Understanding Performance of Programmatic Direct Mail

With ever-increasing marketing budgets, like any other corporate department, investments and success need to be measured using appropriate criteria.  Benchmarked metrics from current marketing channels wouldn’t be appropriate for comparison to new forms of marketing. These comparisons would have no value due to the intrinsic difference between these channels.

This is particularly accurate when looking at Programmatic Direct Mail. By nature, this channel is neither purely digital nor traditional (offline direct mail). A combination of data and analytical capability is used to measure the success of a programmatic direct mail campaign.

This blog will review four key criteria which define the true performance of a successful programmatic direct mail marketing campaign. With four factors being:


  • The window of opportunity to Captivate consumer

  • The long-term lasting impact of a programmatic mail

  • The process of creation and personalization

  • Stable pricing of a direct mail marketing

Attribution Window

Search, Social Media, and now even E-Mail popular digital channels have a limited window of opportunity to captivate a user viewing your Ad. In these few seconds, the viewer needs to be engaged enough to want to take action. The success window is a small one and if you haven’t effectively grabbed the consumer’s attention in the immediate period after showing them ad effectiveness can not be achieved.


Programmatic direct mail however operates differently. Whilst Programmatic Direct Mail” impression” has many of the same features and capabilities as other digital advertising channels, its end output is a physical piece of media, such as an A4 letter in a C5 envelope which gets noticed.


It can remain on the recipient’s table or stuck on a fridge for days, weeks, or even months if they find it relevant, which nine times out of ten is the case with Programmatic Direct Mail. This tangible creative acts as a persistent reminder of their intention to buy and influences longer sales cycles. Because of this, you should always analyze your Programmatic Direct Mail program in a wider attribution window (often between 60 and 90 days) versus what should be offered for other digital platforms.


How long that impression window will last for your specific campaign can be determined with the assistance of a qualified Programmatic Direct Mail partner.

Outcomes over Output

The next factor to take into account when attempting to comprehend performance for the Programmatic Direct Mail channel is even though the final product (a physical marketing piece of mail) may resemble Traditional Direct Mail, everything leading up to that point is entirely different.


Traditional print houses are accustomed to sending a lot of marketing mail at the lowest cost per piece (CPP) in order to achieve performance targets. Furthermore, even though very sophisticated data models can be used to guide these campaigns, they are manually created and depend on a number of suppliers as part of the process to pull together offline data.

As a result, these initiatives typically have very significant lead times, which prevents marketers from being as adaptable or quick as they might be when using digital platforms.


On the other hand, programmatic direct mail employs machine learning algorithms informed by online intent signals (website activity & navigation) to guarantee that only the customers with the greatest potential for conversion will be sent a piece of marketing mail. Therefore, you only send to that smaller percentage of consumers rather than a larger group in the hopes that a particular number will convert. Even if the average CPP may be greater, the performance should far outperform the initial investment and will only become more effective as it continues to scale and learn. What does that mean over time? Declining CPA rates and greater efficiency. In an economic crises such as global recession, we should all be striving to do more by sending less.

With less significant huge price swings, PDM performs more like your Search or Social performance ads than Traditional Direct Mail. Brands may optimize their marketing expenses with the help of this laser-focused strategy, which boosts performance and ROAS.


Therefore, you should concentrate on the timing of your return on investment (ROI) while considering the upfront investment costs—and the volume that is sent out. As always, you’re on the correct track if your campaign is generating more revenue than it is using.


Programmatic Mail Professionals


It’s crucial to remember that the people managing Programmatic Direct Mail campaigns are your finest source of knowledge when it comes to assessing performance. The teams in charge of these platforms are your best resource for learning about, performance, tests to run and cadence since there aren’t many well-established industry benchmarks and standards for the PDM channel at the moment.


The performance of your campaigns can be understood better if you put them in the context of your overall omnichannel marketing activities. Another thing you might want to do is to get your internal analytics or data science team and your Programmatic Direct Mail platform partner into a room together and start a conversation. Together, these two teams can learn how to give you useful information that will help you understand how everything is operating and produce outcomes that will actually help you expand your company.


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