In today’s always-on media landscape, many marketers are captivated by email’s speed and trackability. Yet, direct mail is experiencing a renaissance, driven by technological advances that give it email-like capabilities and effectiveness.

On August 10, two of Quad’s top experts on customer acquisition and consumer behavior shared how brands can most effectively deploy direct mail in a Tech-Talk webinar, “Treating Direct Mail Like Email,” hosted by eMarketer/Insider Intelligence. (Scroll down below this summary to watch it in full.) Kris Persons, Senior Vice President of Direct Marketing, and John Puterbaugh, Vice President of Advanced Media and Innovation, spoke with Henry Powderly, eMarketer’s Vice President of Content, for the session, which also included an audience-led Q&A.

Persons said that all the things marketers love about email — including curation and personalization, automation at scale, and measurement and optimization — are now also true about direct mail, thanks to a data-driven, personalized approach combined with variable printing. “We recently worked with a marketer that is in financial services,” Persons noted, “and they found that the ability to personalize direct mail drove response rates by 50% — and it actually over time decreased their cost because we were able to not print as much and drive effective response rates with the consumers they were targeting.”

Puterbaugh drilled down into what it takes to optimize direct mail, noting that leveraging consumer behavioral data allows marketers to not just build audience, but “audiences that perform. In addition to online intent signals that are typically tied to search, there are offline intent signals that we think are important and should be brought into the marketing mix, such as physical events — like when something’s going out for delivery to the home — or a QR scan, which is a top-of-funnel intent signal.”

He also pointed out that direct mail has a built-in advantage in that it’s household-centric by definition. “Households are the place to connect devices and people when building identity graphs” because “they’re the one place where devices come together and access the internet via common Wi-Fi points for a consistent period of time,” he said. “At Quad, we believe that the house, where we live, is a critical context to direct marketing.”

The entire session, which runs just under 45 minutes (including the audience Q&A), is well worth watching; you can stream the archived webinar below.

Webinar attendees were also invited to download Quad’s new white paper, The direct marketing revolution 2023: New consumer & marketer intel reveals how brands should shift their DM strategies,” which offers deeper context on some of the original Quad consumer and marketer research cited in the session. You can download it here.