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Merging Direct Mail with Digital for Omnichannel Marketing Success

Posted Jan 02, 2024 | Views 148
# Advertising
# Automation
# Digital Marketing
# Direct Mail
# Education
# Executives
# Marketing
# Omnichannel Marketing
# Print
# Sales and Marketing
# Technology
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SUMMARY

Direct mail is the most effective form of advertising when we integrate it with cutting-edge technology. Let's explore this groundbreaking, cloud-based marketing platform that not only tracks the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns but also seamlessly integrates with digital platforms.

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TRANSCRIPT

0:00 Music 0:18 welcome to today's episode of the direct mail automation School the podcast for marketers who are looking for an edge as 0:24 they deploy direct mail and Omni Channel marketing campaigns I'm Dennis Kelly uh 0:29 the host here here uh I'm the CEO of postalytics the leading Direct Mail automation platform designed for 0:35 marketers to deploy automated direct mail and Omni Channel marketing campaigns with the speed integration and 0:44 analytics of digital marketing today we're super excited to have Brad Kugler 0:49 join us Brad is the co-founder and CEO at Direct Mail 2.0 Direct Mail 2.0's 0:55 innovative solutions make Direct Mail the most effective form of advertising by integrating it with Cutting Edge 1:02 technology Direct Mail 2.0 offers groundbreaking cloud-based marketing platform that not only tracks the 1:09 effectiveness of direct mail campaigns but also seamlessly integrates with digital platforms Brad's expertise lies 1:16 in merging traditional direct mail with Cutting Edge technology providing marketers with invaluable insights to 1:22 shape the future of the industry welcome Brad we're psych to have you on at the direct mail automation school today 1:29 thank you Dennis it's great to be here I love the idea of a direct mail automation platform or I'm sorry podcast 1:37 this is such I I'm super excited about merging direct mail with other technology I consider what you and I are 1:44 doing and amongst others is really disrupting the direct mail and bringing it out of that just ink on paper 1:52 mentality that it's had well since the Gutenberg Press back in the day so what we're doing is 1:58 is I I think it's one of the most exciting things in advertising going on 2:03 at this moment so excited to talk about it and thank you for having me oh that's so great to have you and and agree we 2:09 are uh uh very much Akin right we are attacking the angle the problem from 2:16 different angles but uh but the idea is hey let's get direct mail out of uh the 2:22 traditional way that it's been thought of and pigeon hold and and and let let's make it a part of the 21st century 2:30 marketing Tech stack and uh so I completely agree I'm super psyched to 2:36 have you on uh tell us a little bit about Brad how you got here uh you know 2:41 you're the founder of direct mail 2.0 uh or co-founder and but you know there's 2:47 always a great story for folks that have built a business and and all the 2:53 experiences and things in their lives that led them up to this point so so give us a little bit of understanding of 2:58 of where you came from and you got here sure I I would have to say that my Brad's Path to DirectMail 2.0 Co-Founder 3:03 arrival Here and Now with you is a bit non-traditional I spent the first 25 3:09 years of my business career actually doing something that is obsolete okay I was in a wholesale 3:17 distribution business originally selling VHS and CDs and we were selling them 3:22 during the proliferation or opening a video stores in the 90s booming business great business everybody went to the 3:28 video store on Friday night and rented their videos and we were sort of the the background men who supplied those video 3:35 stores with this material so that quickly changed with the Advent of the 3:41 internet although it didn't really disrupt the video store Market the ability to buy pre-recorded things like 3:49 CDs and DVDs online was was almost available immediately and I started taking some of our excess inventory and 3:57 selling it on eBay and and Amazon and we made our own uh e-commerce site and I 4:03 grew this business you know literally from zero to about $25 million over 4:09 about 10 or 15 years you know it transformed from a traditional distribution model into an e-commerce 4:15 model which was great except the writing was on the wall you know people were not 4:21 buying pre-recorded media everything was coming streaming Netflix Apple Amazon 4:27 were just annihilating the video stores they were closing left right and center and it came down to be who's the last 4:34 guy holding a a million DVDs and unfortunately I I was one of those guys 4:40 so over the course of this boom when the industry went up and the bust of when it 4:45 became disrupted by new technology I knew that I would have to find another career and I knew that I 4:52 didn't want to be in a position to be disrupted again I wanted to be the disruptor so I looked at a lot of things 5:00 and you know my my business network over my 25 30 years in business had grown and talked to a lot of people and I 5:08 methodically sort of plotted the next move and it actually came from the 5:13 founder and CEO of postcard Mania who's a really big print marketing company 5:19 here in Florida and our families had been family friends for a while in fact 5:24 Joy januza the CEO and founder postcard Mania used to work 5:30 at the company that me and my father owned and she was our top salesperson so 5:36 she had watched my my foray into e-commerce and watched me manage the 5:41 unwinding of this you know 30-year-old family business to you know down to 5:46 nothing and she says listen I have an idea we have a marketing technology that 5:52 we're doing inside of our print company that's improving the effectiveness and response rate on Direct Mail it's we 6:00 think it has a a larger life other than just our customers we want to spin off this product or this service to its own 6:07 company and we want you to build it and and kind of take it as its ongoing concern so I accepted the challenge 6:16 never having been in a SAS world before yes I'd sold online but this was a 6:22 different thing this was really doing a SAS model with digital marketing and 6:28 integrating with a with a age-old technology so I'll have to tell you at 6:33 first I said yes gung-ho and then I had to reeducate myself in terms of my whole 6:41 business mindset which was buying a product bringing it to Market and selling a product although this was 6:47 similar it was a it was a whole different learning experience so when I came to the company there was very 6:53 little Revenue the the the company had three services that it did with Direct 6:58 Mail which was mail tracking you know like the through the post office call tracking through a partner such as twio 7:05 and some Google ads that retargeted the visitors to the website uh that was six 7:11 years ago today we have 15 different features on our platform we've tracked 7:17 and performed campaigns on just under a billion pieces of mail and we have 300 7:24 resellers and launched over 60,000 Direct Mail campaigns which digital 7:29 migration so that's sort of the the fast forward to where we are now but I I know 7:34 this is your show and I'll let you ask the next question well I I love it you've been through this experience 7:41 where you were on the on on the downside of a industry that was being disrupted 7:49 by the newest technology and you've turned that into a a a mission really uh 7:57 to be a part of that disruption while while at the same time bringing that Legacy industry along uh and so I really 8:05 applaud you that's a great story uh So speaking speaking of of direct Mill 2.0 8:11 give us a snapshot who are your customers what do you how do they use your tools uh they you've got these 15 8:18 Services give us an understanding of of the way that that your customers are 8:24 really using this and and how they're impacting Omni Channel marketing sure so Unveiling Customer Utilization and Impact 8:30 the the best way to do is start with very high level what is the value proposition here you know somebody 8:35 that's doing a direct mail campaign they they pay a printer to design and print a 8:40 a mail piece and it goes in the mailbox and the receiver that's one impression that is one touch point now maybe the 8:47 kid brings the mail in and the mom sees it and the dad sees it so maybe you have two or three people see it it's it works 8:54 it's been proven effective over almost a hundred years but how can you make it 9:00 better and and basically what we've done is we've taken different digital Technologies and aligned them with mail 9:07 to improve that lift and how do we improve the lift we improve the lift by more impressions of the same message at 9:15 the same time to the same people it's it's effectively just repetition 9:20 marketing with a economy of scale you get the one piece in the mailbox and 9:26 then we strive to get at least eight to 20 additional impressions of that same 9:32 message within a 30-day time frame of receiving the piece in the mailbox those 9:38 digital ads start up to four or five days before the mail arrives and they continue for 30 days afterwards so you 9:45 know anything that you sort of think of or I'm sorry see multiple times it 9:51 increases the likelihood of Engagement and we have lifted the engagement and thus of course lifted F Roi for most of 9:59 of our customers um I can go into the details of the 15 things but that's a 10:04 lengthier point and I'd happy to highlight a few but the goal here is repetition that drives engagement for a 10:11 very low cost literally for pennies per piece above what the mailing cost is 10:19 beautiful beautiful and so and where in the value stream are your products being 10:26 consumed is it the service provid LEL yeah most most of our resellers and I'd 10:33 mentioned we have about 300 resellers they white label our product and they tend to be commercial printers that 10:39 specialize in direct mail so they're they're dealing directly with the direct mail client who who is buying the direct 10:46 mail from the printer the printer is producing it or involved in various ways 10:52 with the managing or formulating of that campaign from targeting to creative but 10:58 we work with the with the commercial printer in most cases there are exceptions to that where there's certain 11:05 uh agencies marketing agencies that are very direct mail Centric and they will 11:10 bring us on as an add-on to a direct mail campaign they are running for a client but 99% of our customers are 11:19 either a commercial printer specializing in direct mail or an agency that has a lot of direct mail clients right so so 11:26 you're going to these resellers getting them configured and set up so they can 11:31 spread it out over all of their clients and and really scale this thing exactly 11:38 so it we train them we implement it we even do what's called coell because a 11:44 lot of printers may not have the Savvy to talk in detail about digital 11:49 marketing or some of the the the finer aspects of what we do so we help them even sell it because you know a guy 11:56 who's just been producing ink on paper on printing presses for 20 years this is this is a whole different kettle of fish 12:02 and and if there's any sort of resistance it's the sales team really 12:08 understanding what we do well enough to be able to convey that to their clients that makes perfect sense so you've 12:13 tailored the offering really for the distribution channel so that they can bring it to Market most effectively uh 12:19 it's sort of like in that retail environment right it's one thing to sell into the retailer you got to sell through also right and absolutely 12:27 lessons that you've learned if not selling then we're not selling you know and and and we've enabled them to White 12:33 Label this product the our our process or our platform actually exists out 12:39 there in about 150 different product names you know Mail Plus mail 3.0 you 12:46 know Direct Connect I mean there's many different names where people have renamed it something that fits their 12:52 clientele or their unique segment of the market awesome that great stuff let's 12:58 drill in in one particular area that a lot of our customers and and our 13:04 audience is really interested in which is attribution uh and and it's a big deal 13:09 in direct mail uh it there have been ways that attribution has been measured over a long period of time digital has 13:17 had a big impact on that so uh tell us how uh a direct mail 2.0 and you're 13:23 combining direct mail with all these digital channels how are you able to help with the attribution challenge Navigating Long-standing Attribution Methods 13:30 I mean that's a great question I mean before the Advent of digital and internet it was very hard to actually 13:36 give 100% attribution to a piece of direct mail before it was like did you 13:41 get any calls did anybody come in with a coupon and and you know maybe or maybe not a receptionist or a register even 13:48 wrote it down so it was all sort of based on I think so I'm not sure 13:54 intuition so one of the biggest value propositions that we are able to add to 14:00 direct mail is true attribution and there's a number of ways that that 14:05 attribution can be measured we track uh people that have gone to the 14:10 website of the campaign that's being advertised we can and and and I'm going 14:17 to tell you we can match that Anonymous visitor back via postal address through 14:22 pixel technology so it's not like hey we sent out a mailing of 50,000 people and 2,000 people went to your website listen 14:28 I know people are smarter than that well how do you know how many that were from the mailing well if we can see the 14:34 residential addresses of the people that went to the website and match that back to the mailing list we know now I guess 14:41 it could be coincidental that they just happen to go but the odds of that are slim to none Additionally the the phone 14:47 numbers we put on there can be tracked back to the original caller the QR codes can be made personalized so we know that 14:54 they belong to an exact person who received the mail text response codes bring us back to that as well we're in 15:00 the middle of Landing of of sending out um building out landing pages with personal URLs that will verify that too 15:08 informed delivery through the tracking of the piece and if they click the link in their informed delivery digest we can 15:15 track that back to an individual person who receiv received that mail so there's a lot of ways to verify that attribution 15:22 you know just because they saw an ad and they clicked on an ad I'm not even counting those as guaranteed attribution 15:28 because they may not have received a mail piece but another thing that we we offer uh I like to call it wasteless 15:35 digital ads where we use a demand side platform we upload the mailing list of 15:42 the mail recipients and we target those households only with digital ads so the 15:49 guy who's getting the mail is receiving digital ads on his devices or on his TV or wherever but his next door neighbor 15:55 who was not targeted in the mailing does not receive Those ads ad so again we can 16:00 prove attribution for the mail now these ads may have helped but if the goal is really to drive engagement and drive 16:08 conversion the ads only help the direct mail so uh we have a whole attribution 16:15 reporting platform that will actually give the names and information to the people that we know with very high 16:22 certainty are attributed directly to the campaign that's great and and that's really what Omni channel is about right 16:29 it's it's that repetitive multiple channels all singing from the same song 16:35 sheet and and let's go get that Target as opposed to necessarily worrying about 16:40 the individual uh componentry all the time yep exactly exact I mean we've seen 16:46 big brands do this for hundreds of millions of dollars Nike just do it well you see it in magazines you see it on TV 16:52 you see it online that slogan is ingrained into our minds well obviously they spent a lot of money but it's the 16:59 same message on every channel it's the same message hitting you from three or four different places you will remember 17:05 it so what we're doing with direct mail is just a microcosm of what they're doing for 17:11 hundreds of millions of dollars we're doing for several hundred to several thousand dollars love it love it one of 17:18 the channels that you mentioned is called informed delivery it's something we're really excited about from your 17:26 standpoint what are some keys to success for marketers as they're putting 17:32 together their informed delivery campaigns and you know do you have any advice on how to streamline the workflow 17:39 optimize these campaigns a absolutely uh we have been recognized by USPS as actually Marketers' Success Tips for Informed Delivery Campaigns 17:47 delivering or executing more informed delivery campaigns than any other provider in the United States I think 17:53 that numbers over 30,000 campaigns at this point and 17:59 one of the things that we found and and USPS will back this up is when you when 18:04 you do an informed delivery campaign you have a optical scan of the mail piece 18:10 itself and you have a small what's called Ride Along ad 18:15 most common question we get or or I say point of contention is we want to 18:20 replace that Optical scan with a beautiful piece of designed artwork now 18:28 Pro in in it sounds like a good idea however what you're doing is you're losing the continuity between the actual 18:33 piece in the mailbox by changing out that ad so what we try to do is repeat that message of 18:41 what's in the mailbox on every other channel so if you're getting a postcard and then you designed your informed 18:48 delivery ad with a completely different message you are losing the continuity of 18:54 that campaign and I have seen that so many times I've had discussions and discussions with advertisers and they're 18:59 like no this is much better and uh you know it it we have found it is not much 19:05 better it's actually worse take that little black and white Optical scan and then put your little ride along below it 19:12 and the results are better we see 67% clickthrough in most cases on that 19:19 no email campaigns get that kind of clickthrough amazing you know and you know it backs up a a fundamental that we 19:27 learned years ago in our kind of early days focused on the Pearl and QR code 19:34 world where you need to really focus on this notion of message 19:41 match especially when you're leaping from one channel to another if if you go 19:48 and click on a Google ad and you go on a landing page that has nothing to do with the ad that you clicked on what do you 19:54 do you're like this is a scam I'm out of here right and and so so that 20:01 consistency between channels is so important because it it it actually 20:06 builds trust and it it enables that person who's wary about wasting their 20:13 time right that that you're convincing them hey you know we know exactly why 20:18 you're here and we've got this thing it's tailored right for you and and and you click because of this reason we're 20:24 not trying to take you somewhere else 100% continuity of message is key 20:31 key key to any sort of repetition campaign and uh you know we we 20:37 actually we recommend to our customers to mail at least three times a one-time mailing to the same person it's better 20:44 than nothing and I know that it's expensive but three times seems to be 20:50 the sweet spot if you can afford to go more all the better but if you can't really shoot for a I would take a 20:56 smaller audience May mail to them three times than a wider audience and mail to them once any day of the week completely 21:03 agree and I tell a lot of our customers uh the same thing I I tell it this way I 21:08 say hey if you were to hire a salesperson and that salesperson were to 21:14 make a thousand phone calls and leave a thousand messages and never touch each 21:20 of those targets again what would you do and the answer of course is I'd fire 21:26 that salesperson and and so you know why would you expect any different out of any other form of 21:33 marketing right it where you know you you've got to be H aggressive you've got 21:38 to be repetitive you have to be persistent to sell and and and that's 21:45 really just a a another form of persistency 100% persistency in sales 21:52 and followup is probably the biggest fallacy that is commonplace to most 21:57 businesses and most sales people or marketing campaigns exactly exactly Shifty gears a little bit the entire 22:04 world is obsessed right now with artificial intelligence it's getting all 22:10 the headlines uh Nvidia stock is through the roof right like there's there's just 22:16 such a frenzy around AI what are some of the ways that you're 22:22 seeing AI impacting the way that marketers build and Deploy on Channel campaigns or or 22:29 how are you seeing it in the future listen I I have to say that I AI's Impact on Omnichannel Campaigns 22:35 feel and you and I have been around long enough that this this explosion of AI 22:40 and the potentialities of it reminds me very much of the late 90s early 2000s 22:46 with the explosion of the internet you cannot fall behind and you could not 22:52 move fast enough to stay up with what the changes that come out so it it's so 22:58 I literally lose sleep at night thinking that I haven't read enough about AI I haven't discovered enough potential uses 23:05 to see how it can help me and every day I feel like I'm falling further behind 23:10 but that being said this technology to me will revolutionize almost everything 23:17 in the next three to five years and of course you know we have a huge initiative on it and my my advice to 23:25 anyone is don't ignore this technology yeah I don't know that getting yourself 23:31 on the on the treadmill to try to keep up with it is is practical either because it's moving so quickly and you 23:37 can drive yourself to a heart attack just trying to but don't ignore it keep 23:43 it in your front view and and if you don't know how find somebody that may be able to give you ideas or use cases of 23:51 where it can prove efficiencies Revenue marketing content I mean I've tried it 23:56 in most cases and there's still some shortfalls but it's still a great tool 24:02 it's still a great tool yeah I I've been spending a lot of time in there as well 24:07 and and we have at postalytics and I think your analogy to early internet is 24:12 so accurate because what's going on right now Silicon Valley has turned the 24:20 flood of venture capital money into this market and so there are startups that 24:26 are exploding with a lot of hot Capital right now and and while there are 24:35 winners that are going to emerge from this primordial soup that is AI such as in the internet era how 24:43 Google and Amazon and uh Facebook all all emerged there's going to be a lot of 24:48 a lot of losers in in the mix as well and and so not obsessing about every 24:54 single company and every single new announcement out of silk inv Valley is probably the right way to do it but but 25:00 look at the look at the trends right look at look at how fundamentally could 25:05 this impact a couple things in my business and how can I invest in a smart way to move the needle while this 25:12 thing's all getting sorted out and I'll have to tell you just in the few months so it sort of broke earlier this year um Smart Investing in AI Trends for Business Growth 25:19 and we have our own initiative going on remember I have I have all of the engagement response rates creative 25:27 targeting lists for 60,000 Direct Mail campaigns all 25:32 right and and I I'm working on a project to digitize creative and create certain 25:39 buckets by vertical where and and I'll just give you the use case if if you're 25:45 an Advertiser and let's say you're a finance company that's selling auto 25:50 loans well we can Benchmark that against previous campaigns so where are you 25:57 sending it to when are you sending it and what are you sending and we can take 26:03 the promotional piece or the postcard or the letter and we can analyze it optically compare it to past results 26:10 over the last six years that we've calculated and provide one or two points 26:16 of changes to be made in targeting timing or creative that could lift a 26:21 campaign 5% a 5% lift in a marketing campaign is is geometrically huge 26:28 so if taking all this history of direct mail campaigns and the results and being 26:34 able to provide a lift of a couple points based on a few minor changes 26:40 that's giant and this is what we're working on here but one of the things I found is you know I was trying to 26:46 interview um data scientists and and people who do computer visioning and 26:51 annotating where you take images and break them down you know as time's gone 26:56 on over the last six months there's companies that will already do this I don't have to build it there are AI 27:03 companies such as Bard or or even chat GPT that are making available these apis 27:10 to feed things in like that and get a response out so rather than create my own large language learning model why 27:17 not lease a little processor time on somebody else who's already gotten billions invested into it I can't catch 27:23 them I don't have 10 years you know so that's what I'm find yeah or several billion dollars to 27:30 invest like they exactly yeah moving to another area that is 27:38 increasingly in the news right now the political season is upon us and there's 27:45 going to be a presidential primary or three in about three months Believe It 27:50 or Not uh and so whether we like it or not it's coming and uh and it has an 27:56 impact on on this world that we live in absolutely and so so so how do you see 28:03 political campaigns using this combination of Direct Mail Plus digital in the Omni Channel way to deliver their 28:09 messages we think it's a great idea and and that being said we have done dozens of political campaigns and and I have to Direct Mail and Digital in Political Campaigns 28:16 say that during the last season you know we really wanted to go big in this and I 28:23 have to tell you this to really break into political and a L way on National 28:29 campaigns um you have to declare yourself for one side or the other all 28:35 right and in doing so there's repercussions for that okay I I would 28:40 call myself a cerist and if you want to do a republican campaign and go big well 28:46 you you've got to be affiliated with that group you've got to be a donor you've got to go to the rallies you've got to be connected and the same thing 28:52 is on the other side so I I I can't bring myself to make a stand 29:00 on one side or the other that publicly I have staff here that feel different ways and we've been very apolitical so that 29:08 being said I'm handicapped because I can't declare myself for one side or the 29:14 other all right I am not driven by that I I I find issues with both sides 29:20 sometimes so this is not something that I'm ever going to be super successful at without making that uh 29:29 ision well uh it is a very interesting Dynamic and uh you know we could 29:35 probably go on and on about polarization and how that's all pulled everybody into these camps yeah but at the end of at 29:42 the end of the day they all have a job to do too right in terms of getting their messages out and you know it's 29:49 it's kind of an old school concept like it unless you're unless you're with me 100% you're the enemy and I get it 29:58 people that live and breathe politics they have to be that passionate about it they have to and I understand if I'm if 30:04 I'm working for both sides and I'm doing marketing for both sides there's there's an inherent potential trust lapse there 30:11 you know so um it it's there's plenty of guys who want to do that I'll leave that 30:18 business to them there's plenty other business out there I'll do the the campaigns where they're not as sensitive 30:23 and I'll do a great job at it we've even had a down ballot candidate that really does credit our process to helping them 30:31 win it was a I think it was a state representative in somewhere in Pennsylvania for the State House not 30:37 even a national and uh it was very successful we have several very successful campaigns but uh I'm I'm 30:44 handicapped because of my own beliefs you might 30:49 say well and I could certainly see that at the local level how effective all of 30:55 those technologies that you outlined right with that Geo targeting and and 31:00 the ability for direct mail to deliver at the household level and and it could 31:06 really influence those down ticket campaigns in a big way very much so we have a special product that is we call 31:14 it political PowerUp that adds a few extra features like YouTube ads and uh 31:20 some Google uh Discovery ads and we use the district targeting features with 31:27 Google and and Facebook or meta to specifically Target those districts so you know there are some additional tools 31:34 that we do to help give an added boost to those campaigns very cool very cool all right 31:42 well Brad this has been phenomenal I love our conversations you know we're both living in kind of the same world 31:49 approaching from different angles and so it's always a blast to talk to you uh tell us tell the listeners I want to 31:56 learn more more how do I learn more about Direct Mail 2.0 how do I connect with Brad uh give us your coordinates Get in Touch with Brad 32:02 fantastic well the probably the easiest thing is you go to dm20 docomo directmail.com either way you can 32:10 find us uh you can reach me at Brad at d2.com I I love to talk marketing I love 32:17 to talk technology and I'm kind of becoming an AI geek too so you know I'm 32:23 an older guy who really wants to stay current on technology it's harder but 32:28 I'm I'm working at it well I'm with you I'm an older guy trying to stay as nerdy as possible so 32:34 uh it's it's hard to do but it's a lot of work but it's fun so I agree awesome 32:40 well Brad this has been so much fun I really appreciate you coming on today and uh I know our audience will have a 32:46 blast listening to this any and uh we'll see we'll see you soon always a pleasure 32:52 thank you Music again

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# Education
# Omnichannel Marketing
# Printing
# Sales and Marketing
# Political Mail
# Digital Marketing
# Direct Mail
# Political Campaigns
# Technology