Generative AI in Direct Mail


Are you tired of receiving direct mail pieces with little to no personality? Imagine a world where instead of generic direct mail that feels like it should be accompanied with dull customer service hold music, you instead have your own personalised Taylor Swift eras tour letter? Ya, i know crazy AND impossible right? Actually, not anymore (kind of scary, kind of exciting, i know. We live in a dystopia)! Let me introduce you to generative AI and direct mail! It’s basically like going from “meh, straight to the bin with you” to “wow, they really get me!” when opening a letter.


Okay, let’s break it down without the jargon. Picture Generative AI as something like this: . It takes a look at what makes you react, whether that be positively or negatively. It also looks at your past interactions, and maybe even your weird little obsession with miniature figurines of fictional characters. Then, it blends all these ingredients together to create a direct mail piece that’s not just informative but also, dare I say it, actually applies to you?


Let’s face it, gone are the days of “Hi, First name”. That no longer cuts it when it comes to personalisation. That’s where AI comes in. It’s about knowing that you’re not just another face in the crowd; you’re an individual with quirks, preferences, and maybe a soft spot for cat GIFs. Your direct mail becomes a reflection of you, minus the cringe-worthy salutations. AI in automated direct mail actually looks at what you’re interested in and creates a unique letter just for you, not a “one size fits all” version that is sent out en-masse with just your name for personalisation. 


One of the key advantages of combining automated direct mail with Generative AI is the ability to create hyper-personalised direct mail campaigns. Traditional direct mail often involves sending the same generic message to a broad audience, hoping that it resonates with some recipients. With Generative AI, businesses can leverage customer data to understand preferences, behaviours, and demographics, allowing them to generate unique and tailored content for each individual. This level of customisation enhances the relevance of the message, increasing the likelihood of engagement from your customers.


Staying ahead in the ever-changing market trends requires quick adaptation; generative AI, powered by real-time data analysis, is essential in this regard. It quickly spots new trends and suggests subtle changes to creative components in direct mail campaigns. Apart from its ability to identify trends, generative AI can also be used to actively participate in the creative process, so campaigns can dynamically react to industry sentiments and incorporate current trends at the right time. Additionally, this technology is excellent at keeping direct mail campaigns contextually relevant and in line with the ever-changing cultural dialogue. Generative AI places direct mail as a consistent and adaptable touchpoint that builds a lasting relationship with the dynamic preferences of the target audience by foreseeing and predicting changing interests.


There are several obstacles and restrictions associated with utilising generative AI in personalised direct mail campaigns. Super boring, we know, but it’s an important one so you better listen up!  One significant challenge is the possibility of producing content that does not perfectly fit the tone, messaging, or recipient preferences of the brand. Furthermore, it is difficult to guarantee the accuracy of the data used to customise the content because errors can result in messages that are not clear or impactful. Businesses can overcome these obstacles by putting in place a strong quality control procedure that includes validation and human oversight. Content can be improved and made to meet desired standards by combining the creative powers of generative AI with human judgement. Additionally, companies ought to update and improve their AI models on a regular basis in response to user feedback and performance data.


Luckily, that’s not an issue at Paperplanes. We have been utilising this technology since the beginning of our brand, therefore, our technology, along with our amazing team, is able to proof everything that is sent out to customers to ensure that it aligns with your company’s bottom line. Also, it makes sure that the guy obsessed with mini figurines is not receiving the same mail as someone who doesn’t. 


Now, we know that we are often yelling to the rooftops about the importance of using our programmatic direct mail, but we also love to yell about how useful it is to adopt a multi-channel strategy(seriously, please don’t ghost your other strategies!). Using a multi-channel strategy allows you to create a more cohesive branding across your channels from your website to your instagram, and automated direct mail. 


The future of generative AI in direct mail is really promising. In the future, we may see things along the lines of AI informing the copy of a letter. Let’s say you are GenX, the copy for that customer would have a different tone to that of a GenZ customer. This would further enhance the user experience and authenticity of your brand, increasing basket values and encouraging loyal customers.


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