You’ve heard of the effectiveness of email marketing, and the majority of companies exclusively use digital marketing. Have you considered using direct mail to bolster your marketing efforts?
This week, we sat down with Dennis Kelly, CEO of Postalytics, a software company focused on modernizing the direct mail marketing industry. The brand, which originally started in 2013, under the name Boingnet, underwent rebranding a few years ago and launched its new product, Postalytics. The company was recently awarded "Campaign Management Software" for 2021 by Software World.
Kelly is well acquainted with constant change. His current business started out connecting brands with print service providers to help market and execute direct mail campaigns. When comments on the complexity of the process started coming in, Kelly knew the business had to pivot. The company took a year to develop a new software that ultimately makes sending mail as easy and efficient as sending email. The result was Postalyticas, an innovative software that allows marketers to easily create a direct mail campaign using integrated data from their CRM tool, and send it out automatically to a network of print and mail partners for production and distribution. Moreover, the service enables its users to measure the delivery and response of these campaigns in a way similar to that of email marketing tools.
Kelly believes that an integral part of business growth is driven through the constant collection of data and leveraging it to create processes that increase the company’s efficiency.
Measuring response and campaign success
There are many tools at a marketer’s fingertips to measure the success of an email campaign. The data extracted allows for a better understanding of the target audience and improvements on future campaigns. But how could these methods be applied to physical mail campaigns?
Postalytics takes an innovative approach to measure the success of their users' mail campaigns. The company utilizes a tool setup by the US Postal Service called The Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb®), which enables senders of great volume of mail to add a barcode to every single piece of mail and track it’s delivery process. Postalytics captures the data associated with every person with an individual piece of mail in a campaign and synchronizes that data back into the user’s CRM tools. Postalytics also captures data from the USPS Return to Sender data to identify any bad addresses and clean up the user’s database automatically.
Even more brilliant is how Postalytics measures the impact of mail campaigns on the target audience. Through a proprietary software that they have developed, Postalytics enables its users to generate personalized QR codes and URLs to track the receiver’s engagement. Once scanned, the code takes the receiver to the promoter’s landing page, giving the latter valuable information on the impact of the mail campaign. It’s similar, in a way, to tracking click rates to measure the effectiveness of an email or social media campaign.
Using data to reach the ideal customer
Reflecting on the company journey, Kelly emphasized the importance of leveraging data in the evolution of Postalytics. In the company’s early days, Kelly would reach out to every single person signing up to the software’s free version and learn as much about them as possible. He later realized that this approach would do little to scale the company’s operations, which was why he turned to data to better identify Postalytics' ideal customer.
As more people created free accounts, Postalytics captured as much data feasible during the registration process. Through tools such as Zapier and HubSpot, the company was able to segment free account holders and approach each segment appropriately. For instance, Postalytics would reach out to users sending small quantities of mail to persuade them into sending more mail or to upgrade to a subscription. For those who are more likely to stick to the free plan, Postalytics is content with specific content and customer support to provide the best user experience possible with minimal human intervention.
Adopting agile for process improvement
While data can be used to better serve customers, it must ultimately be leveraged to improve upon the company’s systems and processes. Kelly admits that doing so is not as crystal clear, saying that great care should be taken to apply the right amount of process based on the position of the business and where it's headed.
All processes should be geared toward key priorities. As Posalytics gained more traction and had a better understanding of their ideal customer, they focused their efforts around creating processes that eliminate inefficiencies. Especially when using multiple tools to manage workflows, Kelly emphasizes that proper coordination between these tools and regular refinement of the processes within them is essential to maximize efficiency.
"The state of your company is not a static thing," Kelly concludes. Every business leader should have the mindset that all company processes must be reinvented. Otherwise, they risk having their businesses reach stagnation.
You don’t want to miss the entire conversation with Dennis Kelly in this week’s episode of “In Systems We Trust.” Check out the full episode for a more in-depth discussion around creating and maintaining an agile environment, and the solutions a company can provide by being adaptable and open.