September 8, 2022

Science of Direct Mail: A Chemist’s Winning Marketing Strategy


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  • Innovation, automation, and evolution are at the core of Verkada’s success.
  • Sendoso successfully breaks the ice with prospects
  • Science-backed marketing and smart integrations have helped Verkada leverage the power of scaled direct mail.

In an increasingly saturated marketing field, it’s important to evolve and look at new ways to generate revenue. Marketing experts are constantly trying to think of “the next big thing.”

But perhaps the answer isn’t creating something out of thin air. It could be simply identifying gaps in a current marketing strategy and creating solutions to those problems.

In one case, an outsider’s perspective was the key to success.

Verkada is using a nontraditional marketing strategy to drive revenue. In fact, the company’s go-to marketing tactics are not from the marketing field at all. They are taken from the basic principles of science. Workers are challenging industry norms in sales and marketing. And in return, Verkada is celebrating success hand over fist.

With science principles and data to back them up, Verkada’s out-of-the-box ideas are a winning B2B marketing strategy. One man is leading the charge behind the creative and precise execution of direct mail campaigns.

Man and woman looking at a laptop

Applying science to an account-based marketing strategy

Idan Koren is Verkada’s vice president of marketing.

You may be surprised at how he found himself in that role—that is, until you hear about his proven success.

Koren is one of Sendoso’s biggest and most successful clients when it comes to direct mail gifting. However, he is not your typical marketer. He is a scientist who fell into marketing.

As a chemistry student at Duke University, he quickly learned he didn’t want to spend his days in a lab.

He switched his post-graduation goals, with the intention of working on Wall Street. However, he graduated at the height of the 2009 recession, when there was a bleak outlook on the industry.

That’s when he and a friend decided to create Verkada. Verkada provides intuitive physical security for commercial buildings.

With limited marketing experience, he took on his role because he says it was the weakest link in their business plan. But his background in first principles, the fundamental building blocks of every scientific theory, paved the way for the company’s success.

He applied those same building blocks to Verkada’s marketing strategy. “What do we do that is not best practice? What do we think? What does the data show?” said Koren.  “What is an assumption of ours? What is the hypothesis?  What is the observation?  It is literally a scientific method.”As it turns out, moving forward in his role from a nonmarketing standpoint created opportunities to expand Verkada’s outreach efforts.

Data backs up direct mail success

Koran takes concepts typical to scientific fields and applies them to the marketing space. And it all centers on data.

“Most of the obstacles that marketers have are engineering or data-science related,” said Koren. To combat that issue, Koren has hired a team of data scientists, chemists, and engineers.

“Marketers tend to have learned everything in the same way,” added Koren. “They tend to just repeat what best practices are, which is what the last decade was about, not this decade.” Meanwhile, data scientists have the technical skills to solve complex problems.  They also have the curiosity to unearth problems. They poke holes in common practices by analyzing, processing, and interpreting results to create actionable plans.

“Every person is questioned by their peers as to why they do things and what are the results,” he added. “And is the data really there?”

Koren adds that taking that deep dive into the hard figures of a campaign can reveal opportunities for growth and efficiency. “What a marketer needs to do is realize what everyone else is not doing and where they are stopping short,” said Koren. “Figure out why they are stopping short and fix the problem.”

The Verkada data scientists take into account different variables that can skew results. “In marketing, time is an important variable,” said Koren, “because there are laden metrics all across the board. You have to think through all those aspects.” Koren added that time usually isn’t factored into outreach campaign analysis. This includes reviewing whether the payout is worth the time spent on a project.

Verkada engineers took a closer look at the time metric for the company’s early campaigns. The data revealed areas where the company could achieve significant advances through automation.

Sales and marketing strategies

Automation is key to efficiency

Innovation, automation, and evolution are at the core of Verkada’s success.

“Observation alone made us ask the question, ‘Why are most of our marketing or sales teams making cold calls?’“ said Koren. “It sounds super inefficient and a waste of our SDRs’ time.”

Data backed up their hypothesis. The numbers showed sales development representatives (SDRs) were spending a majority of their time cold calling up to 150 prospects per day instead of focusing on setting meetings. “It really was an operational fault,” said Koren.

To solve that problem, Koren automated the day-to-day work so his team could focus on the future and design of their next tactic. “We [automate] the emails, the calls, and LinkedIn messages,” said Koren. “[SDRs] are on the receiving end waiting to get that response.”

To run outreach campaigns at scale, Verkada uses Sendoso’s Marketo integration to automate webinar follow-up.

Sendoso makes it easy to identify and engage with top prospects. Direct mail has also been part of Verkada’s sales and marketing strategy success since the beginning. “It was pretty immediate for us to understand the impact it could provide,” said Koren.

Verkada uses Sendoso to break the ice with prospects. Automated direct mail gifting creates the first touchpoint.“[A gift] inherently turns a cold email warm,” said Koren. “One way to do that is to provide a gift that the person really cares about.” The automation pays for itself. It’s an easier, cheaper, and timely way to scale campaigns.  It also takes the burden off sales and marketing teams for cold outreach efforts.

Using this tactic, SDRs are free to focus on closing deals and generating revenue.Sendoso has also allowed the company to scale its efforts to an international market.​

Redesigning account-based marketing for the futureRedesigning account-based marketing for the future

Verkada leaders believe their unique and scientific methods are the future of marketing. “I think it’s just a matter of time until it just becomes really obvious that marketing is actually engineering,” added Koren.

In the next decade, Koren expects to see a major shift in the roles within companies. He believes engineers will replace many creative and demand generation roles. “If your team doesn’t have at least 20% to 30% of staff being engineers or data scientists, you’re doing something wrong,” said Koren. He suggests now is the time to invest in science, considering data is extremely predictable. “We always have to stretch that rubber band further and further, and the only way to do that is with new tactics that are even more efficient,” said Koren. “We need tactics that keep growing at the scale we need.”

Science-backed marketing and smart integrations have helped Verkada leverage the power of scaled direct mail. It’s a move that paid off in impressive ROI. For every $1 spent, Verkada earned $4 based on bookings within a year.

Verkada is on the front end of this emerging technique. Trusting the process, they’re sure to stay ahead of the curve, and their marketing competition, in the future.

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