In today’s digital world, it’s easy to forget how powerful direct mail can be. It has a dimension that email campaigns lack. Direct mail brings tangibility to the table, and has a surprisingly high engagement rate. Around 66% of all direct mail gets handled or opened by the receiver. While it’s true that emails are personalized and targeted, they’re missing a genuine human connection aspect that delivers better results. Direct mail can increase response rates and it’s a proven, strategic, scalable option to add to your ABM campaign.
Why direct mail is crucial for your ABM.
The best way to get great results with Account Based Marketing is to create the kind of buzz that gets the entire account talking. Direct mail targets all tiers of the team, and generates the kind of B2B buzz that influences decision-makers. It gets your marketing message noticed, and your solutions considered. Additionally, tangible pieces of marketing leave a more profound impact on the brain. People tend to take an immediate, emotional investment in direct mail.
The best ways to make direct mail work for your ABM campaign.
A big piece to achieving successful direct mail results is getting it in the right hands at the right time. There’s an art to doing this, and it can be easy if you have a plan.
Here is what harnessing the power of direct mail can do for your ABM:
• Strengthen your ABM campaign’s success rate.
• Increase your engagement rate.
• Make targeted account contacts notice your brand and solution.
• Develop a more productive and predictable sales pipeline.
• Make more long term relationship with people.
• And close more deals!!
Let’s talk about the buyer’s journey.
For your direct mail marketing to be most effective, you'll need to abide by the all-important steps in a buyer’s journey. This is the decision-making process by which your targeted account chooses your brand or solution. It encompasses the research, consideration, and general progression they make before buying into your solution or brand. You’ll need to know where your target audience currently is on the buyer’s path. Your direct mail selection should depend on which marketing you’ve exposed your target account to, and their current overall level of interest.
For example, if you've already sent them plenty of introductory information, then there’s no need to pelt them with excess awareness-building marketing. This way, you can gradually evolve your relationship, and show them that they’re not just another number. This helps your direct mail efforts make more a sensible, professional transition from point A to point B.
Here’s an example of how to target accounts that are in the early stage of the buyer’s journey with a mailer that includes a handwritten note, custom packaging, company swag, and a call-to-action.
Grabbing key player’s attention and building quick awareness.
Here’s the situation. Let’s say you have access to a brand champion that could be a pivotal catalyst in getting the deal done. The catch? There are a few stakeholders that must first give it the green light. Getting all of them to have a sit- down and agree on your solution has been extremely difficult. What do you do?
This is when taking the right direct mail approach can pay dividends. In a situation like this, a smart move would be to mail the brand champion a personalized key. Then, mail each stakeholder a lock-box with a message asking them to meet with the brand champion. It would explain that the champion is the only one with the key. Smart, engaging direct mail tactics like this are what create buzz among the people who matter, and inspire them to make things happen.
Get them to commit to a demo or meeting through direct mail.
It can be extremely difficult to get decision-makers to commit to a demo. They’re often strapped for time, and reluctant to meet with you. Using direct mail to seal the demo meeting is a proven, high impact way to get the ball rolling. Here’s and example of how to leverage direct mail to spark progress. Let’s say that you’ve already sent multiple emails, and made more than several calls to schedule a demo with a key player. You’re not able to reach them, or getting a response. Using direct mail in a situation like this can be a powerful means of breaking through and getting real commitment.
To get a demo commitment, you might do something like this - Send the decision-maker of your target company a more engaging and personal reminder of why they should take a few minutes to sit down with you and view your demo. The note should be personalized, and have a creative, branded overview of your demo presentation. More importantly, you will want to include extra incentive for them to arrange a meeting with you.
To achieve this you might want to send a die-cut printout of a gift, like an Amazon Echo or Google Home. Let them know that if they’ll make time for your exec to present the demo, they’ll receive a real Amazon Echo or Google Home. Sometimes it takes a little extra incentive to make big strides in ABM.
Why personas are a big factor in effectively using direct mail.
On average, more than 15 individuals are responsible for making the decisions for enterprise purchases. From the lowest on the totem poll, to the final decision makers, each one has a voice. They also have different wants, needs, goals, and pet peeves. You need to keep that in mind when creating pieces of direct mail. Each one should target specific people within the group, and be suited for their individual persona.
For example, you might craft a piece of direct mail for someone in marketing a bit different than you would for someone in the sales department. Each is driven and motivated by different factors. Direct mail should be personalized for each position.
Make sure to target different people within the group —even people that aren't decision makers. Focusing on those who can influence the big whigs is just as important. Often, their influence and chatter is what sways the final decision makers. They’re importance should be underscored, not underestimated. Because there are numerous people to target within every company, scalability can be a big challenge for your ABM campaign. Finding enough time to throughly research each member in a particular company is next to impossible. That’s why it pays to get a snapshot of a prospective company’s personas in advance. Developing a list of suitable direct mail pieces for your ABM arsenal early is the key to success.
Have a clear call to action.
Don't be too subtle. Your call to action must be bold and obvious. Remember not to overcomplicate it. Concise, simple calls to action work best in direct mail pieces. Don’t go overboard - Have you ever heard the saying less is more? When it comes to direct mail, that statement rings very true. Keep your idea an design clean, simple, and digestible. Create urgency through the FOMO effect - Try sending something that makes them feel as though they’re missing out on something great —your product or solution. Use this technique if it fits.
When it comes to direct mail, looks are important.
You’ve probably seen unattractive direct mail pieces like flat mailers and print-off coupon codes. These are pretty ordinary, and somewhat uninspiring. They’re ok for sending deals and promos to consumers but not B2B.
But what makes direct mail engaging and powerful is its ability to evoke your brand. Tangible pieces like designer coffee mugs, decadent candy, or some of kind of techy gadget can speak to a specific person on your prospect’s account team. Whatever you’re sending, make sure it reflects your brand and intentions. It’s your chance to give them something they’ll strongly connect with, and associate directly with your brand.
Personalization through character.
What’s the #1 reason direct mail is so powerful? Personalization. We’ve already discussed how defining group personas can help you personalize your direct mail. Now let’s talk about how understanding their personality can make your ABM campaign worlds more effective. Using sales conversion data and social profiles, you can gain a clear snapshot of what your prospect likes and dislikes. If you can find out their favorite foods, activities, music, places to travel, and other things that makes them feel alive, then you are that much closer to truly connecting with your targets via direct mail.
Get the competitive edge your ABM campaign is missing.
Direct mail is a sign of true commitment and engagement. You have to make your prospects feel like you’re heads and shoulders above the competition. That's why sending effective pieces of direct mail is an integral part of any Account Based Marketing campaign.
Remember, if you snooze you lose. So recognize that direct mail is the missing link that will help you build better, more personal relationships with your target prospects.
Timing is everything.
Make sure you time your direct mailer to coincide with other marketing and sales initiatives and events. In the example below, sending a thank you note and some swag as a 'Thank You' after a webinar is a very timely Account-Based Marketing strategy.
The most important part of using direct mail is making sure you keep it multi-channel.
Allowing your direct mail to set-and-forget is a big no-no. Integrating your direct mail with account based emails, calls, and online personalization will increase your chances for success. Doing it this way ensures that your contacts receive messaging that is consistent across all channels, and expedites their path to making a purchase.
How direct mail provides solid sales and marketing alignment.
When it comes to aligning your sales and marketing efforts, preliminary research is just the tip of the iceberg. With today’s technology, your marketing team is capable of creating an ABM campaign that uses direct mail to help them visualize and understand the entire customer journey. Direct mail triggers can be seamlessly integrated into your automated campaign. This gives account execs the ability receive messages when a package is sent and delivered so the communication perfectly syncs up every time.
You’ll know exactly when to follow up and when to lay low. For example, your account exec could make a perfectly timed phone call to your prospect immediately after they receive a piece of direct mail. This kind of ability can trigger a more organic dialogue between you and your prospect, and give them a more memorable experience.
The measurable success direct mail brings to ABM.
The integration of direct mail means you can track its location and how well it’s working. Tracking the level of engagement and measuring the response of specific direct mail can be done in multiple ways. But they all share one common tactic —using direct mail to stimulate digital action. Response measurement methods like using QR codes, personalized URL’s, phone numbers that can be tracked, and specific hashtags used on social media can help you get a clear picture of a prospect’s behavior. Results can be visualized using reporting tools and marketing automation. You can easily see which direct mail pieces are performing well, so you an tweak your sends and pull more engagement and responses.