The Power of Trigger-Based Direct Mail

Trigger-based marketing is a strategy that uses consumer behavior to create personalized messages that can help you improve response rates by sending the right message, at the right time. It has become a critical component of an effective multi-channel marketing strategy because it generates impressive results.

Just as it sounds, trigger-based marketing occurs when communication is triggered once a particular event takes place. For example, a specific date can be used to trigger communication, such as a membership or insurance policy expiration date, birthday, anniversary, holidays, and events. A trigger can also be applied with life events, such as the birth of a child, graduation, wedding, or moving into a new neighbourhood. Canada Post’s National Change of Address Data Service, for example, can identify new potential customers within an area, allowing businesses the opportunity to trigger automated mailings to be sent to introduce their business.

Trigger-based marketing is also very effective with consumer re-engagement. It is estimated that email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year. When consumers unsubscribe from your direct mail list, have not made a purchase on your website for a long period of time, or have not engaged with your emails, setting triggers that automatically send direct mail offers can help motivate consumers to re-engage with your brand. Conversely, trigger-based marketing can also be used to reward high-value customers providing them with special offers only intended for consumers that achieve certain order values.

Trigger-based marketing efficiently employs direct mail automation to achieve results

Regardless of the trigger, the goal is the same – to capture your audience in the right frame of mind to engage with your brand. Trigger-based marketing efficiently employs direct mail automation to ensure communication is sent at the right time, increasing open and response rates. “We use Mail Automation Processing (MAP), a proprietary combination of applications and custom code, that automates a client’s pre-set triggers to initiate a direct mail communication in many different industries including insurance, retail, and consumer goods”, says John Leonard, V.P. Sales, and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management. Sending targeted and personalized direct mail based on consumer behaviour data at the right time can produce impressive results, with 50% of consumers saying they have tried a new product, service, or establishment after receiving a direct mail piece.

Key direct mail trigger-based marketing events

  1. Membership welcome letters and renewal reminders
  2. Policy renewal reminders
  3. Consumer re-engagement offers
  4. Historical buying habits and high-value client rewards
  5. New client appreciation postcards
  6. Post-purchase appreciation, rewards, and offers
  7. Birthday and other life event offer and samples
  8. Annual sales, events and seasonal offers, and reminders
  9. Subscription offers and reminders
  10. Welcome to the neighbourhood offers

Effective elements of trigger-based marketing

  1. Identify the triggers that will generate desired results. Utilize data and automation to define how to generate more value from your target audience by identifying those moments that will increase their likelihood of engaging with your brand and set trigger rules to automate communication. “Technology gives us the ability to identify historical patterns and apply calculations that can show future values; this enables us to identify triggers that are meaningful to consumers and that our customers can capitalize on”, says Leonard.
  2. Timing is everything with trigger-based marketing. Sending an offer one week before an event that is sold out can generate negative feelings towards your brand. Early bird offers and reaching consumers when they are in the right phase of the purchase cycle can generate a significant impact on results.
  3. Personalization is key. Consumers have come to expect personalized offers; this holds true with all channels including direct mail. Utilize historical consumer data to create personalized messaging that reaches them at the right time with the right messaging to achieve higher response rates.
  4. Select the appropriate mail piece for the campaign. Postcards are ideal for sales, birthday offers, and sales announcements, but letters with envelopes are best suited for membership and policy renewals which require respect for consumer privacy.
  5. Call to action should be simple but effective. The use of QR codes to connect consumers to websites or promotional codes right on the postcard are effective ways to stimulate response rates.

Trigger-based marketing is a powerhouse for your brand.  Automating behavioural-based campaigns increases relevance to consumers by providing personalized offers when they are most likely to buy. Consumers appreciate this added level of attention by brands, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and a significant boost in sales.

John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management.  He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416)752-8100.

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