While marketing automation is all the rage many marketers struggle to incorporate print marketing automation into their campaigns. A recent study indicated that marketing automation usage spiked 150% over the last three years. CRM and related automation platforms were previously too expensive for mid-sized and small businesses. These tools have made sending digital communications at specified trigger points easier than ever, but incorporating print has been a challenge. Alexander’s print technology automation solutions team has made it easier than ever to include print marketing as part of an overall comprehensive campaign.
Why has print been so hard to incorporate into automation platforms? The short answer is that automation platforms are simply easier to program for digital communications. All the marketer needs to do is draft copy, drop in some eye catching graphics and schedule it for launch. There is no limit to the number of emails a marketer can create. It’s all self-contained within the automation platform itself.
The challenge with print is that data needs to be sent outside of the system to a separate print vendor. In the past getting that data in a format that the printer can incorporate correctly into direct mail took extra time and energy. The key is finding a print partner that understands the data. At Alexander’s we have an in-house team solely dedicated to print automation technology. We regularly consult with clients on how to interpret and time their direct mail pieces. So they land on their customers’ doorsteps with the right message, offer, and other personalized touches. These print items are more tactile and meaningful than sifting through a spammed inbox.
Direct Mail Automation Can Be Personal
We recently had a mail piece for a national oil change company come through our shop. It contained the customer’s name (obviously), vehicle make and model, mileage, date of their next 3 month scheduled service, and three coupons related to the upcoming service. The company had customized those offers based off of previous buying behavior and timing relative to their last visit. On the back of the post card was a familiar picture of the customer’s local oil change shop. This piece was layered on top of opt-in email and text options as well.
This example demonstrates that all the customization and data analysis so often used in digital communications can easily be used for print marketing automation campaigns. Indeed, savvy marketers ignore print marketing pieces at their own peril. Canadian neuromarketing firm TruImpact conducted a study which found that direct mail is both easier to understand and is more memorable. When asked which brand’s advertisement the participants had just seen, recall was 70% higher for those exposed to direct mail compared to digital.
Print vs Digital is a Misnomer
At Alexander’s we don’t consider print vs digital an either-or proposition. By leveraging our technology knowledge and experience we are able to help marketers seamlessly incorporate print into their automation campaigns. Our team can extract data from any of the major automation platforms. We also create customized programs for clients with propriety systems as well. The result is that customers can now receive personalized messages optimized to their buying behavior and preferences. We would be happy to visit with anyone considering incorporating print into their marketing automation programs.