How to master your Programmatic Print campaigns in e-commerce

Where does programmatic print come from? How do you transfer this successful tool from online marketing to print? Does it pay off? And why is it currently the hottest communication channel in e-commerce?

Programmatic direct mail is considered one of the most powerful conversion tools in e-commerce. More and more brand owners are turning to dialog marketing tools, such as programmatic direct mail, to improve customer loyalty and increase their return on investment (ROI). This alone is reason enough to take a closer look at this channel.

Where does programmatic print come from?

Programmatic is a term from online marketing and refers to digital advertising. According to Statista, digital programmatic advertising refers to the fully automated individualized buying and selling of digital advertising space with playout in real time. Unlike manual advertising, which relies on human interaction and negotiation between publishers and marketers, Programmatic Ad Buying uses technology to buy digital ad space.

"Programmatic has become one of the most indispensable digital marketing tools in the world."

This data-driven approach helps streamline and accelerate the ad buying process and ensure campaign efficiency. This explains why programmatic has become one of the most indispensable digital marketing tools in the world. (source: Statista)

It is therefore worthwhile to transfer these mechanisms of digital marketing, which have been working very well for years, to physical marketing and combine them with the attention-grabbing and credible medium of print.

How can this successful tool from online marketing be transferred to print? 

Programmatic advertising, now referring to programmatic print advertising, can be understood in theory as a process in which the purchase and sale of individualized print-based advertising media can be regulated fully automatically, right through to direct addressed delivery, booking on advertising media or unaddressed distribution.

Note: In contrast to programmatic advertising, only the company's own advertising spaces are used in programmatic print.

Currently, brand owners expect Programmatic Print to lift data collections of varying depth and from different sources, including users (online) behavior, for campaigns. This is to produce print products that are relevant and emotionally engaging for recipients. Delivery to recipients doorsteps is within 24 to 48 hours.

When setting up Programmatic Print campaigns, different groups of recipients are targeted, e.g. prospects who make or cancel a purchase, customers who no longer buy, or particularly loyal customers.

Digital KPI systems are indispensable: they ultimately lead to performance reports and detailed analyses. The advantage is that you can measure the success of physical campaigns in correlation to digital campaigns in a consistent way.

Leading brands report on their campaigns: How does it pay off? 

"Land Rover sells 700 additional Range Rover Sports": Companies across industries and countries provide insights into the success of their dialog marketing campaigns. International Post Corporation describes this and others. For example:

iClothing is one of the fastest growing online fashion retailers in Ireland. With a programmatic direct mail campaign, the company saw an average click-through rate of 70%.

UK home and garden online store Swoon was looking for a print & mail provider. Swoon decided on this measure due to the increasing acquisition costs in the digital area (advertising). The recipient group was targeted by mail - with a success of 22x ROI.

Land Rover sent out an interactive mailing and sold 700 additional Range Rover Sports with an RO of 140:1. Sky Entertainment saw a 33% increase in the number of former customers returning to Sky, resulting in a 6:1 ROI from the campaign.

In Belgium, TORFS, a local shoe retailer, tested direct mail and email versus an email-only campaign. Each euro invested generated sales of 6.1 euros. TUI used small postcards and achieved good results. Test group: 51,000 customers received a postcard with the theme "Sun". This direct mail was the only tangible medium in a mix of radio, TV and digital. Additional sales of €780,000, an increase of 14% compared to the control group.

In France, Skoda's most recent commercial performed very well with a 92% open rate, 7 points above the average for the automotive sector as a whole. (Source: International Post Corporation).

Brand owners have used these campaigns to drive market development or increase customer lifetime value (CLV). Programmatic Print is designed to help facilitate this by connecting brand owner data end-to-end and automating it for print.

How do you start a campaign with Programmatic Print? The whitepaper "Programmatic Printing" provides further insights into the path from classic direct mail to pure Programmatic Print and how to get started quickly. (source: priint Group)

How promising is programmatic print as a market?

Digital programmatic advertising spend

According to Statista, global programmatic advertising spend in 2021 was $418 billion. This figure is expected to reach nearly $725 billion by 2026. By 2027, programmatic advertising is expected to account for 89% of total digital ad spend, with an upward trend.

Spending on physical programmatic advertising

It's worth taking a look at the traditional (non-programmatic) direct mail market, which is very similar to the potential programmatic print advertising market. The global direct mail market is estimated by Statista to be worth nearly $71 billion in 2021. Looking at the growth of the programmatic digital advertising market, the programmatic physical advertising market is expected to develop accordingly. Data processing solutions, printing presses, and service providers are available.

The above customer examples show that this communication channel is profitable and that the market can therefore grow on its own. .

Why is Programmatic Print currently the hottest channel in e-commerce? 

Digital advertising has its limits in terms of effectiveness. Over time, it has become expensive and difficult to scale. The wider reach is limited and partially blocked. Classic print mass advertising struggles with justification problems. At the same time, companies are under high cost pressure: optimizing merchandise rotation is a critical success factor for any (e-)commerce retailer.

To reach customers and consumers quickly and effectively, individually tailored and optimally timed marketing measures are necessary. This is why the demand for automated solutions around Programmatic Print is increasing.

Postcards, self-mailers, catalogs or other effective print products dynamically (re)activate the (sales) of goods: the online KPI's with better conversion rates, increased ROI, increased shopping cart values and longer impact speak for themselves.

Programmatic Print is one of the latest smart marketing tools that personally connects consumers, customers and brands.