Retargeting with Programmatic Direct Mail in an Instant


Retargeting is one of many marketing tools that have become a staple in the digital marketer’s toolkit. It makes sense, right? You get someone to your website, maybe they even put something in their cart, you cookie them, and then they see that particular red mixer or snazzy pair of sneakers EVERYWHERE they turn on the web. It’s a no-brainer. Except, like our ancestors before us, we humans are pretty good at adapting to changing conditions. We are retargeted on the web all the time. And data shows that we have learned to tune out those strategically placed banner ads. Even if we do really want the mixer.

So, where does that leave us? With an audience that is pretty interested in what you have to offer, but more interested in ignoring yet another digital banner popping into their sphere.

This is where programmatic direct mail comes in.

Wait, what? I can’t send direct mail to my website visitors. They don’t even fill out the form.

Retargeting has expanded out of the digital realm and is a proven strategy for targeted direct mail.

How does it work?

A couple of lines of code are added to your website that collect location data on your website visitors. Any businesses or multi-family residences are removed, so you are getting only those future customers who’ve already shown interest. A pre-approved, targeted direct mail piece is then dropped in the mail within 24-72 hours. So instead of seeing that banner pop up all over the internet, your interested prospect will see your company show up in their mailbox.

This is a great way to keep interested consumers engaged with your company and your message, and it eliminates the need to invest in scattershot mass mailings.

The quick video below explains how VLG is tackling this problem with programmatic direct mail sent to anonymous website visitors via InstaPost. It’s a great option for integrating direct mail into your digital marketing strategies or for building a quality direct mail list.

An Introduction to InstaPost from Michael Simmons on Vimeo.

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VLG Guide to jump-starting your ABM program


Account-Based Marketing is all the rage. You’ll hear about it in webinars and at marketing conference key notes. Your boss will ask what you’re doing about it. Your peers will look at you expectantly, waiting for you to give them your answer. So, what are you doing about ABM?

First, you have to decide if Account-Based Marketing is right for your business. A resounding 90% of marketers found it important or very important in a recent SiriusDecisions Survey. If you’re one of those marketers who knows ABM is important but who doesn’t have a mature program in place, you’re in good company. Many survey respondents reported not having a program yet or stated their program was less than a year old. When much of the market still seems to be in its infancy, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Types of ABM

The first thing to understand in jump-starting your program is that there are several different types of Account-Based Marketing. While all include speaking to the audience in a targeted manner, the focus on the messaging changes related to the type of segmentation you are doing. In some cases, you’ll target large or named accounts and the relationships and special needs of those specific accounts would drive your message. In other cases, you will drill down by role or industry. So while this allows you to widen the focus a bit, the messaging is still highly relevant to the audience.


So, you’re convinced ABM is right for your company and you’re ready jump-start a program. What’s first? Align with sales on your overall goals and the methods you will employ to get there. Does targeting named accounts make the most sense at the moment, or will you drill down to specific roles or industries to make the most inroads? This is one instance where quality really does beat quantity. Put some time into your list to ensure that you’re approaching the right audience and that you have enough correct contact information for your message to reach them. Once you’ve decided where to start, think about the specific pains of that audience versus your talking points. Relating your solution to an actual problem they are having goes so much further than overall features and benefits.


From custom whitepapers to focused direct mail and digital campaigns, ABM allows you to use almost any marketing tool in your toolkit to further deepen relationships with your identified accounts. Perhaps you chose to create a microsite with content that branches based on role, or a microsite with different versions based on vertical. You could even go a bit more granular and create custom portals for each of your individual accounts. Whichever tactics you choose to employ in your program, make sure they truly resonate with the chosen audience. As ABM becomes more common among marketers, generic content will continue to become less and less effective.


Gone are the days when a solid click-through rate spelled success for your marketing program. Sales operates off of and expects relationships within identified accounts to deepen and broaden through each additional outreach. Find a way to tie your efforts to your audience so you can create a baseline and continue to prove your campaign’s value to refine the account relationship. Many CRMs now allow you to link your audience with the campaigns they’ve seen which provides you with solid numbers to show how your campaigns continue to contribute to conversion.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Like anything worth doing, ABM can only show results if it’s applied in a consistent manner. Evaluate, tweak, and refine as needed, but keep going.

About VLG

At VLG, we’ve been doing ABM since before ABM was cool. Want to see it in action? This campaign branches into four unique environments based on function/role. The client was able to track and measure interest in each and provide appropriate follow-up.


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VLG Cares: Boredom-fighters Give Back



You only have to look at our Instagram feed to know that boredom-fighters know how to have fun. Whether it’s making sure our latest brainstorming session is a little out of the ordinary, or playing a prank on an office mate, there’s a number of ways we blow off steam.

But more than having fun or making a buck, we believe in giving back to the community in a number of ways. So, today, we want to recognize the boredom-fighters who are applying their talents to help their fellow man. Kudos, guys. Keep it up.

In December, VLG teamed up with Key Account Manager Matt “Santa” Kuss to give back to his favorite charity, Christian Community Action of Lewisville. The team rounded up 14 bags of clothes in Santa Kuss’ KickAss Klothing Krusade. Matt notes, “I love helping out the CCA.  It’s important to me because I love to assist those less fortunate in any capacity I can.”

In addition, the team collected and donated half a ton of canned goods to the Ronald McDonald house. We truly enjoyed giving back during the season of giving.

The giving doesn’t stop at the company level. Principal Taylor Johnson explains what Be The Match, a non-profit that matches those in need of marrow transplants with donor matches from around the world means to her and her family. “Be The Match is the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world and we are so thankful for the work and research they do. My father was given the gift of life all the way from Germany, so it’s a big passion of mine to help this wonderful organization add potential donors to the database so more matches can be made.”

Heather Lujan, one of our Account Managers, gives back to the community through art. “I have become a member of Frisco Arts which is a group whose focus is to advance the arts in Frisco through arts advocacy, accessible programming, city grants, and private scholarships, supporting the economic growth and cultural identity of the City of Frisco.  When schools lose funding, the arts are usually the first programs to be pulled from the curriculum.  Frisco Arts gives families an opportunity outside of school to experience and learn the importance of art and the community.”

Creative Director Angela Shori recently stepped out of the studio to volunteer at STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Day at Cedar Creek Elementary in Austin. “It was such an amazing experience. To see each child exploring and experimenting and expanding their horizons was such a privilege. From gooey oobleck to slime to an hour of coding, it was science and tech all day, and the kids loved it. It was great to see how at such an early age, they could start to plant the seeds that will grow into the talents of tomorrow.”

We love to see how these boredom-fighters are using their talents to give back to the community. Follow us on Instagram to see what we’re up to, or post your own photos with the hashtag, #VLGCares.

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How to become the MacGyver of Lead Generation



If there’s anything we learned from MacGyver, either the classic version or the one that is currently enjoying a renaissance, it’s that if you’re smart, resourceful, and have a roll of duct tape you can do anything – even save the world. Or in your case, your lead generation plans.

Below you’ll find four tips on how to rock lead generation, and maybe someday, spy craft.

1. Take stock of your resources

Be realistic about what you’re working with. If you only have a handful of pasta and a coffee pod, you’re probably not going to be able to hotwire a car. (Or can you?) Similarly, if your department is resource constrained you may have to start small. Mac has gotten out of more than one tight spot with nothing more than a paper clip and chewing gum. If you’re smart with your goals, you can utilize your resources in the most efficient manner and make sure they are working smart for you, not just working hard.

2. Think outside the box

Maybe your current lead generation strategy is strictly inbound. Maybe it’s email only. What could you do if you mixed it up, went a little old school? What if you sent snail mail? What if you sent snail mail with a shareable, digital component? Worlds open up.

3. Test, assess, then test again

Some of life’s greatest inventions were accidents: post-its, penicillin, potato chips. Look for unexpected reactions to your lead generation campaign and then make them part of your ongoing strategy.

4. Work with an expert

You can certainly go it alone, but even Mac has a team of highly trained specialists to help him out of his tightest jams.

See how VLG can help you make the most of your lead generation resources and goals.


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Hello 2017, Goodbye Resolutions

Crush your 2017 Resolutions

Howdy Boredom Fighters,

It’s a new year and like every new year, the resolutions are set and the gyms are packed. Just like the gyms, in a month the resolutions will be forgotten and old habits will set in. Don’t let this happen to you with your marketing plans. If you’re looking to make a long-lasting change then let one of our “Fitness Lead Instructors” (OK that was kinda cheesy…) but really, let VLG help make your marketing resolutions stick.

Email with the word HELP to and we’ll call quicker than you can rack out 20 push-ups. You can even take advantage of 2016 prices before our 2017 rate increases take effect.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Rafael Manias
VLG | Principal

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We’re Hiring! Could you be the next boredom fighter?

Do you have what it takes to join our team of boredom fighters? Are you a hard worker, a fast learner, and a smart cookie with stellar organization skills? Then you might be the right fit for an opening on our Account Management team. If you’d like to be part of the team that creates campaigns like this, we’d like to hear from you.

Check the requirements below and make sure it sounds like you’re a good fit, then send your resume to Rafael Manias at



You don’t just think outside the box, you doubt the box’s actual existence.
You’re a creative problem solver with an eye for detail. This is no job for a pencil pusher. You can create and maintain client relationships while keeping multiple projects on-schedule and on-budget.

If this sounds like you, we could use you at VLG!

We’re looking for an Account Manager to join our growing agency and become an integral part of our client services team. The ideal candidate will be able to:

  • Maintain and ensure project timeliness, budget, scope, and strategy
  • Develop, nurture and grow strong client relationships
  •  Stay apprised of client products and competitive landscape
  • Work with Principals and assigned Account Executive to set appropriate objectives for client growth
  • Communicate VLG point-of-view and Best Practices to the client via meetings, presentations and other communications
  • Develop client proposals, reports, presentations, and estimates
  • Internally communicate and contribute to concept development
  • Manage key client deliverables and expectations
  • Ensure smooth implementation of all programs and initiatives
  • Maintain accurate client profile and growth potential
  • Contribute to new and recurring revenue goals, and maintain a book of business

Skills, Knowledge, and Experience Required:

  • Demonstrate exceptional leadership, critical thinking, communication, and presentation skills
  • Strategic planning, problem solving and results-driven experience
  • In-depth understanding and experience with developing and executing complex, interactive marketing initiatives
  • Maintain a clear understanding of client products, brand positioning and competitive landscape
  • Proven ability to keep projects on-time, on-strategy and on-budget
  • Highly organized with strong project management experience
  • Self-motivated and able to work in a fast paced environment
  • Strong written and oral communications skills
  • Extreme attention to detail and resourceful
  • Team player with excellent issue resolution skills
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Basecamp (preferable)
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Marketing, Advertising, Journalism, or Business
  • Minimum of 5 years recent working experience

Please send resumes to Rafael Manias at

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5 Marketing Monsters Lurking in Your Midst


Office Halloween parties. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the fact is that sometime in the next 5–7 days, you’re going to be required or strongly encouraged to step out of your comfort zone, don some crazy-uncomfortable concoction of an outfit, and then try to get through your day with a straight face.

In a nod to this hallowed office tradition, we bring you five marketing monsters and your best bet to beat them.

The Vampire Creative

You know when you see an ad or get a campaign that is just so good you can’t stop talking about it, only to realize that not only do you not remember the brand it was advertising, but you don’t even know what it was advertising? Creativity is the cornerstone of a good campaign, but it has to support the message. If your audience doesn’t know what you were trying to impart after experiencing your communication, you’ve been a victim of The Vampire.

Ghostly Goals

There’s some benefit to transparency, but not this kind. If your goals are unclear, difficult to uncover, and impossible to see when you evaluate your communication, it’s time to do some Goal Busting.

Frankenstein Funding

Getting to the end of the year only to realize that you have to cobble together funding from various sources to get the leads you need is pretty scary. Creating a line item in your budget for a custom lead-generation campaign each year means healthy leads come in, and you can save the surgery for Dr. Frankenstein.

Zombie Data

Is there anything more frightening than sending your campaign out into the world only to find it withering under the weight of undead list data?  Whether your prospect has moved on to another company or torched the email account you have on file, lists degrade at a rate of approximately 2% a month. Keep your campaign thriving in the land of the living with regular list work.

Monster Metrics

Has your CMO handed down frighteningly large metric goals for you to reach this year?  We can help. Check out how our client Tagetik tackled this monster problem.


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Account-Based Marketing is a smart idea, m*therforkers.

This presidential election cycle has many people thinking the world portrayed in Mike Judge’s Idiocracy is upon us. In that 2006 film, an average solider awakens 500 years in the future to find an incredibly dumbed-down society.

“I’m no prophet,” Judge recently told a writer for Time magazine. “I was off by 490 years.”

Billboards for the MTV Movie Awards that resort to coarse language were cited in the article as one example of Judge’s vision of the future coming true.

It is with great relief then that we note results-oriented B2B marketers are smarter than ever. Increasingly, those with complex propositions, long sales cycles and large customers are gravitating towards Account-Based Marketing (ABM).

Also known as Key Account Marketing, ABM is a strategic approach that aligns sales and marketing teams around the accounts they value the most. Their focus is on helping the client achieve their business goals instead of waiting for them to ask for help with a project.

When done well, its practitioners see larger deal sizes, faster deal cycles, and better ‘win’ rates because they’re reaching out to more senior executives in a way that resonates with them rather than starting with as many leads as possible.

The Dialog Marketing we practice at VLG fits in well with this approach. We get the attention of highly valued targets by sending them an unexpected physical object and an intriguing handwritten note, then drive them online to a themed website designed to glean valuable insights.

ABM’s efficient use of resources makes our proven formula even more effective because it allows higher-quality mail pieces to be employed.

Is your ABM missing something?

Something missing in your marketing

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September Campaign of the Month: Avere Your Quest Begins



Obviously, we’re proud of all of our work, but every once in a while a campaign comes along with the perfect symmetry of creative vision, client enthusiasm, and stellar performance. We call these Knockout Campaigns because they KO the competition in any fight against boredom.

This month, that honor goes to Avere for their campaign, Your Quest Begins.

Why We Love It:

Dragons, and wizards, and goblins…oh my! What’s not to love in this storage hybrid fantasy creation? Drawing on the gaming enthusiasm of its target audience, our team created a campaign that’s way too fun for work.

Check it out for yourself.

Avere Banner

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