By Pat Nolan
Nov 6, 2017
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Market-Edge 2017: Direct Mail, Digital, and Beyond
From October 26th to October 27th of this year, DirectMail2.0 hosted their inaugural Market-Edge conference at Wyndham Grand Clearwater in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Sponsors included Pitney Bowes, Konica Minolta, AccurioJet, Alesco Data, and Enthusem. Discussing Market-Edge with DirectMail2.0’s Marketing Coordinator, Iris Shalev, I was able to shed some light on why they wanted to put on a conference and what they hoped that their business and attendees would take away from it.
The purpose of the event, she said, was to act as a hub for direct mail marketers and printers that is more personal than a trade show and to provide a face-to-face networking opportunity for attendees outside of the usual competitive context. DirectMail2.0 wanted to strengthen this community with Market-Edge, and bring stakeholders with different expertise together to learn from each other for a 360-degree experience, Shalev continued.
In his opening remarks, DirectMail2.0 CEO Brad Kugler also touched on his company’s intended outcome of the event. They wanted to host an open forum for printers and direct mail marketers to come together and solve their common problems. What is the root of those problems? The answer is represented both by what DirectMail2.0 does as a business – they are an integration platform that offers online services to printers and direct mail marketers – and by the theme of Market-Edge: to bridge the gap between offline and online, to bring print into the digital world.
DirectMail2.0: Providing Digital Relevancy to Printers and Mail Houses
Extending print into the digital world is the lifeblood of DirectMail2.0; they are an integration platform that offers digital add-ons to printers and direct mailers. This core goal of uniting print and digital must be something that their targeted clientele struggle to master on their own, if Market-Edge’s attendance is any indicator. While DirectMail2.0 anticipated between sixty and eighty attendees for their kickoff Market-Edge event, over 120 print and direct mail marketing professionals showed up.
To cater to this need, DirectMail2.0 currently offers four key capabilities: calling tracking, mail tracking, online follow-up, and social media follow-up. As for getting each component a la carte? That is a no-go. As DM2.0 insists, they simply work better together.
“It takes between 8 and 12 points of contact before a customer makes a purchase. You need an omni-channel presence to reach that number of contacts or else you are giving business to competitors who are on enough channels to be there for that 8th to 12th encounter.”
Erica Switzer, DirectMail2.0 VP of Partner Relations
Following the momentum of just-released features like Unlimited Mail Tracking, SocialMatch, and Facebook integration, DirectMail2.0 has several functionalities slated for release early next year. Partners’ mobile offerings will strengthen with SMS Response Tracking, and their online integration will deepen with other social and online ad networks. Another upcoming and useful feature, DM2.0 API, will enable the integration of statistical reports.
At Market-Edge, two other major announcements were made regarding soon-to-be DM2.0 features: the LeadMatch tool to “Know WHO went to your website from the mailing list!” and integration with USPS Informed Delivery. To stay in the know on all DirectMail2.0’s recent and upcoming new functionalities and integrations, visit their website.
Asking DirectMail2.0 Marketing Coordinator, Iris Shalev, what their biggest challenges are in convincing printers and direct mail marketers the importance of integrating digital into their business offerings, her answer was short and positive: they do not really have any! With a long list of proven case studies and convincing hard numbers, their integration platform speaks for itself (not to mention existing partners-as-advocates, like PostcardMania, who speak avidly on its behalf).
Beyond the value of giving printers digital relevancy, DM2.0 also has a relatively low barrier to entry in that it is affordable. After the free trial that they offer, partner rates start as low as $129 a month. Premium memberships offer white label rights alongside many other benefits, and all levels come with hands-on support from the passionate DirectMail2.0 team. The inaugural Market-Edge event showed promise for this integration platform, and it can be expected the Market-Edge 2018 will present them launching even more ways to connect print and digital for their clients.
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