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What is Automated Direct Mail? How it Works & Getting Started

This article provides a step-by-step guide to understanding and initiating success with automated direct mail.

Today, overcrowded inboxes are becoming a norm, with marketing emails vying for the recipient’s attention. Amidst the steep competition, automated direct mail has proven to be a high-value touchpoint to gain a customer’s attention, whether part of a standalone campaign or a multi-channel marketing strategy.

Automated direct mail uses modern technology & cloud-based software to connect directly with a business’ mailing database. By effectively integrating with the most popular CRMs and marketing systems, it helps businesses automate their direct mail campaigns. This reduces the risk of undelivered mail while minimizing the chances of human error.

What is Direct Mail Automation and its Importance?

Direct mail automation represents a modern marketing approach combining conventional direct mail methods with advanced automation technology. This approach eliminates the manual tasks of sending physical mail items, such as letters, postcards, brochures, and other promotional content, by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of a business’s overall direct mail marketing efforts.

Direct mail automation helps businesses streamline marketing campaigns by reaching potential customers. The process works through an automation platform where everything involved in direct mail is digitally automated, including data validation, regular database updates, designing, printing, packing, and mailing.

In contrast, traditional direct mail marketing consumes considerable time for planning and execution. And, it is nearly impossible to track the progress of direct mail items. However, automation has made the entire process easier and more effective.

Top 10 Benefits of Automating Direct Mail

We have established that direct mail marketing automation can improve overall efficiency & effectiveness. However, at a granular level, this can translate to reduced costs and improved ROIs. Let’s explore the key benefits of direct mail automation.

Benefits of automated direct mail
  1. Streamlines Efforts and Maximizes Efficiency

Direct mail marketing is a time-consuming process involving planning and collecting resources for direct marketing campaigns. Earlier, many direct mail efforts were done manually or semi-automatedly. The manual efforts included importing design data, loading paper into printers, labeling, and affixing stamps. In contrast, importing data from PDFs and CSVs for addressing and designing is considered a semi-manual activity in direct marketing campaigns. These procedures demand significant time at your workspace and may transform a formal workspace into a castle of papers, stamps, gums, and other materials.

Direct mail automation can come to your rescue, as it can eliminate manual tasks and instantly shift the processes to an automated platform. This way, automation will help save time, resources, and effort while assisting businesses to focus more on strategic planning and creative endeavors.

  1. Testing and Analyzing

Automated direct mail campaigns allow you to test your strategies and collect results based on the audience’s feedback. Testing and analyzing direct mail campaigns help businesses measure performance and incorporate the outcomes into future marketing campaigns. Direct mail automation also enables the flexibility to test different types of content, marketing collateral, and offers to improve your advertising efforts.

  1. Drive Offline Audience to Online Channels

Numerous online companies use direct mail automation to connect with their offline audiences. Similarly, offline businesses can drive individuals to online platforms to enhance visibility and promote awareness.

Take restaurants as an example; they maintain an online presence through social media and a website, frequently introducing new recipes and updating their menus. These dining establishments can harness direct mail automation to engage with customers via digital channels.

Compu-Mail can seamlessly integrate the CRM system, ensuring direct mail reaches the correct address at the right time.

  1. Customize Everything

Direct mail automation can help businesses swiftly customize all direct mail pieces on an automation platform. Every mail piece, font, and background can be customized easily within a few minutes, creating a seamless and quick experience.

In contrast, manual processes involve marketers and designers engaging in discussions, seeking approvals, and proceeding with customizations, making it lengthy and tiresome. Direct mail automation platforms provide an effortless experience for customizing your direct mail materials that would otherwise consume multiple days when done manually.

Compu-Mail has an experienced team of skilled staff to assist you in designing your direct mail message and customizing it for your targeted audience.

  1. Send Triggered Direct Mail

Event-triggered campaigns are considered a strategic and effective way of using direct mail marketing opportunities. These campaigns can be conducted on various occasions, including website visits and special days for loyal customers.

The direct mail automation platform will seamlessly manage all the stages, from printing to mailing, on your behalf. This event-triggered approach is highly recommended for increasing audience engagement and better response rates.

  1. Data Building and Management

You can use Compu-Mail’s direct mail platform for building new mailing lists for direct mail campaigns. These lists can be further segmented according to demographics for the targeted audience.

Businesses use their database or purchase mailing lists during the manual processing of direct mail delivery. Both data types have a high probability of errors, duplication, and spam.

You can use Compu-Mail’s direct mail automation to standardize and validate addresses. It will increase mailing efficiency with regular data updates, leading to an accurate data management system.

  1. Improve ROI

Direct mail is an effective marketing strategy to establish trust with potential customers and convince them to buy your products and services. Traditional mail marketing requires high investments due to low accuracy of addresses, returned or lost mail, inability to track mail, and wastage of time.

In contrast, direct mail automation doesn’t require huge investments or long manual hours. With smart direct mail automation, you can save a lot on designing, inventory management, printing, and expensive postal services. Additionally, there will be an increase in return on investment (ROI) with high-speed and accurate direct mail deliveries.

  1. Reduces Marketing Costs

Traditional direct mail marketing is believed to take most of the marketing budget. It happens when businesses spend a lot of money on designing, high-quality printing, and shipping direct mail pieces. This automation will help you create direct mail marketing campaigns at the lowest possible costs.

With the availability of Compu-Mail’s templates, you can design your direct mail pieces without hiring any design team. Instead, you can get a trusted and expert print and mail partner for your direct mail marketing campaigns. Moreover, with direct mail automation, you can get discounts on postal services, reducing marketing costs.

  1. Automates any Process

You can automate more than just your direct mail campaigns. It can involve automating any marketing process with direct mail automation software, from designing the mail piece to printing and launching a successful campaign. The automation process will save you considerable resources and time.

  1. Reduces Marketing Costs

Omnichannel presence in direct mail automation means you are available wherever your customers are, using computers to communicate with them. You can reach customers through email, texts, and mail, ensuring the messages are the same and work well together. This makes it convenient for customers because they can interact with you on different platforms, and it still feels like a smooth and connected experience.

Types of Automated Direct Mail

There is a wide range of direct mail, like marketing, transactional, and compliance. Every mail piece is sent as per the needs of a business. For instance, some mail pieces are sent to increase sales, and some are sent to fulfill a transactional need. Compu-Mail’s automated direct mail platform can print and send high-quality direct mail accurately and speedily to potential customers. Here is a list of different types of automated direct mail:

Types of Automated Direct Mail
  1. Letters

Letters that are sent in envelopes are available in numerous sizes. You can pick any size according to the amount of information you want to communicate to the targeted customers, fulfilling the objective of sending the letter. Usually, business letters are average in size and fulfill the purpose conveniently at affordable rates. In contrast, oversized letters tend to receive comparatively more responses, but their postal rates are higher due to their size.

You can also use self-mailers – the letters that are sent without envelopes. It keeps the costs under control. As letters are personal direct mail pieces, you can use them for your business and marketing needs. You can also use customized backgrounds in your letters and personalize your direct mail for advertising purposes.

  1. Flyers

Flyers are direct mail pieces sent to connect with people through short messages. Usually, flyers have a standard size, but with Compu Mail, you can customize it. You can use it to inform audiences about upcoming offers, discounts, events, etc.

Flyers always remain unfolded, differentiating them from brochures. Creative flyers can be customized with eye-catching graphics and colors. In flyers, messages can either be printed on one side or both.

  1. Brochures

Brochures are foldable direct mail pieces with text and images filling up all the sides. Usually, it offers more information in comparison to flyers and postcards. Due to more space, you can use display charts, pie diagrams, tables, customer testimonials, etc., to display information.

Brochures allow you to segment all your content properly, highlighting all sections equally. These mail pieces are mainly used by businesses looking to engage their customers by providing information in visually creative forms.

  1. Postcards

Postcards are one of the more cost-effective direct mail types. Numerous businesses have been using postcard marketing for a long time. They are small-sized, visually appealing direct mail pieces that use the least possible words to convey messages. Postcards convey information in a quick and crisp manner to help your business get more customer responses.

  1. Catalogs

Catalogs are a complete guide for the products of a company. They contain information and images of all the products, giving fool-proof information for customers’ ease and reliability. If your business consists of many products or deals, you can use catalogs to present them together in one place.

Catalogs help drive valuable responses and conversions. Well-designed catalogs are likely to get more attention from customers. Customers can browse it whenever they want to get product information. They are said to be the offline alternative to window shopping.

  1. Invoices

A company’s invoice management system ensures timely payment of the amount owed. Invoices need to be drafted and sent on time. It can sometimes be challenging to create, print, and mail invoices accurately and on time.

By utilizing Compu-Mail, you have the opportunity to seamlessly integrate our automation platform with your organization’s accounting software. This integration streamlines the process of importing necessary databases to draft your business invoices with more efficiency. Also, you can auto-populate the fields and then label every invoice accordingly. You can maintain your cash inflows with an effective infrastructure for printing and mailing invoices to the correct addresses on time. You can also send follow-up direct mail to remind creditors about their unpaid statements if required.

  1. Statements

Statements are important documents for the transactional communication of a company that should be sent at the right time. Banking institutions print and mail bank statements to their customers. Similarly, healthcare providers share medical statements with their patients. Likewise, companies in other sectors like finance, utility, and retail also send transactional statements to their customers. This direct mail piece can be customized according to the business’ brand, enabling promotion and the establishment of a strong reputation.

  1. Checks

A significant number of businesses continue to rely on traditional offline payment methods, including the use of checks. Certified and cashier’s checks are used for sending direct mail. With Compu-Mail print and mail automation, you can send checks safely and on time.

In addition, companies that continue to utilize traditional offline checks have the flexibility to personalize checks and transform them into distinct branded marketing materials. By incorporating the company’s logo, you can establish a lasting impression on all your checks. Furthermore, there are numerous other customization possibilities at your disposal. This enables you to seamlessly execute payments while simultaneously promoting your brand.

  1. SWAG items or Dimensional Mailers

You can brand any item you want and mail it to prospective customers. Usually, SWAG items consist of caps, bags, pens, diaries, keychains, etc. You can even add high-end products like iPhones, MacBooks, etc. Apart from this, you can get customized artwork designs on the SWAG items. Compu-Mail’s direct mail automation platform helps you create artwork suitable to be printed on dimensional mailers.

SWAG items have good open rates, and the response rate is also very high. These items are ideal for targeting prospects and customers. In addition to this, you can send a personalized note to make your audience feel valued. It is a great way to get people’s attention and expect a positive reaction.

What is Direct Mail Automation Software?

Direct mail automation software lets your marketing team automate sending various types of direct mail, including postcards, letters, invoices, welcome letters, etc. You can deliver successful mail campaigns with Compu-Mail’s direct mail automation software.

The automation software integrates with a marketing tool to gather accurate details and use them for direct mail campaigns. Digital engagements, triggers, or other personalization tools can be easily integrated with direct mail campaigns using Compu-Mail’s automation software.

Features of a Direct Mail Automation Platform

Automated direct mail has many features that allow businesses to send direct mail pieces accurately and efficiently. Some of its features include:

Features of Direct Mail Compu Mail
  1. Scalability

Direct mail automation tools are scalable. With Compu-Mail, you can process any number of direct mail simultaneously and handle bulk mailing with accuracy. You can add unlimited contacts, messages, users, templates, and locations to order any direct mail pieces.

Compu-Mail’s automated direct mail system can handle on-demand and bulk mail directly. You can conduct a direct mail campaign of any size and choose an easily scalable platform according to the business’ increasing needs. You would likely want to send more direct mail items as your business grows. Hence, the scalability feature helps expand your marketing efforts.

  1. Detailed Campaign Analytics

The direct mail automation tool helps you accurately measure the campaign performance. It also provides detailed analytics about your marketing campaign that helps you get the exact number of responses and conversions. These metrics are beneficial to plan the next campaign and can help you keep a record of all the direct mail you have sent.

With Compu-Mail, you can get a detailed view of your marketing campaigns and performance details of every individual collateral. You can calculate the estimated ROI with these reports. This step enables you to determine the size and budget of the next campaign.

  1. CRM Integration

CRM integration allows you to integrate your CRM and accounting software with an automation platform, allowing you to receive individual views for every customer for effective sales results.

With CRM integration, information and databases can be imported without the need for manual data entry using built-in automation. All the information is available for you through the integrated system.

  1. Marketing Templates

The automation platform allows you to save your direct mail designs that are easily accessible. Marketers can use different campaign design templates or keep the basic template similar to a few customizations.

With Compu-Mail’s automated direct mail solutions, you can design or choose any professional templates to fulfill your marketing needs.

  1. Personalization

Variable data printing (VDP) is used when you want to change the text, images, graphics, and other elements of your direct mail pieces to personalize them. For example, the basic layout will be the same if you want to print and mail invoices, but the billing and customer details will vary for each invoice. This step becomes easy and convenient with VDP.

Compu-Mail’s print and mail network lets you personalize your direct mail pieces according to their type, purpose, and requirements.

  1. Cross-channel Marketing

Direct mail automation comes into play when businesses shift their traditional direct mail marketing to an automation platform. Compu-Mail facilitates and promotes cross-channel marketing. You can conduct digital marketing campaigns and direct mail campaigns for increased response rates.

The engagement ratio of the targeted audience increases with cross-channel marketing. Further, the same content is presented on various channels to increase visibility everywhere.

  1. Per-Piece Tracking

Direct mail automation platform offers easy tracking as all details of direct mail pieces are readily available. If required, you can track each mail piece individually.

With Compu-Mail’s direct mail automation tool, you can easily track the mail pieces from when you mail them until they get delivered. The complete tracking data is stored and accessible. The real-time tracking allows you to assess the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns, measure ROI, and determine which campaigns are successful and which ones need improvement.

Industries that can benefit from Automated Direct Mail

Automated Direct Mail can significantly benefit many industries with enhanced customer service and streamlined marketing efforts:

  1. Healthcare providers

The healthcare industry requires direct mail automation for printing and mailing medical bills, medical statements, discharge summaries, test reports, and other documents sent to patients. Automating these processes is a common practice in healthcare organizations to improve efficiency and timely delivery. Moreover, these organizations can conduct direct mail marketing campaigns to advertise their services.

  1. Financial companies

It takes a lot of work to convince people to invest. People are very cautious about their finances, investments, and ROIs. Direct mail marketing becomes easy and effective for financial service providers with automated direct mail. Banks, credit card providers, and financial companies can use this service for carrying out strategic sales and marketing tasks. Compu-Mail can help financial organizations by sending informative and promotional direct mail pieces to their targeted customers.

  1. E-Commerce industry

Nowadays, e-commerce companies are among the largest businesses in the world. E-commerce brands can use automated direct mail for advertisements, promoting new products, and engaging old customers. Creating awareness for offline brands requires considerable promotional efforts. Henceforth, printing and mailing thoughtful, direct mail pieces for offline and online customers becomes important. E-commerce businesses can use event-triggered mail items using automation platforms like Compu-Mail.

  1. Nonprofits

Nonprofits and charitable organizations are entirely dependent on donors and volunteers. Finding volunteers ready to donate can be challenging. You can use direct mail to reach out to people and appeal for their donations. Automated direct mail software makes direct mail accurate & cost-effective and requires less time to reach the prospects.

  1. Public Relations firms

Any marketing agency or PR firm has to conduct marketing campaigns quite often. Automated direct mail can help them create a campaign’s design and content as per their needs and seamlessly execute the same.

  1. Schools & Universities

Educational institutions can also use automated direct mail marketing to advertise themselves. Direct mail automation can help design, print, pack, and mail to various stakeholders, from prospective students to alumni and donors, streamlining administrative processes and improving engagement and communication across the educational community.

Compu-Mail: Your Automated Direct Mail Platform

With Compu-Mail’s direct mail automation, marketing becomes easy and more effective. Initially, many businesses were apprehensive about using direct mail in the past due to its perceived time and cost constraints. But with time, direct mail has changed the marketing scenario with its new-age automation technology. Numerous businesses have chosen Compu-Mail’s direct mail automation platform to improve their ROI.

Compu-Mail caters to businesses of all sizes and industries with its automation tools. Contact us at Compu-Mail to learn more about direct mail solutions and how we can help you automate your direct mail marketing efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to automate direct mail?

A: Direct mail marketing can be automated using an automation platform software that speeds up the direct mail process and reduces manual labor. The business data is integrated with the software to start printing and delivering mail to prospective customers on time.

Q: How does automated direct mail get customers’ addresses?

A: The automated platform is integrated with other marketing tools with a customer address database. A business can customize and prioritize the customer list to reach its target audience.