B2B marketing today is all about technology — think marketing automation. Put up some content, get it optimized for search engines, then draw them in and nurture them with emails and calls. Sounds great, but when you are asking a potential customer to buy your product, which may be quite a considered purchase, is digital the only thing that you want to rely on to hit your marketing targets?
It may seem passé, but direct mail is a medium more B2B marketers should be incorporating smartly into their programs.
Earlier this year, I downloaded an interesting white paper and entered into a B2B marketing automation experience. The content was good as I was a legitimate target, but after several emails in the midst of a busy schedule, I stopped engaging.
Out of the blue, I received an overnight delivery and opened it to find an empty iPad holder and a very personalized letter telling me they would give me the iPad to go inside the holder for simply letting them come in to talk. Within two hours of signing for the package, they called me to see if I’d received it and what I thought of it.
I met with the salesperson later that week — partly to get the offer — but really to see how they planned out the program. They showed me how they leveraged their CRM system, plugged into their email system and fed with postal information, to determine who made sense for this direct mail offer. When it was time to contact me, they confirmed that this approach had significantly increased their leads.
What I learned from the experience is that an outside-the-box (in this case it was really inside-the-box) approach that is well integrated across channels gets conversations started.
While not everyone can afford an iPad as a premium in their cost of acquisition, the direct mail package broke through the digital clutter business decision-makers face each day. (According to the Radicati Group, the average business person sends or receives 108 emails a day — they are most likely not getting that many pieces of mail or packages).
There was something in it for the recipient — the element of greed was effective. And, the coordinated effort of timing an outbound sales call to the receipt of the package ensured maximum attention and awareness.
Technology is the enabler, but it needs to have the right components and be well thought through. Show your targets that your product is worth the consideration — try direct mail as part of your B2B marketing effort to make a memorable impression.