The Strategic Mailing Partnership (SMP) has announced the launch of a new Royal Mail Wholesale incentive scheme designed to help companies adopt programmatic mail as a new conversion channel.

Programmatic mail is direct mail triggered automatically (with suitable permissions) by customer actions – or lack of them – in digital sales channels. In a trial conducted by JD Williams with Paperplanes, using programmatic mail increased response rates by 6%, average order value by 8% and reduced abandoned basket rates by 14%.

Royal Mail Wholesale’s new scheme should enable businesses with e-commerce operations to more easily take advantage of technical advances in the targeting and delivery of physical mail linked directly to consumer behaviour within the digital sales process. Using permissioned, first-party data, companies will be able to send individually targeted direct mail to non-converting web visitors, with the aim of it reaching them the next day, or within 48 hours (presumably subject to any further industrial action, though none is planned as of 5 January 2023).

SMP chair Lucy Swanston said, ‘Programmatic mail is such an exciting new development for marketers. We are proud Royal Mail Wholesale has been fleet of foot in launching this incentive scheme so the print and mailing industry can more easily capitalise on this technological advance to help their customers seamlessly combine the strengths of digital and print to significantly increase ROI.

‘Programmatic mail builds on the love consumers have for mail and makes them love it more because they receive it, tailored specifically for them, and at the right time, while their initial digitally sourced interest is still fresh.’

Under the incentive, customers will be able to post programmatic mailings at Royal Mail’s Advertising Mail rate, including mailings which are below its 4000 items per day contractual threshold, via a consolidation route. The incentive is open for applications until 3 February 2023. Each accepted application will run for 12 months and is subject to a minimum 50,000 items requirement over that period, plus other conditions.