Millennial Marketing-Direct Mail: dead on arrival or alive and kicking?

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    Paperplanes Gousto case study

    Gousto 11%: Reactivation Rates

    With the Help of Programmatic Direct Mail, Gousto saw an 11% return rate of churned customers

    The Context

    Gousto supplies subscribers with recipe kit boxes which include ready-measured, fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipe instructions. They are one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK with a strong reputation for speedy service and great food.

    Response from digital channels had peaked in recent months so Gousto approached Paperplanes to understand if a fast, responsive and dynamically driven creative via the postal channel could make a difference for their already advanced customer journey.

    The Action

    Upon scoping the size of the opportunity with Gousto it was clear that personalisation and speed of communication to the lapsed universe would be key. We wanted to entice a returning customer with meal kit inspirations for the week ahead so we created a dynamic creative link to pull in a weekly update of meals.

    It was also crucial to understand the difference between offering a customer a direct discount on creative vs potentially seeing if a QR code with a pre-loaded offer could add value. As an App-based business QR could turn out to be quite useful.

    gousto direct mail

    The Results

    The campaign led to strong incremental uplift which exceeded expectations

    • 11% of the churned customers returned to Gousto after receiving the automated DM
    • 17%  meaningful incremental uplift from the campaign
    • Customers were even found to engage with QR codes, which would take them directly to the App or Browser to resurrect.
    • Customers mailed are much more likely to remain Gousto customers over a longer period than those not mailed


    “We were looking for the right capability and channel to help us resurrect customers who had recently lapsed. Paperplanes integrated seamlessly with our integration tools, helping us learn best practices for reaching these customers. Paperplanes are a valuable partner for us to help aid our customer contact strategy.”

    CRM Manager, Gousto

    Paperplanes are a valuable partner for us to help aid our customer contact strategy.

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    yougarden paperplanes case study 17% Abandoned Basket Recovery

    Paperplanes recovers 17% of all abandoned carts for e-commerce gardening business YouGarden at a crucial period for sales

    The Problem

    You Garden is an online garden centre offering great value for money. They enable the nation to grow their own fruit and vegetables as well as offering flowering plants delivered directly to your door by post.

    The Action

    You Garden were interested to see if integrating direct mail basket follow up into the customer journey could drive any incremental value as well as other automation strategies via post.

    What started as an initial three month pilot quickly progressed to a longer-term engagement. Paperplanes worked with You Garden to understand the right time to trigger automated post, how to refine Club membership strategy, the uplift driven from Catalogue Requests as well as introducing new areas to test such as surprise and delight and category browse follow up.

    yougarden direct mail paperplanes

    The Results

    Results led the way to more testing and strong sales recovery

    • 17% customers mailed went onto make a first conversion
    • £20k of incremental sales uplift was created in the pilot phase.
    • Paperplanes insight showed the incremental value created. The campaign returned £4 for every £1 invested. Only 1 in 4 converters used a voucher code.


    Paperplanes went from supporting us with our abandoned baskets to running a substantial part of our direct mail marketing channel. The insights provided allowed us to understand customers in further detail. The flexibility of creative allowed us to personalise output to a granular level. I would recommend them to anyone.

    Head of Marketing, You Garden

    The flexibility of creative allowed us to personalise output to a granular level. I would recommend them to anyone.

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    PostNord and 25% AB Recovery Rate

    Paperplanes teams with Scandinavian postal operator PostNord to help a premium grooming ecommerce site recover 25% of all abandoned carts

    Paperplanes and PostNord teamed up to bring the very best aspects of programmatic mail to the Scandinavian market. Customers love receiving something relevant and personalised in their mailboxes and brands are always looking for new ways to improve conversion rates. were a perfect client to work for launching initial, innovative trials.

    The Context are changing the game in Scandinavia when it comes to men’s grooming. Their strong brand messaging and overall goal of ‘improving men’ has generated substantial awareness and impressive sales.

    As a leading pioneer in their space Gents were keen to understand how capability from Paperplanes could be leveraged to add an extra ‘string’ to their ‘marketing bow’ and drive even stronger consumer engagement and results.

    Gents also wanted to understand how programmatic automation on DM could be utilised to surprise and delight their loyal client base.

    The Action partnered with Paperplanes to re-incentivise those customers that visited their online website but failed to covert.

    Our tech integrated onto their site and we targeting these customers sending them personalised and relevant Postcards that encouraged them to return and complete conversion.

    Separate to this Gents also worked with Paperplanes to identify customers coming up to birthday anniversaries offering specifically tailored discounts to honour their loyalty and encourage incremental purchase.

    gents direct mail paperplanes

    The Results saw incredible conversion across both the abandoned basket and birthday campaign.

    • A phenomenal 25% recovery on abandoned cart
    • Double the conversion from typical online browsers once they had received the birthday postcard
    • 10 times return on initial investment for abandoned cart
    • Our tech was also able to identify incremental conversion from customers who had come back to the site but who didn’t enter their discount codes. Previously without this level of visibility these sales would not be attributed to the mailing saw a phenomenal 25% recovery on abandoned cart

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    Q&A from Divido

    Every month, Divido will hold a Q&A with an industry expert, from the latest innovative startup, a thriving retailer or a media giant. The topics will be varied and topical, drawing out their views on all the latest news and changes in the industry.

    As the first of many Q&As to come, who better to kick it off with than a fellow, UK-based, high-growth tech company – Paperplanes – the programmatic direct mail company. We asked Dan Dunn, Founder and Managing Director, his opinions on what the modern customer really wants, where they are being lost in the journey to purchase, and how intelligent tech can effectively and measurably reverse this.

    What was the inspiration behind the creation of Paperplanes?

    The inspiration behind Paperplanes was the desire and need to able to do things a little bit differently, utilising traditional media which had previously been left behind, and combining this with digital technologies.

    I felt there was a missing piece of the puzzle when marketers discussed omnichannel strategy. How can omnichannel not include offline marketing activities?

    What do you think are the biggest mistakes that retailers are making in their understanding of the modern consumer?

    That they prefer to be communicated to through digital channels. We are seeing a backlash of the ways in which social media is utilised to target customers.

    Transparency and fraud issues in programmatic are rife, and yet we have a channel in direct mail that continues to decline in volume of marketing spend. This in turn will increase share of voice for any brand using the direct mail channel, and for the consumer, it’s the first time they’ll receive something relevant and personalised in the post.

    It’s a win-win!

    Where do you think retailers are facing the biggest drop-off in the customer journey? And can what they do to prevent this?

    Abandoned baskets – £18bn is now lost in abandoned baskets each year (The Telegraph).

    Being able to provide customers with the options they were looking at, along with trade up and trade across opportunities, on a format that will get noticed, is a great way to regain a lot of this custom.

    £18bn is now lost in abandoned baskets each year (The Telegraph)

    How important do you think it is to connect the customer’s offline and online journeys?

    It’s fundamentally what we’re all about – we know how much extra value multichannel customers bring to brands, we know that multiple touch points stimulate incremental sales.

    If you can plan marketing activities in a way where they are integrated across all channels, then it allows you to be even more effective and enables the customer to have a better experience all-round.

    What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?

    One of the biggest challenges I have faced would be the pre-conceptions as to what programmatic re-targeting is and the fact that direct mail has typically been seen as a dying channel. The lack of brand awareness was of course another challenge to overcome, especially when you are inventing a totally new channel of comms – it can be hard to get others to understand the potential.

    We have managed to overcome these challenges by identifying the early adapters, working with them to generate great results and getting the case studies out there to prove the power our offering has to a wider audience.

    Do you think people underestimate the use of direct mail as a marketing/sales channel?

    Absolutely. I don’t blame them, until now, direct mail has been hard to track in terms of performance, it’s been difficult to plug into an integrated digital strategy and it hasn’t offered the same level of flexibility that automated digital comms allow.

    Hopefully Paperplanes’ capability can now begin to reveal just how physical tangible media can work for today’s marketers.

    Ready to talk personalised direct mail?

    Glide a message into our inbox and a member of the Paperplanes team will be in touch.

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