5+ B2B Direct Mail Tips


Know Your Campaign ROI Before Spending a Dime

Download your FREE Direct Mail Calculators so you know what your direct mail can deliver in terms of ROI.

Picture this.

You are sitting at your desk at work, staring into the computer screen and muttering to yourself about the vast amount of garbage in your Inbox.

Someone calls your name, and you turn to see a co-worker with a box in their hands.

“This just came for you so I thought I would bring it right over,” they say.

A couple of your colleagues are gathering around trying to see what’s in the box.  And the person that brought the package to your desk is clearly sticking around for the great reveal.

So you open the package…

Establish a Measurable Goal for the Campaign

You are investing your limited resources into direct mail – make sure you have a way to prove that investment generated a healthy return.

And that starts with establishing a measurable goal.

If you are targeting a cold/rented list of prospects that have not contacted your business so you can generate quality leads, you should set  goals that show [a] how many leads have been generated, and [b] how many of those generated revenue over the 3-6-9-12 months following the campaign.

That means you need to track any contact made by those on the list and attribute them to the campaign – and then monitor those with the campaign code in their CRM history to measure additional contact including sales.

Make sure you have the processes in place to accomplish this – and that everyone is trained on how to capture this information correctly in your CRM.  And yes, that means that if you have retail operations, the store staff have a way to capture the information, the training and incentives to capture that information, and the management oversight needed to monitor quality and re-train if necessary.

Segment for Targeting

Who you are mailing is the most important part of your direct mail campaign.  Everything that follows is driven by the list.

You will have prospective customers that have never purchased from you – and some of them might have displayed an interest in a specific type of product or service, while others may not have done so yet.

You will have new customers that just made their first purchase – and you might want to thank them, survey them about their experience, offer tips on how to get the most from their purchase, sell them accessories or supplies.

And you have long-time loyal customers that 

Strong, Relevant Offer

The second most important factor in your direct mail campaign is the offer.  What is it that your audience wants – and how can you make this offer irresistible to them so that can’t say ‘No.’

I also highly recommend NOT tossing out another “25% Off” offer, if you can come up with anything that’s more unique and valuable to the audience.

Create a Unique Presentation

The third most important factor is the creative presentation – because you have the right audience, the right offer and now you need to grab their attention so that they will see the piece, open it and act.

And in B2B direct mail, a post card or a #10 envelope might not – and I said ‘might not’ – be your best bet.  They can work but explore your options.

That all said, make sure your creative/design is:

  • Easy to read
  • Utilizes consistent brand standards – logo, colors, fonts, imagery, tone, etc.
  • Clear, easy to spot Call To Action
  • Benefit-rich copy

And there are several schools of thought regarding the use of white space (the empty space or blank area in the design and it doesn’t have to be the color white).  

One and Done is NOT Effective

Too many businesses will give direct mail a single try, then fold up the tent and call it a day.

If you are testing direct mail, test it – and that means more than a single attempt.

One way to do this is to make direct mail part of a integrated campaign so that you can test the impact direct mail has on the campaign.  This is referred to as the ‘lift rate.’

Direct mail influences other channels and averages a 450% (or 4.5) lift to the response rate of other channels (Data & Marketing Association Response Rate Report 2016). 

Another option is to test a multi-step direct mail campaign (a series of emails sent to the same audience over a period of time) and look for the impact of the list.  

Why would you do this?

Well, let’s say you have a rented list of prospects – cold because they have never contacted your business, but worth testing because they meet your criteria for your target audience.

Or, let’s say you have buyers on your email list that aren’t responding to your emails.

Send them a series of direct mail because to fairly test direct mail, you need to send a person several mailings cut through the clutter, grab their attention and motivate action.

Ideally, you will see the direct mail campaign deliver results – and other promotional campaigns in other channels benefit generate higher than average results thanks to the lift from mail.

Data Capture Process

Before you mail the campaign, make sure everyone is aware of the campaign and how to capture response data into the CRM so you can measure the effectiveness of the campaign.

If a person walks into your retail store, make sure the staff has a fast, simple, efficient way to capture the information that Person A came into the store because of the direct mailer and inquired about the offer or purchased the item/offer.

Now, you might be wondering what about those people that walk in and out without interacting with a salesperson.

Since they didn’t inquire about the offer – you don’t need to count them.

And that’s why your offer is so important – if you get their interest, motivate them to visit the store and then they decide “Not for me”, you failed.

If you get them into the store and you don’t have the size or color they wanted, so they decide to leave – you failed.

Now, if they come in, can’t find the size or color they want – your sales team better know how to help them find it at another location or in your e-store.

Download Direct Mail Calculators

Simple to use and they help you determine if the campaign makes financial sense before you commit the resources.

Test. Test. Test.

Test formats. Offers. Messages. Creative. Lists.

Remember, your goal is to generate profitable revenue – not prove that everyone over 45 is an idiot for suggesting anything other than digital marketing.  So give it an honest shot and prepare to be surprised.

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