Case Study
ISPs Prospecting

How Sail Internet Scaled Direct Mail with Accurate Attribution

6 Min Read

David vs Goliath: Setting Sail Apart in a Market of Giants

“In a market where the giants often overlook the finer details, Sail focuses on the nuances. We’re not just competing; we’re redefining the playing field.”

– Bobette Wolf, Director of Marketing, Sail Internet

Sail Internet is a trailblazer when it comes to high-speed, fiber optic Internet. Positioning themselves as an alternative to traditional internet service providers (ISPs), Sail’s mission is to provide reliable and affordable internet, particularly in areas overlooked by larger providers. 

In the world of ISPs, there are a handful of giants wielding significant market power and influence. Sail is one provider that has emerged as a formidable David in a Goliath-dominated territory, charting its own path with a customer-first philosophy. 

Sail recognizes that they’re playing in a field where consumers often feel trapped in an unbreakable cycle of rising cost and diminishing quality. Sail’s approach is a refreshing alternative in an oligopolistic market environment. 

Marketing Director at Sail, Bobette Wolf is responsible for targeting focused audiences and raising brand awareness in various regions across the Bay Area. Because Sail is a fiber-based ISP, only certain fiber-ready neighborhoods qualify for their services. This makes accurate, focused marketing strategies critical for success. 

As Sail continues to forge ahead in a sea of giants, their story is not just about competing. Sail is transforming the essence of what it means to be an internet service provider, offering a beacon of light in an industry longing for a touch of David’s ingenuity and agility. 

“Our goal isn’t to join the ranks of the monopolistic giants, but to provide a service that genuinely resonates with the needs of the people – a service that’s accessible, affordable, and, most importantly, customer-centric.”

Manual Labor, Hard-to-Find Talent, and Waste — Oh My!

Bobette brought her direct mail experience when she joined the team at Sail, already having success with the strategy in past roles. She understood the potential impact, but wanted a better alternative to manual spreadsheets and muddled tracking.

Before working with Postie, she struggled to attribute customer engagement to direct mail efforts. The only process available was attributing UTMs to QR codes on physical mail. On average, campaigns were only tracking 40% of actual attribution. And because so much of their former strategy was manual, Sail only had enough resources to send a certain amount of mailers at a time. 

At that time, it was common for hundreds of pieces of physical mail to get returned from each campaign. Not only was this wasteful, it made it hard to validate direct mail efforts when organization stakeholders saw a tower of postcards brandishing the dreaded “Return to Sender” sticker on someone’s desk.  

Bobette knew she wanted to use direct mail, but it would have required hiring a full-time employee to manage it. It’s difficult to find candidates with enough experience, and it’s expensive. She’d likely need to spend $100,000 a year for someone with the right skills.

In addition to hard-to-find niche talent, Sail faced challenges effectively reaching their customers in non-contiguous service areas. Common distribution methods like Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) and zip-code targeting produced poor results because they weren’t able to focus on high-qualified addresses. Sail needed a solution that allowed them to pinpoint their outreach efforts to specific, serviceable addresses to reach the right person at the right time. 

“Postie helped us optimize our direct mail operations […] Without Postie, Sail would need a full-time employee to manage our direct mail efforts.”  

Precision-Targeted, High-Performance Direct Mail with Postie

“By focusing our mailings only on viable recipients, we avoid unnecessary waste and ensure our message reaches the right audience. This not only saves resources, but enriches our audience database, making campaigns more effective and comprehensive.” 

Postie’s advanced targeting technology gave Sail the ability to develop highly-customized performance campaigns using direct mail. No more crossed fingers and blanket coverage! Precision-targeting gave Sail confidence in reaching every qualified household in their service areas—an approach that minimized waste and maximized impact.

The intuitive UI and convenient features empowered Bobette and Sail to be more agile with direct mail. She could easily create new campaigns from scratch or duplicate and modify pre-existing ones. Loading address lists, uploading and storing creative, and other seemingly small things made her work much faster with Postie.

Another huge benefit realized with Postie was the ability to save exclusion audiences and quickly access a verified distribution list—capabilities Bobette never had in her previous direct mail experience. With that hurdle gone, they scaled their direct mail initiatives with impressive results. 

Sail’s 10,000 mailer experiment quickly increased to 100,000 mailers per month. In addition to making it easier to optimize distribution lists, Bobette found managing logistics like quantity and timing to be much more straightforward. Sail was able to optimize their attribution tracking with Postie so stakeholders could understand the true impact of direct mail and Bobette could reach customers with more targeted messaging.

“Accurate attribution tracking for direct mail was non-existent before Postie. The matchback attribution feature is the deal sealer that will make you want this product.”

The Results: More Leads and 50% Increase in Online Engagement 

“Direct mail has influenced more leads than any digital channel and consistently out-influences other marketing channels.”

Highly-targeted direct mail is how Sail reaches their customers when they can’t serve everyone. Since using Postie, direct mail has influenced more leads than any other digital channel and consistently outpaces digital and out-influences other marketing channels. 

Earning unprecedented levels of engagement compared to the industry average, direct mail campaigns generate an estimated 50% increase in online engagement and measurable activity for Sail.  Learning from each campaign, Sail has nearly perfected their outreach by precisely targeting diverse customer segments across unique, non-contiguous service areas. 

Looking ahead, Sail’s success paves the way for similar companies to rethink traditional marketing boundaries. Their achievements serve as a lighthouse, showing that with the right tools and a creative mindset, even smaller players can make significant waves in a sea of giants. As Sail continues to evolve and refine their strategy, they set a precedent for agility and customer-centricity in a difficult and competitive landscape.

“Our direct mail campaigns with Postie are not just about reaching homes; they’re about making connections. Every mailer is a handshake—an introduction to Sail’s promise of reliable and affordable service. This approach has filled service gaps and significantly lifted our brand’s visibility in the communities we serve.”

Key Results


increase in online engagement from direct mail recipients


direct mail response rate (vs. digital ad response rates of <5%)


increase in new customer acquisition

Postie Features Used
Build Custom Audiences
Use industry leading data sets to build custom audiences from 1000s of demographic, transactional and behavioral attributes.
Match Website Visits to Postal Addresses
Transform emails and anonymous website visits into postal addresses, augmenting and maximizing your existing 1st party CRM data & web traffic.
Get Audience Portraits
Access in-depth audience profiles. Acquire a deeper understanding of your customers segments with detailed breakdowns of their most prevalent behavioral and demographic characteristics.
A Mind-Blowing Direct Mail Platform
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