Lob Announces New Features to Integrate Direct Mail Into Omni-Channel Campaigns Across the Customer Lifecycle

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Lob’s intelligent mail API modernizes direct mail - allowing marketing teams to easily create, test, and optimize personalized direct mail campaigns with full visibility into production and delivery

Lob, creator of an API that allows companies to programmatically send physical mail, today announced updated capabilities to help marketers use direct mail as a personalized, powerful communication channel in their campaigns. The announcement was made at the Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas, an annual event focused on retail marketing, technology, and innovation.

Direct mail is a highly effective marketing tactic, but its technological limitations have made it difficult for marketing teams to integrate with modern, omni-channel marketing tools and programs. While channels such as email, display advertising, and mobile push notifications are often timed and personalized based on customer activities and preferences, direct mail is still largely sent as stand-alone, generic executions. Lob’s new capabilities enable marketing teams to use direct mail just like digital channels, expanding its applicability to campaigns across the customer lifecycle, and providing a way to increase campaign response rates.

“We want to provide software that helps companies unlock the true potential of direct mail,” said Leore Avidar co-founder and CEO of Lob, “Even companies that are heavy users of direct mail often don’t have the ability to experiment and optimize their approaches, or expand beyond broad-based acquisition campaigns. We provide that flexibility while still allowing them send at scale and minimize costs.”

New capabilities provide critical modernization to five key areas of direct mail:

Visibility & Tracking - Direct mail is often a “black box” with limited visibility for marketers into production and delivery of campaigns. This makes it difficult to time direct mail engagements with other campaign touches. Lob’s new mailed event alert along with postal scan alerts provide detailed tracking for direct mail, similar to package tracking from Fedex or UPS. Customers can programmatically subscribe to this information with webhooks, allowing them to time direct mail with other channels, such as a follow-up email sent the same day as a piece of direct mail is delivered.

Accuracy - For direct mail campaigns, wasted postage fees on inaccurate addresses and undeliverable mail can have a real impact on ROI. Lob provides USPS-certified address verification that confirms address deliverability and corrects formatting errors prior to sending mail. In addition, for enterprise clients, Lob will now run addresses through the National Change of Address (NCOALINK) database and return that information, helping them keep customer data up to date.

Flexibility - Traditional direct mail executions require minimum order sizes that limit the amount of experimentation marketing teams can do in the channel. Lob is introducing several new form-factors (additional postcard sizes and perforated letters) and support for multiple mail classes (standard, first, and certified) - without any minimum send requirements. These new options allow marketing teams to experiment broadly to identify the highest-performing segments, creative, and form-factors while still optimizing mail costs.

Templating & Design - Design requirements are often a bottleneck for marketing teams looking to run direct mail experiments. When each variation requires separate design, layout, and proofing, teams can quickly run into resource constraints. Lob’s new HTML template library provides customizable samples that marketers can easily adapt to use in their campaigns. With HTML-based direct mail templates, marketing teams can easily iterate on content, copy, and imagery, and even individually customize each piece of direct mail.

Speed - Timing is one of the key reasons that direct mail campaigns are often completely separated from other marketing activities. Long setup runways and limited visibility into delivery times make it difficult to deliver trigger timely messages based on customer activities or milestones. Lob’s expanded global network of print providers allows each piece of mail to be optimally routed for cost, capacity, and most importantly, speed. Using Lob, marketing teams can get a personalized, relevant piece of direct mail from inception to their customer’s mailbox in about 4 days.

“We've run direct mail campaigns with traditional agency partners in the past, but the whole process of setting up monthly sends took a long time, and didn’t allow us to personalize the content at all,” said Tony DeMarco, Senior Director of Growth Marketing at ThredUP, “Lob lets us take the data, personalization and best practices that we use for email and apply it to direct mail.”

All of these capabilities are available immediately to customers of Lob’s intelligent mail API.

About Lob
Founded in 2013 with a vision of automating the offline world, Lob provides a software platform that takes the largely manual process of printing and mailing, and turns it into an automated service that integrates directly with CRM, Marketing Automation, and Data tools. Over 5000 customers including Booking.com, HelloFresh, Clover Health, and ThirdLove use Lob to automate direct mail for marketing campaigns, billing, collections, payments, and compliance notifications. 1 in 4 households in the U.S. has received mail generated through Lob’s platform. Lob is backed by leading investors including Y Combinator, Floodgate, and Polaris Partners. For more information, visit: http://www.lob.com.

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