What’s the point of using postal mail in a digitalised, globalised world? This is a pertinent question for B2B marketers. But, in fact, the answer is quite a lot. Despite the dominance of email – in 2015, there were over 205 billion business emails sent and received every day across the world (The Radicati Group) – B2B direct mail still remains relevant.
In fact, many clients remain partial to direct mail marketing techniques because of its advantages, an expert has said.
Industry specialist Marc Michaels said that because direct mail is palpable, clients tend to view the medium more favourably and respond well to it.
Writing in Marketing Week, he explained that direct mail can play just one role in a larger multiple platform campaign strategy.
“Taking the customer through the campaign journey is about having multiple touchpoints,” Mr Michaels said.
“A lot has been said about moving everything online, but a lot of web traffic is driven by offline media.”
In this blog post, we will consider four reasons why this marketing medium can still pack a punch.
IT STANDS OUT
In an age where people’s inboxes are overflowing, a piece of carefully-targeted direct mail can capture their attention. An aesthetically pleasing and clearly branded letter can provide a welcome change from an email. And once you’ve piqued someone’s interest, they’re far more likely to engage with your message.
Writing for Entrepreneur, Craig Simpson says: “In the age of multitasking, computer users are by far the most distracted. And that’s one reason why unsolicited emails get such little attention. Direct mail is all about talking directly to your prospects. Direct mail allows you to step right into prospects’ lives as soon as they open the piece.”
You could also take things a step further by sending a piece of lumpy mail. Whether it’s a box, balloons or food, lumpy mail captures the recipient’s attention and helps to make your campaign memorable. However, it’s important that your message still comes across – a promotional gimmick won’t be enough on its own.
IT’S MORE PERSONAL
There’s a lot to be said for holding a tangible letter in your hands that’s addressed to you – and, given how easy it is for businesses to send out emails, a direct mail campaign suggests that you’ve gone the extra mile to connect with your audience.
And you don’t just have to stop at using people’s first name. Just as you would with email, you can segment your mailing list to ensure that different groups of people get the most appropriate content for them – whether that’s based on their job title or industry sector.
YOU CAN INTEGRATE IT
Choosing direct mail as your B2B marketing medium doesn’t mean you have to abandon technology altogether – in fact, it can be successfully integrated with other channels. Finding the right “marketing mix” is an essential element of building business relationships with the right people.
Using direct mail in tandem with a combination of email, telemarketing, and social media can prove highly effective. You might include your social media contact details in a piece of direct mail, for example, or add PURLs (personalised URLs) to your letters. The latter enables recipients to respond to your direct mail marketing message via a personalised landing page – once there, they can access further useful content, such as blog posts and eBooks.
For more information on this topic, you might be interested in our previous post: Leaders you can learn from: how Graze uses direct mail and social media.
THE RESPONSE RATE IS GOOD
Research shows that direct mail performs better than some other marketing mediums. Posting on the DMA website, David Amor, managing director of First Move Direct Marketing Services Ltd, says: “Whereas an average email marketing campaign will yield a response rate of just over 1 in 1000, response rates of 1 in 25 or better are possible for an expertly planned and executed direct marketing campaign.”
Furthermore, in a study carried out by the DMA and fast.MAP, it was found that direct mail is twice as likely to engender trust as email – thereby, increasing the likelihood of a response.
Clearly, B2B direct mail is still a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. With its stand-out nature, propensity for personalisation, ability to be combined with other marketing channels – and a good response rate, to boot – direct mail still has a lot to recommend it.