You might be surprised at how much money hides in print marketing.
In a famous example, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) made over $2 billion in subscriptions with a single direct mail campaign that ran between 1975 and 2003. Think $195,694 a day, every day for 28 years.
Today, businesses are finding that print marketing — especially automated direct mail — is helping them replicate the peak acquisition, engagement, and all other marketing-lingo rates.
What is direct mail marketing?
Direct mail is a form of print advertising that includes sending letters, postcards, or flyers directly to consumers, voters, or donors. Depending on the purpose, you may choose to use a different format and message in direct mail.
This form of advertising has been around for thousands of years. Ever since, print mail has been through numerous expansions, ultimately becoming a $41.9 billion/year industry in the United States alone.
Think larger than football or… well, music.
Enter Postalytics and direct mail automation
Postalytics is a Massachusetts based-tech company that’s bringing print mail into the digital age.
A few years ago, Postalytics CTO Alec Graziano showed his new cool project to a long-time friend, Dennis Kelly. They had previously worked together at successful tech startups. Both saw an opportunity to apply great technology to an industry that had been bypassed by the software giants. The seed was planted.
Postalytics was designed to solve the 3 biggest problems digital marketers had with direct mail marketing or just about any mailing.
It was an immediate hit, and the company has grown organically without outside investment. Postalytics is now growing ten times faster than the entire direct mail market.
The service has recently expanded to Canada, enjoying the full support of Canada Post.
“Canada Post is always keen to partner with innovative businesses, and we believe the Postalytics tool offers more options to companies across Canada. The integration with Canada Post Personalized Mail™ is seamless and will significantly benefit marketers,” Said Janet Brearton, General Manager of Business Products and Experiences at Canada Post.
Dwarfing the direct mail industry
According to the Winterberry Group study, direct mail volume grew 4.7% YoY in 2021. Meanwhile, Postalytics’ order volume grew 51% in the same period. That’s a bit over 10x the industry expansion.
One particular product skyrocketed.
“We’ve seen a 226% more triggered direct mail campaigns in 2020 than year before.” — Dennis Kelly, Postalytics CEO
Targeted direct mail campaigns are just one of many tools that Postalytics has developed to serve businesses across the United States and Canadian.
The craziest thing is that you can send a single piece of mail just like you would an email. You can then track and personalize that piece of mail to fit each member of your audience. And you can also embed QR codes and personalized URLs to stand out from any other marketing material.
This is how far the mailing industry has come in recent years. The barrier to entry is practically non-existing. Forget about hiring an army of graphic designers, copywriters, printers, and distribution centers to even make a dent.
The new direct mail marketing dashboards are almost indistinguishable from email clients like Mailchimp or Substack. Otherwise known as email marketing platforms.
Our digital marketing agency, MADX, has witnessed this transformation firsthand. We’ve implemented a product-lead SEO strategy, breaking down each of Postalytics' features and tools into consumable landing pages.
It turns out that companies are rushing to add print mail to their marketing mix.
And there's a good reason behind it.
One step back, two steps forward
When things change, it’s time to either reinvent yourself or change the world.
Everything analog has been steadily declining since the 2010s. Meanwhile, everything digital has been pushing forward with strong growth.
Direct mail has followed a similar path, peaking out in the late 2000s and slowly losing its edge year after year. The entire mailing industry stagnated.
Many print-mail marketers retired and the new kids took jobs in the digital industries of the perceived future. On top of everything, sending a piece of mail became almost redundant next to instant communication tools like email, SMS, and social media messengers.
New rules on the playing field
The direct mail industry has been due for an update. And nothing creates better conditions for change than trouble.
Recent changes in privacy laws and the swift death of browser cookies have pushed businesses to rethink their marketing strategies.
This year, Apple’s privacy changes might wipe out almost $16 billion from digital advertising platforms.
However, this money won’t just go “poof.” It will find its way into other marketing and advertising technologies.
We’re already witnessing a strong resurgence of direct mail. Businesses and marketers started adding direct mail to their mix of promotional channels. Sometimes it’s a CRM-triggered postcard; other times, it’s a personalized letter retargeting email non-responders.
Print Mail is Back in Fashion with Direct Mail Automation
Maybe a postcard or two from a forgotten family member makes its way to your doorstep for a birthday or Christmas. And that’s about it.
Receiving something in your mailbox has become rare but exciting once again.
The junk mail has entirely moved to your digital inbox. And if you’re a digital professional, you probably need 3–4 inboxes to cope with the carpet bombing of promotional emails.
Getting to Inbox 0 has become an Olympic sport, desensitizing people to any form of email communication. So, marketers have started thinking of using new avenues to reach customers.
And that’s where Postalytics comes in, offering businesses a perfect solution for incorporating an automated direct mail campaign into their marketing mix.
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