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How direct mail works in B2B marketing

August 2019Helen

I read with interest the article recently in B2B Marketing about direct mail experiencing a revival as a channel. It made me smile because we’ve been using direct mail again with some success for the past few years, well before GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into play. In fact, I’d go so far to say that direct mail has never totally gone away entirely in our agency.

Ok, we don’t see the mass mailings of the direct mail heydays, but let’s be honest, when does mass mail ever work? That’s been partly the problem and I am certain contributed to the decline of email marketing when we started to see businesses being spammed with mass emails. It was one of the reasons why GDPR came along to really clamp down on such practices.

I would argue that mass anything is not going to work in B2B marketing. Being targeted in your approach, whatever channel is always going to see a higher degree of engagement. But it does mean you have to put the effort in, starting with research, understanding your market needs and challenges, understanding how best to reach them and using the most appropriate channels and the right messaging.

Opportunity

So, as the B2B Marketing article explains, with digital marketing having been exploited to the extreme, and with the restrictions that GDPR imposed, suddenly direct mail presents a ‘new opportunity’ to engage. FIG has seen a very positive response to its 2019 direct mail campaign to a select few gold prospects. Handpicked, these prospects are companies we’ve been following for a while, maybe they resonate with us because of what they do, or it’s their ethos or location, whatever the reason we’ll have done our homework on these gold prospects. And then we design and print a dedicated little booklet for them demonstrating we understand their needs and challenges and showcase relevant case studies in similar fields to them to show how we can help. Our gold booklets have had an excellent response rate and it’s an approach we’ve started using with some of our niche B2B clients.

I’ve always been a fan of something tangible that you can leave with clients. I started my business 23 years ago specialising in printed newsletters, for internal and external communications. Today, it’s not cost effective to produce printed newsletters all of the time and internal comms can now be found on slick intranet platforms where staff can access information anytime, anywhere. But when you do produce a printed newsletter it does make people sit up and take notice. FIG has continued to supplement its regular email newsletters with quarterly printed copies sent to our key clients and top prospects. It sends out a clear message, that they are important enough to us to receive something that has a higher value than digital communication.

Creative

I believe we are going to see an increase in very creative direct mail campaigns in the future. Very small, targeted campaigns that have been researched and created with its audience in mind. Campaigns that are potentially very expensive in terms of output per piece but with the opportunity to achieve far greater returns than a mass market approach. In truth, direct mail should be used as part of the marketing mix as and when appropriate. And like all marketing channels, it will rarely work on its own, it has to be part of an integrated marketing plan that meets the strategic objectives of the business.

If you are a B2B company and would like help with a creative direct mail campaign to reach your client base, get in touch with us at FIG on 01457 857111 or at [email protected]

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