WINPRO Pet Uses Direct Mail to Reach *All* Its Customers

Bill Bernardo is more of a dog guy than a horse guy. 

So when he was working for a company that was developing plasma science—a technology that uses blood plasma to reduce inflammation—for performance racehorses, he wanted to apply it to dogs. He had five of them at home, and wanted them to live long, healthy lives. 

And WINPRO Pet, which makes super-effective natural supplements for dogs, was born. 

“He made the leap of faith,” said Tim Mitchum, WINPRO’s president and CEO. “This stuff works so well for every other animal, let's bring it to dogs." 

Today, the company sells soft chews that alleviate allergies, improve gut health, strengthen joints, speed recovery, and more. Its supplements are so effective that some customers have been able to take their pets off medications with harmful side effects. 

Still, WINPRO’s products require a lot of customer education. And like just about every other DTC brand, it faces high customer acquisition costs. 

In this case study, we’ll explore how WINPRO uses direct mail to maximize its acquisition investments and reach as many customers as possible. 

The Problem: High Costs, Lots of Leakage

When WINPRO started, it used a distribution model. When that didn’t work, it shifted to DTC. It focused on trade shows, where the brand could build a fan base among  dog trainers, breeders, and other industry influencers. 

In 2018, the brand leaned hard into Facebook and Instagram for customer acquisition. While that’s been very effective, it comes with substantial challenges—as other DTC brands know. 

"With direct mail, you can reach almost all your customers consistently and predictably."

“Everything changes every day,” Mitchum said. “And costs never go down.”

Given those costs, Mitchum wants to make the most of its customer acquisition investments. The brand does it using direct mail. 

“You spend so much to acquire a customer and create brand awareness,” he said. “Where can we plug holes in the bucket to make sure that we're getting the most out of that front-end investment?”

The Promise: Direct Mail Reaches Everyone 

WINPRO uses direct mail at almost every stage of the customer journey. They use it for VIP retention, sending a handwritten thank you card to when a customer spends over a certain amount for the first time. They use it for winbacks and abandoned carts and product announcements. 

“We keep stretching how far back we can reach to activate customers that maybe haven't bought in a while,” Mitchum said. 

While WINPRO does one-off direct mail campaigns, a lot of its direct mail flows are set-it-and-forget-it. 

Their automated VIP winback campaign is…well, a winner. It targets customers who have placed at least three orders, but haven’t made a purchase in 120 days. 

It’s hit more than a 20x ROAS. 

“These are VIP customers, and we're constantly able to reach out and get ahold of them, to bring them back,” he said. “Whether that's to try a new product or something like that. It surprised me how well that kind of campaign can work.” 

The Payoff: A Holiday Campaign That Delivered

One of Mitchum’s favorite strategies is what he calls post-offers. He uses direct mail to fill the enormous gaps that are inevitable even in the most successful email campaigns. 

For instance, for Memorial Day, the brand sent an offer to customers via email. 

If they got a 40% open rate, it would be considered an extraordinary success, Mitchum said: “But that means 60% of the people that never even see that offer.”

To ensure they reach everyone on their list, WINPRO sent a follow-up direct mail campaign to customers who didn’t open the email, with the same 20% discount. 

It scored an 8x ROAS. 

“With direct mail, you can reach almost all your customers consistently and predictably,” Mitchum said. “Like, even if I'm going over the waste basket and throwing it away, I see every piece of direct mail I’m sent.”

The Postscript: Bonding with Subscribers 

WINPRO loves testing new tactics and technology, Mitchum said. He’s confident that PostPilot’s constant flow of new capabilities—like targeting anonymous browsers with SiteMatch or driving retail traffic with  ShopDrops—will bring plenty of opportunities for new campaigns. 

In the near future, the brand wants to target customers who purchase on a subscription with direct mail. PostPilot’s integrations will let WINPRO do just that. 

“Your subscribers are your best customers,” he said. “We're looking for ways to really engage with them more and reward them in different ways.”

He’s been blown away by the effectiveness of direct mail. But he’s also impressed by the cost. 

“It's a very inexpensive marketing channel in the big scheme of things,” he said. “For what the returns can be. It’s really done amazing for us.” 

Reach more of your customers with direct mail. Contact us to get started today.

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