Parachute Home Is Using Direct Mail to Boost Its Ecommerce Strategy
Many contemporary ecommerce brands may turn their noses up at direct mail and disregard it in favor of more up-to-date marketing methods. However, some brands are still recognizing the power of this kind of marketing, and some are even espousing them over digital methods.
If you're young enough, you may not have even encountered direct mail as a concept before. For the uninitiated, direct mail involves sending physical copies of newsletters, catalogs, special offers, vouchers, or any information related to your business through the postal service. At this point, you may be shaking your head in disbelief and wondering why any contemporary ecommerce company would choose this method over the instant gratification offered by email or social media.
But home essentials brand Parachute Home has recently adopted direct mail as a marketing strategy - and is seeing some promising results.
Parachute Home is an online retailer of luxury home goods, specializing in bed and bath products.
The company was concerned that the conversion rates and repeat sales generated by its digital marketing efforts were not as strong as it wanted or expected them to be. They began looking for alternatives which would yield a better return on investment - and direct mail marketing, despite being considered an archaic method by many, is one tactic it ran with.
"Parachute avoids banner ads on websites because of their low conversion rates," said Chief Marketing Officer, Luke Droulez. "Such ads are ubiquitous, inundating to customers and low drivers of revenue for businesses. Shifting spend to direct mail is about control of not just quality, but also quantity. For instance, when Parachute launched a new line of tabletop products, including napkins, table-runners, and towels, the company used direct mail to promote the products to new and returning customers - driving up average purchase sizes."
However, do not be fooled into thinking that modern marketing methods haven't crept into Parachute Home's direct mail strategy. Far from simply stuffing envelopes with a brochure and sending them out in a scattergun fashion, Parachute Home has opted for an altogether more intelligent method.
Intelligent Direct Mail
No corner of marketing is safe from the onslaught of big data and the keen insights it can provide to brands.
To send smarter direct mail, Parachute Home partners with programmatic direct mail platform PebblePost. The partnership allows Parachute Home to leverage data to send bespoke communications to its customers based on several factors, including geography, age, gender, purchase history, and more. If these sound an awful lot like the same data points used to target advertising in the digital space, that's because they are.
If you think about it, there's no reason why direct mail cannot be intelligently targeted in the exact same way. Sure, it may take a little bit more work to make sure the right communications go to the right addresses, but the results can extremely lucrative.
One of the big advantages of direct mail over email, for example, is that today, the consumer's mailbox is a far less crowded space than the average email inbox. This means that while email messages from brands are often either ignored amidst the maelstrom of similar communications or relegated to the junk folder, direct mail has far less competition for the attention of its intended audience.
Parachute Home is aware of this positive differentiator and is careful not to deluge its customers with an abundance of postal communications.
"We don't want people to receive more than one postcard per quarter, because, at a certain point, I don't want people's mailboxes to turn into their inboxes," said Droulez.
Intelligent programmatic direct mail is providing brands such as Parachute Home with another string to their marketing bows and giving them a better chance of having their communications noticed than if they were to rely solely on emails or banner ads.
Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all solution to marketing for ecommerce brands, but it just goes to show how, with a little out-of-the-(in)box thinking, great rewards can be reaped by not disregarding methods which may, on the surface, appear archaic.
"PebblePost clients like Parachute can use data to generate a customized mailer in real-time," said PebblePost Founder, Lewis Gersh. "Personalized online ads have become overly invasive as the ability of agencies to follow an individual online has improved. You're barraged with digital ads re-targeting you. A consumer shouldn't need a restraining order against a company for six weeks to look for a pair of socks."
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