Programming Direct Mail is a marketing platform which was founded and invented by ‘PebblePost’ in 2014. It was developed with the aim of ‘seamlessly connecting real-time interest & intent data with in-home tangible media’. Lewis Gersh, CEO & founder of PebblePost, was determined to bring a positive change in the direct mail marketing and ‘create a programmatic solution for an entire marketing channel’.

Pebblepost defines programmatic as ‘data-driven decision making, with high levels of automation that enhance the efficacy and efficiency of a marketer’s goals’.

Looking at this example before getting into the technicalities will aid better and comprehensive understanding of the topic.

An online shopper searches for a pair of running shoes over the Internet. They click on a pair of black and white shoes, add them to their shopping cart but for some reason decide to abandon it and keep surfing instead.

This is where Programmatic Direct Mail steps in and retargets that online shopper. It registers that specific shopper’s online data history and uses it to send a personalized, physical direct mail to them within 12-24 hours, advertising the same pair of shoes they had abandoned earlier. The customer may also be targeted with any special offers or discounts on that specific pair of shoes they were interested in.

How Does Programmatic Direct Mail Work?

The platform allows marketers to send messages to potential customers who have visited their website recently. These messages are based on three main factors:

Behavioral activity, e.g. search, dwell time and cart abandonment.

Product segmentation, e.g. shoes, belts, pants.

Campaign rules, e.g. control groups, a/b testing and audience tagging.

It then dynamically renders a personalized piece of media-direct mail-and delivers it to interested customers after about 12-24 hours of the visit.

The platform essentially identifies and retargets ‘interested’ visitors through either a purchase history, a previous login or via cookies. After the browsers have been identified, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is used to gain access to relevant street mailing addresses.

How Is Programmatic Direct Mail Valuable?

PebblePost’s innovative platform has paved the way for the automation of direct mail by combining lead lists with modern, digital advertising technologies. As a result, both the brains and capacity programmatic processing, and the strong foundation of traditional direct mail marketing work towards driving positive responses and conversions.

It is believed that this combination generates over 20 percent response rates. This figure is 200 times greater than digital retargeting (0.1 percent) and 10 times greater than conventional direct mail (2 percent).

The platform helps marketers in many ways, some of which include:

Bringing real-time analytics, like never before, to offline media.

Avoiding the clutter and ‘noise’ associated with traditional retargeting.

Beating ad blockers, frauds, ‘viewability’ problems and bots (they do not have mailboxes).

Avoiding ‘pushing’ potential customers- they play a role in this type of advertising in their own comfort zone and on their own terms.

Tuning performance of the ad campaign to marketers using various different analytics.

Many experts and analysts view this invention as an evolutionary development for digital marketing, while marketers claim it to be an entirely new marketing channel. Lewis Gersh provides marketers with something to look forward to, by saying, “We have a jam-packed product and market development roadmap going out years. There is a lot more to come.”