Direct mail has proved to be an effective channel for thredUP, an e-commerce site selling second-hand clothes, to connect with particular groups of consumers.

Ray Yang, thredUP’s director/growth marketing, discussed this subject at CommerceNext 2019, a retail-focused conference in New York.

“We use direct mail a lot for retention – [targeting] what we call ‘high-quality customers,’” he explained. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How digital brand thredUP uses direct mail to reactivate lapsed customers.)

More specifically, the San Francisco-based enterprise has learned that postal efforts can boost reorder rates from a sub-set of previous customers by over 20%.

“What worked for us is [reaching] relatively-engaged customers,” Yang added. “The less-engaged customer has not really worked for us.”

The direct mail received by thredUP’s target audience is personalised to reflect an individual’s online browsing history. “So it’s not on the campaign level; it’s based on your behavior,” Yang said. “It’s pretty granular.”

E-commerce providers are accustomed to delivering recommendations that reflect a consumer’s past habits online, and expanding this tactic into offline channels is a valuable opportunity.

“Personalisation is definitely key to the success of our business,” Yang told the CommerceNext assembly. “It’s really important to take advantage of that.”

The personalised elements of thredUP’s mail pieces extend right down to the copy text and product images it features – as well as the brands on show, and tailored promo codes.

“Because of the richness of the data that we have, we really make the presentation one-on-one, individual level, and so make that touchpoint really, really relevant and resonate with them,” said Yang.

“I think a lot of direct mail, at this stage, is technology-driven. Because people’s shopping behaviors are different, you have to adapt. And with [the right] technology that’s possible. … When we think about the technology stack, the first thing we think about is personalisation.”

Sourced from WARC