Creating direct mail deliveries

Understand how direct mail works in Adobe Campaign and learn how to create, format, and execute a direct mail delivery.

Welcome. In this module, we will learn how to create direct mail deliveries and use seed addresses in a campaign.
Let’s start with the first learning objective; create the direct mail delivery.
Direct mail is marketing collateral that is sent via postal mail to the customer’s home or place of business. Typically direct mail consists of catalogs, coupons, flyers, et cetera. The goal of the direct mail delivery in Adobe Campaign is to generate an extraction file that includes addresses fields, such as first name, last name, street name, town city, state zip. In the direct mail file, you could also include instructions that will inform the fulfillment agency, which people get which version of the print. If you have different versions, you will then route your extraction file to the agency or department that will send out the delivery. In Adobe Campaign, you can model a service provider. This allows you to set up a workflow to automatically FTP the extraction file to the service provider. You could also configure the services they provide. For example, bulk mail four pieces, 14 ounces, and under.
If you are managing budgets in Adobe campaign, you could also include the cost per piece of using one of these services. When you’re under campaign, Adobe Campaign would automatically deduct the cost of that campaign from that budget based on the final target size. Alternately, you can download the extraction file directly to your computer and then email it to the service provider.
On this slide, we can see a simple direct mail campaign. We will have a query activity to target our recipients and then a direct mail as the delivery.
Within the direct mail delivery activity, you can format the extraction file, say what columns you want included, the order of the columns and your file type. This is one of the most important steps of the configuration. Schedule the extraction just like you set the contact date for when an email goes out, you can schedule well when the extraction file is pulled. When you have a service provider modeled in Adobe Campaign, the routing workflow gets triggered when the extraction takes place. Therefore it will be important to schedule the extraction for when you want the campaign to go out. Configure file download. Indicate that you would like to download the extraction file onto your computer after the file is generated on the server. Calculate the extraction file name. Incorporate the date that the file is extracted into the extraction file name. Typically, the file format is a part of a template, and you don’t have to configure the file format for the extraction each time you execute a direct mail campaign. The template is set up based on the way your fulfillment provider, once they information provided to them. If you are using multiple fulfillment providers, you would use multiple direct mail templates and select the template and thus, the providers service on a per daily basis.
Learning objective two, use seed addresses in a campaign.
Seed lists are often used with direct mail deliveries to verify that the delivery went out and also to prove that the fulfillment house is not misusing your list in any way or sending your customer list to someone else. You can also use a seed list with an email delivery to verify that the delivery was sent. Your seeds should have a valid postal address that can receive direct mail. If you want to see if the fulfillment house is not misusing your list, the address shouldn’t be tied to your campaign. The seed list will be merged with the target during the analysis process, just prior to the delivery. The seeds are not part of the segmentation, but they will get added in. There are several merges options or insertion modes for the seed addresses.
Respect the sort order is the default option. You should only use this option if you are sorting the extraction file. You might sort by last name or by save code so that the direct mail pieces could be pondered by zip code. Insert the seeds at the beginning or end of the file. Insert randomly along the recipients of the main target.
It is important to remember that if you select or lift the default insertion mode value of respect the sort order and then you do not sort the extraction file in any way, you will receive a runtime error when running the campaign. The seed addresses are a property of the campaign and they are not true recipients. When you create a seed, it is not stored in the recipient’s table, it is stored in a separate seed address table.
In our demo, we will create a new campaign with the workflow that will target the female recipients with the age greater than 25 and a valid mailing address, and then send them on a direct mail delivery. We will also be using seed addresses in our campaign. Let’s now configure a direct mail campaign. In the campaign step, select, create a campaign.
I will name my campaign spring catalog direct mail.
Once we have our campaign labeled, and associated with the program, we can click, okay.
Then let’s edit the campaign properties. To do this, click on the edit tab, and then on advanced campaign settings link, you can see that the new windows show up. Here, we will navigate to Approvals tab and keep only the enable extraction validation option checked. I would pick myself as a reviewer.
Now in the seeds address stuff, we’ll add our seed address.
You can see that you have the options to import the seed template.
You can select one of the existing seeds.
Let’s pick Alison Parker.
And you also have the option to add your own seed.
Under recipient, I am going to provide a value for all the fields that I will later need in my delivery.
For first name, I will select, then last name, I will provide the zip code, the name of the city.
To configure the postal address, we will click on the address field stamp. And for demo purposes, I will add an address to line one.
Then I will click, okay. I’ll later sort my list of recipients, therefore I can leave the insertion mode set to respect the sort order. And click, okay. Now, let’s save the campaign changes and implement our workflow. Click on Targeting and Workflows. And rather than creating a new workflow, let’s overwrite the default workflow. I will name it spring catalog direct mail workflow. And now let’s add query activity. In our example, we will select all the female recipients with an age greater than 25 and a valid mailing address. For demo purposes, we will consider that the valid address has a value for zip code. Let’s double click the activity and add the filtering conditions.
The first one will be to select the gender equal to females, then select the new filtering condition and age is greater than, I will type 25.
And has a valid mailing address, and we will have to navigate to location.
Then select zip postcode.
It’s not empty.
Let’s click finish and then click, okay.
Now let’s drag and drop the direct mail delivery.
I will name it, spring catalog direct mail delivery. You can also provide a code or a description. I’ll leave it as it is for now.
Click continue.
And the rest of the changes I will edit down from the dashboard. And click save.
Now, save the workflow and navigate to the dashboard.
In here, on the right side, we can already see all delivery.
Open our direct mail delivery. I don’t need to schedule an extraction date because I will execute this as soon as possible. We don’t have any service providers modeled in our training environment. Therefore, the first thing that I’m going to do is to configure the name of the extraction file. I will name it, spring catalog sales csv. I will also include the date in the name at the beginning. To do this, you will click on the dropdown icon, select add current date, and then select the format of the day that you want. I will pick, day, month, month, and year.
Now, remember to replace the slashes with either underscores or dashes.
I will pick underscores.
Otherwise this will create separate files on the server.
I will click on edit the extraction file format link. And I will expand recipients.
Then I’m going to double click to move the attributes from the available fields onto the output columns. I will pick first name, last name, address one, this will be in the location.
Then city, state, and postcode.
And click next.
This is where we can decide how we want to sort the fields. And since I am using the seed address, and I selected respect the sort order as the insertion mode, I do need to select something to sort by. So let’s say first name and zip code.
And if I want the zip code to be my primary sort, I can move it up using the arrow.
Then click next.
For my output file, I want it to be a CSV. You can see that it is already selected. And you have other options to select.
Now, let’s click next.
Here is where if you included any additional columns for certain purposes, you can just uncheck those. And if you want to take advantage of the transformation options, say first letter in uppercase for the first name, you can do it in here.
And I will do it the same for last name.
Then I will click finish, save.
If you would like to be able to download this file locally to your computer, I would click open, in properties, advanced.
And then click enable file to be done locally.
Now, click okay and save.
Let’s go ahead and execute the campaign.
Click the start button.
Looks like we’re pulling almost 6,000 results from our query. Let’s close our workflow and we can open up our delivery.
We can see that we targeted almost 6,000 records, and we will be sending to almost 5,500 people.
We can look at Audit tab and see that it’s waiting for approval.
So let’s go ahead and do that.
You can see that I can download an output file.
I can preview it.
I am checking to see that the correct columns are included and that I sorted in the way I was expecting. Here, I can also look to see that my seed addresses are included. It looks good, let’s close this. And now I can click on approve or reject the delivery extraction files. You’ll see that a new tab is opened and I can set it the option. Say that I accept the delivery and I can leave a comment.
Let’s go back into my delivery and refresh it.
I can see that my delivery was accepted and I have a comment. So all of the details are saved in here.
I will see that I have an output file available for me to download.
And you can close this. Now, if I click download, I can specify the local name and where I want to save the file. I’ll pick Desktop, click save, and click download.
Now I am able to minimize everything and see that I have my output file saved locally so I can later send it to the service provider. This concludes our demo. Now you should be able to create a direct mail delivery and use seed addresses in a campaign. Thank you for listening and I’ll see you next time. -