There is perhaps no greater master on the subject of direct mail than Drayton Bird. Whilst Drayton, like many of us, has also embraced the online world (his exquisitely written and as one would expect politically incorrect blog is worth subscribing to) he continues to extol the virtues of targeted direct mail in generating business.
Targeted and relevant direct mail has impact in the B2B world. It can open a door that no amount of cold emailing will prise open. It can complement our online presence too, promoting our blog, our latest website offers, the benefits of signing up to our e-newsletter and more. When your online and off-line communications are working together to win hearts and minds, you really are, to quote the cliché, cooking on gas.
Direct mail provides a window of opportunity through which you can enliven the mind of your recipient to receive your message. It offers you a piece of prime real estate to communicate all that’s great about your brand. And it can reassure too. When management consultants McKinsey interviewed 750 purchasers of business to business products and services they found that the buyers had to be satisfied that any business they were considering buying from was not a risky proposition. Persuading a business that you are a credible player, that you can be trusted is challenging to say the least. A carefully written, relevant mailshot can nudge the door ever so slightly open so that your heart’s desire – a meeting, a seminar, a telephone conversation – becomes attainable.
And on the subject of relevance, Drayton is unequivocal, stating that relevance counts for more than gimmicks especially in the B2B universe. Stand in the shoes of your prospect or client, look at the landscape through their eyes. Why should they buy your products or services? What would make them buy? Do you have a defining edge or are you simply positively good? What are the barriers to a sale that you need to address? What do the decision-making units comprise and, how many people influence the decision to buy? With these answers under your belt, duly reflected in the content of your mailshot, you could be well on your way to building that relationship.