Tactile Marketing Automation: What Is It & Why We're Rated #1
By Sendoso on October 23, 2019
This tactile marketing automation post was inspired by ClearVoice rating Sendoso as the #1 solution in the category. Learn more about it here.
Think about your email inbox for a moment. We bet (without looking) you can ballpark the number of emails sitting there unread. Does the number make you a little anxious?
We get it. The digital overload struggle is real; studies even back up our growing frustration with this digital overwhelm.
Now, take a moment to think about your actual, physical mailbox. Feel a little different? Naturally! Your mailbox is far less cluttered than your email inbox. And how do you feel when something arrives just for you?
That spark of delight? That’s the magic of direct mail marketing. Snail mail is enjoying a big comeback for just this reason, and more companies are using it to reach their customers and drive great results.
But how are they making that possible?
Tactile Outreach at Scale
Direct mail and gifting are powerful tools — but they require a lot of legwork. You have to choose the right gift, write a great note, get it out the door, and of course to track the results of your investment. How can you do all this for all your customers or prospects in a way that remains genuine?
Enter the Tactile Marketing Automation solution.
Direct and offline marketing strategies aren’t new, but automating the process with software has made it easier and more powerful than ever. With a tactile marketing automation platform, you can get the perfect item out the door (fully personalized!), track success rates, and integrate that wealth of data right into your current marketing software and workflows.
This makes it very easy to send physical items to any number of recipients and engage with them in a highly personal way, while knowing you’re getting the most for your marketing dollars.
Big Players in Tactile Marketing Automation
When it comes to tactile marketing automation solutions, we know there are a few whales in the ocean to choose from. With all this growth around adding physical touchpoints to the buyer’s journey, standing out is more important than ever (for tactile marketing automation systems and their customers!)
- Time to Get Going
- Ease of Use
- Feature Richness
- Customer Support
They used a Weighted Decision Matrix (WDM) to evaluate the three companies in each area.
Tactile Marketing Automation Evaluation: Time to Get Going
When you decide it’s time to use the power of tactile marketing automation, naturally you want to “jump in the car and go!” ClearVoice looked at the implementation and learning curve for each solution.
In evaluating PFL, ClearVoice found that setup time and complexity were two big stumbling blocks to getting the car on the road. “Many users have claimed that they required the need of a technical expert to help them with implementation,” according to ClearVoice reviewer Ben Beck. Beck reported that, for this reason, he might not recommend PFL for small or lean businesses who may not have an IT team or technical support to rely on for implementation.
As one of the newer companies to market, Alyce has hit some similar speedbumps with setup and implementation. Users reported that while Alyce shines in other areas, it could be difficult to get around the UI, or find specific features.
Sendoso rated 4 out of 5 points for implementation time, owing to its clean and convenient interface. “Perhaps the most important launch functionality for marketers,” said Beck, “…is that it integrates nicely with most marketing automation suites.”
Tactile Marketing Automation Evaluation: Ease of Use
Once you have your tactile marketing automation solution up and running, getting things done quickly and easily can have a big impact on productivity. (While yes, it’s automated, you still need to have your hands on the wheel!)
As mentioned above, Alyce lost some points in the weighted matrix due to ease-of-use. But despite PFL’s “clean, organized user interface and dashboard,” the reviewer also cited learning curve issues in delivering the solution’s score — 3 out of 5.
Here again, Sendoso enjoyed high marks for an easy interface. “From direct use, and talking to others that have used it as well,” Beck offered, “Sendoso is relatively easy to implement and use.” This functionality makes it simple for users to share personalized messages and run highly effective tactile campaigns.
Tactile Marketing Automation Evaluation: Feature Richness
No matter your investment amount, you want to know you’re getting the most out of the service you select. Having a robust suite of features and options is one of the biggest ways to ensure you can do what you want, how you want.
PFL got satisfactory marks for its robust suite of features. They offer attractive integration options, HIPAA and ISO compliance, and real-time alerts that help users stay abreast of metrics and buyer activities.
In terms of feature richness, Alyce received a somewhat mixed review (Beck included it as both a strength and a weakness in his analysis): Strength because Alyce covers some of the “most important features for sales and marketing teams,” weakness because Alyce’s suite of features may not be robust enough for large sales and marketing teams.
The review gave Sendoso great marks for both the robust features and flexibility. Beck praised “the right blend of logistics and automation that help make ABM easy,” allowing customers to “easily store and ship direct mailers, swag, gifts, and so on — and track ROI all in one platform.”
One sending feature not discussed in the review: the types of gifts customers can send. We support a wide range of gift types – including perishable and food items, wine, and experience tickets (e.g. concerts and airfare) not available with competitors. Our recipients love this variety!
Tactile Marketing Automation Evaluation: Customer Support
The best pricing and features in the world can’t save you if your customer support isn’t on point, so it’s no surprise that the top-rated companies all enjoy high marks in this area.
PFL fared well in the area of customer service, according to Beck’s research. “Customers rave about the customer support team at PFL,” says Beck.
Research into several rating sites revealed consistently high ratings for Sendoso. Beck also praised the variety of ways Sendoso meets its customers’ needs. Besides the standard phone and online support channels, he noted, “Sendoso also offers a number of resources, including webinars, a library and a blog all providing tips, tricks and guides on how to use the tool successfully.”
Tactile Marketing Automation Evaluation: Price
Yes, the bottom line is still a big part of the decision-making process, which is why ClearVoice weighted price considerations equal to Feature Richness in its matrix.
In this category, Alyce was the clear winner. Dollar for dollar, Alyce lands in between Sendoso and PFL, and provides good value for its offering according to Beck. “Alyce is a great platform, and the price tag is just as praiseworthy.”
Though packed with features, the pricing model for PFL appears to be the source of frustration for users, including the reviewer. Beck had this to say of the pricing methodology and value: “After reading a number of customer reviews, many have rated PFL’s pricing as ‘good,’ which may not be the best option for every business.” He described his pricing experience as seeming to be “at the whimsy of the salesperson you’re speaking with,” and observed “haggling to be the norm” in the sales process.
Sendoso’s pricing and market positioning enjoyed a healthy average in the weighted matrix. Though we’re not the cheapest on dollar-to-dollar comparison, for those seeking unmatched functionality and flexibility in sending, the apples-to-apples comparison may not give an accurate outlook of the investment ROI over other solutions.
Give Yourself the Gift of Tactile Marketing Automation
By considering these major factors when selecting a tactile marketing automation solution for your business, you can get a true picture of how your chosen tactile marketing automation solution will best serve your needs. While price is certainly an important part of the decision-making process, key points like quick startup, ease of use, a robust feature menu, and fabulous customer experience may ultimately take center stage in your evaluation. These other factors can reveal the true value of your investment in this important marketing channel.
Want to learn more about Sendoso, and our unique approach to sending the perfect gift? We’d love to show you around! Request a tour of our solution and learn more about how we can help you harness the power of tactile marketing automation.