Feature Spotlight

Geofencing Deep Dive

We’re excited to share our newest location-based feature in Poplar: Geofencing. In addition to our other geolocation features including zip code and state targeting, you can now draw custom areas on the map to send customized creative or suppress recipients outside of your delivery zone.

Geolocations are great for cases where you want to broadly reach customers “within a 5-mile radius” of your store, pop-up, or office - whereas Geofences are better for scenarios where you want to reach customers in a specific delivery zone.


With Geofencing, you can draw a custom-shaped area in Poplar and toggle your campaign so that you mail only customers within or outside that area. In this article, you’ll learn how you can get the most out of the Poplar Geofencing feature.

Poplar's Geolocation vs. Geofencing Features

Our Geolocation and Geofencing features may seem quite similar at a glance, but are actually distinct, so let’s go over the differences.


The key difference between a Geolocation and Geofence is that a Geolocation is radius-based, emanating from a central address, whereas a Geofence is a free-form area that you draw on a map. With Geofences, you have full control over the area you draw and can get boundaries down to a specific street.

Ways to Use Poplar's Geofencing Feature

Support in-store or drive-to-store promotions in a fine-tuned way.

If you’re running a special promotion for a brick-and-mortar operation or pop-up store, you could use the Geofencing feature to make sure you only reach customers in the local area - down to the exact street and avenue of your desired boundaries. 

Reach only eligible customers in your local area. 

If your stores only do local delivery within a certain area, “Lower Manhattan” for example, you might want to send your promotion only to those whom your delivery person can reach. You can draw a Geofence around the area, and Poplar will block mailings to any addresses that are outside of the specified area (above 34th Street in this example).


Personalize postcards & letters based on geographic area.

You can personalize postcards and letters based on whether your customer falls within a certain geofence. For example, you could attach a borough-based merge variable to your postcard, and use the variable data to greet Manhattanites and Brooklynites differently in your postcard.

Beyond merge variables, you can also attach a store address to each Geofence and pull that data into your postcard based on which Geofence the recipient falls into. You can use this to support in-store promotions, drive curb-side pickup, and notify your customers about important store updates. Learn more about drive-to-store campaigns.

Generate a Zip Code Analysis of Your Local Area

One cool feature included in our Geofencing is a free zip code analysis. For every geofence you create, you can download a table that tells you all the zip codes that fall inside your geofence - and the percentage of each zip code that falls into your geofence.

This is a great way to figure out what zip codes you might want to be targeting in your mailers, and you can use this set of zip codes to guide you when you’re looking to purchase residential lists from various data providers.

In addition, if you’re looking to build a Lookalike audience inside of Poplar for prospecting, you can use the above set of zip codes to limit your Lookalike to your desired areas.

How to Use Poplar's Geofencing Feature

You can directly draw your geofences inside of Poplar using our drawing tool or, if you already have a KML coordinate file, you can upload the file into the platform.

Once your geofence is created, you must select it for the relevant campaign underneath the “Supressions” tab - and then you should be good to go. Step by step instructions are available in our documentation when you login.

Geofencing and Geolocation can be powerful tools for content personalization and targeting to add your direct mail arsenal. We’re constantly adding features like these to Poplar in order to help marketers create more effective direct mail campaigns.