Retail Full Funnel

How To Heat Up Your Direct Mail Campaigns with Personalization

9 Min Read
by Ryan Riggins

Personalization is SO hot right now, and audience clusters are the fuel to that flame. 

How can you burn bright and develop a truly effective personalized marketing campaign that delivers results you’re looking for while also making your audience feel individualized? 

Let’s break it down. We’ll keep this fire analogy going for all those pyromaniacs out there.

For those that don’t already have their fire safety merit badge, you need:

1 – 🪵 Fuel

2 – 🥵 Heat

3 – 💨 Oxygen

4 – 🧪 And a chemical reaction

You’ll never start a fire if one of these elements is missing.

A personalized marketing campaign draws a lot of parallels to starting a fire. There are four critical elements of a successful campaign; if you lack one, your campaign will flame out. 

The four key elements are:

1 – 👯‍♀️ Audience clusters, our fuel 🪵

2 – 📫 Delivery channel, our heat 🥵 

3 – 📣 Personalized messaging, our oxygen 💨

4 – ⏰ And timing, our chemical reaction 🧪

Let’s unpack how these elements build on each other, resulting in a raging inferno of revenue generation and how Postie helps you get there.


👯‍♀️ Audience clusters, our fuel 🪵


The first step in any campaign is to identify who you are targeting. Your campaign audience is the building block on which all other decisions are based. 

You can develop all the other parts of the campaign, but none of it will matter if it gets in front of the wrong person.

So, how do you ensure you’re getting in front of the right person? 

Audience clusters!



Every organization has a CRM. In that, CRM is a list of customers and prospects. 

Good marketers have already built out segments based on those contacts’ common attributes; maybe it’s past purchases, geographic location, average order value … the list goes on. 

But as marketers, the idea of optimizing an output while simultaneously automating the task makes us swoon. 

That’s where Postie comes in.

As an analytics and modeling company, we help you to automate your cluster analysis by leveraging first-party attributes and third-party attributes to look for the natural clusters of unique segments within your CRM. 

The result is highly complex, performant clusters you can feel confident building a personalized marketing campaign around. 


PRO TIP: These clusters can be used in a variety of different campaigns to re-engage lapsed customers or even retarget website visitors, but better yet, you can use these advanced clusters you didn’t need to lift a finger to create and build lookalike audiences off of them for your prospecting initiatives


📫 Delivery channel, our heat 🥵 


OK, we’ve got our fuel — spontaneous combustion is getting closer. Time to give it some heat!

You have your perfect audience; heck yeah! Before you decide what to say, you must first figure out how to reach them. 

It probably won’t come as a surprise to those savvy marketers out there, but how and where you deliver your message will significantly influence the message itself. 

For example, you’ll have a character limit if you’re running search ads. Although this medium works well to target intent-based keywords, costs are going up, and effectiveness is going down. 

Want to launch a brand awareness campaign to get your name out there? Run display ads!

But make sure you mold your creative to the prescribed dimensions while also including a short and snappy message with a compelling CTA. It’s easier said than done, and is it worth it? Shockingly, the probability of getting struck by lightning (.03%) is almost exactly the same as the CTR of a display ad (.04%) (Linkedin). YIKES!

If you have a smaller CRM and you’re looking for a cost-effective way to continue engaging with your existing contacts, send out emails. 

On top of coming up with converting messaging, you also need to brainstorm a catchy subject line to coax your audience to open the email in the first place. 

A recent high performer for us was: 


Subject line: Blackholes & Direct Mail


Sadly, with the average person receiving over 120 emails a day, it’s harder than ever to capture attention. 

But what if you’re a brand with a mature CRM, selling products that generate higher AOVs, looking to cultivate an emotional experience and drive increased ROAS? 

Then digital direct mail, the best-kept secret in marketing, is for you. 

Because DM commands a budget that can accommodate a higher cost-per-piece, it requires a commitment to see cost efficiency at scale. But that wisely allocated budget results in a ROAS as high as 1,382%, and performance can be measured in real-time, just like any of the other channels above. 

So, what is the best channel? 

All of them! We’ve found the best tactic when picking your distribution strategy is an omnichannel approach. 

Blanket your strategic and personalized message in a tailored way that is optimized to the specific channel and see the results roll in. 


📣 Personalized messaging, our oxygen 💨


Now that you know who your campaign is for and you’ve decided on your distribution channels, it’s time to craft a personalized message that resonates with your target audience. 

But, personalized messaging means more than just including the recipient’s first name. That’s table stakes these days since names are one of the most accessible forms of data to gather.

Since you’re a savvy marketer and you’ve developed highly detailed audience clusters, you have the power to speak to specific attributes associated with each cluster at a far more granular level.

We get it, advanced personalization is tedious work, and Postie is here to help you put in the work to delight those b-e-a-utiful customers of yours. 

Hello, dynamic content! 

Imagine you’re a service provider looking to launch a prospecting campaign to new audiences living within your serviceable area. With rich audience insights, you can:


1 – Filter out your existing customers 

2 – Geotarget locations down to the county level 

3 – Prioritize new movers for those time-sensitive offers 

4 – Layer on a home value filter to only target households that meet your ICP


With all that info, you’re personalized message could look something like this – tailored for the digital direct mail channel:

Example of a personalized letter


But don’t stop with one offer or creative! Test out a couple of options and dial in exactly what makes your audience convert. 

With Postie’s dynamic content, it’s easy to run tests on a variety of different variables to optimize your campaign’s performance. 

An eye-watering 97% of marketers see a rise in business outcomes as a direct result of personalization, and it’s no surprise people just like you are prioritizing tools and techniques that enable them to give the people what they want — personalization. (Salesforce)


And timing, our chemical reaction 🧪


We’re one step away from pulling up a chair and watching those flames lap at our toes!

Ok, I have a confession to make. I know I said if one of our four key elements to start a fire were missing, we would never see a spark, and that’s true.  

But this is where fire and marketing part ways. At this stage, you have your audience built from robust audience clusters, you’ve determined a channel (hint: omnichannel for the win), and your meticulously crafted high-converting message has been tailored to your desired channel. 

That is some impressive work! If you were to send out this campaign without considering timing, chances are you would see some results. Unless you send out a Halloween message just in time for Christmas, then you might get met with more skepticism than success. 

But this isn’t your chance to be a good marketer; this is your opportunity to go one step further and become a great marketer. Ney, a savvy marketer! 

So, let’s fan those flames and delight your audience with a perfectly crafted message at the ideal time. 

What are the levers you can pull to optimize the timing of your personalized marketing campaign?

Although not an exhaustive list, here are some honorable mentions: 


  • Behavioral triggers – Think abandoned cart, email unsubscribes (a great time to deploy a piece of direct mail), purchase anniversary, content downloads, page views, completed meetings, and the list goes on. 


  • Seasonal – Although many DTC brands put a lot of emphasis on the holiday season, with many beginning promotions earlier than ever, other companies might opt for seasonal transitions. Think sprinkler blowout just before winter sets in, or landscaping services once spring has sprung. 


  • Major life events – Is your customer turning the big 50 (or any birthday)?! Surprise them with a birthday promotion for your exclusive spa services. Did they just move to your neighborhood? Be the first to welcome them and share how you can make their dreaded move that much easier. Did they just have a child (or get a dog for all those millennials out there)? Congratulate them and share an exclusive new parent offer on your goods and services. 


At the risk of stating the obvious, marketing is all about developing a relationship, and with the right timing, you won’t only delight them, but you will show your audience that you care about them and want to help. 

Who wouldn’t want to build a relationship with someone like that?!


🔥 Houston, we have ignition 🔥


That’s it! You’ve successfully created a raging inferno of revenue generation with a well-planned and executed personalized marketing campaign. 

Go you! 

With over 70% of brands relying on advanced personalization, seeing an average of 200% ROI, it’s a no-brainer when considering investing time, energy, and resources to delight your customers with rich, personalized experiences. 

Is there something keeping you from getting personal? 

Give Postie a shout! We love doing the hard work of personalization with our clients, and our tools automate a lot of this process to make it a whole lot easier as well.

Want to up your 2023 Holiday Campaigns?
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