31 Dover doubles conversion rate for abandoned basket recovery from Programmatic Direct Mail

The Context

Paperplanes technology combines the latest digital marketing technology with one of the UK’s largest industrial printers to deliver Programmatic Direct Mail, helping businesses increase conversions and reduce customer lapses.

Award-winning online drinks retailer, 31 Dover, was looking for additional channels to optimise their abandoned basket follow up process. The company partnered with Paperplanes and Royal Mail MarketReach to build a strategic solution to reduce the rate of abandoned baskets, and in turn, increase conversions on the e-commerce website.

The Action

Paperplanes worked with 31 Dover to create a personalised, relevant campaign targeting individual customers who abandoned a virtual basket. A personalised letter was dynamically generated that featured information and images of the basket items with an on-brand message to encourage the customer to go back online to complete their purchase. To help increase conversions and awareness, discounts were offered to the individuals on their abandoned basket, as well as a referral discount for their friends.

The highly individualised letters were triggered from tags implemented on the website; automatically generating a letter each time a customer abandoned a basket.

The creative was made up of a double-sided A4 letter and C5 envelope, both of which were personalised to feature each individual’s basket, supported by the coupons on the reverse side of the letter and the outside of the envelope.

The Results

Early-stage results from the programmatic direct mail campaign showed a significant increase in engagement levels and conversion rates.

For 31 Dover, the personalised, tangible mail campaign drove engagement rates of over 28% with a conversion rate of 14%, compared to average conversion rates of around 6% from digital marketing activities.

Additionally, Paperplanes provided valuable insight at the product category and brand level that uncovered online trends such as most popular products and brands, as well as the products and brands with the highest abandonment rates. Brands like Warner Edwards, Edinburgh Gin and Sipsmith were appearing in around 20% of all abandoned baskets. After implementing the programmatic direct mail, Warner Edwards saw a 75% incremental uplift in purchased units, whilst Sipsmith saw a 300% uplift.


“Introducing programmatic direct mail from Paperplanes alongside our digital abandon basket campaigns has proven a great success in driving increased online engagement and conversion. In early stages of the campaign, we have conversion rates of over 14% from the Paperplanes abandoned basket campaign; this rate is double the results from other forms of digital retargeting we send to customers.”

Jay Swanborough, Director of E-Commerce and Marketing, 31 Dover.

This rate is double the results from other forms of digital retargeting we send to customers

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