We’re experiencing a resurgence of direct mail as an effective sales tactic. Around 65% of leaders say that they are likely to respond to a direct mail piece, according to XANT recent research. And yet, only 38% of companies report using direct mail. We asked an expert how you can effectively include direct mail in your account-based multi channel marketing campaigns, and have come up with a list of actionable tips.
We spoke to Derek Boggs, Demand Generation Manager, to see how he uses direct mail as part of a multi channel Account Based Marketing Campaign.
After targeting hundreds of enterprise accounts with multi-channel ABM plays, he found that sending a direct mail piece is incredibly effective. Whether it is a simple letter, a handwritten card, or a package with a gift card or a small gift, you are bound to get through to your prospect.
Direct Mail as Part of a Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign
Account-based Marketing is the best way to leverage multi-channel marketing, added Derek. You can pair your direct mail with email, phone calls or other communication channels.
“Direct mail is great for an ABM strategy because you’re targeting one account. You can personalize it, and you can target a few key contacts at that account. It allows you to break through the noise of emails, PPC ads, and display ads that follow these key contacts at these accounts all across the web. But when you send a personalized direct mail touch followed up with a phone call, it separates yourself and your messaging from your competitors, ” explained Derek.
ABM: Researching Your Target Accounts
The most time-consuming and the hardest part of ABM though, is not sending the campaign deliverables. It starts with market research and identifying target accounts, adds Derek.
“You need to figure out the target accounts, contacts at that account and what’s their pain point? Is it similar across all these accounts? Or do we need to customize the messaging for each individualized account?,” recounts Derek. Based on industry or role, you might have a hard time reaching the right contacts in your account, he adds.
“Certain industries have barriers to direct mail (…). Let’s say you’re sending to an exec-level contact. That direct mail piece is going to reach the admin, but not necessarily your decision-maker. (…) It’s really something that we’ve learned here through trial-and-error. We’ve done a good job at tailoring our messaging and efforts towards directors and VPs, so that we don’t have to deal with an executive assistant,” adds Derek.
Reaching Decision-makers With Account Based Marketing
As long as you’re willing to put the time in, you can reach C-levels, say Derek. Validating contact information for leads is generally the most time-consuming piece of an account-based marketing campaign, he adds.
“These large accounts that you target for account-based marketing may have multiple office locations across the country. Across the globe. You’re targeting one specific person at that company that has 10,000+ employees, so it can get a little tricky. Are they working from home? You really have no idea. So you have to put your best private investigator hat on and be willing to do the dirty work to make it effective,” adds Derek.
Keeping the Message Consistent Across Communication Media
Combining phone calls with emails and direct mail yields improved response rates compared to just using one communication medium. The most important aspect of the campaign is keeping the messaging consistent across mediums.
“It really doesn’t matter what’s in the box. The most important questions to ask yourself are, do you have a timely follow-up? Is your messaging consistent across your digital touches, and your direct touch? And does your messaging speak to their pain point,” added Derek.
Just sending a direct mail with a letter or a small gift is not enough, he adds. “It could be the coolest gift they’ve ever received, but if you don’t follow it up with a timely phone call and email it will sit on their desk and collect dust. It’s all about having a sales rep follow-up and having that rep reach out in a timely fashion within 24 hours of this gift landing on their desk and opening up the conversation.” adds Derek.
Most Effective Direct Mail Types
The State of Direct Mailers research from XANT shows that while some types of direct mail are more effective than others, there is one common point to all successful direct mail campaigns. The messaging needs to be consistent across communication channels/media.
“I don’t think there is one type of email or one type of image that works better than others. You just need to be consistent across across all communication channels. The email or web experience for your targets has to tie in to your direct mailer. It also has to tie in with messaging that your reps are using to follow up. If you have different messages with each channel, this will confuse your prospect and they won’t know what it is that you provide,” added Derek.
How Companies Use Direct Mail in Their Campaigns
Recent research from XANT shows that only 38.5% of companies report using direct mail as part of their business. Moreover, only 30% of these will use direct mail for the purpose of prospecting. The main reasons companies do not use mailers is cost (44.3%) and time (22.9%). However, when direct mail is used within a multi-channel marketing campaign, response rates are significantly increased.
Download the “State of Direct Mail” research to see what the most effective tactics are when using direct mail.