Businesses of all sizes have embraced web-based applications in growing numbers for almost every business need. There are thousands of such applications providing CRM, business management, accounting, e-commerce and many other functions. Instead of paying large up-front acquisition costs, businesses pay low monthly fees. This makes these applications accessible to businesses that simply could not afford them in the past.
New integration platforms are springing up to connect these applications and automate their workflows without the need to hire developers. Zapier (http://www.zapier.com) can now integrate over 750 different applications with no up-front cost and no developers are needed. Though Zapier dominates this market, there are other competitors entering including Microsoft. This competition will increase the variety and number of applications that can be integrated and lead to new innovation.
How do these technologies create new mail? They can detect a user-specified event in one or more web applications and trigger postal mailings through a connection to a web-based mailing service like Click2Mail that supports that integration platform. For example, you can have Zapier trigger a “thank you” postcard, letter or note card after their first purchase is processed by an eCommerce system. Automated mail generation eliminates the labor associated with the mailing and can immediately improve the effectiveness of any time sensitive communications. It can make mail that was impractical in the past practical.
As Click2Mail’s “Event-Triggered Mail” volumes grow, it is amazing to see the variety of ways businesses are using it. Some larger businesses have utilized Click2Mail’s mailing API’s to generate certain types of mail automatically. “Machine-generated mail” is not new. What is new is that integration platforms like Zapier have democratized it so that even the smallest business can do this with off the shelf business software and without hiring developers. They can also trigger e-mail and other forms of electronic communication but many have discovered that postal mail has far more impact. Without the labor, hassle and delay often associated with smaller postal mailings, Event Triggered Mail is a terrific value.