Meet the Mailers: Mail with a Personal Touch

By: EmMa Matern

November 1, 2023


In the recent episode of “Meet the Mailers” – Episode 29 entitled “Postalgia: Mail with a Personal Touch”, our very own CEO, Ilan Mann, spoke with the esteemed Paul Bobnak from Who’s Mailing What. Ilan Mann’s extensive background in the direct mail industry, along with the innovative solutions offered by Postalgia, were the focus of discussion. The interview delved into the effectiveness of handwritten notes, highlighting why they resonate so genuinely with their audience. The conversation included insights into the many verticals in which Postalgia operates, along with best practices employed within the nonprofit, real estate, and political sectors. Intriguing factors influencing direct mail trends for the upcoming years provided a glimpse into the future of mail.


What Solutions Does Postalgia Offer?

Paul poses the question, “Can you talk about the solution that your company offers to marketers, and nonprofit fundraisers?” Ilan goes on to explain, “we use robots that hold a pen and drag it across the paper just like the human hand would to create the most realistic-looking handwritten pieces of mail in the market.”

Postalgia’s end-to-end mail service is more than just a process; it’s a commitment to transforming your direct mail campaigns into something truly exceptional. Starting with campaign goals, artwork, and customer data, and ending with the stuffing stamping and mailing. What sets us apart is our ability to scale the human touch. We understand that every piece of mail should feel as though it was handcrafted, just for the recipient. With our use of variable data, we create a unique and engaging experience. This includes personalized name salutations, donation amounts, and even variable letters in handwritten fonts. The address on the envelope is crafted to match the contents inside, adding a level of intrigue and personalization that captures attention.

Our extensive range of products includes notecards, executive letters, outer envelopes, pledge cards, reply envelopes, tent cards, and more. Whether you’re reaching out to donors, customers, or constituents, Postalgia’s commitment to personalization and quality ensures that your direct mail campaigns make a lasting impression.


Verticals that Postalgia Works With

At Postalgia, our reach extends to a diverse group of clients, ranging from small businesses of all kinds, including sole proprietors and independent professionals, to more specialized sectors like dental practices, therapists, and medical practices. We also collaborate with larger financial institutions, catering to a wide spectrum of businesses across the board.

One of our standout areas of expertise is in the nonprofit sector, where we have witnessed remarkable growth. Nonprofits have discovered the immense potential of direct mail for their various needs. Whether it’s fundraising campaigns, stewardship initiatives, or celebrating donor anniversaries, we understand that showing gratitude and care to your donors is paramount. To this end, as Ilan aptly puts it, “Stewardship has been exploding over the last few years, and we’re pretty lucky to be a part of that growth… We’ve seen incredible results on the fundraising.”

We offer a range of solutions, including heartfelt thank you cards and thoughtful holiday cards, all designed to convey your deep appreciation and strengthen the connection between your organization and your donors. At Postalgia, we’re dedicated to serving the unique and evolving needs of all our clients, big or small, and we take pride in being a trusted partner in their journey to make meaningful connections.


Best Practices in the Nonprofit World

One of the most impactful mail pieces, as Ilan explains, are highly personalized stewardship pieces. This personalized approach is something we take quite seriously at Postalgia. In fact, Ilan goes on to emphasize, “We do A/B testing,” illustrating our commitment to refining and optimizing our strategies.

“We’ve seen a massive increase in the follow-on fundraising that comes when people receive something as simple as… a Thanksgiving card to half of their list. No ask [amount], no reply device, no pledge card, just happy Thanksgiving,” Ilan highlights. This simple act of expressing gratitude through a Thanksgiving card, without any direct financial appeal, has yielded remarkable results.


How Does Postalgia Work With Real Estate Companies?

We’re proud to work with a wide spectrum of clients, including massive brokerages and independent realtors who are tirelessly working to establish their name and brand within their communities. Ilan Mann summarizes our role in the real estate industry, stating, “What we do at Postalgia is a great resource for real estate businesses.”

In the world of real estate, building trust and personal relationships with clients is paramount. As Ilan articulates, “If you want to talk about people buying from people, there’s very few businesses that do that more than real estate. Your home is probably the single biggest purchase you’re ever gonna make, you really need a culture of trust with the person that you’re going to empower to make that purchase on your behalf.” In this highly competitive market, a handwritten letter becomes an invaluable tool for nurturing those crucial relationships and, of course, for standing out amidst the intense competition. At Postalgia, we recognize the significance of these personal touches in the realm of real estate, and we’re here to help businesses in this industry connect with their clients on a deeper level.

Ilan further elaborates on the impact of this approach by sharing a specific campaign we executed for a large Massachusetts nonprofit organization. “We sent half of the people on their list a simple stewardship Thanksgiving card, and then we sent the entire list the end-of-year fundraising appeal,” he explains. The results were staggering. “They raised $130,000 more from the half of the list that received the Thanksgiving card.” This tangible success story demonstrates that stewardship, indeed, pays off, and that a more personalized approach results in higher contributions from donors.

In line with this, Ilan emphasizes, “In fundraising, it’s important to just ask the person as an individual, rather than ask a name on your list or a number in a database.” He underscores the significance of a personalized approach, including a personalized postscript (PS) message, referencing past generosity, and having the communication signed by someone at the organization.


How Does Postalgia Work With Political Campaigns?

Postalgia’s journey began in the realm of political campaigning, and our earliest clients were primarily involved in political campaigns. As Ilan points out, “[direct mail is a] super powerful technology for getting out the vote, because of its ability to stand out and jar people out of complacency and apathy and getting people to vote.” The impact of direct mail, particularly handwritten letters, in the political arena cannot be overstated.

Direct mail has the unique ability to break through the noise, not only capturing attention but also serving as a vital tool for reminding individuals of their polling station locations. It plays a significant role in building trust, especially in the realm of political campaigns. Ilan underscores this point, stating, “There are few better ways [to communicate and build trust] than a handwritten letter from a candidate.” In a world inundated with digital communication, the personal touch of a handwritten letter is an authentic and impactful way for political candidates to connect with their constituents and establish trust. Postalgia continues to draw from its roots in political campaigning to offer these invaluable insights to clients across various industries.


What is Influencing Direct Mail Trends 2023-2024?

In the dynamic landscape of direct mail, several factors are driving significant trends. As Ilan Mann, CEO of Postalgia, justly points out, “Postage prices are going up and the cost of materials is on the rise. Supply chains experienced quite the rollercoaster journey throughout the pandemic.” In response to these challenges, people are becoming increasingly intentional about the content they send and are actively seeking the kind of conversion rates that can justify direct mail as a powerful marketing channel.

This intentional approach is reflected in the growing demand for expert advice when crafting direct mail campaigns. As Ilan notes, “People are seeking more expert advice when they put together their direct mail campaigns, marketers who send emails or email campaigns on their own are looking for expert advice on sending a powerful direct mail campaign.” The need for specialized guidance in creating impactful direct mail strategies has become essential in the face of rising costs and evolving market dynamics. It’s clear that the future of direct mail is shaped by a commitment to achieving exceptional results, driven by expert insights and strategies.

If you’re eager to explore how Postalgia can help you elevate your direct mail campaigns and craft highly personalized, impactful communications, we invite you to get in touch with us. Our team of experts is ready to discuss strategies tailored to your unique goals and needs. Whether you’re a small business, a nonprofit organization, or a part of a diverse industry, we’re here to assist you in making meaningful connections with your audience.

To kickstart this conversation, reach out to us today by visiting our website and filling out our contact form or by booking a meeting with Ilan.

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.