Engage prospects on demand with direct mail automation

Loren Robeck Tray.io author profile image
By Loren Robeck

Marketing experts: Learn how to use automation to run personalized gift campaigns at scale - a simple but effective way to drive higher engagement and convert more leads. In today’s crowded marketing landscape, unorthodox tactics like direct mail can help you cut through the noise. Research suggests direct mail tends to have response rates that are 5x-9x higher than traditional email or social media.

Not interested in spending an entire afternoon boxing up and labeling gifts to ship? In this post, we’ll cover not only how direct mail can drive higher engagement for prospects, customers, and even employees, but also how to easily automate direct mail campaigns from start to finish. We’ll include a full blueprint that shows how to use a General Automation Platform (GAP) to quickly build an automated workflow that instantly sends gifts via Slack command.

Direct Mail Automation 1 Direct-mail campaigns see a response rate 5x-9x higher than email. Image courtesy Association of National Advertisers

What are direct mail platforms?

Direct mail platforms (sometimes referred to as sending platforms) are tools that handle the printing, shipping, and logistics of physical marketing campaigns. These platforms simplify the once-unwieldy process of print marketing while minimizing the costs associated with bulk shipping.

Using the power of APIs, direct mail platforms can connect to other apps in your tech stack, making a once-costly endeavor much more accessible. And today’s direct mail platforms send much more than print mail: you can send personalized gifts including gift cards, house plants, and even llama trophies.

3 ways to maximize the impact of direct mail with automation

1. To engage prospects and book more meetings

At a very basic level, every sales professional knows the law of reciprocity. Sending a relevant gift at the right moment is a time-tested way to grab the attention of prospects and incentivize them to convert, such as by booking a meeting at an upcoming event.

Offering a small token of gratitude for a successfully booked meeting can make a better first impression and in turn, reduce the number of no-shows. Fewer no-shows and more meetings at your next conference means more at-bats for your sales team, more conversations, more opportunities, and more potential pipeline.

To automate this process, you can set up a workflow to both send a coffee egift card through your direct mail platform and send a personalized email (using a sales engagement tool like Outreach) thanking the prospect for booking the meeting, and asking them a few questions you’d like answers to in advance of the call. This same logic could be applied at any stage of your sales automation sequence to add that extra touch needed to encourage your leads further down the funnel. Automation helps you drive higher engagement at scale while saving your sales team valuable time to focus on selling.

2. To incentivize customer feedback

General Automation Platforms can deeply integrate your direct mail platform with customer feedback campaigns, letting your team focus less on execution and more on the strategy behind the incentive. Using this technology, you can directly embed these offers into any promotional emails and provide links to gift card downloads or redemption instructions once a survey is completed. Automation simultaneously offers a path to stronger survey engagement and a more-seamless experience for the customer.

3. To appreciate employees

Any employee can appreciate a thoughtful nod to an important anniversary or accomplishment. Sending your employees a token of gratitude is a simple gesture that can drive higher employee engagement. By integrating your HR tools with a direct mail platform, you can schedule these gifts to send automatically in advance of milestones without the added hassle of assembling gifts and coordinating logistics.

Walkthrough: How to instantly send gifts via Slack

Direct Mail Automation 2 Automated gift card email from Sendoso

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the ways direct mail automation can streamline direct mail gifts in your organization, it’s time to put those ideas into practice. Here, we’ll show you how to use a GAP to create an automated workflow that sends gifts to a specified recipient with a simple Slack command.

We use this quick workflow regularly at tradeshows to thank booth visitors for stopping by - and to show off the power of Tray Platform.

The best part? You can set up this automated workflow in minutes, and a GAP is flexible enough to let you customize the workflow with different gifts, recipients, and even sending triggers. (Our example uses an on-demand trigger that sends a gift once prompted by an input from Slack, but you could just as easily configure this workflow to automatically send gifts to conference attendees that registered for a demo, for instance.) Let’s dive in.

This workflow combines our sending platform (Sendoso) with an internal messaging tool (Slack) and CRM (Salesforce) to instantly email gift cards using a Slack slash command.

Direct Mail Automation 3 Our workflow listens for our Slack command and formats the provided information.

On Slack command - To kick off our workflow, we use a Slack trigger to listen for a slash command that requests a gift card. To the end-user, it looks something like this:

Direct Mail Automation 4

Create array - Once initiated, our workflow creates an array with the parameters provided in our Slack slash command. In this case, we retrieve the recipient’s email address, first name, and last name.

Contains all info? - Next, our workflow uses branch logic to confirm that our new array contains all of the information needed to send our gift. If not, we terminate the process to prevent incomplete requests from executing.

Direct Mail Automation 5 Our workflow creates a personalized message in Sendoso. Then, it updates corresponding records and sends our message.

Create custom message - We use a text helper to concatenate the values from our array and format them into a custom email greeting. Here, we could further expand our workflow to include any personalized messaging related to the gift. That could be the name of a conference, campaign, or raffle. For instance, we can set up this step to add a companion message like “Hi again, {{NAME}}. It was great meeting you at {{EVENT}}.”

Add to SFDC - To ensure our records are up-to-date, our workflow updates the lead’s info in Salesforce with a note to designate that they received a gift. Obviously, keeping centralized campaign records for your contacts is important. Recording that you sent this person a gift helps ensure you don’t send a duplicate gift. Also, if you decide to incorporate direct mail into a larger, multi-step campaign, recording their status helps you advance this contact to the next stage.

Send gift card - Finally, our workflow pulls information from our custom message and slash command to send our gift to the desired recipient. Then, we send a private Slack alert to the requestor to confirm that our gift has sent.

Use automation to engage prospects, customers, and employees alike

Hopefully, you’ve learned a little more about how automation can improve the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns across your organization. Are you interested in supercharging your business processes with the power of a General Automation Platform? Learn more by signing up for our weekly group demo.