Retargeting the Direct Mail Way
January 18, 2023   Dave Lewis

You know the pair of shoes I’m talking about.  That pair that follows you wherever you go.  They not only look like the pair you were admiring on Zappos (or the shoe site of your choice), but they are also your exact size!  And you and I both know that those shoes will keep following you everywhere you go on the web until you buy them.  And probably even after that. 

Welcome to retargeting.  Annoying at times?  Sure.  But it sells a lot of shoes.

The principles behind retargeting are simple – when you go to a web page, a cookie is placed on your computer in your web browser.  A cookie is just a small piece of code.  Facebook calls it a pixel.  When that cookie is placed, you have shown your interest, and when you hit a subscribing site, you may be served an ad for the item specified.  The largest ad provider is Google, and they have millions of sites subscribed, which is why those shoes follow you so many places.  The price for those ads varies tremendously, based on a behind the scenes bidding system that is generally a mystery to the advertiser.

The point of retargeting is to turn lookers into buyers – to turn web visits into conversions, in the vernacular.  When you have identified a prospect that has shown an interest in what you’re promoting, be it shoes or donations, it is well worth giving them additional opportunities to respond.

Tying other channels to your direct mail has long been a theme in direct marketing.  Coordinating postal mail with a strong email message, or even a phone call, can make your direct mail investment more valuable.  More opportunities to respond will generally lead to more responses. 

But can you retarget with direct mail?  Sure – you can send subsequent offers to those who have shown interest in several ways.

The first question is:  What event can indicate heightened interest?  Here are some:

  • Scan a QR code
  • Enter a PURL
  • Visit a web page
  • Click on the ride-along ad in an Informed Delivery digest
  • Open an email

Some of these are easy to measure and respond to.  If a prospect scans your QR code, and it is a personalized QR code, you know immediately that they visited – and who they are.  PURLs accomplish the same thing. 

If a prospect clicks on an Informed Delivery ride-along ad, that click and prospect can be immediately identified in the same manner as a personalized QR code or PURL.  It’s immediate and actionable. 

Linking a web visit to a street address is more difficult – and expensive.  Sending a follow-up postcard is probably too pricy to sell those shoes - but maybe not to sell a fancy car, or secure a legacy donation. 

The key is that virtually every response can be identified and tracked with planning.  Once that is accomplished, taking the next step is to choose an appropriate follow-up. 

At SnailWorks, our favorite is direct mail retargeting.  You have identified an interested prospect; send them a follow-up mailing – Fast!  Get a First-Class postcard in the mail fast enough to resonate with their interest.  Postal mail has tremendous impact when coordinated with other channels.  And remember, these are folks who are already interested – they just need a little nudge.  And maybe another chance to say “yes.”

Email can be effective and can be more immediate and less costly than postal mail.  IF you have their email address.  AND they open it. 

The Postal Service is offering a Retargeting Promotion in 2023.  Details remain sketchy, but some of these techniques may even garner you a postage discount.  Lean on SnailWorks to help you add to your response.  Contact us to learn more!