Direct mail recipients buy and spend 28% more than those who don’t receive print marketing. It means offline campaigns are still highly effective. They make people feel valued. A custom postcard looks more personal than standard emails delivered in packs. It attracts attention and encourages recipients to visit your website.
The best thing about modern mailing campaigns is automation. Thanks to direct mail software, mail printing and delivery become as smooth as email marketing. Professional tools manage postcard creation, production, and delivery, while you only control the process.
You can even layer automated mail marketing into your systems as one of the features. Mail API integration allows you to deliver trigger-based postcards and letters throughout the customer journey. Customers automatically get hello postcards, order confirmations, abandoned cart reminders, and other communications. It’s the ultimate automation, which ensures the best direct mail marketing experience.
Would you like to learn more about mail APIs? Read on to understand why, how, and when to use them.
What Is a Direct Mail API?
A direct mail API (Application Programming Interface) is a type of automated direct mail marketing and mailing software. It enables you to connect a third-party mailing solution to existing systems as an embedded feature. The API acts as a mediator between the server and the integrated web app to fulfill user requests. Real-time events or actions are triggers that activate direct mail API to initiate mail delivery.
Direct mail APIs are used for:
- Address list import. You can connect the mailing API to a CRM or marketing automation platform to automatically send personalized mail to specific addresses.
- Mail creation. Some API solutions enable you to design postcards and letters with customizable templates.
- Personalized printing. APIs automatically insert the details of specific recipients (e.g., name, surname) into printed postcards and letters.
- Triggered mailings. APIs initiate mail printing and delivery upon a specific real-time event or user action. Even though you can use mailing APIs to send postcards in batches, trigger-based delivery is more personalized.
- Delivery tracking. After the API launches the mailing process, it shows the information from postal services software to update you on delivery.
- Cross-channel marketing workflow. APIs automate data and command exchange between connected marketing tools so you can align mail marketing with interactions through other channels.
How Does Direct Mail API Work and What Is Direct Mail Processing?
Overall, direct mail APIs are similar to what API is in email marketing. While email marketing software APIs send online messages upon triggers, mailing APIs deliver offline communications. So if you run automated email campaigns, it must be easy to understand how direct mail APIs work.
The only thing you should note is that mail automation involves more stages than email delivery. The vendors that offer direct mail APIs need to organize printing, ensure accurate delivery, and monitor tracking. It’s a complex multi-factor process, which makes quality mailing APIs particularly valuable.
Although product teams don't have to worry about printing and mailing management, it’s good to know the process step-by-step. It takes the following stages:
- The mailing software generates documents automatically, or you manually create/upload a postcard template.
- You set up the rules for direct mail delivery.
- You add the configured mailing campaign into the marketing workflow and set up triggers.
- Once the specified event or activity happens, the API triggers printing software to print out mail (The integration of printers is managed by the API vendor).
- The local printers produce mail and forward it to postal services for delivery.
- The postal services manage the delivery and share the mailing progress through postal services software. You can access this information in your API user account.
As to mail API integration, it happens through an API key. You will need to sign up for the automated direct mail marketing tool, retrieve the key, and follow the vendor’s instructions to connect the software. It takes minimum time to configure and start using the API for sending postcards or letters.
Benefits of Direct Mail APIs
APIs, including postcard APIs, are becoming the most popular way to connect several applications. They ensure quick and secure data exchange, interoperability, and cost-effectiveness. Even though you can use other automated direct mail marketing solutions, most teams prefer APIs due to these measurable benefits:
Flexible and Tailored Workflows
Smooth communication with third-party apps is at the core of any API. Companies using APIs can build unique workflows that combine several apps and adapt to their business needs. For example, they can use direct mail automation to deliver financial invoices or print advertising postcards. Hence, the same company can integrate a direct mail API for multiple reasons.
Reliable Delivery and Printing
Mailing automation through an API reduces the risk of human error. The software automatically forwards address records from your database to postal services for delivery. If you power automated direct mail with address verification software, the accuracy of mailings will be even higher. This way, you avoid misdeliveries and optimize expenses.
Learn How to Improve Mail Delivery Accuracy
API-oriented approaches enhance data sharing between multiple apps. It allows the implementation of more complex cross-channel marketing campaigns. You also enjoy advanced data analytics since data collection becomes automated.
By choosing an API for mail automation, you delegate responsibility. The software vendor has to manage mail printing and delivery. They also ensure software maintenance and timely updates, which benefits both product teams and end-users.
Examples of Mail API Uses for Letter and Postcard Delivery
If you feel eager to integrate a direct mail API, check out some letter and postcard delivery ideas. They should help you figure out when and how to use automated mail.
Postcards are a powerful marketing strategy. You can send them on holidays like New Year or Christmas or at any customer journey milestone. We recommend sending a trigger-based personalized postcard after a lead becomes your customer, places X orders, or joins a loyalty program. Postcards are also a great addition to delivered orders and other offline communications. They are unobtrusive and grab attention.
Automated letters are not necessarily marketing. You can send them as official notifications or communications. The direct mail API enables you to deliver custom invoices, bills, agreements, etc. You only need to add the necessary fields and instruct the API when to send what letters. As a result, customers will automatically receive a print warning when they, for example, forget to pay utility bills. It makes automated letters universal for any use, be it promotional campaigns or everyday communications.
Inkit's Direct Mail API: Features and Capabilities
Send is a direct mail printing and delivery API available in the Inkit platform. Connect it with your CRM or marketing software to automatically send custom offline communications based on triggers. Send supports dynamic personalization for postcards, letters, and other types of mail. It also provides an HTML editor, contact management, and additional features listed here.