Use of print mailings along the digital customer journey
Seasonal mass mailings are neither customer-centric nor sustainable or particularly profitable. As with digital channels, print advertising must be adapted to the individual customer journey to be successful.
In principle, the further a person is in their customer journey, the more data you have about their preferences and behaviour. But just as with email marketing, not every use case in print marketing makes sense at every stage of the customer lifecycle. In fact, the amount of data collected differs depending on the use case.
At which stage of the customer journey is direct mail useful?
In principle, you can run a print mailing campaign at any stage. But we recommend sending highly segmented or personalised print campaings. This requires personal and behavioural data from the person who is to receive the direct mail.
Otherwise, you can only send anonymous mass emails, which are expensive and not very effective. With channels like social media, emails or paid ads, on the other hand, you can acquire new customers and increase brand awareness efficiently.
The further a person is in the customer journey, the more data you have available to use for segmentation and personalisation. If the customer is already familiar with your brand, the probability that your marketing messages will be received increases by 48%. This is why direct mail is particularly suitable for CRM marketing. Depending on which channels your customers prefer, you can choose to advertise via print or email.
This is how you integrate direct mail into your customer journey
Depending on the customer journey stage, your customers have different needs and expect content and offers tailored to them. Therefore, you should think carefully about where the different use cases in the customer journey begin.
In reactivation, for example, a company tries to keep a customer from leaving, while recommendations are sent to a loyal customer base. The latter can only be personalised when enough behavioural data on purchase history and favourite products are available. Print mailing campaigns for shopping cart abandoners are also only worthwhile if the customer knows your brand and only needs a small incentive to buy.
If you want to learn more about the different use cases and their definitions, feel free to have a look at our checklist.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
Has someone already added items to the shopping basket but not purchased them? Then you can use real-time data to integrate customised offers into the print mailing based on recently viewed products added to the shopping cart. This makes it much more possible that someone will decide to buy after all.
Example: The fashion company Peter Hahn runs a traditional mail order business. Let’s say someone puts a sleeveless dress in the shopping basket but does not order it. According to certain specifications, a personalised maxi postcard is automatically sent with a similar dress on it. Similarly, because of the media break, it can be off-putting for an older target group to receive a postcard two days later with exactly the same item as online. Whether similar or the same products are recommended as in the shopping basket depends in the end on the target group. Gen Z would certainly expect the same items to be pictured on the print mailing and feel more addressed by it. Peter Hahn also integrates two more slots for personalised product recommendations on this print mailing, which are filled by algorithm with top sellers oriented to the items in the shopping basket.
Recommendation marketing / Refer-a-friend
If you want to thank your fans for their loyalty and attract new customers at the same time, you can send a personalised voucher with a recommendation message. This is especially effective if the person is already relatively far along in the customer journey, trusts your brand and is therefore happy to recommend your products to people close to them.
Example: AVA & MAY sends exclusive direct mail with a high voucher value to loyal customers who like to recommend the brand and therefore give the voucher to acquaintances. As a result, almost 20 % of orders are generated via new customers.
Customers often do not respond via digital channels or cannot be reactivated via email due to the lack of opt-in. If you add a postal contact point to your customer journey, you have a good chance of reaching many people after all.
Example: The DIY chain OBI has 5 million accounts on its digital customer platform. Therefore, reactivation is particularly important for OBI. The company does not only rely on simple messages like “We miss you!”, but combines them with personal events like the “heyOBI birthday”. Inactive existing customers receive a voucher by post if they have been a heyOBI member for a year but have not shopped for a while or are in danger of leaving. This increases customer loyalty and motivates them to shop.
You can find more information about OBI’s use case here.
What are the requirements?
In the end, both the right timing and the right content are crucial for a high ROI. With the number of possible customer behaviours and interactions reaching infinity, it is difficult to run an effective campaign without automation. If the customer journey is digitally mapped within a marketing automation platform, automated triggers for print mailing campaigns can be integrated. There is also a great opportunity to integrate use cases into the digital customer journey via the Marketing Cloud and accompany them with email reminders, for example. The latter can increase the success of a direct mail campaign if following a print touchpoint – and vice versa. True cross- and omni-channel marketing is only possible when you have enough data and combine print with digital channels such as emails.
23rd August 2023