Email marketing has proven value, but for B2B businesses, the rush to digital platforms has reinvigorated a channel some companies have overlooked: direct mail. The boom in email gave direct mail a stronger presence and a clearer playing field than it’s had in years, which is outstanding news for companies that use it. Direct mail currently enjoys one of the highest ROI ratios of any marketing channel, and it lends authority to companies that invest in it. New customization options and personalization technology make direct mail even more appealing to recipients.
With the great power of direct mail comes a great responsibility, though. Whether they’re just starting to move into mailing or are looking for ways to prioritize their direct mail activities, marketers need a plan. Here are some potential postal pitfalls and how you can maneuver around them with data enhancement, customer knowledge, and a smart follow-up plan.
The biggest mistake B2B businesses typically make is trying to connect with everyone on their mailing list with the same message. For the B2B sector, trying to market to everyone at once is little better than marketing to no one at all. Considering the higher cost of printing and distribution for direct mail, that’s an error few businesses can afford to make. Mass mailing generic messages is like knocking on every door even when you can see no one is home.
Solution: Save the effort and segment your audience. It’s up to you and your marketing team to develop useful, meaningful segments that align with your audience’s needs and behaviors. Data enhancement tells you more about your market so you can mail selectively, ensuring that your leads get the right message at the right time.
Direct mail is a tangible representation of your organization, yet some companies trim costs with printing and design of their direct mail content. They may believe getting noticed and staying in their leads’ minds is more important than why they attract notice or what their leads think of the messages they’ve received. You’ve probably seen mail from these sources yourself, and chances are you’ve done what many recipients do with mail that lacks authority: You pitched it.
Solution: When it comes to direct mail, quality is far more important than quantity. Even the best message can get lost if the medium lacks appeal. Choose marketing materials that represent you well for direct mail and pay attention to the details. Get names, addresses, and company information right using data enrichment to give you accurate, up-to-date specifics before you mail.
Most marketers readily see a series of emails as a cohesive campaign, even setting up triggers so recipients get a cascade of mailings that correspond to actions leads take. For various reasons, that ability to see email as an integral part of an overarching marketing campaign seems to falter when it comes to direct mail. For many businesses, direct mail is a one-off event that happens sporadically, such as in conjunction with a discount or a new product line, instead of a scalable, reliable part of an omni-channel marketing strategy.
Solution: See direct mail as part of a much larger picture. Direct mail excels at reinforcing middle-of-funnel and later content, for example, so weaving it into your nurture strategy or using it to connect with established customers makes sense. As leads traverse their buying journey, the direct mail you send them should also change.
With attention to detail, some firm goals in mind, and data enhancement to fill in the blanks, your direct mail marketing efforts will reward you.
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