March 31, 2024

How to Use Digital to Beat Your DM Control Package

How to Use Digital to Enhance—Or Even Beat—Your Direct-Mail Control Package

Traditional marketers might feel like digital is devouring everything. Maybe you’re a direct-mail marketer with your elbows out, “Digital has no business in the mailbox.”

But at Heinrich, we realize it’s not either traditional or digital—it’s a both/and. A hybrid approach can help you take the best of both realms to achieve your objectives more efficiently and effectively, even when it comes to your control package. Here’s how.

The QR Code Comeback

QR codes, once dead in many a marketer’s eyes, have not only been revived, but they’ve also taken over previously analog spaces and places. QR codes are how many restaurants share their menus, PowerPoint presenters promote their websites and social media profiles and even how drag queens earn Venmo tips.  

According to eMarketer, the number of U.S. smartphone users scanning QR codes will increase to 99.5 million in 2025. It isn’t just younger smartphone users who have taken to scanning, older consumers have too; 44% of U.S. consumers aged 45–64 and 31% aged 65 and older report using marketing QR codes.

Three Reasons Why You Should Test QR Codes on Your Direct-Mail Control Package

Reason 1: Access to data

Data, as the technologists say, is the new oil. The companies who understand how to collect and leverage their data will be better positioned to capture more market share today and especially tomorrow.  

While direct mail can be a great way to stand out in someone’s mind and mailbox, measurement and attribution can be difficult, especially if your call to action requires more friction or legwork on behalf of your audience like filling out a form and mailing it back. Adding a QR code for a call to action can help you better track audience actions and make it faster and easier for them to complete that call to action.

Reason 2: Increased Personalization

You can take your QR code a step further by creating a customized code and personalized URL for every recipient. Here’s an example using our President, George Eddy.

  1. George receives Heinrich’s direct-mail piece.
  1. He scans the custom QR code, which takes him to
  1. He’s greeted with a personalized message, “Hey there, George!”
  1. The form fill is pre-populated with his contact information and asks him to correct and/or complete any incorrect or missing information.

Of course, you’ll need to thoroughly vet your mailing list ahead of time to find any duplicate names. You wouldn’t want to mix up two John Smiths.

Moving from a handwritten form fill to a digital form fill also alleviates work and reduces costs for your business. No longer will your staff waste precious time deciphering illegible handwriting. You can transition your data-entry employees to more meaningful work.

Reason 3: Retargeting opportunities

Using a direct-mail-to-web strategy gives you more chances to increase your direct mail campaign’s effectiveness. You can continue to retarget your direct-mail audience online via online ads and/or emails. Your media budget will dictate the number of touches.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You match the physical addresses on your direct-mail list (your owned or purchased mailing list) to people-based digital identifiers such as LiveRamp or RampIDs.  
  1. Devices tied to those digital IDs receive paid digital media such as display or video ads.  
  1. These ads can then drive your audience to a standard landing page with an online form.

When you combine traditional and digital marketing, you’re cooking your direct-mail campaign with gas. You’ll gain the first-party data you need to make smarter business decisions, and you’ll make it easier for your audience to engage with you and you’ll be able to increase the efficacy of your marketing. In sum, integrated marketing plans that combine online and offline tactics do better than siloed efforts.  

Heinrich is born for business—and your direct-mail campaign. That's how we were able to beat our control package for a credit card offer 12 times with one test boosting Gross Revenue Retention by 24% through an estimated 1,400 incremental accounts. Let’s talk to see how we can beat your direct-mail control package again and again.