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Why Direct Mail is Coming Back with Dave Fink, CEO, and Founder at Postie

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Double-tap — or in some cases just tap — to like. Those little filled-in hearts and thumbs-up used to be the currency of marketing campaigns. How many did you get? Then bots disrupted, and the market for selling likes got out of control. Brands started wising up to the super high customer acquisition costs they were seeing in their marketing reports and they wanted to trim the fat, to know more about who was seeing what and for what reason? Passionate about intricate marketing details like these is Dave Fink the CEO & Founder of Postie. He’s seen a lot of change in the social media marketing landscape in his times on the scene. 

“We were starting from an authentic place, which was a need for more control over our growth – beyond the behemoths that are social and search. Watching those channels take more and more power, and marketers lose more and more power over their growth trajectory, but not wanting to acquiesce and give up all of the technology and tools and data and measurement and predictability that comes from those channels.”

The realization that social media marketing on Facebook was extremely volatile and based solely on large corporate algorithm decisions made by the tech giants sobered Dave into action to move away from relying on paid social media and into the physical mail sector. On Marketing Trends, hear more about how Dave built Postie into one of the most data-driven marketing platforms and how companies within the Fortune 500 are using Postie to level up their customer experience. All this next on Marketing Trends. 

Main Takeaways

  • Advantages of Direct Mail to Marketers: There is so much data and 100% of the possible market to be reached, physically with direct mail marketing. So much focus has been spent in recent years on tracking clicks and cookies and other digital marketing metrics that the cost of direct mail marketing has gone down and the effectiveness of it remains high. 
  • Generating Data for Direct Mail Campaigns: To be effective in direct mail campaigns you need a lot of data that can support predictive modeling and auto-optimization. All of this data can be fed to computers thereby increasing the effectiveness of machine learning. Direct mail in the modern era is about using data to micro-target the best possible consumer. 
  • Invest in having good mentors: The difference between business owners that have and utilize the wisdom to be gained from mentors is significant. Be aggressive and seek out the mentorships and curate those relationships, as it will be of great advantage to you.  

Key Quotes
“We were starting from an authentic place, which was a need for more control over our growth – beyond the behemoths that are social and search. Watching those channels take more and more power, and marketers lose more and more power over their growth trajectory, but not wanting to acquiesce and give up all of the technology and tools and data and measurement and predictability that comes from those channels.”

“We think about data and insights probably in two different buckets. The first bucket is direct mail. It’s a channel that can provide big data, both first-party data, and third-party data for all sorts of miraculous things —  predictive modeling, auto-optimization. The same kind of characteristics that social has. You get better with bigger data and you get better with testing and insights. A core focus of Postie is big data and machine learning, The biggest product focus that we spend our time on is thinking about how to give all advertisers access to the same data and mathematical advantage that they get from other channels.”

“We think about monster companies like Airbnb, Uber and Lyft — those are still emerging brands, innovators, and disruptors — then there’s the Fortune 500 that almost always falls in the enterprise — we service both sides. The other is, ‘Is this a brand that’s currently invested in indirect mails as a core channel, or is the brand on the complete opposite of the spectrum?’ Depending on what quadrant a prospect or a client falls in will determine how we engage with them and what the education process looks like and how we think about their trajectory in the direct mail channel.”

 “Think about direct mail as a very specific individualized channel. It’s a part of your marketing mix. Those advertisers that I see taking advantage of it with the best performance, with the most scale, most control, are those that start not thinking about just ‘How do we make direct mail work?’ But, ‘Who is our customer base? What are our core marketing objectives?’ Then thinking about a holistic plan for attacking those goals and affecting the achievement of those goals positively. Direct Mail can be a high performance, highly scalable component, but it all starts with markers and understanding, and being honest with themselves around what they’re looking to achieve both in the short term and the long term.”

 “Remember the days when Facebook advertising was all about building your fan page and buying likes? That wasn’t that many years ago and at that time I was involved in many brands that had seven, in some cases, eight-figure annual budgets building monstrous fan pages and investing in even bigger budgets of in-house content creators to engage those fans through storytelling. Then Facebook decided to reach those fans, we’re going to charge you. That was the warning sign.” 

“A start-up is a living breathing entity, and it’s a journey, and there are good moments and bad moments, good days and bad days if you’re in that bunker with someone else. As a co-founder, that’s invaluable. One piece of advice is you’ve got to have multiple mentors and you have to invest in those relationships. The difference in people’s careers that I’ve seen when they have had mentors versus when they don’t have mentors, it’s a night and day difference. 

Bio

A 15-year consumer-internet veteran Dave Fink, CEO & Founder of Postie, is a revenue-focused entrepreneur. With a passion for creating disruptive business models and unique monetization strategies, Dave focuses on discovering opportunities to drive rapid growth. His creative, yet data-driven approach to marketing and monetization has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for ad-tech, lead generation, and commerce companies. Over the last decade, Dave has launched and scaled over 20 consumer-internet businesses. During the early part of his career he created performance-marketing platforms helping brands as diverse as Walt Disney World, Proctor & Gamble and The Gap adapt to the rapidly changing digital media strategies available in the internet world.

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Episode 257