The way marketers communicate with people hasn?t changed much in the last 10 years. While we?ve become more sophisticated in the way we use Internet and cloud-based technologies to identify users and automate our digital marketing efforts, we still generally default to sending emails when it comes to communicating with our audience.
While email isn?t bowing out anytime soon, a fundamental shift in communication is emerging as marketers are gaining access to new ways of engaging with customers using Physical APIs.
Related:?How to Write an Unforgettable Thank-You Note
What are Physical APIs? Put simply, a Physical API is a set of instructions that allows computers or automated systems to perform tasks that people traditionally do manually. These might include writing and mailing letters by hand, sending gift cards, or ordering and shipping merchandise.
Physical APIs are big– and are fueling the growth of companies like Lob. Instead of thinking about sending print and mail as a complicated and manual process, Lob lets anyone send targeted and personalized print messages, like a postcard, the same way they might send email.
Up until now, Physical APIs have been somewhat relegated to the technology world. But in 2015, don?t be surprised to see the emergence of Physical APIs in the marketing space. And the result will be transformative: by combining Physical APIs with the automation software that many marketers use today, businesses will have the ability to seamlessly connect and automate online and offline touch points in their marketing programs.
Related:?3 Steps to Happier Customers
Here?s a quick example: when today?s customers take the time to sit through a webinar, we as marketers typically send a thank you email. With a Physical API, we could look up the business address of every webinar attendee, generate a handwritten thank you note (written by a real person), package up a box of chocolates or a gift bag and ship, all using the same amount of effort it otherwise would take to schedule an email blast.
Not only does this type of unexpected communication get noticed, it helps companies build lasting relationships with the people that matter most to their business.?Studies even show that?a personalized note alone can increase response to a marketing campaign by 30-50 percent.
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