Direct Mail Marketing

4 Direct Mail API Features to Look For

January 15, 2019
Rachel Wedlund

A direct mail API can simplify and improve your marketing. With a postcard marketing API, you can send automated mail at the click of a button and track results almost effortlessly.

Of course, there are a variety of marketing APIs popping onto the market today, each a bit different than the rest. We’ve identified 4 key features that should top your wish list when scouting the best direct mail API.

But before we get into the best direct mail API features, let’s first define the term.

What is a Direct Mail API?

A direct mail API allows you to automate direct mail by linking your CRM, ecommerce or marketing platform to direct mail software. This enables you to send direct mail automatically, based on specific customer actions, events or triggers.

There is usually no need to import your direct mail lists or set up complex campaigns within the direct mail software, because the connections automate via API. You also won’t need deep programming language knowledge to complete postcard API integration.

Here is how marketing automation works. After integrating direct mail and CRM software through a postcard API, you can launch a mail campaign. Depending on your settings, this campaign will be triggered at specific moments. For example, when customers create a message to start a subscription, they will be automatically sent a greeting postcard. Similar to transactional emails triggered direct mail is fully customizable and time-sensitive.

When to Use a Postcard API for Direct Mail and CRM Integration

Mail campaigns will boost the marketing efforts of any business, be it a financial institution or e-commerce. In some cases, they are particularly effective and much more suitable than email delivery. Below, we’ve collected the most common use cases of direct mail and CRM integration through a postcard API.

You should integrate direct mail and CRM to:

  • Boost customer loyalty. Integrate postcard API to foster customer loyalty with tailored offline messages. Direct mail communications look more personal than email messages. By sending them, you make people feel special.

Discover when to use address validation for customer loyalty campaigns

  • Launch cross-channel marketing campaigns. When you combine an email API, direct mail, and CRM, you can go multi-channel. The postcard API is the simplest way to target customers offline.
  • Reduce cart abandonment. Direct mail postcards are a missing element in your cart abandonment strategy. If you automate sending them when reminder emails don’t work using a postcard API, you will considerably grow sales.
  • Get in touch with customers on special occasions. Add direct mail and CRM integration to automatically send happy birthday, holiday, and other greeting postcards. On special occasions, postcards yield better results than email services.
  • Increase sales of luxury products. Print and mail are widely used to make the affluent buy. Stylish print catalogs and customized marketing materials are more effective for luxury products.

The core idea behind direct mail and CRM integration is that sending a direct mail message is more personalized. Customization encourages people to check the delivered communications and interact with your company. It was found that mailings are opened in 90% of cases, whereas the email open rate doesn’t exceed 20-30%.

Key Features in Your Direct Mail API

At Inkit, we designed our API to make it easy for marketers to reach online customers offline. We help marketers overcome digital marketing’s shortcomings by taking advantage of the high open and response rates of direct mail—in real time.

Our postcard API empowers marketers to trigger personalized postcards when someone abandons a shopping cart, stops clicking on social ads or disengages from email marketing, among other events.

Direct mail can truly bridge gaps in the digital experience, re-engaging customers and reinvigorating online funnels. But direct mail performs best when completely in sync with digital marketing campaigns, which means your API needs to play well with other marketing apps.

With that in mind, we believe these are the top 4 best direct mail API features to look for:

Feature #1: Interpolated customer data

Personalization is no longer optional in marketing. Customized marketing messages outperform their generic counterparts by a landslide. Choose an API that makes it easy to personalize marketing postcards. Inkit allows personalization via dynamic content insertion and tags.

direct mail personalization

Additionally, we do not impose minimum batch sizes, so your personalized postcards can be printed and mailed on demand. With our postcard API, you can send anything from one to hundreds of mail pieces as easily as you send emails.

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Feature #2: On-demand printing and shipping

They call it “snail mail” for a reason. Timeliness can be a hurdle in direct mail marketing. A postcard is never going to hit someone’s inbox as quickly as an email, but direct mail doesn’t have to be sluggish. In fact, with the right direct mail API, your postcards can have near perfect timing.

Direct mail automation via API should be predicated on speed and efficiency. Look for a direct mail API that will print and send your mail almost instantaneously, so that your triggered mailings and scheduled campaigns reach the customer at the right point in their buying journey.

At Inkit, we print and mail same day in most cases. With worldwide delivery, your postcards will be in your customers’ hands within 3-6 days of being triggered. Besides, with Inkit’s address verification, you will be able to achieve direct mail deliverability equal to email deliverability rates. Inkit validates customers’ addresses at the checkout to record only reliable contact details. Since the verification happens automatically, it doesn’t slow down mail delivery.

Feature #3: Easy-to-use postcard design platform

If you want to set up your campaigns quickly, make sure the postcard API you select has a custom builder. Inkit offers a plug-and-play dashboard that makes it easy for marketers or designers to create and finalize mailers. Simply upload your images and select your fonts and colors for a professional postcard. (Find postcard design and content tips here).

Feature #4: Document rendering

Apart from colorful postcards, you may also need to send invoices, bank notices, or other official documents. In these cases, a direct mail API that can convert HTML to PDF is a must. The software will render PDFs based on HTML data and deliver them to customers.

PDF rendering is mostly required for regulatory compliance and official communications. You can send them online as an email attachment or print for offline delivery.

Inkit’s reach enablement platform is one of the solutions that support PDF rendering. Inkit’s Render automatically creates paperless communications in real-time. You only need to set up what to do with them next.

Bonus Direct Mail API Feature #5: Pre-built direct mail integrations

While Inkit’s API will allow you to facilitate direct mail campaigns with whatever CRM or marketing automation platform you’re using, we also offer a growing number of pre-built direct mail integrations.

If you use one of our partner platforms, our direct mail integration will offer you the best suite of direct mail automation services. Simply sync your platform with our direct mail tool to power your direct mail marketing via CRM.

Get a Direct Mail API Demo Now

At Inkit, we designed our postcard API to make it easy for marketers to reach online customers offline. We help marketers overcome digital marketing’s shortcomings by taking advantage of the high open and response rates of direct mail—in real time.

Our postcard API empowers marketers to trigger personalized postcards when someone abandons a shopping cart, stops clicking on social ads or disengages from email marketing, among other events.

Along with direct mail API, Inkit’s platform offers solutions for address verification and document rendering. They increase the accuracy of your communications and allow you to deliver all kinds of offline messages.

Want to integrate Inkit with your CRM? Check out API documentation or contact us for help.

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