Let’s admit it, we live in a tech-savvy world where everything happens on the digital front. In such a climate, suggesting a client to opt for Direct Mail as a part of their marketing mix would seem an absurd proposition, right? Statistics suggest otherwise!
Direct Mail Campaigns: What are they?
Before crunching numbers, let us first understand what direct mail campaigns are all about. Direct Mailing is a marketing strategy that involves sending a hard copy of your intended promotional message to your prospective or current customers.
While this is more commonly used in B2C communication, with the right planning, it can be effectively used for positive conversions even in B2B marketing. Thus it finds a place among the various methods in the ABM marketer’s arsenal.
Direct Mails: A worthy RoI?
A couple of decades ago, before the advent and rise of emails as the preferred mode of communication, direct mails were quite common. Back then, emails were considered fancy and had a much higher response rate, also owing partly to the fact that the number of spam mails received were a fraction of what it is today.
However, the scenario has changed completely. As per a study by the Direct Marketing Association, the response rates for direct mails stand at 4.4% as opposed to a paltry 0.12% for emails.
In a research conducted by the Radicati Group, it was found that 49.7% of the emails received were spam. It also observed that the a working professional on a daily average receives 121 emails and sends out around 40.
Comparing these figures with the amount of direct mails you are likely to receive, it is clear why there is more intent towards reading a physical copy than something sent to your virtual inbox.
Agreed, the cost of sending direct mails is much higher than that of sending bulk emails, which cost virtually nothing. However, studies show that the engagement rates for direct mails are much higher. In a B2B scenario, where LTV for customers are high, using efficient ABM processes can ensure benefits outweigh costs.
Advantages of Direct Mails over Email Campaigns
- Commitment: By means of opting for a personalized direct mailer, you are in turn making the client feel special and valued. Direct mail campaigns show that you are more invested in the project as opposed to sending a cold email.
- Higher Response Rates: As mentioned earlier, direct mails have a higher response rate than the commonly used email marketing (4.40% vs. 0.12%). People tend to ignore emails, while direct mails are opened more often than not.
- Creative: While you are restricted to images, text and visuals on emails, direct mails give you the opportunity to be at your creative best in terms of marketing. Touch and feel play an important role in the human mind’s decision making process, which means that you can create a better impression on your clients mind by offering tangible samples for your product or service.
- Recall: Direct mails help in building better brand recall, partially owing to the above mentioned factor as well. Research shows that humans are more likely to remember or recollect things that they have physically interacted with as opposed to having passively glanced at it on a computer or mobile screen.
Use Cases for Direct Mails in B2B Marketing
Direct Mails combined with Account Based Marketing (ABM) can greatly boost your B2B marketing efforts. Here are 3 instances where companies managed to effectively utilize direct mail to achieve stunning results.
On learning that their competitors would be discontinuing their product, this management software company conducted a highly-targeted campaign aimed at their competitor’s customers. Using predictive analysis, they came up with a list of 500 premium prospects who were sent a flower bouquet along with a customized handwritten note via direct mail.
Their marketing director said “Most of the prospects were taken aback seeing the flowers on their desks, but were quite happy. It’s hard to get people to open direct mail, but who would ignore something as big as this!”.
The personalized cards sent alongside the bouquet acted as a gateway for these people to know that there is an alternative product doing a similar, if not better job. This was followed up with an email campaign, which received 465 responses out of the 2700 mails sent. Impressive, right?
2. Digital Dave by O2
Noticing that their sales were seeing a drastic downward trend, O2 sought to innovate by basing their direct mail campaign around the fact that their customers were frustrated at not having a single point of contact for query resolution.
As their customers were predominantly IT businesses, making a strong impact was necessary. First, the top 50 key accounts were identified and a personalized digital hologram based advisor called Digital Dave was sent to all these accounts. Through tracking mechanisms, it was made possible to contact the sales team directly via call. This campaign saw great RoI, with 13 sales appointments booked, and $26 million generated in sales all in a period of 17 weeks!
3. RCI Financial Services
As a finance partner to leading vehicle majors including the likes of Nissan and Renault, RCI-FS initiated a direct mail campaign aimed at driving registrations on its online portal. Their marketing partners, JJ Marketing sent out a personalized representation of customer data in a creative manner as a 4 page brochure, to all the existing customers of RCI-FS. This included the customers name, the make and model of the car and the location of the customer on the left, and benefits of activating the account on the right.
To ensure the customers acted on the mail, they were informed that registering online automatically enrolled them into a lucky draw for car wash vouchers worth $325. The campaign was highly successful, with nearly 7000 people registering on the platform. The conversion rate was a staggering 9.67% as opposed to the 0.26% they had achieved by means of email marketing.
These examples only stand to show that Direct Mail Campaigns are an effective way of achieving your B2B marketing results. While the cost involved might be slightly higher, the returns of the campaign more than make up for the increased input costs.
Five key types of Direct Mail campaigns
Bizible, an Adobe subsidiary has come up with a distinction for direct mail in five key categories. These include shareable mailers, advocacy mailers, appointment mailers, awareness mailers and clutter busters or closers.
- Shareable mailers: These mailers include items that promote a greater level of participation within the workforce, which could include simple stuff like a box of goodies for the teams, or something more grander, like a soft drink vending machine with personalized branding.
- Advocacy mailers: Generally targeted at new customers, these mailers intend to convert customers into advocates for your brand, helping it spread both internally at the business as well as to the public at large. This could include sending branded kits with merchandise, customized letters and handouts to share with the rest of the team members.
- Appointment mailers: Also known as meeting makers, these mailers come with strong CTAs and added incentives to transform warm leads into potential clients. This could include sending gift cards and vouchers alongside a personal note.
- Awareness mailers: These are used to generate a positive initial impression. The focus is more on the information than on the call to action. This could be perceived more in terms of an advertisement. Examples include sending samples or copies of your products or handouts of your services on offer.
- Closer mailers: Generally called clutter busters, these mailers are directed to the key decision maker in the company. Carefully branded and personalized, these mailers aim to close the deal. Examples include a bottle of wine alongside an analysis of your product/service or an invite/tickets for the decision maker to an event, alongside you.
Enhancing Effectiveness to close the deal
To ensure that your Direct Mail Campaign is successful, it is imperative to follow a few tried and tested methods such as:
- Keeping all communication personal and to the point.
- Providing free samples as and when relevant and necessary.
- Close tracking of your competitors, and subsequently targeting their customers.
- Adopting a multi-channel approach to supplement your direct mail efforts.
- Getting people to talk about your brand – Word of mouth plays a bigger role than you would imagine!
- Consider package optimization – Ditch those boring envelopes and single/multi page sheets of never-ending text. Get quirky with the packaging, add in a lot of colour, generate curiosity about the package.
All these would ensure that the customer is more likely to open your mail, leading to a better rate of conversion.
Direct Mails: The sharp rise in popularity
The enhanced interest in Direct Mail campaigns can be directly attributed to the popularity and acceptance of Account Based Marketing which is maximizing the returns from these campaigns.
These campaigns which are easily measurable, seamlessly integrate with your existing management systems. At Bluebirde.io, we can help you significantly drive down campaign costs through proper optimization and planning.
Already tried Direct Mailing for your business? Let us know how you fared.
If you have any tips/queries/suggestions, we are just a call away!