E152: Dave Fink

From Digital Frustration to Offline Innovation: Exploring the Power of Direct Mail in Marketing

dave fink postie direct mail podcast cover

Podcast Overview

Direct mail isn’t just for acquisition, it plays a crucial role throughout the marketing funnel. 

Dave highlights how direct mail is highly effective in driving top-of-funnel acquisition and can also be utilised for customer engagement tactics in CRM at the bottom of the funnel. 

Whether you are in consumer marketing or account-based marketing, direct mail can be a valuable tool to enhance your overall marketing strategy.

eCom@One Presents

Dave Fink

Dave Fink is the CEO and Co-Founder of Postie, a marketing technology that has transformed Direct Mail by enabling it to perform like a digital channel. He has extensive background in digital marketing and has worked with platforms like Facebook and Google. 

In this podcast, Dave shares his insights on the evolving world of marketing, from the frustrations marketers faced with algorithm changes and rising Ad rates to the need for innovation in offline channels like direct mail. 

He also discusses the power of personalised packaging, the challenges and benefits of direct mail campaigns and the changing economic environment for marketers. Join us as they dive into the importance of differentiation, customer communication and measurement in this ever-changing landscape. 

Topics covered: 

1:02 – How and why Dave built his business 

3:26 – Untapped opportunities in marketing with direct mail 

10:45 – Control, brand, storytelling, experts, direct mail, scalable, reach

14:14 –  Direct mail effective for the agency’s sales process

18:22 – Different layers for clean measurement of Ads

22:28 – Direct mail is effective for customer acquisition and engagement

30:18 –  Build customer loyalty with consistent communication

32:02 – Brands with personalised packaging increase customer loyalty

36:50 –  Direct mail requires planning and measurement. Start with a hypothesis, know your audience and use what works in other channels

41:13 – Marketing in tough times requires innovation

44:59 –  Book recommendation 

Richard Hill [00:00:03]:

Hi, and welcome to another episode of eCom@One. Today's guest Dave Fink, CEO and cofounder at Postie. How are you doing, Dave?

Dave Fink [00:00:17]:

I'm doing great. How are you? I am very well. I'm very well. It's a bit hot here in the UK. Would -- Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Well, you know where I'm sitting right now, which is Yeah. You know, I I I'm not sure if I'm in the core of the of the Earth or on the surface still, but we're in Austin, Texas, the United States. And they say it's the hottest week in June in an already naturally hot environment. So for your listeners that are good at converting from Fahrenheit,

Richard Hill [00:00:41]:

Yeah. It's been about a 108 all week here in Fahrenheit. It's -- Wow. I'm sweating inside with air conditioning right now. I can't even imagine that. I'm almost complaining about 75 degrees sat in my office. So, yeah, good luck to you.

Dave Fink [00:00:54]:

Yeah. I I don't know I don't know what to say about that.

Richard Hill [00:00:57]:

Right. Well, I think it'd be great. you could kick off and introduce yourself to our listeners.

Dave Fink [00:01:02]:

Absolutely. So, you know, Dave Fink coming to you from from the US, I am older than I'd like to admit I've been in the consumer Internet space since about 1999, so almost 25 years right now, and spent my career kind of oscillating back and forth between working in marketing technology, always on kind of the quantitative, testing optimization, data driven sectors versus the kind of the brand building spaces in the marketing world. And then the other half of my career, I spent building direct to consumer brands that all kind of have got their advantage from understanding what was going on in quantitative marketing that allowed us to be very razor focused, efficient, you know, in some cases, a little bit, you know, sneaky before the big, you know, big incumbent brands woke up and realized there are opportunities to build relationships directly with consumers. The last almost 7 years now, I've been building a marketing technology platform that looks a lot like a programmatic ad server but sits on top of the direct mail space. So actual through physical mail, but bringing all of the amazing things that, you know, the digital marketers that you're listening to have come to take for granted like measurement and targeting and testing and optimization and moving dynamically. So that that's kind of the 10,000 foot view on on me. And I think why you you had it offered to chat with me today. Well, thank you for coming on. So

Richard Hill [00:02:46]:

direct mail. ecommerce, direct mail. Direct mail is general. It's not something that I think we've spoken about in as as an episode. That's for sure. and I don't think we've even maybe mentioned our amount more than about three times in a 153 episodes that we've now recorded. So You know, obviously, you are now 7 years into the journey with Posty. You know, how did you find that there was a need for what you've now built back in the day? You know, I'm coming up to now. How did you find there was a need for integrating sort of a tech with the more traditional rent or direct mail can come in all sorts of forms, and we'll get into that. But know how how did you find there was an need for it?

Dave Fink [00:03:26]:

Well, I I have I have a big smile on my face because you just said you did a 153 episodes or so and and maybe not once spoke about direct mail. And look, that's that is at its core why we thought there was an opportunity and we could potentially help the marketing ecosystem. So look, as I mentioned, yeah, the first 18 years of my career, it was all digital. You know? And that was, you know, I started back in the era of everybody just wanting hits to their website. Right? And and it was rent to email this and putting, you know, nonmeasurable banner ads on on website and do you want above the fold or below the fold? And and, yeah, we'll take remnant inventory through pages deep. But, yeah, all these kind of crazy things to think about, 20 years later, then, yeah, there was lead generation and then eventually there was retargeting and programmatic and e mount all these things, And like many of your listeners, we rode the Cotels of Facebook Certainly Google, but from a demand generation perspective, we built some really big brands. Brands that were doing 100 of 1,000,000 of dollars in where Facebook was 80% of our marketing budget. And I remember the days 15 years ago where Facebook was a place you had to spend money in playing experiment, but nothing worked from a performance and measurement perspective. They didn't have their targeting capabilities and investing machine learning. They were focused on selling into big brands because they didn't know that they could actually drive performance from within their platform. And then, and then I remember all of a sudden, their look alike, engine came out and they had made this big investment in in building their targeting machine. And all of a sudden, all of us marketing it does look like geniuses. And and we're, yeah, we're talking about things like data science machine learning and whatnot, and we didn't know anything about it. We just knew that we could feed, you know, training audiences into Facebook and Facebook would go and and and use their to target impressions that reach people that they thought would convert highly, and all of a sudden it just magically started working. And it worked for a long time and then they changed their algorithms and then they started charging us to reach people that we already bought we were paying for likes and all these crazy things that started to get us a little angry and a little frustrated. And then and then they're, you know, the demand side of their Their platform exploded and ad rates went to the roof, and the ceiling came way down. And so for us, we were living in this world, again, not with small little businesses, but businesses have raised tens of 1,000,000 of dollars of venture and that we're generating 100 of 1,000,000 of dollars of revenue. And literally, we had these marketing teams and CEOs who were were in a good mood if Facebook was behaving that day and a really bad scared mood if Facebook wasn't behaving, and you look around and you're like, gosh, you know, you can't build a business with a singular fail point in your growth trajectory, but there was nothing else in digital at that point. This was 20,016 or so. And TikTok didn't exist. it was still the DANSbite app or whatever it was called, yet Snap existed, but didn't have an ads platform. email is, you know, yeah, open rates were dwindling. It was not an environment of innovation in digital anymore, and so we started spending more time offline. and said, one of the offline channels that have potential to look and behave like Facebook, like programmatic, like retargeting, like email, that we could run quantitative, test and optimization playbooks on, and direct mail, at least here in the US because of of the ability to use, you have certain datasets for targeting that look more like digital datasets, it gave us a lot of hope. And when we set out to execute those campaigns and their strategies on direct mail, we learned really quickly that nothing executionally had changed in 30, 40 years. And it was just, it was a terrible, you know, existence for a marketer trying to deploy direct mail campaigns. And so that to us was idea of, like, well, maybe we could build the tools to make it easy to run direct mail, and that may give another yeah. Put another tool in the tool chest of marketers across the world. A little bit of a long answer, but that that that is the the real authentic.

Richard Hill [00:08:00]:

Okay. So, obviously, working in faith working with Meta, face Facebook. I don't know what day of the week it is. I call I still call it Facebook ads, but I get told off every day for that in in the office. But -- Metas. Yeah. I guess it's meta. So And then, obviously, things changing very, very rapidly. And then went into the direct mail side, and now, obviously, integrating the 2. So what I am interested in finding out is that sort of integration piece between the two on using, you know, data from other sources to then at when x, y, and z happens. I think what we're saying is something happens. Something is sent. You know? So you've got a thing around the addresses, getting those addresses, and then something at a certain point, whether that's at the beginning of relationship or through a through a sequence to a lifetime value. And I'm sure it's all of those things, but Just talk to us about that a bit more.

Dave Fink [00:08:46]:

Sure. And and I I will just, you know, just close-up front that that we operate in the US. And so they're we're not governed by GDPR. I know there are certain limitations that need to be taken into account when thinking about what's possible what you have access to if

Dave Fink [00:09:06]:

you're in Europe. And so I just wanna make sure that your listeners know I'm not

Dave Fink [00:09:10]:

an expert on GDPR, and there may be things that I talk about that wouldn't play in in the UK.

Richard Hill [00:09:18]:

And so please use your discretion there and and make sure you're you're up to date. I'm I'm yeah. You're okay. GDPR expert either, and I think we probably will not have an episode on GDPR because, I believe, the dullest episode will have a shot.

Dave Fink [00:09:32]:

It it it wouldn't be fun nor a happy episode, I think, in general. But Yeah. So I'll start with just what what interested, you know, me and my cofounder, Jonathan, about direct mail from the start.

Richard Hill [00:09:47]:


Dave Fink [00:09:50]:

it's a channel that that is addressable, right? You're talking about reaching individuals at specific households. And that's where a lot of the magic of online advertising came instead of running by ads on TV shows based on the general demographic that they probably got half right doing their surveys you're actually building audiences based on much more predictive data and knowledge. And so what that means is that old adage of I know that 50% of my marketing budget's waste that I just don't know which 50%, that all of a sudden is not an issue anymore. It's it's, hey, every dollar I put to work, I can do so with more knowledge that I had yesterday and drive more efficient results.

Dave Fink [00:10:42]:

And so when you start with addressability,

Dave Fink [00:10:45]:

there's just so much more that you can be in control of. And so that's the world that we come from, and certainly brand and storytelling and Virelli and all and all those things matter a lot as well. But there are other experts that can focus on those strategies and we'll focus on what we know well, which is the quantitative. So when you look at direct mail, there were a few kind of core tent poles that that made it really interesting. One is, anyone with a physical address is reachable. So it's a massive channel, and that's always one of the requirements that I when I was around the marketing teams was, it's great that we found this unique marketing channel, but it's gonna take time to get it optimized and is it scalable? If we put in the work and effort, is there Is it worth is is the is the, you know, the fruit worth to squeeze? Yeah. Like, what difference does it make if you spend all this time optimizing perfection on this channel and it reaches three people. will direct mail reaches the entire addressable market.

Dave Fink [00:11:53]:

2, this is the piece where there may be some divergence in what

Dave Fink [00:11:57]:

available in the UK and what's available in the US, but there's tremendous amount of deep meaningful data. And there is demographic data and transactional data and behavioral data sets, and these are multibillion dollar companies that are following all US based privacy laws, but aggregating data that can be used in very similar ways for targeting predictability, optimization, as, you know, as the data that Facebook collects to their pixel or meta collects through its pixel network or Google collects through its pixel network. now all of a sudden you have addressability of this huge addressable market, lots of reach,

Dave Fink [00:12:35]:

and scale, and you have a tremendous amount of data that in

Dave Fink [00:12:39]:

theory can be used to drive better performance, more knowledge, more insights. And then the last piece that really is is kind of that holy grail in quantitative marketing is the measurement piece. And so in a world where, especially with your listeners who are all capturing address level data at checkout at conversion because the transactions made directly with the consumer, you now can triangulate someone who received an ad through the mail in a specific campaign or ad campaign with someone that thereafter came and converted with your your your business, your service, your product, and and now you you know it worked and what didn't work, and you can rinse and repeat and make better decisions tomorrow from the insights you gain today. Like, that doesn't look any different than advertising and meta. Yeah. Or on the Trade Desk or dv360 or whatever ad server platform you use. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I wonder how many how many of our listeners are actually doing direct mail now. would imagine

Richard Hill [00:13:39]:

it's gotta be in the single digits, I would think. That would be my yeah. It it could be. I mean, look. Here,

Dave Fink [00:13:46]:

the US, it's about a $50,000,000,000 US market, but greatly dominated by bigger companies that have of resources because it historically is gonna clunky, very manual channel to execute. Takes lots of people to do it. And I would imagine very similar in in in the UK. That doesn't mean it's not a performance channel. It just means it's hard to execute. It does make it easier. It's a great word for it. I think clunk clunky who's probably something that

Richard Hill [00:14:14]:

from my you know, we're doing it from an agency's perspective, not from a on a large scale and on eCom perspective, literally, 2 weeks ago, I think it will take a day. I think, yeah, literally, 2 weeks ago, we sent out a package or what we call our purple envelopes where our branding is purple for our agency that is behind the the podcast. and we sent out a 100 purple envelopes with an invitation to an event that we ran we've we've ran it now, ran it a few days ago. And that we sent out a 100 when we got I'm not gonna say the exact amount, actually, but we can x amount of people that came to the event, and then we know from well, areas, and we know from previous purple envelope drops that we've done before, we will get x amount of people to an event, an x amount of those people in time will become customers. It's quite a long sales process, our business. It can be. Yeah. You know? And, you know, we've think, literally, yesterday, we had a customer sign up with us. I mean, our our, you know, our, I guess, our typical customer spends you know, tens tens of 1000, if not a 100 of 1000 a year with this. So it's not a 1 minute sort of per decision to take, but that probably they came to an event in 4 months ago. So that's, like, a 4 months sales cycle, but that contract's worth about $70, I think, somewhere there. So, you know, I'm a massive, like yeah. I love it, but it is very clung for us. So, you know, the listeners that are listening now ecommerce store, one is, you know, most of our guys are on the the usual suspects, the big commerce, the Shopify, that type of thing. What would you say to those guys when they say, direct mail is a waste of time, you know, and a waste of money. I think that's generally a lot of people. It's usually because they've not done it. They say, alright. So it's it's based on money. I won't work. What would you say to those guys? Well, it depends if I was in a argumentative mood or not.

Dave Fink [00:16:05]:

Yeah. I mean, 1st and foremost, it's you know, I I would, you know, ask for, you know, a dialogue of of of what you just said. Have you have you tried it before? And if so, walk me through, you know, how you've tried it. You know, our our goal I mean, that there are literally, you know, 1000 and 1000 of advertisers. I think we have sort of like 6000 advertisers that we consider in our total addressable market. there's no shortage of clients that are that could be prospects. And so our goal is to find those that are open minded and ready to go. But we're really a mission driven company. We started this company because as I shared earlier, we felt the pain point as direct to consumer marketers that have been, you know, relying on Meta as almost a singular fail point, and that's not a healthy place a selling place. It's not a pleasant place to be. So this wasn't, you know, this wasn't an opportunistic business where we're like, oh, we we can make a little bit of money here by, you know, getting people to do direct mail is how do we alleviate some pain points? How can we be the pain killer the greater marketing world, and we won't be satisfied until every brand is playing with the channel. And doesn't mean it's for every brand, it's gonna be their lead channel, Some it will be, and some it'll be complementary, but it'll make, you know, it's yeah, all blow dries with the tide. So you gotta run a media mix approach if you want longevity and if you don't wanna be wake up one day and realize that hey, things were good for 6 months another bad, and it's gonna take us 6 more months to figure out our next channel. So with that being said, I mean, everything that we do is measured, like, as a fact. So we're not the brand people. not about, like, hey, we think more people are aware of you. It's it's simply, here's what you're spending on these tactics for these goals, whether that's a cost per acquisition goal, a time value to get a ratio or return it. -- measure them with a so if we're sending a physical thing,

Richard Hill [00:18:12]:

you know, whether that's, you know, what I would refer to as a postcard or you know, a big box of stuff. How do you measure when that person buys from you if they've never bought from you before?

Dave Fink [00:18:22]:

Yeah. So great question. And the answer is there are different layers that depending on who you are and what data you collect as an advertiser, you can do to have clean measurement. The ideal world, you know, the ideal client is always one who captures address at at the point of conversion. So if you're if you're, you know, an online service provider that gets address, if you're anybody selling anything, of course, you have to ship it. So you're capturing at least shipping address have not gone either. You can see then the repurchase or the second second order. Yeah. Well, you get or or that first order. Right? And so so in in our world, right, every piece of mail is addressed to an individual at a specific address. right? So you're building an addressable audience and the campaign gets deployed and on the poste platform because it's an ad server, You may be running 5, 10, 20 different, you know, ad creatives. Each one of those creatives is structured on the Posty platform the same way that it would be in a in, you know, on on, you know, the Meta platform in in an ad group, and you deploy your campaign here in the US, the US Postal Service does delivery scan so you know when that piece of malware is delivered. And that opens up what we call the attribution window. We have a default attribution window from running 1000 and 1000 campaigns that we use but an advertiser can dictate what that window that they wanna look at measurement is. And and then in in our world, we're integrated with that client either through a server server integration or with their TEP or through a pixel, and they're passing in all conversion data into their post the account. And that conversion data is getting normalized and then matched up against all of the audiences that receive the mail during that attribution window. And when it finds a match, it can attribute that conversion at least partially to that specific piece of mail, that ad that was included in your campaign. That's in simplest form. There are advertisers that don't have, don't capture address at conversion point, and there are things we can do with -- Yeah. -- you know, email of pens and whatnot. And and then we're playing with you know, it's not it's not ideal. It's not as it's not as deterministic, but you can use vanity URLs. You can use QR code scans. -- actually. Yeah. out of the our first time is pearls, personalized URLs. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. And and those are all we call them secondary attribution methods because consumers are so lazy and if you're a brand that's doing a good job, communicating a number of ways. Chances are if someone receives a piece of mail, they're not gonna go to a longer URL just because it's written on the piece of mail, they're gonna go and open a browser and type in the brand, and they're gonna click a brand search term, and they're gonna end up on that website. And you and but but that piece of mail still greatly aided or was the determining factor in that that consumer engagement. And so, yeah, the closer you can get to that address match, the more holistic the more deterministic your measurement is. And so for us, that's part of the process during end of the sales cycle and then the ongoing cycle, which is figuring out the best, you know, cleanest measurement that each advertiser has, the vast majority of brands that we work with are capturing that conversion data, and so it's cleaning. It's 1 to 1. highly, highly effective and highly predictive in future performance.

Richard Hill [00:22:02]:

Good. So eye listeners will be thinking right. Okay. So ecom store. you know, sort of things that are actually working. So from your ex experience, what type of direct mail campaigns work well? ReconStores? you know, to generate real revenue. You got some examples of sort of campaigns that you've actually ran. You know, our guys, some sort of inspiration and ideas about the sort of things that work in the real world.

Dave Fink [00:22:28]:

Yeah. So and and here's where my my guess is you're listening or some somewhere and say, hey. I don't know if some of these fly in a GDPR governed environment, but we're gonna talk about them anyways because it it will affect our mind, I think. And So one of the things that that I fell in love with really early on in the direct mail channel is it's a tool that can be used full funnel. So we think about the marketing funnel in 3 big buckets. So, yeah, the holy grail for everybody is top is top of funnel. acquisition? How do I get more customers? That's the fastest way to grow and build a big, big business. And direct mail has proven to be highly highly effective in many verticals in driving top of funnel acquisition. So, yeah, that's that that's kind of step 1 in the funnel. Step 2, well, we'll jump to step 3. Step 3 is bottom of the funnel, so CRM customer engagement tactics. This is an area where I believe everything is on the table. Each within a GDPR environment, and that's, hey. You have customers that you've engaged with or you have the leads that had given you permission to communicate with them. And and now it's your job to figure out how do you stay top of mind, how do you stay relevant, how do you engage with those individuals on a yep. Through as many channels, as possible so that they think about you first when considering making a purchase, a secondary purchase. And indirect knowledge, for a 100 years has been a dramatically effective CRM and reengagement tool. it's it's just it's it's very personal. It's it's obviously one to one targeting. What are you sending them then? What's what's worked? What are the actual things that have gone? Well so in in our world, because everything that we do is is is d to c. It's it's, you know, consumer marketing versus, you know, accounts what what we what I would call accounts based marketing. So the type of marketing that you do and the type of marketing that I do, is a little bit different because you're talking about, like you said, potentially 70 to a $100,000 order value

Richard Hill [00:24:43]:

Yep. That's a different most of our listeners will be selling, trying to think, you know, things,

Dave Fink [00:24:48]:

whether it's shoes, sweaters, clothing, apparel.

Richard Hill [00:24:52]:

Yep. That doesn't work. Whether it's -- phones or wallet, I'm just looking at the things on my desk, you know, glasses, everything. You know, they're selling physical things. You can't -- Consumer goods. Yeah. lower average order value or mid average order value. So in that world, we have

Dave Fink [00:25:06]:

tested beyond imagination. And I think there's a belief by especially brand marketers or designer types that the fans here, the more clever the creative is on a, like, an ad format, crazy folded pieces in origami and spinners and levers and whatever. that it's gonna perform better. It happens from time to time, but definitively like our winner almost exclusively our standard oversized postcards. So like the bread and butter that most advertisers start with, is an oversized, you know, 6 by 9 postcard. It stands up and stack them out. It gives you plenty of real estate but it's still fairly controlled. Yeah. It's like, yeah, it's kinda like a billboard in someone's home. It's a it it And and the and there's a number of reasons why I think it works. One is, it's just from a cost efficiency perspective, it's noticeably more affordable to produce than something more complicated. And at the end of the day, it also kind of pushes the brand to think about the messaging, the headline, the offer, the imagery that they're using, the color palette versus kind of relying on some crazy, you know, not I'm crazy, terrible, but some unique ad format. It's their brand story that's telling that the focused on. It's the benefits, it's the differentiation that their proctor service has. And so that combined with the cost efficiency of production, leads to winners. ABM is different. So you and I can certainly have that conversation offline a little bit when you're talking about like, this is the CMO that is the decision maker at this, you know, this $25,000,000, $10,000,000 to your business, they're gonna be interviewing lots of different agencies and we need to stand out. That's different than I'm selling, sneakers, and and I gotta just catch someone's attention enough for them to engage with my my brand, my story, to give us a shot and come to our website.

Richard Hill [00:27:24]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So an oversized postcard is sort of the main thing leading with the brand story. the sort of differentiator over, you know, the other sort of maybe standard things in the market. And then that's leading them back to an offer. on the on the site usually?

Dave Fink [00:27:45]:

Yeah. Or or promoted in in the actual creative itself. I mean, look, you gotta create urgency. You gotta give someone a reason to to kinda mobilize and take that step and and we're humans. That's awesome. You may know this. We're we're lazy by nature. Like, we want one less thing to do, not one more thing to do. So anything we can do to create a little bit of urgency and and excite is helpful. It doesn't mean it has to be percent of drop dollar off, but some reason it could be a limited edition drop of a new product. It could be, you know, a new color palette. It could be

Dave Fink [00:28:20]:

something that is -- Yeah. -- a little bit time sensitive or you use communicate you use messaging

Dave Fink [00:28:25]:

that creates that sense of of urgency. Yeah. That's important.

Richard Hill [00:28:30]:

I think with limited time stuff, that's a really good I don't really like that. Yeah. So in terms of, like, retention and sort of customer loyalty, talk to me about how that plays in because I see that as a, you know, massive opportunity. Obviously, everybody knows about, you know, acquisition costs, etcetera, and it's all about really lifetime value and paying those people. So in terms of using direct mail, for their retention and they're buying again and again, potentially dot loyalty, etcetera. Yeah. Absolutely. So I I may

Dave Fink [00:29:00]:

I'm a big student of behavioral Economics And Social Psychology and trying to understand why I do the things that I do. still haven't figured it out. So I'm leaving ideas. Let let me let me know. But I I I'm a, yeah, a a kid big consumer of of of research and even sort of more like the culture novels around habits and whatnot. Habit forming is a big deal. It just is, you know, it's human nature, I think, to stay within their comfort zone and repeat the things that, you know, that feel good and reinforce, you know, endorphins flowing through a brain and whatnot. And

Dave Fink [00:29:45]:

And so when we think about all that effort, all that budget, all that cost that goes into acquiring a new

Dave Fink [00:29:52]:

customer, That's just step 1. Like we didn't create a habit or relationship with that person just because they took out their wallet time and and bought our product. Now it's now it's it's almost like a pay like like, we got paid to generate a lead. Right? And there might have been a little bit of margin in that transaction. Now it's our job to build that habit, right,

Dave Fink [00:30:15]:


Dave Fink [00:30:18]:

to turn that into part of their daily, weekly, monthly annual ritual And if you're a business that has tighter frequencies or intervals between purchase, you have a little bit of advantage there. But even if you're not, even if you're an annualized purchase, it could be a service like lawn cleanup once a year you know, if if you're that log service provider, you don't want someone going and doing another Google search next year this time. You want them to remember who you are or to think about, you know, the memorable experience that they had and how do you do that? And, you know, communication is more possible now than ever before. used to be, like, direct mail was maybe the only way you could do it. You know, now we have the ability to build email lists and SMS communication. But direct mail is a really weighty component of that relationship. right? Eventually, every research is turning out emails. Yeah, it's important. It's really inexpensive. You gotta invest in But then you gotta think about what are other ways that we can stay top of mind that we get engaged with that consumer, that we could build that relationship a tangible physical piece of mail at an opportune time with some valuable messaging and go a long way to help reinforcing Yep. That that that have it. And and that's the key. It's you don't wanna have to pay to, you know, acquire every new customer, you don't wanna build a leaky bucket until and keep putting water in in the top, you wanna patch those holes and figure out how to keep people, you know, hanging out in your bucket.

Richard Hill [00:32:02]:

sort of smart brands that we've that I bought from, and we work with use personalized packaging, which is you know, it's it's associated with what we're talking about in a fashion, isn't it? Where so, for example, during lockdown, I subscribed to probably every coffee subscription firm, you know, that's a lot 3 years ago. You know? And then every you'd you'd set your frequency. So every 2 months, every month, know, and very you know, I think I said, well, so I ended up with 3 in the end, so not everyone. I had 3 that I stayed I stood with. 1 was on a 3 month cycle. 1 was on a 2 month cycle. 1 was on a monthly cycle, but I coffee coming out my ears left Ryan Center. But the company that stood out the most was the company that sent it in personalized packaging every time as I opened it. It's like, hey, Richard. You know, you're one order away from the platinum club. You know, then a personalized card about their the family that grew the beans in Ecuador or wherever it may be. So there's a nice story about the the the families and their and the the growers and the brands that they're working with as as the and producers, but then I'm getting a personalized packaging and and mentions about where I am in their loyalty scheme as well. So I stood with them a long while. I've actually canceled it now because I've got I've got that much coffee in the house and stuff. Yeah. I need I need a little breather. I need to get through it all. But that packaging And the coffee was great, absolutely, but the packaging and the way it was done, you know, I think that well, I know that's why I stuck. You know, that definitely helped me me stick with them. Now that company, I think, goes on a on a bimonthly. So if it's circa 3 years, you know, I had 8 18 orders from them as opposed to that one order, because the packaging, that's not -- Oh, yeah.

Dave Fink [00:33:45]:

Yeah. Yeah. You you you were great. You're a high LTV customer at at that point. Yeah. I mean, remember, you know, back when YouTube first came in the scene in marketers, we're figuring out how to, you know, infiltrate that platform. it the the other term unboxing videos was a big big deal. Right? It was was could you get, you know, user user generated content about the experience of unboxing. And I I knew lots of you know, great companies and entrepreneurs that we're building, unbelievable products and unboxing experiences. Sadly, I also knew a bunch of entrepreneurs who were, you know, drawing nonstandard products in really nice boxes and having these unbelievable unboxing experience per product, it's fairly undifferentiated. And they did fine too -- Yeah. -- because there is something about that experience and it's crazy. I'm forty seven years old. And I still, like, order, like, a $4 item sometimes for you know, on Amazon, and I'm excited for the thing to come. And if it's, like, a delayed a day, I I, like it's, like, sadness -- Oh, yeah. Yeah. -- because the experience of getting something through the mail is is -- Isn't it?

Richard Hill [00:34:55]:

Yeah. -- it's just joyful. That's like our house. You know? We've I've got 2 teenagers that order order. They're right. You know, they're they got their own accounts. They're you know, Amazon, etcetera. And postman on knock on the door or delivery drive. Who's it for? Who's it for? Exactly. What is it mine? Yeah. Like, they can stab each other to, like, get back in. That just happened, like, an hour probably an hour and a half ago. Big Box. I'm thinking, no. I didn't order anything. Is it is it mine? Is it mine? And it's not. It's my son's. My son buys and sells a lot of things online as well. So He has more than more arrive than I do, really. So it's a it's a it's pretty cool. So for those that are thinking about sort of dipping their toe or, you know, investing into into direct mail. What are some of the things that some of the challenges that they maybe need to be aware of, the things that you've seen things to avoid, you know, the mistakes that hopefully our listeners listeners don't have to spend that $10 on. You know, what are some of the potential challenges that they may come across that they can avoid?

Dave Fink [00:35:55]:

Sure. And then I would look at which we operated in the UK and at some point we might. But So I I we can't be a solution for for your listeners that are marketing in the UK to UK. residents, but at some point, if they were looking to expand into the US, we could definitely make life easy. So I can't provide you, look, the technology and software makes it simple to do really complicated things to drive performance. What I can share is the some of the I think the thought that should go into how you structure campaigns

Richard Hill [00:36:36]:

that you may have to more manually execute it yourself. You may be more on the physical side of the actual thing that is sent. you know, the thing you know, with the the copy, maybe, the the messaging -- Yeah. -- maybe that. Yeah. That's so so one,

Dave Fink [00:36:50]:

it doesn't matter what channel it is. You gotta start with the hypothesis. And that's a little bit of marking 101, but you know, direct mail is has a cost, right? There's a cost because it's not even the paper. It's really the it's postage that is the heft of the cost and so you're gonna invest some some capital into experimenting with the channel, you can't just go into it and wing it. You gotta you know, start by thinking through what you're trying to accomplish. And and then that doesn't have to it doesn't mean it has to be rocket science, but you have to put some thought into who the audience is, what the message is, and why the timing's right at this point. And and it doesn't mean you have to get it right. I'm not about, like, I'm not about getting it right. If you're someone who's, like, unwilling to to your friends that that's unwilling to to risk a little bit of budget to learn something and try and get smarter and progress your business. Like, yeah, that's a that's a challenge. Like, you gotta be able to put a little bit of skin in the game if you wanna grow. That is just that's a fact right? So, yeah, there and trust me, there are advertisers, really big savvy advertisers where, like, they show up and they're like, can you guarantee performance for me? And and it's just, like, that's nonsense. And and and I'll tell Mike, like, our our sales team, like, don't even engage. Like, just be like, hit it directly and call them out and and and everybody knows, I guess maybe an affiliate marketing, there's a little bit of a guarantee, but but that would that's, like, the one channel. What that means is that, yeah, you need to have a plan. You have to think about what you're trying to accomplish. And and we talked about measurements. So it starts it's gotta start with, okay. What is the way that you're gonna measure this? And and it sounds like most of your listeners are ecommerce brands. And so there is direct measure. They're gonna be able to look and see the address of it, name and address of the individuals that converted, and they're gonna be able to match that against an audience that they mailed, whether that's CRM file or whether that's a, you know, a co branded, you know, advertisement they they did with a non competitive brand that that has permission to market and there are different ways you can build audiences. But if you know how you're gonna measure it, that makes light, then you know you'll walk away having some insights as to whether what you tested was effective or not. The next piece is with messaging, direct mail is no different than any other channel. But don't think that you should tell some other wild crazy story in direct mail because it's not you know, Instagram news feed ad or Facebook news feed ad. You know what your brand is and you already have some insight into what your selling proposition is? What your benefit statements are? What headlines catch people' attention? Do lifestyle imagery work in your ads? Do you product, imagery look at work in your ads, other hero products that that when featured perform better, start with what already works in your other channels. with your emails. Like like, it is You have 99 out of a hundred times direct mail that looks and feels like the best performing communication from other channels are gonna work. One of the exercises that we that we like to do is when we have a new advertisement that comes on board and they've never done direct mail and they're nervous and what I do here We'll do a screen share session. We'll just go to their their Instagram page. And look at what's And we'll look for the images that got the most engagement. Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:40:28]:

Yeah. It's not rocket science. Is it a lot of that stuff to be fair? I think it does get over complicated, and then, obviously, you you're running a brand that's doing $10,000,000, whatever it may be. You you know, success leaves a few clues, as I say. Isn't it? So you probably got ad campaigns that are the 8020 of the 8020 that delivering, you know, whatever it is, 85 percent of the revenue quite often. So there's a reason why they are probably -- You know? -- take it a slice of that. and mixing it in with, you know, the brand more potentially. So direct mail mail and ecommerce. Next 12 months, rest of all time, what are what do you expect to see in the next 12 months and what sort of opportunities are there for our listeners to look out for on direct mail?

Dave Fink [00:41:13]:

Sure. Well, well, look. I think in marketing in general, it's gonna be critical, and they're gonna be 2 divergent camps of mark or brands. They're gonna be we're certainly in a very different economic environment than we were in 18 months ago. Right? We came out of, like, the most rip roaring economy money was flowing out of faucets, and it was really easy to be a marketer. And I think sometimes we all fell asleep at the wheel and and thought that it was always gonna be easy. now we're in an environment where it's not gonna be so easy, and you gotta be better at what you do. and that's just a fact. And so there are gonna be brands that aren't just outperform, and are gonna be able to capture market share in an economy with headwinds whereas many of the other brands that underperform are probably gonna go by the wayside, struggle, be wounded if they survive by the time the the market turns around, and I think it's we're probably looking at 18 months at this point. And additionally, 2 months, I think we're like halfway through the downturn. So what that means is you gotta be smarter. You gotta think in terms of providing the world differentiation. Like, you can't just sit back and say, like, this is a big market. There's a bunch of dollars being spent, and so we're gonna go and capture some of it. You gotta think how do we emerge as a leader, how do we emerge as a brand that someone who's gonna be more discerning in their consumer behaviors, are gonna choose to make an exception and actually spend some of their harder money on. And so in the direct mail world, I think that that if you think about the direct mail as being a channel that's a little bit more expensive on a per reach basis, the advertisers that are going to lean in and invest in the channel naturally are gonna be a bit savvier, have a little bit of guts, and be pushing themselves to be really performing. in a tough market. And so I think the brands that are leaning into direct mail, just by self selection, natural selection are gonna end up being the brands that are gaining market share where I think those that kind of curl up in their shell and and just hope that that it all goes away and the money so playing again are the ones that that are probably not gonna be around in 18 months. That's my that's my guess. Yeah. No. I'm I'm

Richard Hill [00:43:49]:

I'm with you. You know? I think you keep doing what you're doing or you can try and stand out or stand out, you know, and, obviously, what a great channel to be able to do that. But, obviously, you've got a test. Gotta be careful. But I think if you're not using a percentage of your marketing budget, full stop on testing, whether that's within an existing channel or a new channel, you know, you are gonna get quite stagnant. You know? So I think, yeah, that's a great great finish. I like to end every episode, Dave, with a book recommendation. Do you have a book to recommend to our listeners?

Dave Fink [00:44:21]:

I could if I if I showed you my office right now, I I love your your shelf here. I'm gonna do this. Hopefully, I don't make any they can help with that. But it's similar to you.

Richard Hill [00:44:35]:


Dave Fink [00:44:36]:

Okay. I should see what I'm looking at now. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. What was the guitars? Oh, yeah. The guitarist. Yeah. I I wasn't even thinking about that. But Gosh. I I this year, I've read I read 40 books. Yeah. We could go a lot of different directions. So

Richard Hill [00:44:56]:

Big one. Let's go.

Dave Fink [00:44:59]:

I wanna make this count, and I should've I meant to prepare a little bit for this. I'm literally looking around I'll tell you one that was just fascinating. That's like a departure from a business book, but super inspiring and shows you, like, talent and creativity and whatnot. is I've been reading a bunch of these, like, 800 page biographies and Walter Isaacson, who's an unbelievable biographer. did one on Leah, Leonardo DaVinci. And I'm definitely not an art historian, but I appreciate art. I knew very little about him other than the Mona Lisa, really. Yep. He's a fascinating guy for entrepreneurs listening to your show. mean, he really was he defined what a Renaissance man was all the interests and just he just yeah. He he was not the most prolific. Painter because he was pulled in a 1000 different directions based on whatever interested him at the time -- Yeah. -- fascinating read.

Richard Hill [00:46:01]:

Brilliant. Right? We'll get that linked up. I'll get that in the basket. I'm on I've got a couple of week vacation. Literally, when this airs, I think it'll be literally tomorrow or, like, in a 3 or 4 days time. So I've got a couple of on the on the list of me. We'll add that to our list as well. Take your time. I can send you a list about 200. And

Dave Fink [00:46:19]:

-- Is it Yeah. And finally, I've got there's about 400 behind me. That's just a part of a shelf that goes like this that goes like that. Yeah. I'm Zoom No. I it's funny. I I have been, like, squinting and trying to see if I could make out what's on on on your shelf, but we'll have to do that as, like, a part 2 or something. Yeah. It gets

Richard Hill [00:46:37]:

I'm trying to show you if I can. I'm trying to do a if I go

Dave Fink [00:46:43]:

oh, no. Yeah. Oh, went the wrong way. And by the way, I love that you did what I did this year, which is I started organizing books based on color for the aesthetic, and I can't find anything. No. Like, there's no -- Certain colors. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you have to like, I hear there are all the white books and there are all the, you know, the teal books, and I gotta I have to, like, memorize, like, what the spine color of the book was if I wanted to find it. That was that was me earlier. I was looking for the stickle is the way, I think, is the one in it. I know it's blue, so I'm here.

Richard Hill [00:47:17]:

But it actually isn't there. So it's at my office office. It's my home office, but I've got, say, similar out of work. Well, thanks for coming on the show. Yeah. It takes me out of me. And for those that wanna find out more about yourself, more about posting, what's the best way to do that?

Dave Fink [00:47:34]:

So, certainly, you know, we put effort into putting great content in our website at hoste.compostie.com. And then, yeah, the the my communication platform of choice is is LinkedIn Messenger. That's always an easy one because it's easy to kinda see the nature of the person reaching out and kinda what their background is and why they might be reaching So that that's a that's a good place to find me. Brilliant. So, yeah, linkedinandthenpostie.com.

Richard Hill [00:48:06]:

Fantastic. Well, thanks for coming on, and I'll speak to you again soon. Sounds great. Thanks for having me. Hi.

Discover New Opportunities To Unlock Hidden Revenue Discover New Opportunities To Unlock Hidden Revenue