that um I would wait to the end but 18:39 we did have a question about what we were talking about here that's really relevant with the Automation and uh a 18:45 few of the attendees said they have customers that's data is just changing all the time it's never coming in the same and that's preventing them or 18:51 stopping them from doing Automation and they're just curious how you handle 18:56 that yeah um I can I can handle that because we so we're full service right so we we take data from uh you know any 19:04 any client um really for us uh the the you know data sanitation is a challenge 19:11 and getting that process you know kind of in a in a situation um for us we kind 19:17 of built some internal tools to basically take a base you know base data and append it almost very similar to 19:22 what uh apis have metadata um so you're getting you know some maybe some raw signals maybe some proc but it really 19:29 does take a little bit of work and thought to figure out a streamlined way to sanitize uh data as it's coming in uh 19:36 especially if it's coming in through a live either web hook or API that's where it gets really uh challenging and that's 19:42 where to uh L Point like having a specialized person who understands the nuances of of that technical aspect 19:48 would is is key sure or we have this data that's pulled in and and updated in 19:54 real time within these systems and Platforms in the CRM each time a new data set is added it it identifies that 20:01 existing data set and then we have automatic updates to that information um there are technology platforms out there 20:07 that do provide that so that those records are consistently being updated so all right um great great so uh the 20:16 next question that I I I want to pose to all of our panelists is you know this would is going to cause you to just be a 20:22 little bit creative right and and kind of think to yourself you know maybe I don't know giving somebody an idea that 20:29 you might already have uh in the works here in your own mind but is there a killer app or a tech solution that if it 20:36 magically appeared you think would be a GameChanger for our industry you know what what do you think that we need in 20:42 our industry what what killer app or Tech solution that we don't already have um so I'll just come back and I'll go 20:49 ahead and I'll start with you again Brad great actually I had a great meeting there's a group called mtac which is 20:56 mailers technology and automation committee or something that's part of USPS and in that we formed a 21:02 subcommittee of called Sims uh and don't ask I've already forgot it but it's with 21:07 a few of the other technology guys and one of the things that came up that I thought was would could be the the we've 21:14 all heard of the postage discounts and they're like two or three% and everyone goes W big deal who cares about this you 21:19 know maybe for high volume mailers it makes an impact you know but for the average guy who's maybe had a business 21:26 for 10 or 15 years who's really only been exposed to the digital world because he was never around in the 80s 21:32 or 90s when when direct mail and TV and radio were the prominent uh modes of 21:39 advertising if the post office wants to reinvigorate direct mail or printing and 21:45 mailing it doesn't even have to be direct mail it can be any type of mailing of any type of ads but get this 21:52 what about a new mailer firsttime discount or someone who hasn't made 21:58 mailed in five years all right there it's been five years I feel that the 22:03 print and Direct Mail industry has really has really revolutionized itself 22:09 and most companies don't use direct mail and they don't know these products or these things I mean what Rick does that 22:15 wasn't around five or t years ago nobody was doing that you know everybody here in this panel other than Matt I mean I 22:23 mean he's a technology guy what we were doing did not exist five or 10 years ago 22:28 so in order to bring people back to mail no privacy restrictions you can mail anything to anybody we've all seen those 22:34 memes where people in the in the early part of the N 20th century would literally mail crates or boxes or even 22:42 people through the postal system it could be done with a stamp bring people back to mailing with a new mailer 22:48 discount and this is something we're actually floating next week at the mtac uh conference that's in Washington DC is 22:56 a rethink of the postage discounts so it's not necessarily a killer app or 23:03 technology but it's how to get the focus on mail by millions of 23:08 people okay sure is that answer or is that is that a cop out it's not a cop 23:14 out I mean I like it I think that the utilization of technology I think we all are doing the same thing right we're 23:19 trying to get more attention for mail through the utilization of technology and make it more sexy and attractive and 23:25 I think in general we just need more good R for male exact exactly it's it's 23:32 thought of as boring and old and needs some sort of new blood into you know 23:38 there's million businesses in the United States and what maybe one tenth of those have ever mailed anything yeah they're 23:45 just not knowledgeable about it they're just not educated enough about the response rates or what they can do with 23:51 it right or they perceive it as being expensive and they just don't realize the response rates or that you're 23:56 getting what you pay for there's just so many different misconceptions out there about mail and we need good PR 24:04 yeah Rick it looks like you're kind of chomping at the bit I am because I yeah 24:09 so um I mean I I've been doing this for six years and one of my most frustrating things about being in mail 24:17 is the post office um there needs to be a better relationship between Direct 24:22 Mail companies in the post office and a lot more education and like Brad was just saying is bringing people back 24:28 getting people informed and setting up some type of educational Network to get 24:33 people excited about mail again um I know one of the hardest things about getting people started on mail is just 24:40 they have so many questions they don't even know they don't know all the different postage options they don't know the sizing the weight um I think 24:47 you know in their 80s and 90s this was just you know what businesses did and 24:52 people just spent more time on it but since the rise of the internet and all these digital tools and all these other 24:57 applic people have kind of forgot so I think more collaborative efforts like what uh Brad has done today I mean 25:04 honestly I've been doing this for six years I'm sorry I keep saying that but not a lot of not enough people are doing stuff like this is getting people 25:10 together to talk brainstorm and educate and bring ideas together so um getting 25:15 the post office to get involved um getting them excited to be in mail 25:21 because if you go there sometimes it's kind of like a I say I want to say it's like zombies walk around but people aren't really excited about mail laugh 25:28 about that yeah it's just like I go there it's just like is anybody like 25:33 okay do I have to walk over and pull you to come help me like you know but yeah I just think um it just needs to be 25:39 revigor there needs to be more education um more platforms like this where people could come together and bounce ideas off 25:46 each other and make it easier for the the Inc consumer or the client or the people we're working with to get the 25:52 information they need so we're not the bottleneck to the the post office so I just think more education more more 25:58 opportunities like this um because mail does work um I I me I'm 35 I would not 26:05 be in mail if I didn't believe in it um I really do believe that um what is old is new again you know we're we're 26:12 draining or drowning in our cell phone I want to take this and throw it every single day cuz it's so annoying um and I 26:19 go home and I still doesn't matter if it's a postcard I'll look at my postcard I'm like oh okay uh look at the design 26:24 okay this is nice you know so it's it's kind of like a novelty and it's exciting but yeah I'd say education uh more 26:30 resources more more stuff like this is something that desperately needs to happen um in this space for sure 26:37 absolutely and so I'm just you know curious do you have any other idea about 26:43 a killer app or technology that would completely run I don't I mean 26:48 I my our our world is just so it's print in in writing um it's really hard to get 26:54 integrated with all those systems and that's something that's hard about us is you know um you know we run a a printing 27:01 press in our warehouse It's like a RICO 7,000 series but I just I thought that was an awesome printer until I went to a 27:07 real print house I was like oh my gosh there's so many other things that you know the direct mail world can do that 27:12 we can't do um but yeah you know I know I said it earlier it's tracking getting data to the end consumer you know what's 27:19 happening with their mail um being able to track the you know the the people who are um interacting with it but yeah I 27:27 would say those those things for sure all right cool cool Matt what about you 27:33 any ideas for a a killer app or technology that would revolutionize our 27:38 industry my mind was definitely spinning spinning on this one um I would really 27:44 love to see a kind of self-informed direct mail marketing engine I think 27:49 there's parts and pieces of this that exist but not all in in one platform where you you kind of start with with a 27:55 set of data albe it you know custom customer data or some consumer selects and a set of direct mail designs you you 28:03 execute the direct mail campaign and then you we're capturing um engagement and conversion data on the back end that 28:10 then feeds back into the model um and it's probably driven by Ai and machine 28:15 learning and that informs and modifies future data selects but also modifies 28:22 the direct mail designs based on who's responding how they're responding and they're responding and I think you just 28:29 have sort of the self-fulfilling prophecy and you create this highly profitable highly Su successful hyper 28:35 targeted Direct Mail engine that is kind of a set it and forget it platform and and as someone that believes in and and 28:42 you know is is a big believer in automation I think that that could be super powerful and something I would 28:48 absolutely invest in I love that I love how you think because you know I know I'm not a panelist but when I was 28:53 thinking about this question I was thinking about something really similar and then just kind of like you really set the table for a good foundation but 29:01 I was thinking something along those lines but then even take it to the next level somehow be able to tap into the 29:07 individual preferences behaviors their responses and and really just tie it all 29:13 together so that we have access to this database where we can just continuously and consistently be improving mail 29:19 campaigns right yeah I'm I'm a big believe I say the data is only as good as what you do with it and so if we can 29:25 kind of bring all those components together and harness you know the power of AI and 29:30 machine learning I mean it kind of blows your mind when you think about it does it really does that's 29:36 awesome thanks Matthew lay what about you I know you're asking that question 29:42 to take notes for your next business idea and I was thinking like oh this could be 29:48 it from all of us right because you said that it doesn't exist all right I got it that's fine I'll let you have one um 29:55 I'll take the easy help out answer but I'll hopefully add a little bit of value 30:01 on it right if it has to be a technology that doesn't exist today and that I know 30:06 will transform the very near future you know we're all thinking about AI some sort of AI driven model right that's 30:12 that's going to be the easy cup out I'll add one thing to that answer though the world of AI is going to transform 30:18 everything that we do but the specific business growth opportunities that are 30:23 going to affect each and every one of our Industries whether we are in the car wash business or in the direct mail 30:28 print business right there's going to be a specific set of companies going to leverage this big daddy Ai and I'm going 30:35 to Niche it down to a very specific industry need kind of like for example what I've done with CRM that what you've 30:42 done with direct mail right so I truly believe that right when AI becomes 30:48 mainstream maybe two years from now maybe three to five years from today there's going to be a company God knows 30:54 what that company is going to be that's going to call Print Ai and what they or direct mail AI what they're going to do is give you a tool that you could train 31:01 they can grab that mailing list database and be trained to go through all the 31:06 very difficult process that you have to go through on cleansing the database on shooting it up and doing the all the 31:12 sorting and certifications on it and it's going to kick it back tell you exactly what you need to do in a very 31:17 automated format that you don't need an engineer to handle I truly believe we're three to five years away from that happening right and that's using AI 31:25 meaning it's trying it a lot it's a machine that a lot of times and he failed until he learned how to do it correctly now I can sell it to somebody 31:31 for money because hey it's going to save you two or three people right um so I 31:36 think a technology that doesn't exist today that will absolutely transform our world within three years it's definitely 31:42 Niche specific AI for the print industry sure 31:47 absolutely yeah I've actually had it's so interesting that you make mention of that but I've had a few partners that 31:54 have said asked specifically like hey can you build technology that can replace people that are running this 32:01 data hygiene within our organizations you know it would save me two or three people and they're like hey they 32:07 wouldn't like that very much but it's like one of the biggest pain points for them because their customers are giving them the most unclean terrible data and 32:15 they just have to go back and forth with them and he said it's a huge pain point you know right now Morgan if you if you 32:21 predictively give me a a list that is predictively bad I can't create a system 32:26 today to fix that the problem is that usually the list is bad in different 32:32 ways every single time so I cannot train a software to always fix your boo boos 32:37 that's what AI does differently it can understand mistakes and it can understand that mistakes are unpredictable and adjust to that right 32:45 that right now is something that AI is able to do but there's not a company that said I'm GNA spend 25 to $50 32:51 million in research and development to specifically fix the needs of the Direct 32:57 Mail print Industries AI needs right they're worrying now about health care attorneys that's where the big money is 33:04 right we're like super down in the foot chain that's why I think like three or five years from today I don't know maybe 33:09 maybe Brad and Morgan decide to build something like that and we can all use it I talked to Brad about it he's like I 33:16 don't know 20 to 30 million Brad come on now there's so much to build and I I I agree 33:24 with the importance of AI not to diverge take anyone's Thunder we are working on our own AI initiative in terms of 33:31 Predictive Analytics for uh Direct Mail campaigns by vertical 33:36 by location by timing and I think the key missing piece is you know Rick had 33:43 mentioned zapier the the issue is all of these different people who have these great apps and getting them all to talk 33:50 to each other without having to be a technologist yourself okay I'm pretty good with technology and I've tried to 33:57 set up zap ear myself you re you you have to be almost a programmer or or 34:03 definitely a full-time sort of it technician to be able to operate zapier by yourself it's not something the 34:10 average guy in the street is going to go and be able to connect apps with a a wizzy wig wizard so a as lame said we 34:18 are probably three to five years away from voice activated prompts hey I want you to connect my print management 34:25 system to uh Rick's you know simply noted and then to my CRM as well so you 34:33 know and you just tell it what to do and it ties it together we are we are not there okay and this is coming from a guy 34:40 who spends 90% of his life in technology and I consider myself way above average in this area and I can't 34:47 do it so I'm always calling a programmer or another guy to help so we're not there yet but the the stringing together 34:55 of different applications through voice prompt or simple uh natural language commands is 35:03 what is needed here all right I I'll be honest with you that's what's needed or something that says I want to do a 35:08 direct mail campaign good well what size would you like to be what's your budget what what sort of uh message are you 35:14 trying to create and it develops the design it Maps out the the printing process it finds the the you know 35:22 Michael's list of of possible uh targets it puts it all together and says is this 35:27 what what you want this is what it's going to cost you and it sends Michael his money it sends RX his money it sends 35:33 plan profit your money and everybody's all connected through some sort of natural language voice prompt but we're 35:41 not there yet I I think it might be more than three to five years it may be closer to 10 but we will get to that 35:47 Star Trek uh movies and every where they're like hey computer do this and it just doesn't okay if we don't end up 35:54 having another version of The Terminator with all this AI okay so just settle down settle 36:01 down I'm just kidding but there's a lot of concerns out there too you know in terms of private and security so I think 36:07 that will be one of the things that prevents AI from growing as fast as we would all like it to you know just with 36:13 some of those concerns but yeah I mean what you're saying Brad that that would be unbelievable I mean if we had that 36:19 that that would absolutely be gamechanging for sure um uh Michael what 36:25 about you is there a killer you have any ideas yeah yeah so um you know Matt kind 36:31 of stole my thunder a little bit but I'll kind of give you a tangible thing that you know when I was reading this I 36:36 was like man so we're we're in the process of of building a um an editor for our self-service portal and you know 36:42 one of the things uh you know from with a marketing background you know I come from like a lot of marketing automation Suites and everything like that um and 36:50 you know one of uh I'll tell you that the digital marketing channels for automation they have a lot of things 36:56 that like every day that I kind of dig into that I look to say well you know how can we leverage this and and and DM 37:01 um and there there's a company called orto they they do um marketing automation mostly emails their primary 37:06 Channel they do CDP stuff but one of the cool things that they have is they have a subject line uh suggestor so you're 37:13 writing some copy it gives you a percentage of open rate you know based on you know based on that um you know 37:20 with you know AI everywhere it being prevalent I mean shoot it's probably in you know the the the next line of 37:25 toasters coming out but what a tangible thing that I would like from just a a marketer is to be able to provide that 37:31 level of refinement on a collateral piece right to to what Brad's point was if you're running a specific campaign in 37:38 a vertical right there's going to be some you know there's going to be a specific call to action from there having the a tool to provide a little 37:45 bit of suggestions hey you know make sure that your call Action is within you know from here or if you're using this 37:50 type of collateral type it's best to have your you know your call the actions and your trackables and your upper third 37:55 you know mechanic things that really old schoolwise you just dropped some stuff dropped a control ran the best you know 38:01 ad spot that you ran last campaign and and refined off of so really leveraging kind of the power of all of these 38:08 systems all of these Technologies um and leveraging okay what was the best attribution for this type of campaign or 38:15 you know another thing too is where does DM play you know play A Part um in a omn 38:20 channel marketing campaign where does it fit in that mix right um you know everybody's kind of looking at what you 38:26 know cost of uh acquisition is right now does you know does it take a factor of okay you know what that might be a midf 38:33 funnel touch right that might be something you know uh to leverage from there um the signals are there um there 38:38 are as as we progress with a lot more people running DM campaigns on some type 38:44 of digital infrastructure the data is out there it's just the challenge of aggregating it and kind of making it all 38:49 make sense um but for me yeah like to scratch my own itch I would love to empower you know our editor with that 38:56 type of ins sight to to to give you that just a little bit more for your users to kind of uh find Value in yeah absolutely 39:04 I couldn't agree more so I mean since we were just talking about AI you know the next 39:09 question that I wanted to pose uh to you Brad singularly is how are data 39:14 analytics and AI currently being leveraged to optimize targeting and content and Direct Mail campaigns and 39:19 you know maybe you can just expound a little bit further on you know what we're looking to build here with 39:25 dm2 and and how we can add more value to direct mail campaigns perfect so so let 39:31 me give you a a an actual use case so that people understand what we're doing here so to start we've been 39:39 doing we've been adding marketing to direct mail campaign since 2017 and 39:45 we've kept all that data we not only have the marketing piece we have the targeting list in terms of zip codes we 39:52 have the verticals and we obviously know when the mail went out and and addition to that we know some of the response 39:59 rates we know the engagement did they go to the website did they click on an ad did they did they fill out a form did 40:06 they make a phone call did they scan a QR code so we've been keeping all of this data so we have these 60 or 70,000 40:14 campaigns worth of data to over a billion people now well okay well what's the use to it so I'll give you a use 40:20 case let's say I'm an hbac guy and it's January and I want to do a mailing 40:26 so I take that proposed mail piece with its call to action and I take uh my list 40:34 of zip codes and I take the intended date I'm going to mail and I upload it 40:40 into this little web-based application that we're building it goes through all of our data that were for hbac it 40:49 analyzes the postcard or the mailing piece comparing it to other mailing 40:54 pieces and how they got engagement to those zip codes at that time period in 41:02 past events or past mailings and as a result the idea is it spits back three 41:08 or four or one thing it says if you make the headline bigger you add a QR code 41:13 you make your website 36o type and you mail the second week of February instead 41:20 of the first week of March you should get a 6% lift in engagement 41:26 all right and I'm saying engagement not Roi because we don't necessarily have the information on what people sold but 41:33 we know if they called clicked went in uh scanned a QR code we we know this 41:38 other stuff so if I can tell someone they can get a 6% lift and engagement 41:43 from their postcard by doing two or three things the the resulting increase 41:48 in Roi is it it's phenomenal no one's been able to do that and I'm lucky enough to have 41:56 the the data set that can provide that to people interested in doing mailing because it is expensive nobody claims 42:02 that it's a cheap way to do it but if you have more confidence or more peace 42:07 of mind that your mailing list your time of mailing and your creative is on point 42:12 you can lift that mailing results by 5 10% it could mean thousands of dollars 42:17 okay and this is a product we're talking about charging a subscription of a of a hundred bucks a month you know kind of a 42:23 thing so who wouldn't buy that I hope everybody would but that's what we're building and I hope to beta test it it's 42:30 available API I'm down that's I mean it will be it will be so but that's that's 42:36 a use case of how do you use direct Ma how do you use results of data from 42:42 Direct Mail campaigns to improve future results you know yeah that's that's the use case and and I think it just goes 42:48 hand inand with how uh customers that are utilizing direct mail for marketing are looking to create and and have more 42:55 targeted Direct Mail campaigns and there's no perfect science in marketing right I mean let's be honest here almost 43:00 every mail campaign or marketing campaign that we run is a test right because there's so many different variables that we're encumbering whether 43:07 it's the list the call to action the time of year socioeconomic factors is there an election going on I mean 43:13 there's just so many different things that come into consideration and if you have some tool where you can eliminate some of those variables and get clear 43:20 insight into what we know are successful actions you're trimming off that fat and you're geared towards having a more 43:25 successful ma campaign and higher Roi and so it's definitely not going to be perfect but I I find it to be valuable 43:32 so it'll be in the more data that you feed it in other words we're continuing to do campaigns we're continuing to add 43:39 data to it the more accurate that the results should be so it's an ever learning ever growing database sure 43:46 it'll be interesting to see um how that another AI platform is materialized for sure um so the next question I have I 43:53 wanted to pose this to you Matt um you know at Franklin you guys are so data 43:59 Centric and I I was just wondering if you could share any insights into how you're utilizing technology platforms 44:05 that provide data and analytics um and how they've actually improved the ability to track and measure the ROI of 44:11 direct mail campaigns and how you've been able to add more value for your customers absolutely yes so you know as 44:17 I mentioned you know we're very technology focused and so you know over the last 20 25 years we've really 44:23 implemented a lot of different systems to to add value for our clients you know we we built our own mail tracking system 44:30 over 15 years ago to allow our clients to track their mail um reutilizing the 44:35 the Postal Services ACS or address change data um to create effectively an 44:40 electronic return mail system that allows us to call undeliverable mail from future mailing so you know we're 44:47 we've always been an advocate of mailing smarter you know which which impacts Roi 44:52 it impacts the bottom line um but when it comes to to tracking and measuring Roi again very challenging you know we 45:00 we do always reach out to our customers to try to get whatever information we can from them um but really one of the 45:06 big reasons that we signed on with Direct Mail 2.0 about two years ago was 45:12 um that that ability to to track attribution and you know that lead match technology gives us the ability to 45:19 capture mailing addresses of the visitors to the websites um that we can then match back to um the original 45:26 mailing list and be able to say hey this this number of visitors from the or this number of of people from the mailing 45:32 list actually did visit your site and additionally in adding value we're able 45:37 to then offer Direct Mail retargeting based on those mailing addresses which adds an immense amount of value for them 45:45 and selfishly also is an additional Revenue stream for us as a direct mail provider sure absolutely yeah Direct 45:53 Mail retargeting is key I mean we're getting somewhere between average of 9 to 18% response rates talk about a 45:59 targeted list I mean those are people that are literally raising their hand on the website and saying hey I'm here I'm on this website I'm interested this is 46:06 specifically what I'm looking at now all you have to do is follow up with the direct mail piece to help drive that 46:12 conversion right so that's a way that Direct Mail is really helping to lift the conversions of all marketing budget 46:18 across the board you've got customers that are using digital marketing well all those respondes are going to the 46:23 website as well right so you can follow and help them improve the ROI and their digital marketing by closing it out with 46:29 a direct mail piece so yeah very very effective um so uh this question I 46:36 wanted to pose to you lay how can technology Integrations automate processes and simplify complex tasks for 46:43 the print and mail industry man I'm going to speak to my area of expertise which is on the sales 46:50 and marketing automation front there are a lot of tools on the back of the house part of the business inos software uh 46:57 you know setup of stuff behind the scenes that I I know are equally as important when it comes to to 47:03 integrating but again I'll play the fit in those um I did print sales for a long 47:09 time right and and one thing that I recognized that I was horrible at and I'm sure almost every other print CES 47:16 person out there will probably attest to the same was the follow-ups which is hor right um again I loved conversations 47:24 with clients I led those those those meets and those original calls but you know if it comes to following up on 47:29 somebody that I got a little bit of a you know warm and fuzzy feeling about I'd rather not do it so one of the 47:35 things that I personally um have most to look forward to when it comes to 47:41 Integrations in the print world in in my field of sales marketing is anything that can supercharge A salesperson um to 47:48 make sure that they're out selling and that technology got you back to help you 47:54 close those deals to help you you stay in touch with those people that you already sold something to to make sure you could maximize your exposure to them 48:01 and upsell and frell every single opportunity you guys can get and I want those behaviors to happen as if I did it 48:06 right I want all the credit right so that's really what I find today that um 48:14 you have to pick one thing from our specific platform right that people I I think like is that um but like what 48:21 there's other stuff in the business that could use automation um and Integrations billing is one of 48:28 them right um sending invoices getting paid from clients applying those 48:33 payments back into your Mis it's always a pain in butt process so if you could have an integration type of system that 48:40 can get your invoices paid in time and that automatically tells your your system of record which is usually your 48:45 Mis that job got paid better right and going back to my first statement 48:51 anything that we can do you know I remember when the whole covid um the Backle was starting to unfold 48:58 that a lot of my customers will come by the way we launched plan profit March 1st 2020 wow so as you imagine his 49:06 timing there as you could imagine I was uh freaking out just begin to describe it but a lot of the clients that were 49:12 buying planned profit originally you know through the six or seven months later were telling me well what do I do 49:18 um you know I can't find people to work for me and those people that are good they they're demanding 30% more money 49:23 and 40% more money and they were all freaking out because they had to pay that money cuz I remember specifically 49:29 in Miami Florida a law passed that said that anybody had to get paid $15 an hour was the minimum wage in three years and 49:35 everybody was freaking out and that's said to take place on 2025 guess what the minimum wage in Miami is now you 49:41 can't find somebody for that type of money anymore all right so that law total waste of time anyway because the 49:47 $15 an hour are long pass right but the moral of the story is that um today 49:54 printers and mailers are I'm not going to say happy but I I 49:59 would use the word more comfortable paying premium dollars to your premium employees and just fig figuring out a 50:06 way to supercharge them and give them all the tools that they need that are cheap because I don't care how much a 50:12 software cost you can't equate a monthly $500 to $300 whatever the monthly fees 50:20 on a software to that of a human being right so anything that you could do with software integration and automation to 50:27 supercharge that one person it's it's it's all something that should be on the 50:33 table for consideration sure absolutely I mean I I work with printers and msps 50:38 all over the country and I can say that one of the number one things that they definitely could use to board in is 50:43 sales right I mean a lot of times they're you're dealing with account managers you don't have true through 50:49 through and through sales reps I mean so if there's platforms out there that are going to help them Implement those sales cadences and and help them to really be 50:57 more effective in that regard I I mean I I can tell you right now I know that that would definitely be beneficial and 51:02 helpful for sure um all right so next question I 51:07 have is uh for you Michael uh could you elaborate on any Partnerships or 51:15 collaborations between male technology providers and other Industries like healthcare that maybe have led to 51:21 innovative solutions or improved customer experiences yeah absolutely um so to 51:27 your point we we have the privilege of partnering with a lot of U Healthcare and health insurance organizations um 51:33 it's kind of my my background and really one of the things that's been great with those type of Partnerships is really 51:39 just understanding how to use direct mail to uplift that patient experience uh for healthcare providers uh a lot of 51:46 providers kind of in the Medicare space uh there are quality metrics and clinical adherence that they have to kind of adhere to um and really there is 51:55 um you know it used to be really front office manager sends out an email you know sends a sends somebody to a a 52:00 printer Stuffs the envelopes and send us out um well while that's great for one office uh if you have 20 offices 52:06 underneath the practice understanding what moves the needle that scale um was a a great partnership that we've worked 52:12 with uh with with some practices that are able to leverage you know maybe maybe there's a follow-up call that has 52:18 to happen um patient you know like anything like data sometimes the data is accurate sometimes the data is not um 52:25 and just being able to automate the direct mail touch for that Outreach um and giving them a piece of Mind of hey 52:31 this went out there's a there's a there's a check for you know maybe there's a compliance uh metric to that 52:36 providing that transparency and that's not marketing mail that's operational mail um has has tremendous impacts for 52:43 for healthcare providers and I would say in the marketing side for health insurance space um you know most of that 52:50 that uh that those opportunities to grow your book of business is kind of cyclical right in the Medicare space 52:55 it's you know later in the year uh so being able to leverage uh direct mail to 53:01 be that uh front touch uh to you know capture the intent signals of something 53:07 you know delivering to a mailbox um once again if you're dealing with one provider or I'm sorry one agent you know 53:14 that might have a book of business of 150 members or something like that they can absolutely do manual intervention 53:19 there uh but what happens is say for instance if you have an agency that has 10 15 25 agents that you need to run 53:25 this type of campaign uh being able to give you the trackability of that reaching a mailbox capturing some intent 53:32 and creating a triggerable action in your day-to-day CRM to do follow-up 53:37 efforts um has been extremely powerful for agents that are looking for that additional um you know touch point or 53:43 uplift so those Partnerships have been critical for us uh just understanding where DM fits in those Journeys um has 53:51 been uh really insightful and it wouldn't have been possible without leveraging Technologies like we're 53:56 talking about today sure fantastic and you know just to kind of piggy back on that I can see how the utilization or 54:03 value of Ricks company could even take that one step further you're talking about an age demographic right if you 54:09 add that layer element of personalization with what appears to be a personalized and handwritten note I 54:15 think that that's definitely going to stand out from the 150 other postcards that they're getting from every single 54:20 other agent when it comes down to Medicare enrollment um so so you know we 54:26 we got a a handwritten note from a real estate agent the other day and and it was personalized and my husband was like 54:31 oh this is so great you know we ever seller our house I'm gonna use this guy I'm like you're such a sucker for 54:36 marketing but but it's true it works right so that that personalized touch is 54:43 is really something that works so um I we're almost out of time I I just want to maybe go over into the the chat and 54:50 see if we had any questions here I really thank all of you for taking some time out to join us today it's been a 54:56 really phenomenal session and and to be able to get all this Insight from all of you you know Kurt Haj made mention about 55:03 uh how we used to have the dma which is now the Ana and and how amazing that 55:09 organization is you know I actually did a a call with the Ana the other day just to kind of see what they have to offer 55:15 and I remember when we were putting our decks together and looking for sources of content the dma was just such a solid 55:21 source of information and we just don't have anything like that out there yet you know Brad when you're talking with 55:26 your uh mtac group and you have these huge conglomerates of all these people that you guys are working together you 55:32 know something that might be uh interesting is looking how we might be able to put together some type of an 55:38 organization like that that can be a platform or source of information that we can all look to uh for the industry 55:45 you know and somebody made go ahead I was gonna say we we're talking about expanding and forming this Tech in print 55:53 uh marketing print group and absolutely and and and one of the other things I 55:58 did want to point out is you know it's very easy and common that a lot of 56:04 people like to you know bash on the post office and and I'm guilty of it myself so I'm not I'm not trying to point the 56:11 finger the other way but there were several mentions in there about getting involved in the PCC absolutely the the 56:17 way the best way to change something is not to just rally and complain against it but get involved with it you know 56:23 whether it's mtac or your local CCC or or coming to the npf and making your 56:28 voice heard the these are the ways to fix it you know unfortunately USPS is 56:35 not sexy it's not looked at as a I don't know you know what I mean but 56:41 we it's our post office we are citizens here we have to get involved and change that you know they're not going to do it 56:47 from within necessarily they they need our help so uh get involved in groups go 56:54 to trade shows get on panels like this let your voice be heard uh one of the best things about panels like this is 57:01 you know mo and I could preach all day about what we think is right but I really love connecting with other uh 57:08 technology folks in the print industry like Rick and Michael and and lame and everybody that's involved because it's 57:15 it's the amount of viewpoints and the amount of people that we reach that will make the biggest change so again I just 57:21 wanted to say thank you to you guys and and encourage everybody in the audience to get involved in some way you know be 57:27 excited about what you do and excitement is infectious and uh I don't know it 57:33 works for me so hopefully it'll work for other people out there I love it it's a really good point right you know if you 57:39 think the content at your your local PCC is boring we get involved get in there sign up to be a speaker and knock their 57:44 socks off over there right so be a part of the solution right be that Advocate 57:50 and and be shouting from the rooftops and educating everybody that you can whether it's high school students about 57:56 how getting into the print industry is cool and we have good jobs and we have 58:01 good careers or you're out there and you're educating people on the effecacy of mail through every platform that you 58:06 possibly can you know we are we got some great technology here I mean the people on this panel and the one we had last 58:11 month it's there's some great products that are on the horizon that are going to change this industry forever you know 58:17 get in on the ground level absolutely so well thank you again everybody for such 58:22 a great session I I really appreciate your time today and everybody have a great day thank you very much guys 58:28 thanks to the panel thanks bye

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Posted Oct 09, 2023 | Views 1.1K
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