Programmatic Direct Mail Makes Its Debut

It’s more like digitally reactive direct mail, but PebblePost’s “programmatic direct mail” product may find itself on the programs of more Internet retailers after receiving $3 million in funding this week to step up its exposure.

Here’s how it works. A customer with an account on Macys.com clicks the bedding sale email in her inbox, shops around, and leaves a few items in her cart without purchasing. Within three days PebblePost’s direct mail response mechanism puts a postcard (below) in her mailbox with a a personalized offer. Think retargeting via the U.S. Mail.

“It’s physical retargeting of digital activity, but it’s also a powerful new form of direct mail,” says David Cooperstein, a former Forrester marketing analyst who serves as PebblePost’s CMO. “Here we know there’s interest and there’s relevancy, because these people were just on the website.”

Testers of PebblePost in its pilot phase were primarily online retailers and catalogers in possession of the first-party data with mailing addresses the system requires. Partners for the service include Axciom, Havas Digital, and 3Q Digital.

“For the first time, direct mail response path activity can be seen in real-time analytics, putting direct mail into the click stream for attribution,” says PebblePost’s CTO and Cofounder Rob Victor, a veteran of Google and Doubleclick.

The new venture’s other founder and CEO is Lewis Gersh of Metamorphic Ventures, whose previous investments in tech startups include Chango, Madison Logic, Sailthru, and Tapad. The seed funding round was led by Tribeca Ventures and ff Venture Capital.

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