PebblePost is dedicated to remaking snail mail into personalized marketing.
Since October of last year, the New York City-based company has offered what it describes as the “first programmatic direct mail platform.” It allows user behavior on desktop and mobile websites to trigger the creation and mailing of personalized physical color mail.
So, a person might visit a retailer’s web site, look at a page featuring a pair of green pants, place the pants into the online shopping cart, and then abandon the cart before making a purchase.
Several days later, he receives a color postcard pointing out that there’s now a 15 percent discount on those same pants. This assumes, of course, that the user has registered a physical address that the site can access, and that the address has been correlated to his cookie or mobile ID or he has logged in when visiting the site.
Today, PebblePost is upping its game by updating its platform so that marketers can generate customized physical mail campaigns that are driven by an unlimited number of behaviors, profile attributes, or other triggers. They are guided by an unlimited number of business rules like frequency capping, list suppression, geo-targeting, or A/B testing, and assigned to campaigns for customer retention, site abandonment, and the like.
Before, CEO Lewis Gersh told me, the company’s platform was “more of a triggered email processor,” with one trigger generating a “run of one” personalized piece of direct mail. But it was “hard-coded,” he said, to send out a specific customized postcard after, say, a shopping card abandonment.
Now, a marketer can generate the direct mail piece based on multiple product pages viewed by the user, dwell time on each page, search terms, social sharing, VIP treatment for certain frequent customers, and other factors, as well as shopping cart behavior. Here’s a flattened sample postcard:
The triggers are then filtered through customized business rules that determine which user patterns should generate which postcards. Postcard designs are based on digital design templates provided by the marketer.
While PebblePost is currently focused on 4.25 x 6-inch color postcards, Gersh said the output will eventually expand to include, say, customized catalogs and letters-in-envelopes.
The company describes its new platform as “the first ad server for direct mail,” although it “serves” the creation of a customized physical postcard, not an online ad.
But the idea is to generate personalized direct mail that, because of this new dynamic platform, acts as a responsive, targeted creative messaging that is akin to digital ads. In both cases, the goal is delivering more relevant creatives and targeting.
Before this new launch, Gersh said, four to six percent of PebblePost-generated mail resulted in a purchase. Now, he claimed, it’s over 10 percent, which he compared to the 0.1 to 0.3 percent rate obtained from regular direct mail.