Every B2B company needs to use the most effective marketing tactics possible. In recent times, everyone seems to be more interested in social media and internet marketing. The growth in the use of web-based tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn has shifted the focus away from traditional marketing methods such as direct mail. So let’s ask ourselves, is direct mail dead? My response is no, not at all.
The essence of a good marketing strategy is to reach your target audience - who has the desire to need, know and trust you - and ultimately to get their attention and engagement. Direct mail, if used wisely, with careful selection of the creative design, content and printing, can still be a powerful tool to win new customers.
For a marketing plan to capture the best of both online and offline worlds, it’s important to have a balance between the tangible marketing (direct mailer) and the virtual marketing (online). Here are 6 tips on developing an effective direct mail program:
1. Keep it Relevant
Spend the time to strategize and plan out the approach you want to take. Think about the industries and verticals you are going after and what is the most appealing message – otherwise you’ll be wasting your time.
For example a business could design a beautiful and compelling mailer promoting a new skylight for custom home builders that clearly communicates the big benefits achieved with the skylight; however, if its mailing list is full of builders of apartment buildings then the company may be wasting its time and money because the information is not relevant.
2. Provide an Incentive
Direct mail works by getting your prospect to respond to an offer. Remember that incentives do not always need to be costly to the company; nowadays it is more about making the offer relevant to your audience.
For example this could be a limited time offer, a complimentary pass to a trade show, a free trial or sample or some other reward for taking action.
3. A Healthy List is Key
Getting your hands on a list isn’t the challenge; it is getting your hands on the right mailing list that could be some work. You want to ensure your mailer gets to the right person and not in the trash bin. Pulling data and spending the time to review it for accuracy is critical. And above all, double-check that you have permission to use the list.
4. The Personal Touch
Take advantage of variable data printing to create highly personalized direct mail pieces with unique images and call to action based on your database. Personalization creates a sense of familiarity and emphasizes their importance to your business.
For example, include printing personalized postcards or letters as people will rarely ignore a communication if their name is on it. Are you more likely to read an envelope that states “Valued Customer" or "[Your Name]"?
5. Lead Customers to your Website, or Videos
Many small businesses and entrepreneurs have missed out on the chance to tie in direct marketing programs with other marketing efforts. Large corporations have become successful at integrating their direct mail with email marketing initiatives (it’s all about the balance I mentioned earlier).
For example, on your direct mail piece drive each recipient to a personal online landing page relevant to the offer. Such as more details for a special event, contest submission, sign-up for a webinar, download a white paper, register for a trade show or special product launch incentives.
6. Track Results
Most likely you have more than one way to recruit new customers so you must find a way to identify which tactics are working and which ones are not.
For example of you begin a direct mail campaign and the first month you send out 5000 mailers and receive 50 calls, how do you know which leads came from the direct mailer? Easy, just create ways to ask prospects how they heard about your company, such as simply asking them if they happen to call in and if you are driving prospects to a landing page you can get them to fill in a field ‘how did you hear about us.’
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Looking for more help to make marketing work in your B2B company? Get proven tips in PROFITGUIDE’s Market Smart, the B2B Marketing Guide for Non-Marketers.