Print automation for direct mail marketing helps companies execute strategic, highly-targeted campaigns that leverage the power of print to engage and drive customers to act. But print automation also makes it easier for marketers to understand the ROI of their direct mail campaigns in order to better allocate print marketing dollars and resources.
The ability to evaluate and demonstrate ROI in direct mail marketing is especially important right now as a recent survey found that 68% of marketers have had to change their digital marketing strategies due to compliance or operational changes on various social and digital platforms over the last six months.
This development could see more marketers pivoting to print as a productive line of communication with customers, and print automation provides the data-driven insights that brands need in order to optimize their direct campaigns in a variety of ways, from the design to the call-to-action (CTA).
Yes, print automation makes it easier to understand the ROI of direct mail campaigns, and here, we’ll look at a couple of ways you can leverage print automation to help maximize your investment in direct mail marketing.
Print Automation helps reduce waste
One of the reasons marketers shy away from direct mail is the challenge of printing the optimum number of pieces. With more traditional printing platforms, marketers print large quantities of direct mail in order to hit the economies of scale that make this type of print communication worth the effort and expense — and this often results in extra copies that need to be stored or disposed of, which further reduces the ROI of your direct mail campaign.
However, automated print platforms use digital, print-on-demand (POD) technology — also known as on-demand print — to print the exact quantity of direct mail pieces you need. This virtually eliminates the likelihood that you’ll have to store unused copies, but it also helps optimize your print budget dollars by using the precise amount of resources — ink and paper — required to print your mailer.
What’s more, print automation reduces waste and helps you better understand the ROI of your direct mail campaigns by making it possible to:
- Revise or update direct mailers based on edits to the visuals or content of your mailer. For example, if the product you’re promoting is suddenly unavailable due to supply chain disruptions, you can quickly and easily swap out photos, renderings, or copy to avoid printing inaccurate copies.
- Scale your campaign quantities and print additional copies on an as-needed basis. The on-demand nature of print automation makes it easy and cost-effective to print more copies in the event your campaign is more successful than you anticipated, or if you feel the need to expand your mailing list in order to reach a wider audience.
Print automation helps you print more targeted, dynamic direct mail to reduce the need for subsequent mailings
There’s an old adage in woodworking: measure twice and cut once. This means being more thorough and strategic with your measurements, ensuring a cleaner, more accurate cut. The same principle applies to integrating your automated print system with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, which offers two important ways to optimize and understand the ROI of your direct mail campaigns.
First, it streamlines a variety of manual processes to save time, money, and resources during the setup and pre-production phase of the print process. Second, integrating your CRM data with a print automation solution allows you to create a more targeted, dynamic direct mail campaign that produces the desired response rate on the first send, reducing the need for subsequent campaigns.
With automated print, you can use a variety of customer data combined with variable data printing to create mailers with specifically tailored images and content that will best engage your target audience and prompt them to act.
For example, you can print direct mailers using customer insights such as job titles, geographic locations, purchase history, and you can even harness the power of POD technology to send personalized direct mail that is triggered by any number of customer lifecycle actions or milestones.
What’s more, the superior print quality of a print automation platform also helps you incorporate design elements that bridge the gap between the print and digital space. For instance, you can use a quick response (QR) code to open a website, landing page, or video that gives your audience a more in-depth, immersive experience and increases the likelihood your audience will act on your offer.
The biggest benefit of using an automated print platform is that the user insights gained will help you better assess the success and ROI of your campaign. Digital metrics such as website views, video views, and webpage clicks can supplement the response rate of your direct mail campaign in order to tell a more detailed story about how your mailer performed.
Print automation can help reduce the likelihood of waste and make it possible for you to create data-driven direct mail campaigns that immediately resonate with your target audience. Not only does this help provide a better understanding of your ROI, but it also makes your print communications strategy more efficient and flexible.