When it comes to direct mail, our friend Shelley Sweeney knows the ins and outs of how to get results. An expert in targeted direct mail, she’s previously visited HWI to emphasize and to educate on the power of personalization. Now, she’s stressing the importance of triggered direct mail. Check out her guest article featured on Xerox’s Digital Printing Hot Spot blog.
Looking for a new application to re-charge revenue? There’s never been a better time to dive into triggered direct mail.
Triggered direct mail strategies can be set around many types of behavior in many industries, but the data drives it all. Here’s how it works. Based on what action a consumer takes, a particular trigger determines the type of message that is sent. The communication goes out quickly, within 24 to 48 hours, while the action and motive are fresh in the mind of the consumer. As a result, the attention of a highly qualified prospect may be captured at the peak of their purchasing probability.
Examples of behaviors that trigger specific communications could be:
- Service reminders from your car dealer come with tempting coupons.
- When bank customers hit a certain loan balance, they might get a letter offering re-financing.
- A retail customer signs up in-store for a branded credit card to get a purchase discount. This could trigger a catalog or a coupon that drives another in-store visit.
- A visit to a cruise website triggers a high-end postcard offer.
- When a loyalty club member goes inactive beyond a certain period, they get a reminder to use existing points, sweetened by an offer.
Data Essential for Triggered Direct Mail
Trigger strategies can be set around many types of behavior, but the data drives it all. Companies might have data generated by triggers like:
- Landing page visit
- Content download
- Abandoned cart
- Call center query
- Product demo
- Inactive accounts
- New customers
- Loyalty memberships
- Event attendance
- Seasonal behaviors
The specific trigger depends on the data available to the business. What triggers something in retail won’t be the same as what works in banking, but the concept remains the same. It’s about using action-related data from one behavior to send a physical piece in the hopes of generating another behavior while interest is high and active.
A key question is what kind of data does a business have that can be integrated into a triggered direct mailer stream? With this understanding, an intentional, strategic communication workflow can be built to drive a specific action. Data should be processed frequently to have mail hit at the height of relevance within that critical 24-48 hour period.
Data Drives Action, Personalization and Metrics
A variety of industries and businesses can and do use trigger campaigns because it’s such a flexible tactic. Healthcare, real estate, financial services, education, any number of markets have different customer journey touch points that could trigger a specific direct mail piece. Triggers can be almost anything, and that makes triggered direct mail a good tactic for targeting by segments.
Examples of triggered mailers:
- Catalogs and magalogs
- Loyalty offers
- Service coupons
Data is key to all this, whether you build, partner or acquire it. Data integrators work with clients and help drive strategy. PSPs with specialties in certain industries may already have insights into the data their customers can capture. Trigger programs can be built around almost any type of data your business or customers work with, and automation adds speed and accuracy.
Some providers use XMPie software to connect to databases for personalized multichannel campaigns synchronized across channels and touchpoints. XMPie brings analytics, campaign management and automation for campaigns that deliver personalized communications across print and digital touchpoints.
Make a Convincing Case for Triggered Direct Mail
Think of triggered direct mail as an ongoing strategy, because the universe of action takers continually refreshes. Data and analytics help optimize the practice as you go. It’s an application well suited to a digital press that’s set up for on-demand and variable data mailers. Variable data printing capitalizes on personalization to further boost mail piece relevance. State-of-the-art production equipment produces high-quality digitally printed pieces without sacrificing turnaround.
Inkjet-printed, data-targeted direct mail brings fast, high-quality personalization to your clients’ multichannel marketing at low cost. Advances in inkjet production, workflow and personalization software now make it possible to run a lean operation that minimizes waste. That means more profit for you, and it’s a convincing case to take to your customers when you deliver more revenue to their bottom line through relevancy.