Effective Direct Mail for B2B

By Bob Baldridge October 22, 2020 direct mail

Direct mail might be considered a more “traditional” form of marketing, but there’s a reason it’s still around: it’s effective.

In fact, when the Data and Marketing Association looked at average ROI across marketing channels, they found that direct mail had a higher ROI than both paid search and online display ads and were virtually tied with social media. If anything, these statistics tell us that our approach today needs to be omnichannel — and that disregarding direct mail would be leaving a piece of the pie on the table. 

Especially today, when some brands have cut their marketing budgets, direct mail offers an even better opportunity to stand out from the competition, especially for B2B marketers. While it’s true that more employees are working remotely due to the pandemic, essential businesses and many others are open and receiving mail. And in a time when each of us receives on average 121 emails per day and we’re all experiencing Zoom fatigue, a piece of physical mail can be the perfect way to get your message through. 

That’s not to say that B2B direct mail campaigns are easy. They take advance planning and creativity if you want to optimize your effectiveness. Here are the steps we take with our clients at Varispark to ensure success.  

How to Plan a High-ROI B2B Direct Mail Campaign

Sending out postcards and hoping for the best won’t get you the results you desire. The tips below will help you create an effective plan to achieve the highest ROI possible. 

Define Your Audience 

The first and arguably most important step is to take a look at your product and who it would be best suited for so that you can focus your efforts there. The more research you do on your target audience ahead of time, the more tailored you can make your direct mail content. 

Additionally, your target accounts may be in different industries and have a variety of needs and goals. By defining and segmenting your different audiences as much as possible, you can determine where your greatest potential opportunities lie and focus your resources there, saving you money, time, and effort. 

Personalize Your Message

Using what you’ve learned about your target audience, you can personalize your message and make sure each mailer resonates with the recipient. According to Canon’s Annual Report, something as simple as adding a name and full color to a mailer can increase response by 135%. Consider the use of additional variable data, which will allow you to take things a step further and insert personalized touches like the signature of the recipient’s account sales rep and their email. All of this will send the message that you put time and thought into your communication, which makes it more likely to stand out amidst a sea of generic mailers.  

Be Consistent

Some marketing campaigns produce immediate results, but more often than not, the companies that come out on top are the ones that are consistent and committed to repeatedly reaching out to prospects. People rarely take action the first time they see something. In fact, there’s even something called the Rule of 7 that says that’s the average number of impressions a brand must make on a member of their target audience before making a sale.

In other words, before you even send your first direct mail piece, start planning your next touchpoint — and thinking about how you will build upon or deepen your message. 

Drive Traffic to Your Online Channels

Since we’re living in a technological age in which omnichannel campaigns are the most effective, make sure you add an online component to your mailings so that you can connect with your audience on your digital channels. Depending on your goals, this might mean running remarketing ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram, including scannable QR codes in your mailing, or directing web traffic to personalized URLs. 

Include a Clear CTA

You can have the most eye-catching mailer in the world and deliver it to (the) exact right person, but it’s not going to make them convert without a clear call to action (CTA). What do you want the recipient to do? How are you making it easy for them to do it? Whatever your goal — a purchase, downloading an app, registering for an event — make sure you are clear about what their next step should be and why they should take it.

Create a Follow-Up Plan

Last but certainly not least, make sure you have a plan in place once your mailers are out the door. Have a way of capturing responses, ideally by logging data in your CRM to make closing the sale easier. And for those who don’t immediately convert, create  a lead nurturing campaign to follow up with engaged prospects and keep them engaged. 

Ready to talk about your next B2B direct mail campaign? We can advise every step of the way. Let’s talk.