A while ago I read a great article by Diane Bossotti about how Direct Mail was the "granny panties" of the marketing world. I agreed with every word she wrote, and admired her analogy, both because it was provocative enough to grab attention, but also because it is so true.
Direct mail - and its parent, direct marketing - are often thought of as dowdy, dingy, or old fashioned. Compared to the sexy perception of digital, social, or mobile, Direct does have a perception problem.
But Direct has no problem when it comes to results. A couple of recent stats from the DMA Statistical Fact Book show that Direct Marketing, whether postal or email, consistently performs admirably and well ahead of other media forms - full coverage and sensible fabrics and all.
So what's the problem? To today's savvy marketers, Direct lacks the fast-moving, tech-driven appeal of digital, mobile, and search. And although the difficulties of gauging the impact and performance of digital and social are meaningful, especially in consideration of the shocking amount of fraud in those categories, they still have a sizzle that Direct just doesn't.
There are several reasons why, but we believe they all come back to one central issue: direct marketing's inexplicable allergy to technology. Maybe it's because Direct has been around for 30 or 40 years, and its primordial soup was mailing lists and main frames instead of ad networks, mobile apps, location data, and ad exchanges. But Direct needs a tech makeover in a big way.
Changing the Paradigm
We took our first crack at injecting some solid tech into Direct earlier this year, when we launched the first generation version of CampaignTrac. We are incredibly excited that our clients are calling it a tech breakthrough for third party email campaigns. Here are a few things that our clients are most excited about:
REAL TIME, VISUALIZED RESULTS
Instead of waiting 3 to 7 days to receive a densely packed spreadsheet report on opens and clicks from a third party list vendor, CampaignTrac's real time viewer lets users watch Opens and Clicks – and all other metrics reporting – in real time and in graphical formats, delivering independent, web-based oversight.
RESPONSE CURVE by TIME of DAY
CampaignTrac shows clients insights that have never been available from third party campaigns until now, such as the response curve by time of day:
DEVICE TYPE DATA
Our clients can now see the Browser type (Chrome vs Safari), Device type (mobile vs. laptop) and Operating System (iOS vs Android) for every open and click on their third party campaigns:
For the first time, marketers can see an independent, side-by-side audit of the opens and clicks reported by list owners. We think everyone benefits from this kind of transparency, and that it's especially important in today's fraud-filled environment.
Obviously we're excited about our new technology to drag Direct into the modern world. Do you have other examples we can share in future newsletters? We'd love to learn more. Please Contact me with ideas, demo requests and feedback any time.