You Can Now Create Powerful Prospecting Campaigns with Lookalikes + Direct Mail

Cloning isn’t just a theme in science fiction—it’s the stuff of marketing dreams. 

It’s also the promise behind many lookalike campaigns. Tell Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn what kind of customer you crave, and they’ll serve ads to people whose behavior and preferences are likely to match. 

Now, PostPilot is bringing lookalike audiences to direct mail. Powered by machine learning, our attention-getting postcard campaigns and real-time reporting are unparalleled in the marketing world. 

Why direct mail? Because it lets you reach prospective customers in their homes, with a higher response rate than ads—and without the interference of pixels, unsubscribes or “banner blindness.” 

Direct-mail lookalike campaigns are already blowing PostPilot clients away. One well-known beverage brand achieved a >2x ROAS on a recent cold prospecting campaign, while a baby clothing brand surpassed 4X.

Here’s what you need to know about this marketing innovation. 

How do lookalike direct-mail campaigns work?

Traditional cold prospecting direct mail campaigns are pretty basic. A drop to a specific zip code, for instance, maybe with some demographic filtering such as age, gender, and household income to narrow the scope. 

PostPilot uses proprietary machine learning and non-public consumer databases to create advanced targeting campaigns. Our campaign concierge service handles everything—here's a look behind the scenes:

Step 1: Create the Seed Segment

We build a segment of your best customers. These are generally your most loyal, frequent purchasers.

Step 2: Create the Model 

PostPilot uses a machine learning algorithm to identify the most relevant attributes of your customer segment and runs that against multiple consumer data sets. These proprietary data sets contain thousands of highly nuanced behavioral data points and attributes on more than 200 million US consumers—such as how many times a month someone visits Target, whether they own a dog, how old their children are, what TV shows they like, or if they often purchase luxury skincare products.

Step 3: Add Optional Manual Filters 

We know you only want to target prospects with certain demographics such as age, location, or household income? Easy peasy. 

Step 4:  Test and Iterate 

We test different creative options and data sources to zero in on the combination that will deliver the best results. 

Step 5: Scale 

We build on those successes while continuing to tweak and test to optimize the results. For instance, one customer started out with a 20,000-card lookalike campaign. It was delivering strong results, so we scaled that up to a 50,000-postcard send while introducing new creative variants to see if we could improve performance even more. 

Who should consider lookalikes? 

Lookalike marketing can deliver an impressive number of new fans for your brand. But it isn’t for everyone. These kinds of campaigns may be a fit if your brand: 

Has a sizable, well-defined customer base. The machine learning algorithm needs a large customer sample size to draw meaningful insights. Ideally, the seed segment is 5,000 to 10,000 of your best customers from a total customer base of 100,000 or more. The target audience needs to be narrow enough to effectively identify prospects that have a strong correlation. 

Has good margins, strong repeat customer rate and high LTV. Cold acquisition is tough on any channel. Brands that have healthy margins and LTV can afford to set more modest ROAS and customer acquisition cost goals, knowing that once they acquire a customer they can monetize them to lock in profits. Typically, the higher your average order value, the fewer conversions you need to achieve a positive ROI or CAC. 

Has been successful on other channels, but is starting to max them out. If you’re scaling on channels like Facebook and getting diminishing returns, direct-mail lookalikes could be a great channel to expand into.  It’s also smart to diversify customer acquisition channels. 

Knows what works. Using direct mail to throw spaghetti against the wall isn’t a good use of your marketing budget. But if you understand your product market fit and the kinds of offers that are effective at acquiring customers on other platforms, direct mail lookalikes can deliver.

What results can I expect? 

As soon as your campaign goes out in the mail, you’ll be able to track the results in real time. Your PostPilot dashboard will match conversions back to your campaign. 

Most brands are looking for at least a 1x ROAS on their cold prospecting campaigns. PostPilot campaigns have often achieved over 2x ROAS—but as with any acquisition channel, results can vary. 

How do I get started? 

Existing PostPilot customers can contact their account manager to discuss whether lookalikes are a good fit. New to PostPilot? Sign up now to get started and connect with a campaign concierge.

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