Businesses of all kinds are using marketing automation software to help them guide prospects through the sales funnel and boost brand awareness among their identified audiences. This software can track activity, score leads, and deliver persona-specific content through email and over the internet.
Yet few marketing automation systems pay much attention to strengthening customer relationships via the mail. They may be ignoring a powerful and proven communication channel that integrates easily with their digital communication strategy.
Automation in All Channels
Marketing departments can configure their marketing automation system to serve up a series of email messages based upon an individual’s online actions. They can automatically send customers links to white papers or videos. They can make them offers or invite them to webinars; all based on what links customers click, which emails they open, or which web pages they visit.
For physical products, however, nothing impresses like a sample that comes in the mail. No one can really appreciate the taste of a new breakfast cereal or the scent of an organic laundry detergent without actually having a sample of the product in their hands. And that’s where direct mail comes in.
The same marketing automation software that delivers whitepapers or initiates email drip campaigns makes on-demand physical fulfillment possible. The software can send timely requests to a vendor partner that will send the material directly to the recipients. Automation and connectivity have turned mail centers into an extension of internal marketing automation systems.
Triggered Fulfillment = Intelligent Marketing Spend
Sending samples to a huge mailing list can be expensive, but providing attention-getting materials to hot leads as identified by their recent online activity is money well spent. Even companies selling intangible products and services can use the impact of mail to convert more customers. Organizations can encourage prospects to move along in the sales cycle or take a call from a sales representative by sending them physical items that stand out from all the other mail customers receive.
Companies might, for instance, send a personal note from a local insurance agent offering an appointment to meet for coffee – along with a gift card at the coffee shop. Or a financial planner might send a retirement planning workbook to highly qualified prospects after they self-identify by watching a video on the company website.
Once the marketing department assigns a score to each prospect based upon their likelihood of buying and their potential value as a customer, the amount to spend converting those customers is just a math problem. Spending more money on physical mail if it generates results makes a lot more sense than spending less money on methods that don’t really work.