Direct Mail Retargeting Deep Dive

a photo of a postcard

Retargeting has always been an important touch point in the marketing funnel to convert high intent visitors into customers, but most retargeting channels like email are oversaturated and response rates have dropped significantly. Triggered Direct Mail is a great supplemental channel to improve your retargeting efforts for cart abandonment and other types of email retargeting, not only because of its automation and fast in-home times, but also because it’s a more impactful asset that consumers physically interact with. Poplar also has the ability to find a physical address that matches an email address you provide with up to a 70% match rate, allowing you to target even those who you haven’t captured a mailing address from yet.

With no minimums for retargeting, and integrations with most CRMs and ESPs, Poplar allows you to easily set up retargeting campaigns with direct mail just like you do with email.

Abandoned Cart Retargeting

When looking at an entire marketing funnel, cart abandoners have the highest intent to convert, so it’s extremely important to send them well-timed marketing messages. Most D2C marketers use emails, SMS, and push messages to attempt to convert cart abandoners. These methods have all been proven to work fairly well for recapturing some cart abandoners, but they’re becoming more saturated with every company sending similar messages to their leads/customers. This is where direct mail comes in. One of Poplar’s most popular use-cases is  cart abandonment retargeting with many Poplar users seeing  4-6x incremental ROAS on their campaigns.

How to set up abandoned cart campaigns

Although each client’s situation varies, here are some general tips to help you set up your abandoned cart campaign:

Disengaged Subscriber Retargeting

While email is still a very strong and important marketing channel, it isn’t as powerful as it used to be thanks to stricter spam filters, oversaturated inboxes, and new forms of communication being introduced. According to Campaign Monitor, current average email open rates are around 18%. That means more than 80% of your subscribers aren’t even seeing your marketing messaging. Using Poplar’s reverse email append feature allows you to target your inactive subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked an email recently with direct mail.  One thing to keep in mind: Just because a customer doesn’t open your emails doesn’t mean they aren’t a high potential customer!

Here are a few different ways you can target your inactive subscribers with direct mail:

Welcome email flow

Most companies capture emails of site visitors and customers on their website then put the users into a welcome email sequence. These welcome sequences vary in timing and number of emails, but their end goal is to convert each subscriber into a customer. With low email open rates, many of these subscribers never see the emails they signed up for. Many of our clients have seen success by adding a direct mail touchpoint into their welcome flow. For example, if you send 3 emails in your welcome flow, you could set up a trigger so that anyone who receives all 3 emails but never opens an email will automatically be sent a postcard to the address we find using our email to physical address append feature. This final postcard has shown to be very powerful in engaging/converting people who otherwise wouldn’t have seen the emails.

Unengaged email subscribers

Because nearly every company uses email marketing to communicate with their leads and customers, many people receive hundreds of promotional emails a week. With this many emails and the addition of the “promotions” inbox in Gmail, many of these emails go unopened and unclicked week after week. People who don’t engage with your emails can still have high intent to purchase, but they might just not see your emails (since they get so many) or not respond well to specific subject lines. Sending unengaged email subscribers direct mail can re-engage them with your brand and more importantly convince them to purchase with a compelling offer and call to action.

Email unsubscribers

Similar to unengaged subscribers, when someone unsubscribes from an email list, they aren’t necessarily saying they don’t have interest in the brand anymore; they could just want to declutter their inbox or even just not like the last email they received. Unfortunately, once they unsubscribe, you can’t send them any more emails, but you can still send them direct mail (as long as your privacy policy allows it)! Targeting email unsubscribers with direct mail is a great way to reactivate users who still have high intent but just didn’t want to receive emails anymore.

Direct Mail Retargeting Attribution

We typically recommend adding direct mail as a supplement to existing email campaigns because email still can work well at driving revenue; however, this can muddy attribution efforts since many people will receive both emails and direct mail. To ensure that we’re tracking the incremental lift from the direct mail campaigns specifically, we recommend using a holdout group. A holdout group is a control group of people in the target audience who we hold out from receiving the direct mail piece. These people act as a control since they’re still receiving your email messaging, so we can compare their conversion rate to the conversion rate of people who also receive the direct mail campaign. Then we compare the mailed group to the holdout group to show you the incremental conversion rate, incremental CPA, and incremental ROAS that the direct mail campaign drove over the holdout group.

Click here for some sample use cases and a retargeting case study.