Humanized marketing is at the core of what we do at UDG. It’s more than just helping B2B companies with demand generation and marketing strategy needs — it’s about growing client and partner connections while moving business and technology industries forward. The UDG Team connected with our new partner, Postal.io, for an interview with Ben Jablow, VP of Alliances, to discuss Experience Marketing and the impact that Postal is making across all channels.
Disclaimer: This interview has been edited and condensed.
What are some use cases for direct mail and gifting marketing?
There are several. We see it being used in both sales and marketing — including top-of-funnel campaigns, account-based marketing, and employee-to-employee marketing.
Typically we see sales organizations or sales groups using gifting and direct mail for prospecting, and on the marketing side, it’s used for demand generation or ABM campaigns. A lot of companies have adapted to using gifting as part of a customer success strategy for upsells and ex-client reactivation.
I think the best use cases are found in the top-of-funnel (TOFU) and account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns using Postal’s integration partners. Our platform can be used to recognize specific holidays, birthdays, or different key events. And it’s also important to point out the newest use case and most heavily COVID-related — employee-to-employee. Companies are thinking of different ways to reach their team in creative ways, and it’s been quite popular with onboarding processes for any company.
Ultimately, the most effective use case is when direct mail or items are sent in tandem with other outbound efforts. This creates awareness through brand parity.
What is the biggest mistake or misconception that companies make in direct mail?
The number one misconception is that direct mail can only be used as a standalone when, in fact, direct mail works best when paired with existing marketing efforts. It adds value and creates a lasting impression for your buyer. That lasting impression is what we call Experience Marketing, which is going far beyond the surface of what direct mail offers and leveraging how an item can create a meaningful connection with a customer or prospect. The best part is that the entire effort can be 100% automated out of your CRM or automation platform.
I also think a lot of companies view direct mail as just a letter in an envelope or something that isn’t terribly personal. It’s not just your standard postcard, bi-fold, or tri-fold. Again, it encompasses gifting, and when I talk to companies about what we’re doing, a lot of them are really uncomfortable with the idea of sending something to a person’s home address. Nowadays, for so many reasons — like personal and office environments merging during work-from-home changes — we’re finding that companies doing direct mail most effectively are not scared to send to home addresses. They’re just being very deliberate and strategic about how they do it so that the recipient is comfortable. This could mean sending out an email ahead of the gift so that the recipient knows something is on the way, and they can confirm and share their current home address. They essentially opt in.
How is Experience Marketing being used in marketing versus how it’s being used in sales?
There’s so much overlap behind sales and marketing that a business development rep (BDR) or a sales development rep (SDR) is often sitting in both sales and marketing these days. Marketing has historically been a little smarter about automation and how to set things up in a campaign style, but with Sales Engagement platforms such as Outreach, SalesLoft, and others, sales is starting to get smarter about campaigns and leverage automation as well.
Marketing uses automation in conjunction with nurture campaigns to help move prospects through the funnel, and this workflow is created in an engagement tool like HubSpot or something similar to effectively track campaign efforts.
Sales can be typically a one-track focused org. Such as turning a prospect into a customer or upselling a current customer. However, we have seen sales teams use the Postal platform in conjunction with sales engagement — such as sending a gift card for coffee after a first-time meeting, grabbing their attention with a handwritten note, or sending a bottle of champagne as a thank-you for becoming a new client.
What makes Postal’s Experience Marketing platform unique?
What separates us from others in the market is that we’re merging the ability to scalably personalize campaigns using automation and best-in-class technology. We have the ability to set up what we call Playbooks, which are essentially your drip marketing campaigns, except with tangible goods.
Because we can fully integrate with other platforms such as Outreach or SalesLoft, Postal offers a truly automated, trigger-type solution for any sales and marketing campaign. Although there are a lot of companies that also integrate with Outreach and SalesLoft alike, their campaigns and platforms are still very manual. On our end, we can set up a Trigger in your CRM platform such as HubSpot or Salesforce to automatically send an item to a customer or prospect when they complete an action or move through the funnel. You essentially do not need to do anything manually anymore.
Who are some of your customers, and what successes are they having with your direct mail platform?
It differs depending on the specific client and their goals, but the companies that are having the most success are using our Experience Marketing platform for cross-channel campaign efforts and adding us into the standard workflow through HubSpot, Outreach, or SalesLoft.
Aptitude8, a current client, is combining direct mailing and gifting into their marketing campaigns through the Postal and HubSpot integration. Their team is finding that through the steps and workflows in Postal, ABM target contacts are getting exactly what was specified and more. The integration is creating more campaign confidence and truly makes it easy for them to set it and forget it and track the success of marketing efforts within a platform that they can use every day.
What are the top three reasons to leverage Experience Marketing, and how should a company determine if Experience Marketing is right for them?
It’s all about brand recall, creating meaningful connections with customers, and creating a lasting experience for prospects.
Think about the last time a follow-up blew you away from its attention to detail. Are you able to leave your target market with an experience that creates that same feeling? Can you leave them with a unique item that provides or creates a personal experience for them? Utilizing Postal adds that extra layer to the conversation by sending over a Starbucks gift card or a favorite sports team tumbler — whatever it is, the goal is to stand out and to create audience excitement that ultimately drives conversions.
Any wise words to share?
Think of Experience Marketing as complementary to any online efforts and multi-channel campaigns. The key to success is being able to take campaigns, messaging, direct mail, and gifting and create personalized, real-world experiences across channels, and automating what you’re doing well in a scalable way.
Our team is lucky and excited to partner with Postal in changing how companies are taking advantage of Experience Marketing. We want to thank Ben for sharing how their Experience Marketing platform is improving and automating sales and marketing efforts across industries, and what companies can do if they’re thinking about venturing into direct mail and gifting. As our professional and personal environments continue to change, one constant that we can count on is that support to our clients, partners, and colleagues with personalized gifts can help create powerful connections and build stronger relationships.
To learn more about Postal and the solutions they offer, please visit www.Postal.io.
Postal provides an Experience Marketing solution that generates leads, increases sales, and improves customer retention. Postal automates the creation and delivery of personalized gifts and direct mail to inspire communication and connection with prospects and clients. Postal’s integrations with HubSpot, Outreach, Salesforce, and SalesLoft enable users to trigger a personalized item to send anywhere in a workflow. Postal is a venture-backed startup, led by a nationally recognized founding team with multiple successful exits. The Postal HQ is located in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California.
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