Always aim to solve a problem for your target customers.

Paperplanes UK’s leading programmatic direct mail company

Please introduce yourself and your startup Paperplanes to our readers!

Hi I’m Dan Dunn, founder of Paperplanes. We’re the UK’s leading programmatic direct mail company. 

We deliver programmatic direct mail to help businesses send information their customers actually want to receive. We match the online behaviour of a business’ customers with industrial scale print capability (one of the country’s oldest and largest) and deliver personalised direct mail. From laptop to doorstep. We have so far sent over 1 million highly personalised and relevant mail pieces to customers homes

How did you get the idea for Paperplanes?

I came up with the idea of Paperplanes, after recognising a gap in the market. I was fortunate to have experience in both traditional mail and online, influencer and social media marketing so I’d seen first-hand that technology had changed everything, but I couldn’t get my head around the fact that direct mail still beat digital when it came to like for like sales conversion. And I felt that more could be down to educate the market, so we combined traditional direct mail with digital technology and Paperplanes was the result. We were able to use digitalisation to target and personalise marketing material in real time and have the ability of direct mail to drive further sales.

Why did you decide to start with Paperplanes?

I realised there was an opportunity in the market, especially when digital marketers would discuss the omnichannel strategy but omit direct mail. All brands suffer financial losses each year because of abandoned baskets. Being able to provide customers with the options they abandoned previously, using traditional direct mail, is a good way to catch their attention again. It’s crazy to therefore think omnichannel does not include offline marketing activities?

What is the vision behind Paperplanes?

Our vision is to help marketers understand their customers better and provide more relevant and responsive communications. Direct mail works because people care when you send them something that matters to them at the right time and with our technology, we can guarantee it’s the right time, every time.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

One of the biggest challenges we faced in the beginning was the mis-conception that programmatic re-targeting was solely reserved for digital marketing. Nobody really understood why we would use a supposedly ‘dying’ channel such as direct mail to help businesses sell more when everything was being digitalised. When we invented Paperplanes, we created a completely new channel of communication, which many had to learn to get used to. As we move forward, we’re finding big brands are coming back to direct mail to help them reach those customers who are no longer responding to other avenues.  

Who is your target audience?

We can help every kind of business, but we help in particular the marketing departments of big brands, SME’s and customer relationship managers (CRM). 

What is the USP of your startup?

The USP of Paperplanes is that we use the latest digital marketing technology to deliver programmatic direct mail. Tags are installed to track incoming traffic from customers, which then automatically triggers direct mail to land on customer’s doorsteps within 48 hours. No other company in the UK has the capability to deliver this service for brands.

Can you describe your typical workday?

They say variety is the spice of life so thank goodness there is plenty of that on offer at Paperplanes. We have client campaigns spread across 12 very different categories, each of which posing its own unique challenges. There is no standard day as a result. I could be spending an hour on marketing in the morning, two hours preparing for a pitch and afternoon with clients kicking off our next phase of activity.  

Where do you see yourself and your startup Paperplanes in five years?

We have recently launched new product services, Paperplanes Journeys and Paperplanes Engage. The purpose of those services is to help household brands market to changes in consumer digital behaviour. In the near future we hope to expand our business and reach more brands, helping them with their marketing and customer conversion challenges. 

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?

  1. Don’t become complacent. Always aim to solve a problem for your target customers.
  2. Use the latest technology. Innovation is like a magnet – make sure you’re constantly looking at new ways to innovate.
  3. Enjoy what you do. Building a business from scratch is hard, if you don’t love what you do its going to make things harder for when challenges a rise. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Dan Dunn for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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