The holiday season is upon us, and as marketers we like getting creative with our gift giving. To enhance our gift giving efforts, we can utilize marketing automation, paired with on-demand printing, to take the hassle out of gift giving. We are reposting (with permission) an awesome article from our friends at PFL, written by Rob Walz, on how to add gifts to your holiday campaigns. The post was originally published here:

Add Gifts to Holiday Campaigns

The holidays are here and that means inboxes are about to overflow with good cheer, best wishes, and marketing messages. Are they going to get hung by the fireplace with the stockings? Nope. They are going right into the trash can. Unread. Unopened. You can still get your marketing through, though, using the channel that everyone actually wants during the holidays: gifting.

Tactile marketing is a new spin on an old idea: sending real stuff to your clients, customers, and partners shows you care. Real stuff has a staggering 7.9% response rate when combined with digital channels. So how can you start taking advantage of direct mail this holiday season?

Verify Addresses in Your Direct Mail List

You can’t send real stuff if you’ve got a bad address. Make sure you’ve got an updated address list for your customers and clients. You can reach out to an address verification company or you can send a low cost mailer to your list. If it bounces back, update your database. This might be a fast and cheap way to verify your list, even if it takes some work on your end. Hey, we even created a guide for verifying your address list.

Pick the Right Holiday Gift

Next you have to decide what to send. Make sure your gift makes sense for the decision maker or influencers you are targeting. To help you out here are some tips on choosing the right holiday gift.

Great gifts don’t have to cost a lot of money either. We’re fans of sending a Starbucks Via attached to a cool card – it is cheap, easy to mail, and people love it. Our clients have ran with this idea as well and have seen similar success. Look for something that is light enough that it won’t cost a fortune to mail, that is also usable, and most of all: desired. Who doesn’t want coffee? There’s a whole world of gifts out there, we’ve put some of our favorite into our holiday gifting guide.

Remind Them About the Mailbox

An email giving a head’s up that a holiday gift is coming makes sure your marketing won’t get trashed. The subject line should be to the point and mention the gift. Set up expectations for delivery but build the suspense – maybe drop hints at what you’re sending. Once the gift arrives give the giftee a call right away and follow up. No matter how you do it, a head’s up that a gift is coming will boost your engagement and gives your direct mail real sticking power.

Use the Right CTA

The call to action on a physical piece is more art than science. You can’t make the CTA too cumbersome or no one will follow it (150 character long URL? No thanks!). You can get creative and add QR codes, PURLs, or if you’re really techy try using near field communication chips (NFCs) that let a smartphone open a page, app, or something else with a mere wave over your gift. Regardless, make sure there is a CTA on your gift – even if it is subtle. A best practice is to drive the client to a digital asset so you can track engagement and justify your gift.

Tactile Marketing Automation within Reach

If we can pat ourselves on the back: we are really proud of what we’ve made at PF – an easy way to do all of this from your CRM or marketing automation platform. We integrate with Salesforce Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Marketo, and Eloqua. Our solutions make it super easy to add tactile marketing to your campaign or sales pipeline. We handle printing, fulfillment and shipping. And, oh yeah, we’ve been doing professional printing for over twenty years and are famous for our attention to detail and quality. If you want to start adding a tactile component to sales and marketing, give us a call.

*This post was republished on our blog with permission from PFL.