The global pandemic has every marketer thinking to themselves, “What now?” The entire marketing landscape has changed, and there are new rules for navigating our current business landscape.

Many big brands are putting resources towards automated direct mail and it’s consistently paying off for them. Tactile marketing automation (TMA), the integration of direct mail and personalized swag with a marketing automation platform or CRM, has proven to increase overall response rates and campaign effectiveness.

Additionally, account-based marketers are looking for opportunities to build scalable, personalized experiences for their prospects. Because of its use of customer data and intent signals, TMA is a perfect ABM strategy tie-in for any type of business.

What are we implementing?

In April, I decided to pause our tactile marketing efforts at PFL in order to reevaluate our multichannel campaigns and decrease our marketing spend. After all, analysts are predicting a significant drop in US marketing budgets.

Our BDR team began sequencing 2,000 prospects by email and phone alone. Removing the direct mail piece of our campaign proved to be detrimental. Of those 2,000 prospects contacted via email and phone, less than 1 percent booked a meeting with our team – a huge hit compared to the high response rates we experienced before the COVID-19 outbreak.

We quickly pivoted and created a way to incorporate preferred address confirmation into our campaigns and BDR outreach so we could use tactile marketing automation again. Results immediately improved. We landed 10x more meetings and 22% of prospects who confirmed their address booked a meeting.

If you keep reading, I’ll teach you how you can send direct mail to your prospects wherever they are working.

Where should we send your coffee or wine?

Your prospects are likely already talking to your SDR/BDRs as part of the regular sales cycle. Confirming a preferred address with prospects and sending them a remarkable direct mail experience can boost these conversations and foster an even closer relationship.

To incentivize preferred address confirmation, sales reps need to offer something valuable in return. In exchange for asking prospects to confirm their address and take a meeting, sales reps can send over a bottle of wine or coffee to enjoy while they talk. Sending helpful guides and playbooks accompanied by branded swag items or a treat helps create a unique and memorable brand moment.

You can even lead prospects to a landing page where they can choose from a selection of items and confirm the meeting time that works best for them. Upon form submission, the physical item is automatically personalized and shipped by PFL. Reps will receive an alert within 15 minutes of delivery so they can make a timely follow-up and enhance the multichannel experience.

How to garner those missed trade show connections?

Even though in-person events are either being canceled or moving to digital forums, events (webinars, trade shows, virtual events) were tied for the highest channel effectiveness rating for reaching target audiences along with direct mail.

Marketers and sales reps still need to garner those connections and interactions they would’ve had, so the best way to do so is by combining direct mail and event tactics. Companies can reach out to prospects with branded swag that was supposed to be used during an in-person event or have sales reps and event marketers send a “booth in a box.” This allows your target audiences to connect with your brand similarly to how they would’ve at a tradeshow. After receiving this content, prospects will be more likely to take a virtual meet-and-greet.

Can you run into potential problems?

One possible roadblock when asking for a preferred address is a customer’s concern about their privacy and data. Some may be more hesitant than others so it’s important to reassure your prospects the contact information will not be stored in a database. Best practices dictate brands should only be using home addresses for this one specific touchpoint. Marketers need to communicate this to ease the minds of customers and prospects.

Collecting home addresses with a small amount of information about a prospect and using a data match service has never been easier, but we’ve found prospects appreciate being reached out to first. If sales reps are already conversing with the target audience, physical touchpoints are well-received, even if the prospect never shared their preferred shipping address. TMA experiences showcase commitment and appreciation.

Just as your customers are adjusting to working from home, you also have to adjust your marketing efforts. Using tactile marketing automation alongside your digital efforts will help you cut through the noise and deliver an extraordinary brand experience.


Nick Runyon, CMO, PFL

Nick is an accomplished executive with 20 years of experience in developing and implementing marketing strategies that drive fast and scalable growth. As CMO of PFL, he helps marketers achieve unmatched results through direct mail orchestrated with digital marketing and sales.