Direct mail is alive and well; while critics dismiss print campaigns including direct mail, U.S. companies spend $46 billion a year on direct mail, and in 2015, while the volume of direct mail went down, it accounted for an even higher percentage of all mail sent in the country – 57% in 2015. Direct mail continues to be used by large and small companies to reach consumers, but it’s in the B2B sector that direct mail excels.
The biggest challenge facing B2B marketers is getting around gatekeepers and getting your brand and your value proposition in front of key decision makers. Not just any campaign is going to get your name in front of the decision makers, and you shouldn’t expect prospects to be lining up to call you just because they received a postcard. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do direct mail B2B lead generation in 2017, and too many companies fail to meet their targets with direct mail because they either:
a) Don’t have the resources to effectively follow up on direct mail; remember that direct mail isn’t selling your product, it’s selling a conversation or a meeting. Direct mail depends on effective telemarketing to follow up and generate sales leads.
b) Don’t have a strategy, including a creative idea that gets the attention of decision makers and a purposeful marketing message.
How do you break through with direct mail marketing and drive B2B leads to sales? It pays to look at examples of direct mail campaigns that drive sales leads; here are two case studies that come from the B2B lead agency 360 Leads, which successfully leverages multiple B2B lead generation strategies in holistic campaigns.
Case Study #1
The first case study is a look at how a creative direct mail marketing campaign gets your targets’ attention and can even turn from an outbound campaign to one that drives inbound leads. Icynene, a client of the marketing agency Clever Samurai (a sister company of 360 Leads), manufactures spray foam for construction. Their direct mail campaign targeted architecture firms, as these firms dictate what kind of spray is used by builders. The company took blue prints of buildings designed by each of the firms it targeted, created hand drawings from them, and screen printed them onto T-shirts. This quickly generated interest and had architectural firms calling Icynene, rather than the other way around.
Case Study #2
The second case study looks at Glasvan Great Dane, a dealership that sells long-haul trailers and another client of 360 Leads. They stuck to a classic postcard campaign, but as an SMB, they had limited ability to generate leads without taking away from sales. A lead generation company opened up their efforts to markets they never would have been able to reach on their own, even causing the company to halt their lead generation campaign while their sales team caught up.
The biggest issue facing direct mail campaigns is a lack of resources to create an insightful campaign that targets the right markets. Lead generation services get you over the resource obstacle and into new markets. Not only does it take a lot of resources, time and effort to spearhead such a campaign, but without experience running a successful campaign of this magnitude can result in a colossal waste of money and resources.
In the second case study discussed, this example is taken a step further in the realm of time and resources.
Instead of pulling the current sales team away from their regular work to attempt a campaign they don’t naturally specialize in, they hired an outside firm and got the best results possible. Their current team focused on what needed to be done, while the outside firm brought in new leads through their email campaign. Yes, the company did invest more into their marketing budget, but the results paid off.
That’s arguably the most important lesson to take home. Finding specialists who can help in their niche is more important than trying to force something. In this case, the direct mail campaign needed to be orchestrated by professionals who have experience in this specific tactic. While it’s tempting to try to get current teams to try new tactics, there is much more to lose than gain as compared to hiring specialists to get the job done effectively. If your business is looking for new tactics to find new customers, consider a direct mail campaign. Just make sure that it’s run by a team of professionals.