The B2B Marketer’s Quick Start Guide: Direct Mail Platforms


By Brenna Lofquist, Senior Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

In today’s digital technology landscape there are numerous platforms, tools and technologies at the disposal of every marketer—almost too many. My goal with the Quick Start Guide series is to provide you a quick synopsis of a martech solution category. For each category I’ll highlight a few platforms/tools, the pros and cons of each, benchmarks and additional resources. Without further ado…

Welcome to the fourth installment of The B2B Marketer’s Quick Start Guide. Today’s post is about Direct Mail Platforms. Check out the previous quick start guide posts on content experience and sales automation.


First lets talk about what I mean when I say Direct Mail Platforms. In my opinion, there are a few types of platforms that fall under this category. You have gifting platforms, direct mail platforms, and direct mail automation platforms.

Automation is pretty straightforward when we’re talking about direct mail and the platforms are usually pretty robust. They likely integrate with your CRM, MAP and other tools/tech. Direct mail and automation platforms usually provide additional services such as design and helping source items or things you can include in your direct mail package.

Gifting platforms, I think, are a little different in terms of the options they offer and are likely not as integrated or automated as some of the other direct mail platforms. That’s not to say none of them can be integrated or automated, however, it’s something to keep in mind. In terms of the options available, they are less about curated, personalized items and instead focused on sending out gifts at scale. For example, gift cards or allowing the recipient to donate to their charity of choice.

Hopefully that gives some clarity in terms of potential differences or similarities across the different types of platforms. For this post, I’ve decided to focus on gifting and direct mail platforms and less on the more robust, automation platforms, I can get into that later…

Direct Mail Platforms

Tango Card

  • Features/functionality:
    • Three solutions available
      • Rewards Genius: Let the recipient select the reward
      • Blast Rewards: Brand an email template, fund an account, and send e-gift cards in any quantity within on business day
      • Gift Card API: Multiple methods to support simple reward automation or platform-wide implementation. Create and fund one or multiple accounts to support a single app or a platform with multiple customers
    • No subscription fee, pay face value for gift cards
    • 100+ gift cards to choose from, digital prepaid cards, non-profit donations
    • Email templates, branding and customization available (depending on solution)
    • Create a reward unique to your program
    • Access order history, track email delivery, and resend rewards
    • Integrations: Salesforce, Qualtrics and Zapier
  • Reviews/rating:
    • G2 Rating:4.2 / 5
    • Pros:
      • Platform is easy to integrate from a web and mobile perspective and well documented
      • Great technical support team and they continue to make product and feature upgrades quarter after quarter
      • We can customize the email templates to add personalized messages and our brand logo very easily while sending out gift cards
      • People love that we can provide options and it can work not only with clients but our own customers
    • Cons:
      • Prepaid debit cards are hard to redeem, they can’t be cashed out
      • Can be hard to redeem in countries outside the US
      • Slow response of customer support team
      • If there’s an unauthorized use of a user’s prepaid Debit Card, it takes too long to resolve a dispute and get the money reimbursed
      • Heavy transactional charges


    • Features/functionality:
      • Three subscription levels that vary by amount of sends available per year, integrations, and other features
        • Essential
        • Plus
        • Pro
        • Features include: meeting scheduler, customized packing options, dedicated Customer Success Manager, advanced security options, and more
      • View inventory in real-time, send more inventory to warehouses with just one click
      • Address confirmation lets you ask recipients to confirm or change their address before anything ships
      • Gift options include: Cameo videos, Sendoso Experience (events/virtual events), Sendoso Choice (curate bundles of 2-4 egifts), eGifts, handwritten notes, Sendoso Direct (gifts from network of locally-owned vendors), gifts from Amazon, and branded swag
      • Track progress of sends and deliveries, drill into specifics with quick links to tracking info
      • Analytics dashboard allows you to see how Sendoso impacts opportunities and campaign ROI
      • Integrations: Salesforce, Outreach, Marketo, SalesLoft, HubSpot, and more
    • Reviews/rating:
      • G2 Rating: 4.6 / 5
      • Pros:
        • They offer flexible gifting options and branded items which are very cool and definitely wow customers
        • It’s quick to login and send a gift, takes no more than 10 minutes
        • The live chat feature is a game changer. Answers come fast – you never have to wait. Any user problems I had have been solved quickly
        • I like the simplicity of Sendoso, from training and set up for sales teams to reporting to building touches
      • Cons:
        • Would like more gift options at different price points
        • The platform is a little unfriendly when it comes to user experience but they have gotten much better
        • It would be nice if spend data was in one place, I don’t love bouncing back and forth between the analytics and team data/budget. It’s a minor inconvenience but worth mentioning


    • Features/functionality:
      • Three levels of subscription
        • Essentials: includes curated marketplace, gift tracking & notifications, campaign budgeting, calendar integration, message templates, 1 team, and unlimited users
        • Growth: Essentials plus Alyce Activate, “Send-as” a teammate, MAP/SFDC integration, video landing pages, post-gift CTAs, unlimited team, and discounted invitations
        • Pro: Everything in Essentials and Growth plus Swag Select and heavily discounted invitations
      • Physical and digital gift options
      • Tailored one-to-one messages, handwritten and delivered physically or by a personal email
      • Every gift includes a unique code and provides valuable insight into recipient activity
      • Address verification – 96% accuracy
      • Power of choice: recipients can accept, exchange, or donate their gift
      • Real-time notification during entire fulfillment process
      • Integrations: Google Chrome, Marketo, Outreach, and Salesforce
    • Reviews/rating:
      • G2 Rating: 4.7 / 5
      • Pros:
        • Super easy and simple to use and implement specific campaigns – everything can be customized and personalized
        • The AI feature is great to offer the ‘right’ gift or they can switch it out for something of their choice
        • Having a large gift catalog and intelligence support in choosing the right gifts makes things low maintenance for us
        • An easy, attractive experience makes things enjoyable and exciting for recipients
      • Cons:
        • Does take some time to get used to
        • Looking forward to better HubSpot integration
        • Manual transfer of information has been a blocker
        • Wish there were more customization available to look and feel of landing pages and other assets

Loop & Tie

    • Features/functionality:
      • Can sign up for free and Enterprise Solutions available
      • Send a collection of gifts and let your recipient “shop” for their own gift
      • No subscription fee or platform cost, pay for the gift items
      • Delivered via email, once received recipient can send to their address without worry of storing their personal/home address
      • Wide variety of gifts curated by collection
      • Select the price limit and recipients can pick from the gifts provided
      • Customize your logo and select from pre-designed images or upload your own design
      • Tokens to pull in contact info
      • Centralized customer engagement data and shipping
      • ROI tracking and campaign engagement score
      • Integrations: Salesforce, Intercom, Zapier, HubSpot
    • Reviews/rating:
      • G2 Rating: 5 / 5
      • Pros:
        • The support and account management team are great to work with and are willing to help get our company started using the platform
        • Customer service is exemplary. The team is so quick to respond and is always so helpful and kind
        • The gifting experience takes out the guesswork in trying to determine addresses
        • I absolutely love that recipients can select an item they actually want – and it’s not branded
      • Cons:
        • International shipping and cost for international
        • Would love to see more granular analytics based on individual sends

*The above rating and reviews are only based on two reviews from G2


    • Features/functionality:
      • Multiple use cases including surveys & research rewards, marketing rewards, sales rewards, employee rewards, and holiday rewards
      • Digital marketing incentive features include:
        • Add digital gifts to your emails, social media or online campaigns to grab your customers’ attention and motivate them to finally take action
        • Multiple price levels
        • Options include gift cards, charitable donations, and more
        • Sent via email and you can create a curated selection of gifts and donations and let your recipient choose
        • Can add gifts to Marketo or HubSpot emails
        • Fully customizable emails – logo, messaging, and imagery (some customization depends on level of subscription)
        • Track delivery, organize by campaigns and analyze campaign costs
        • Rybbon takes care of on-time delivery and tracking
        • Integrations: Marketo, HubSpot, Intercom, Zapier
      • Reviews/rating:
        • G2 Rating: 4.6 / 5
        • Pros:
          • Support team is very supportive and efficient in resolving issues
          • Ease of use, nice dashboard, key integrations with Marketo and Survey Monkey for automation
          • Super easy to set up a rewards campaign – either via csv upload of Marketo integration
          • I’ve never heard a recipient complain about not being able to use the rewards. The instructions provided are incredibly straightforward
        • Cons:
          • After experiencing some technical issues, I feel that some features of the payment platform itself can be improved, especially with handling decimal values of rewards and allowing for bulk upload of emails with varied reward values
          • Budgeting funds management can be a bit quirky between teams
          • Integrations take a bit of training to utilize
          • The rewards email and landing pages aren’t super customizable design-wise

To Sum it All Up

Whoa that was a lot of information! As always, I recommend doing your own research, especially given the goals and objectives of your organization. However, I hope I provided you with a great starting point in understanding the features and functionality of a few direct mail platforms.

If you are looking for a more robust, automation direct mail platform here’s a few options to check out:

I’m sure there’s a ton of other platforms out there so I’m interested to see if you have any you’d recommend. Let me know!

Next up: Content Amplification