PrintingForLess Stays True to Its Printshop Roots While Innovating Automation for Direct Mail Marketing to Drive Results
5.12.17 Marketing

PrintingForLess Stays True to Its Printshop Roots While Innovating Automation for Direct Mail Marketing to Drive Results

By: Adam West

The Crunch: The world’s first online print shop is now driving innovations in sales and marketing automation technology. PrintingForLess, which has been handling high-quality, custom print jobs for the past 20 years, has turned its attention to marketing automation and CRM integrations that help marketing and sales teams boost conversions through data-driven, personalized outreach. PFL’s evolved office culture, work ethic, and attention to customer service are essential to the company’s success, and its latest innovations have led to recent growth. With roots that trace back to the previous century, it’s inspiring to see a pioneering company still finding new ways to transform through new business strategies.

Modern marketing has become all about understanding your customer and delivering timely, personalized content that results in higher conversion rates.

This concept is now accepted in the email and social media stratospheres with marketing automation software in place that uses collected data to digitally market relevant products to interested customers at the right time.

In the past, it was mailboxes that were filling up with direct mail flyers. Now that most retailers are going the digital route, it’s become overflowing inboxes, causing consumers to be more receptive to physical mail that’s relevant to them.

Portrait of Samantha Patterson, Marketing Manager for PrintingForLess

PFL’s Samantha Patterson told us businesses are putting new focus on direct mail as an engagement strategy as people don’t receive as many direct mail pieces anymore.

As a response to modern marketing trends, PrintingForLess (PFL), has evolved from the world’s first e-commerce print shop to offering clients software integrations that automate the delivery of relevant, direct mail marketing.

Companies using this approach maximize their marketing budgets by ensuring that the customers they’re targeting are more likely to convert because they’ve shown an interest in similar products or services.

“We’re not talking the batch and blast, spammy direct mail of the past,” said Samantha Patterson, Marketing Manager for PFL. “We allow direct mail sends to be triggered by buyer behavior and personalized with data that’s been collected in your CRM or your marketing automation platform. This provides a relevant customer experience and is more likely to drive a conversion.”

PFL started in 1996 in Livingston, Montana, and the company has grown rapidly, particularly in the past three years with the company embracing technology that empowers marketers and salespeople to improve their crafts.

“Everything we do is about helping marketers and salespeople be better at their jobs and get the results they’re looking for,” Samantha said. “Whether that’s through our dedicated success managers or through our technology solutions that automate and make those print pieces more timely.”

Three PFL Integrations Empowering Marketing and Sales Teams

While PFL’s original focus was to provide reliable, high-quality custom print work to individual and corporate customers, the company has gone beyond its roots through innovative software integrations for CRM and marketing automation platforms like Salesforce, Marketo, and Oracle Marketing Cloud.

In 2014, the Founder and CEO of PFL, Andrew Field, noticed the fields of marketing and sales were shifting to data-driven marketing automation and wondered why print or direct mail marketing should be any different.

The company has stayed true to the custom printing work it can trace back to the previous century. At the same time, it’s been developing business service technology that helps company sales and marketing teams delight their customers with relevant content. Among PFL’s corporate clients are Subway, Burger King, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, Esurance, Adobe, Apttus, and Gartner. PFL has developed three key innovations over the past few years that are helping to accomplish these goals.

1. Tactile Marketing — Well-Timed Direct Mail Marketing Delivers Results

Consumers who have ever browsed an e-commerce site, added a product to their shopping cart, and then abandoned it, might have noticed a conveniently timed email advertising a good deal on that same item. This is one example of email marketing automation, in which specific triggers drive particular actions, and PFL is doing the same thing with direct mail through its Tactile Marketing Automation (TMA).

An application that integrates with popular CRM and marketing automation platforms that most marketers are already using, TMA helps drive results by using data to trigger the delivery of well-timed direct mail, promotional products, and sales kits. Customers receive offers they’re more likely to respond to, which leads to more sales.

“It’s just another way to provide a potential customer with something that’s really relevant to them in an effort to move them toward making a purchase,” Samantha said. “Other use cases include preference management, regulatory compliance, account based marketing, up-sell, cross-sell, and loyalty marketing.”

2. SwagIQ — Personalized Notes and Packages Impress Clients and Increase Conversion Rates

PFL has also developed a Salesforce integration that’s making it easier for salespeople to connect with their best prospects and leads. Samantha tells us it’s primarily used by B2B companies, allowing their sales teams to use 1:1 personalized tangible sends, triggered right from Salesforce.

Some of the high-impact packages that sales teams have sent through SwagIQ include travel cocktail kits, gourmet snacks, Bluetooth speakers, and popcorn makers, but no gift is too grandiose or obscure. The integration allows for personal messaging and customized packaging to ensure customers feel like they’re getting special treatment.

Sales teams receive notifications in Salesforce for shipping and delivery so they always know the ideal time to make a phone call to close a sale. Plus, there’s built-in analytics so teams can see which gifts are driving the most conversions.

3. Personal Marketing Center — Data-Driven Sales Enablement Solution for Enterprise Businesses

The latest software integration by PFL combines elements of the previous two solutions for large-scale businesses. Its Personal Marketing Center (PMC) fuses Salesforce and marketing automation under one platform, giving sales representatives the ability to send print, digital, or social communications through the CRM platform while ensuring they remain brand compliant.

“PMC is a win-win for sales and marketing teams,” Samantha said. “Sales reps can personalize marketing assets without going off-brand and can close deals faster by sending the right message at the right time. Marketers don’t have to worry about compliance and get full visibility into content performance.”

PMC gives sales teams access to email, direct mail, and social media templates they can customize for their outreach, while ensuring compliance with messaging and other regulations.

With Customer Success Managers, PFL Acts as Partners to Clients

From the attention to detail they put into custom print jobs to the dedicated customer success managers that help marketing and sales teams get more out of their automation integrations, PFL’s employees are committed to excellent customer service.

“We go above and beyond the technology, and provide our customers with built-in and impromptu marketing consultations to make sure they’re seeing the multi-channel marketing results they desire,” Samantha said. “Their success really is our success.”

The dedicated customer success managers are on the front lines every day, answering clients’ questions and giving them new ideas on how to maximize their marketing and sales success.

“The customer success manager is really there to listen and prompt some thinking on what are the goals they’re looking to achieve,” Samantha said. “What are the major KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that they’re looking to drive? And how can we help them get there?”

The Sky’s the Limit for this Montana-Based E-Commerce Printshop Pioneer with a Thriving Office Culture

While its reputation as a leading print company and commitment to technical innovations is noteworthy, it’s the people and culture behind the PFL brand that really stand out.

If you were to visit its headquarters in Montana, you’d find the CEO, Andrew, avoiding his office and spending time on the floor with his 200+ employees, whom he all knows by name.

“He’s constantly checking in on people, and he’s on a first-name basis with everybody in the company, which is remarkable,” Samantha said. “Everyone knows Andrew. He has a lot of respect for the people who work for him.”

It’s a work-hard, play-hard company that promotes work-life balance, allowing employees to bring their dogs and children to work. Samantha has a toddler who spends time at the on-site daycare. She told us the atmosphere in the office is extremely upbeat and energetic.

The company is growing and evolving rapidly, especially over the last three years with the recent focus on developing new technology that helps marketing and sales teams drive conversions. It’s an exciting place to be for Samantha and PFL’s hundreds of employees.

“Every day is something new,” Samantha said. “Sometimes it’s a little hard to keep up because we’re moving so fast, but I’ve never had a boring day at work.”