Continuing my coverage of Postal.io following their $22 million Series B…
The Postal market supports 600 vendors, providing them with a corporate sales channel without spending on corporate channel marketing. Their vendor network is growing organically through word of mouth. Last month they added 149 vendors.
“Vendors can add their products to the Postal Marketplace and get direct access to B2B buyers as their preferred corporate sending partner,“ Product Marketing Director Allyssa Eclarin explained to GZ Consulting. Items can be purchased off-the-shelf or customized. For example, companies can send cookies with corporate logos or baby gifts with the child’s name or curated boxes for special occasions.
“People don’t necessarily want another Starbucks gift card. They want to hear that you heard them, that you value them, and that you understand their interests. Maybe you send them a mug of their favorite sports team or where they went to college, or a new baby bundle. Personalization matters. And that’s what we’re finding is people are getting more personalized than ever. People are automating this channel, and it’s working.”Postal Director Product Marketing Director Allyssa Eclarin
Furthermore, now that we are entering people’s homes via Zoom, there is a greater level of intimacy for personalizing gifts.
Postal also supports automated direct mail, incentive marketing, brand advocacy, internal and external events, and branded company swag. CRM and MAP partner platforms include Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, and Eloqua.
For Salesloft and Outreach, Postal may be added as a sequence/cadence step, streamlining the gifting process. Gifts may be sent via email, social, direct message, or direct mail, with Postal tracking gifts and supporting analytics such as the cost per touch. Postal also offers a “Magic Link,” a unique URL that can be inserted into an email or social channel. For example, reps can send gifts through a DM and avoid the “what’s your email?” discussion with a magic link. The link is then tracked for shipping, attribution, budgeting, and analytics. Magic links can also be used for “send on behalf of” situations (e.g., an SDR building a relationship for the AE).
With face-to-face meetings stopped during the pandemic, e-gifting and personalized gifts are among the few methods for building goodwill and generating positive memories. Offline marketing platforms such as Postal, Sendoso, PFL, and Alyce have seen robust growth over the past eighteen months as sales reps struggle to build relationships.
Traditional gifting has been cumbersome and difficult to track, but offline marketing platforms streamline gift selection, logistics, and tracking, letting reps know when a gift has been received. Gifting serves multiple purposes: establishing a relationship, rewarding webinar attendance, keeping in touch with a champion during an absence (e.g., health, maternity / paternity leave), or maintaining goodwill (e.g., holiday gifts, birthday gifts).
“As marketing becomes increasingly technical and formulaic, businesses are struggling to create moments that break through the noise. The adoption of digital marketing has ironically made it harder than ever to truly connect with consumers. Postal is among the first to personalize marketing automation by creating a bridge between a boutique front-end marketplace and the established systems already embedded in most marketing technology stacks. The friction between offline and online marketing disappears, making it simple for brands to build more meaningful connections with consumers in any industry.”Eugene Lee, OMERS Ventures (Postal.io investor)
Along with the funding round, Postal announced a set of product enhancements:
- Domestic and international warehousing for branded products.
- International gifting across seventy countries with wallets and pricing in local currencies.
- Postal Events, launched in February, supports hybrid teams. Postal Event enhancements include custom event images on event pages, customized event email templates and messaging, custom form fields on registration pages, and integration of Postal Events with Salesforce Campaigns.
- Calendar booking on gift landing pages
Postal.io posted 10X ARR growth year-over-year and added over 250 new customers and 4,000 users. The firm is based in San Luis Obispo.
Postal and its competitors disagree on their category name, with terms such as Tactile Marketing, Sending Platform, and Personal Experience Platform. Postal uses the category name Offline Marketing Automation. The G2 review site has the firms categorized as Account-Based Direct Mail Software.
Postal customers “get it.” They say, “you’re going to automate this channel that I know works. I’m already spending the money, but I have no way to attribute it, track it, push it back, check the ROI, or anything like that without a platform. Now, with Postal, they can, and customers are resonating with the term ‘offline marketing automation’,” explained Eclarin. “We’re seeing the same thing happening to our category as we saw with email marketing automation boom, with the rise of MailChimp and the like. We have given teams an automated, scalable, and repeatable way to manage their offline channels. “
A Postal license runs across the company with no per-seat pricing. Instead, admins set up individual and departmental budgets. Thus, the HR department can leverage Postal to build camaraderie (e.g., events), welcome new employees with swag packages, and express congratulations (e.g., baby, company anniversary). Likewise, managers can send gifts to reward performance.
Building camaraderie during WFH has become increasingly important for Postal. When events launched, roughly 70% were for marketing and 30% for team building. However, as Zoom fatigue settled in and the pandemic slowed the return to offices, companies began looking for fun team-building exercises that avoid Zoom burnout. Thus, corporate event volume has moved closer to parity with marketing events.
This is the third in a series of articles on Offline Marketing Automation (i.e. e-gifting and digital event marketing).