Just as software has changed the world, we believe that APIs will soon become the fundamental building blocks of all companies. Twilio enables powerful telephony capabilities, Stripe gives simple access to complicated payments infrastructure, and AWS allows businesses to perform the most complex computing process in the cloud. With the APIs available today, businesses can start operating and scaling faster than ever before.
At Lob, we believe that communication in the offline world should be as effortless as it is digitally. By giving developers an API for printing and mailing, we hope to empower businesses everywhere to reach their customers in a more creative and high touch manner.
Email is Powerful & Everyone Uses It
Mailchimp did a great job explaining the concept and utility of "transactional" email. Triggered emails are a tool that businesses and marketers have long used to engage with customers and encourage particular behaviors. They are emails based on an action taken by, or directed towards an individual. We've all seen them before:
- Email verifications received after setting up a new account on any website
- Notifications received when friends tag you on Facebook
- Confirmations received after making purchases on Amazon.com
- the list goes on...
The beauty of triggered email is that it enables businesses to automatically send personalized communications to customers at a specific time based on actions taken. By performing a specified action, customers identify themselves at a certain point in the business's sales funnel. With this knowledge, the business can tailor content to fit that specific customer. Engaging customers in this manner ultimately drives dramatic improvements in conversion and customer experience.
With the emergence of services such as Amazon SES, Sendgrid, and Mailgun, it has become easy for companies of all sizes to build robust tools around email that serve as their primary channel for customer communication. When is the last time you signed up for any service, online or offline, and didn't receive an email in your inbox shortly thereafter?
This begs the question, why aren't these tools available for physical mail?
Is Direct Mail Dead?
In short, no. Direct mail is very much alive. It remains arguably the most powerful communication channel in terms of open-rate and conversions. Of the $42B in direct marketing spend in the US, direct mail is the #1 channel (bigger than search and display combined)! The problem is that physical mail has been lagging behind digital channels in terms of modern technical innovation. The main things that have scared companies away from direct mail are the difficulty to get started along with the lack of flexibility and agility. Indeed, if used incorrectly, direct mail can become a costly and ineffective endeavor. Technology should give you the tools to overcome these challenges.