Royal Mail is facing its first competitor in the programmatic direct mail sector with the launch a new service, HurdlGram, claimed to be both an environmentally responsible and cost-effective solution.
The scheme is being launched by direct mail specialist Hurdle, set up by former Orca Media founder Andrew Creed in 2015, with a team which includes creative consultant and former McCann chief Ian Harrison as well as non-executive chair Paul Lewis, who led marketing at Ancestry.co.uk and Moo.com.
HurdlGram claims to enable brand owners and agencies to efficiently and effectively deliver highly targeted, personalised experiences as part of a truly integrated multi-channel customer engagement strategy.
It integrates customer data from CRM systems, demographics, web browsing data and behavioural algorithms, along with digital print technology capable of producing variable message prints within the same project.
HurdlGram’s standard format external design, along with glue-less sealing technology, enables brands to maintain and grow relationships with their customers and continue the remarketing process in an offline environment, the firm insists.
It claims its design is optimised for effectiveness and cost efficiency, at 80p per piece, and the automated system allows for rapid creation and delivery of direct mail, with layouts that have been optimised for Royal Mail’s VAS optical scanning.
Mailshots can be delivered within 72 hours of customers visiting a store or browsing a website are not reliant on large print volumes to deliver a cost-effective price-per-mail. The self-service system also provides full user guides to enable users to quickly create engaging messages for their customers.
Creed said: “Programmatic direct mail is proving its worth in the US, but it is in its infancy in UK. The launch of HurdlGram offers a very real opportunity for brands to deliver quick and personalised messages to their customers as part of a wider retargeting strategy, and creating a physical customer experience that online simply cannot.
“HurdlGram puts brands in control and its flexibility enables them to target several customer profiles at once, by bringing together various data sources into one project. The result is the delivery of multiple targeted messages in the same print run which minimises costs and makes HurdlGram’s programmatic direct mail an extremely effective remarketing tool.”
HurdlGram is also committed to being environmentally responsible and uses Planet Positive Printing through its partnership with Seacourt, a sustainable printer whose operations have a net positive impact on the planet. The HurdlGram platform has been built using Infigo Software, a market leader in web-to-print software.
Royal Mail’s programmatic mail service was launched in 2017, and is backed by the print Go Inspire Group industrial scale print capability and its Paperplanes division.
The company claims that campaigns can be initiated within hours of a customer visiting a website and delivered within 48 hours; clients include JD Williams, Ovo Energy, Continental Tyres and Benefit Cosmetics.
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