The Digital and Offline Worlds Come Together … in Perfect Harmony

Committee Corner

As technology and big data advance, so does the ability to produce true one-to-one marketing opportunities. Imagine if you could capture the mailing address of the people who anonymously browse your website, score their browsing activity, and select the most qualified candidates to promote to – all in real time. Consider the potential of combining this information with the ability to digitally print a postcard the next day; vary the offer, image, and copy based on each individual’s browsing habits; then mail it first class, to be received within three days.

It’s now possible: the perfect marriage of utilizing digital data with classic offline marketing techniques. You’ve invested a lot of money to drive visitors to your website and most of them don’t buy. In fact, you don’t even know who they are. Now you can capitalize on that investment and turn those anonymous visitors into new customers.

How Does It Work?

By utilizing cookie technology, it’s possible to match a computer, tablet, or mobile device to a database where a reverse lookup of the home mailing address associated with that device can be accomplished. Typically, about 70 percent of anonymous browsers’ mailing addresses can be identified.

The same technology used in digital retargeting online is used to review each visitor’s browsing history, which can be scored on the likelihood to respond. Someone who comes to the home page for just 15 seconds before leaving receives a lower score than someone who does a deep dive into the site. A browser who spends more time looking at one product vs. another can be targeted accordingly.

The Use of Digital Technology in the Offline World

Digital printing has been around for more than two decades, but there has never been a greater application than what is becoming known as “digital retargeting postcards.” Each printed piece can be personalized, enabling the marketer to produce customized mailings targeted to the browsing patterns of the individual.

By using first-class postage, you can reach the targeted visitor within days of their browsing your site. Someone who visits your site today can be reached via a printed postcard within days. This timeliness helps to increase response rates and ROI.

Marketers are experiencing return on investment (ROI) of seven to 10 tines ad spend from the top tiers of browsers and three to five times ad spend for more casual browsers. This new emerging channel is working for all sorts of marketers, including product marketers with higher ticket items (typically $100+), lead generators, catalog and ecommerce companies, and subscription models. 

However, if you intend to test a digital retargeting postcard program, it’s important to make sure you make some minor changes to your privacy policy to help ensure compliance with industry privacy standards. Adding language that includes disclosure that the information you capture may be used for the purposes of sending direct mail is required.

Your 2018 Marketing Mix

Direct mail is still a huge media channel. While Google Ad Words commanded $25 billion in ad spend in 2016, direct mail expenditures were still nearly double that: $45 billion. It’s still the strongest media channel when it comes to conversion, especially when it’s combined with web visitors who have a heightened intent to purchase.

By combining this traditional workhorse with your digital marketing efforts, you’re getting the best of both worlds. As TV, search, and social media drive your web traffic, this new channel can help convert those visitors into new customers, making it worth considering in your marketing mix.