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Modern Direct Mail is Perfectly Tuned for a Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy

PFL, a leading direct mail technology company, increases engagement for brands with their key audiences, using data to automate direct mail and create more authentic human experiences at an infinite scale. PFL delivers personalized direct mail programs that are measurable and relevant so organizations can earn attention and amplify growth.


We live in a time of digital-first marketing. The phrase “digital marketing” is almost redundant now because most, if not all, marketing strategies now have a digital component. Digital techniques are indisputably excellent for reaching people. According to Statista , with more than 5.3 billion people actively using the internet daily, digital can reach the masses across the globe.

With the widespread implementation of digital marketing, “reach” is no longer a main issue—but grabbing prospect and customer attention and engaging with them still is. Audiences today are bombarded daily with marketing messages. This makes standing out against the digital din, perhaps, the greatest marketing challenge of our time. In a recent Forrester-PFL report, we learned that in the post-COVID digital era, “the attention economy tells us that too much of ‘a good thing’ isn’t actually a good thing at all.”

According to a 2022 study overseen by Compu-Mail and Forbes, digital content includes 10,000 ads and more than 1,000 promotional emails weekly. Conversely, the average consumer receives 13 to 15 pieces of direct mail each week. Would you rather be one out of 10,000 or one out of 15?

Back in the day, we all got piles of ads in our mailboxes. That has since shifted and now we’re inundated with promotional emails in our inboxes. To stand out, marketers should shift their attention back to the tried-and-true but now less-populated world of direct mail.

Adding direct mail to digital campaigns in a cross channel strategy provides a more powerful way to capture attention than either alone. “Direct mail has an open rate of 90 percent,” reported Compu-Mail in a report titled, Direct Marketing Statistics for 2022. This is because consumers, particularly millennials, prefer promotional materials that are tangible and can be read later, unlike emails which normally get ignored even if they are from a recognizable brand. Digital is, and should always be, your first step in designing marketing campaigns. Direct mail helps drive the impact of the digital experience by directing audiences back into the digital stream.

Neuroscience tells us that direct mail is unique in the hands (and eyes) of the recipient. Data shows it takes 21 percent less cognitive effort to process the information on a printed piece than on a screen. And consumer’s motivation to respond to physical mail is 20 percent higher than with digital. This sensory experience equates to an easier ability to cut through the digital noise with greater sensory appeal to act.

Don’t Get it Twisted: Direct Mail is Digital

How can you bring direct mail into your digital ecosystem? Modern direct mail can be integrated into your customer relationship management (CRM) or marketing orchestration platform. This way you can insert relevant, personalized content into a printed piece that is pulled from the CRM or orchestration platform. Plus, you can determine when to send the piece based on buyer intent signals. Direct mail is now an integral part of the digital journey.
There are several advantages and use cases for integration with direct mail.

First: Personalization

Send relevant information and custom messaging when the recipient is most interested in your product or service. Audiences today are less likely to engage if the content is not personalized to them. Adding direct mail into your tech stack enables you to send hyper-personalized content that draws information from your CRM or orchestration platform. This personalization can impact your results for cart abandonment, lead conversion, or cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

Second: You Can Track Everything

It’s all measurable. No more guessing, sending, and hoping— you can show ROI for the direct mail program and can easily track the results. Gone are the days when your CMO and CEO ask for metrics on direct mail and you have little to offer. Because of the flow of data from a CRM or orchestration platform, when direct mail is tied to your tech stack, you see real-time metrics and results in dashboards with status updates on your sends.

Third: You Spend Less on Print

How? Because direct mail is only going to people who trigger a send based on their intent signals with your digital campaigns. For example, when your target audience is interacting with your digital content and they hit a trigger point in your Iterable Journey, the personalized direct mail piece is sent to them. Seamless orchestration at its finest! No more sending unwanted printed pieces to audiences that did not want them in the first place. The content is relevant to the audience and triggered to send to the most interested recipients. This reduces printing costs and makes for a more efficient and greener process.

So, what’s not to like about a marketing strategy that lets you compete against fewer messages for attention, arrives when the recipient is seeking information, and is handled by a process that is clean and efficient? Answer: Not a thing.
Modern marketers have a robust suite of tools available to drive engagement and ROI. Leveraging cross-channel strategies that include both digital and direct marketing tactics create a personalized experience for your audience. Modern direct mail, tied to your cross-channel communication platform like Iterable, is timely, personalized, relevant, and measurable.

If you are looking to stand out amongst your competitors, then a full cross-channel marketing strategy—including both digital and direct marketing—is the way to go.

Contact PFL Sales@PFL.com or schedule a custom Iterable demo today to learn how easy and effective this is to implement.

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