5 Keys for B2B Direct Mail Success

Mail box with letters

First things first, response rates for B2B direct mail are climbing. According to the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report, B2B Direct Mail has a response rate of 3.7% with a house list and 1% with a prospect list. On average, B2B email response rates sit at just 0.1% for both house and prospect lists. Not only is the response rate higher than email, it’s faster too. An article written by cmocouncil.org, reports that 79% of people act on direct mail immediately versus just 45% with email.

Here are 5 ways to create a successful B2B Direct Mail Package.

1. Mailing List: Direct mail list vendors have been working on their databases for decades. Email lists are improving, but they are still not at the same level of quality. This means that your direct mail list from a good vendor will be more tightly targeted on your desired customer. Other ideas may be joining related business associations and organizations where there is an option to purchase and mail to fellow members.  Of course, include customers who have responded or bought previously as well as former customers (as you may be able to “win” them back).

2. Create A Personalized Message & Compelling Offers: For optimal response, personalize your marketing message to its intended audience. Yes, this may require various versions of the same direct mail campaign. The more relevant the message is for your intended audience, the better your response rate. Your offers should be applicable and highly desirable. If your budget will not allow for big-ticket items, free trials or even introductory discounts, think about free information or content you can offer (this is especially effective in b2b).

3. Make it Easy to Respond: Following a clearly stated call-to-action that specifies how you would like your target to respond, give them as many options for responding as appropriate toll-free number, postage-paid envelope, URL, etc. According to Leslie Beasley from the Online Marketing Institute, not too long ago, offering multiple response options would have been frowned upon because the rule that more choices equates to a lower response. Times have changed; people expect a choice, not having a preferred response channel could decrease response.

4. Go Outside the Box: 3-D or dimensional mailings, whether they take the form of a box with a teaser on the outside or a tube, outperform standard formats by 250%, according to the DMA, but increase the cost per lead by only 50%.  With that being said, fun, glitzy pieces that work well for cosmetics or fashion will not fly if you are selling financial services; a No. 10 envelope would be more credible because that’s what people expect from financial services – be creative, but focus on direct mail aimed at your audience.

5. Test, Test, Test: Deploy versions with different headlines, degrees of personalization, offers, length of body copy, 800#, paper stock, etc.  Code each version separately, and deploy them at the same time, to different people/businesses on the same list. As results shift in favor of one version, vary another element. Test market and refine over and over, until you know your communication is a winner. And, most importantly, continue to monitor your results.

 Tracy Weinstein

Sources: www.thedma.org
www.onlinemarketinginstitute.org