PebblePost Comes Knocking With $15 Million For Programmatic Direct Mail

pebblepost2.28imgPebblePost on Tuesday announced a $15 million Series B funding round to expand its programmatic direct mail offering.

RRE Ventures joins as the startup’s lead investor.

PebblePost takes in CRM data and tags a brand’s website, matching visitors to home addresses in its own database and against third-party onboarders. Seventy percent of site traffic can be matched with a home address, said Lewis Gersh, PebblePost’s co-founder and CEO.

The meal delivery company HelloFresh is in the middle of a three-month test of PebblePost’s programmatic direct mail program, and “there definitely is a marked lift compared to a direct mail audience control group,” said David Liu, the brand’s marketing manager.

For now, PebblePost is retargeting HelloFresh site visitors site who abandon a shopping cart by mailing physical cards to their homes, Liu said. “There are much more efficient ways to reach someone who’s just looking around since direct mail is expensive, but someone who’s filled a cart out on our site has expressed a lot of intent.”

Liu said PebblePost is also examining other ways to scale the product by identifying site pages or traffic that can be tied to shopping intent, like visitors who have given an email address early in the sign-up process but haven’t placed anything in a cart.

Direct mail is expensive for clients, but especially so for PebblePost. Its product development demands encompass both the ad tech side of online tracking and also real-world manufacturing, like its new eight-to-16-page product catalog that ships to someone’s home based on retail site browsing.

PebblePost is also pitching the service as an extension for sponsored content campaigns. A media company deal to publish branded content already often packages email, display and social – tagging people who read the story and finding them elsewhere online – and home mailing “can be a new, very lucrative addition to those channels,” Gersh said.

Direct mail may be pricey, “but if a display ad wasn’t all but free, nobody would ever do it,” Gersh said. “The efficacy is falling badly in digital, and it’s ironic because digital today is like data-driven junk mail in the ’90s.”

PebblePost has raised a total of $23 million since it launched in 2015 and has grown to around 40 employees.

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