PebblePost – Direct Mail for the Digital Age

PebblePost is a startup that just received $15 million in Series B funding and they pioneered a new channel of communication, which they call Programmatic Direct Mail. Programmatic Direct Mail takes real-time online activity and converts that to personalized, dynamically created direct mail which is shipped out of a postal hub within 12-24 hours, every day. Since PebblePost uses the online activity as the catalyst, each Programmatic Direct Mail is further optimized for the intended audience based on the follow up online activity. PebblePost sends the consumer Programmatic Postcards and Programmatic Catalogs with offers and related items a few days after they visited a website or checked out a product.

PebblePost was created to bypass the challenges of the noisy online digital marketing: spammers, fraudsters, bots, privacy concerns, and ad blockers, they are betting that having a physical offer to tie into the digital activity of consumers can help them stand out in the digital environment. The gamble seems to be paying off since PebblePost is on record to say that 8% of people make a purchase after receiving programmatic mail and it provides a 15x return on ad spend on average for their clients. In terms of digital and physical marketing, those are good metrics for something which seems like a new way to distribute targeted junk mail.

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  1. If those numbers are real then, WOW. It’s nice to see that people are less influenced by digital ads and companies need to be real creative to push people into purchases but I never thought that going back to physical post would help. Either way am wondering how is this going to work without making people feel that they are being spied on? Do I have to have an account with pebblepost to be receiving these mail ads, or is it gonna work in seriously intrusive ways like that if am gonna check a product on amazon I will get a mail next day in my post box with it’s picture,info & price? This would be scary..

    • As I double checked the website, it seems to be that PebblePost has an agreement with the e-commerce store you are visiting. So this won’t go into effect for something like causal ads you see on other sites, but if you go to check out (and you are registered with Gap) it seems they will send a coupon thing in the mail. So it isn’t super-obvious what they are doing but more like a gentle reminder.

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