At the mention of innovative marketing, you probably think of digital channels such as social media or email. The online marketing industry has evolved a lot over the past decade, while print seems to have stood still. But actually, the reality is quite different: The traditional print market has adapted to this new world and introduced innovative approaches like Programmatic Print. In fact, there are many reasons why print advertising is now more relevant than ever for modern retail and e-commerce businesses. But how can this technology become a true marketing secret weapon?
What is Programmatic Print and how does it work?
“Programmatic print” is a term from digital marketing that is made up of the words “program” (software) and “automation” (automated processes) and is combined with “print”. From time to time, the term “Direct Mail Automation” is also used. It is an innovative technology that combines the efficiency and targeted precision of programmatic advertising with the advantages of print advertising.
Unjustly, print channels are all too often still seen as costly, old-fashioned or unsustainable, and are thought to be difficult to personalise and automate. But the days of transmitting data to printers via CSV lists and SFTP servers and delivering generic mass mailings to customers are long gone.
In fact, Programmatic Print allows powerful targeting and personalisation capabilities to be transferred from digital marketing to the print channel. For example, letters, postcards and self-mailers can be tailored to different target groups in a data-driven way and integrated into cross-channel marketing to better reach customers and build an emotional connection.
Moreover, direct mail automation is particularly suitable for marketing to existing customers. After all, a company can benefit from Programmatic Print especially if it already has gathered a variety of customer data and works with a marketing cloud.
What should a Programmatic Print Software have?
There are several aspects that a direct mail automation software should offer in order to transform print into a modern performance channel.
Numerous configuration options for print mailing automations incl. access to all personalisation data
Drag & drop” integration of print mailing touch points into the digital Customer Journey Builder
Automated transfer of campaign data back into the marketing platform (e.g. via WebHooks)
Automated printing within a few days, taking into account all formats and personalisation options (incl. picture personalisation with product recommendations)
The benefits of a marketing strategy with Programmatic Print
Innovative print marketing? No problem nowadays! Data-driven marketing with Programmatic Print is sustainable, increases sales as well as conversion rates and is strongly oriented towards the target group. But that’s not all! Here are more advantages of personalised print advertising:
- The feel: print is a sensory experience and has a stronger appeal to consumers than countless advertising mails. It also conveys a high-quality impression, which can be enhanced by personalised designs, vouchers and individual product recommendations.
- Awareness: Attention and “open rates” are extremely high with print mailings. While email inboxes are flooded with newsletters, a postcard in the letterbox stands out.
- Dialogue: Print offers a high degree of customer centricity and addresses consumers individually and repeatedly. Personalised product recommendations achieve better results than mass advertising.
- Data protection: Your customers can be addressed directly at any time – without the need for a double opt-in! This gives you the chance to reach 100% of your existing customers.
- Measurability: Get to know your customers! Using individual discount codes, QR codes and landing pages, interactions along the customer journey can be precisely measured and evaluated. In this way, print materials can be tailored ever more precisely to the customer’s main interests.
- Duration of effect: Compared to electronic and digital media, print usually has a much longer duration of effect and generates several contact points. This is because a print mailing often finds its way from the letterbox into the home and is noticed by all residents there.
Whether it’s a newsletter or a letter with a personalised voucher – it’s all about reaching the right person at the right time. A smart postcard with a discount code can often be better received than another advertising email that is not even opened. In the best case, the print voucher will even be visibly pinned to the fridge so that it can be redeemed in time.
Print continues to be relevant in the digital age
Print or digital advertising: Which is best? Quite simply: it’s the perfect balance that counts! And that’s exactly what Programmatic Print is all about. While in the past you had to choose between the attention of print and the targeting of digital channels, Programmatic Print allows you to get the best of both worlds. This includes both digital and print touchpoints in the customer journey, based on customer preferences or the use case. The result is holistic cross-channel marketing.