6 Best Practices For More Effective Direct Mail Campaigns
The data is clear – engaging your customers where they want to be engaged in multiple formats improves response rates and the effectiveness of campaigns across every channel.
As Sangram Vajre, CMO at Terminus, says “engage your prospects everywhere they are.”
This approach is the core of most marketing strategies nowadays. B2B marketers leverage multiple channels and consistent messaging across each touchpoint in the buyer’s journey to deliver a truly personalized and integrated experience for prospects. However, when you think of the channels being used in campaigns you may think of the popular ones like email, social, and a few other digital ones.
But what about direct mail? Contrary to popular belief, direct mail isn’t just a marketing tactic of the past. – Click to tweet
It’s a highly effective B2B marketing channel that can help you reach out to prospects and customers offline. In fact, with the increased saturation of digital marketing, direct mail response rates have flourished compared to their online counterparts:
According to the Direct Mail Association, direct mail yields an impressive 3.7% response rate.
But execution is key. So in order to help you get the most out of this channel we wanted to share two handy resources:
- A webinar that Radius is hosting together with Daniel Gaugler, VP of Marketing at Printing for Less (PFL), which is a focused session on how to build effective direct mail campaigns
- This best practices guide (outlined below) that highlights key points you should keep top of mind when building your direct mail campaigns
Best Practices for Direct Mail Campaigns
1) Adopt a data-first approach
Similar to other marketing channels, you want to first start with accurate data. Leverage existing data in your CRM to identify the right prospects for your direct mail campaign.
Note: You want to make sure you have a clean and up-to-date database with all relevant prospect info.
Once you have built out a target list for the direct mail campaign, start defining their journeys and building out your direct mail campaign.
2) Personalize the campaign
Your prospects and customers are unique, so treat them that way. Use all available information not just from from your CRM and marketing automation platform, but external sources that gather prospect data to personalize the campaign experience.
Defining narrow segments and personalizing offers for each one will yield the best results. Note that you won’t need to rewrite your mailer for every campaign – small tweaks will help you stick out. For instance, CEB (in partnership with Radius customer results) found:
Tip: You can use a predictive solution to build segments and generate personalized offers for each one
3) Timing is everything
Just like email, timing is a major influencer in response rates, so is the timing of your direct mail campaigns. Make sure your direct mail offers are connecting with your audience in the right medium at the right time.
It’s also important to note that you want to account for which stage of the buyer’s journey a prospect is in. Create an offer that is customized for that stage and also make sure it supports and amplifies other touch points.
4) Focus on building out integrated campaigns
It’s important to make direct mail a part of your overall marketing campaign.
As with other campaign efforts, be prepared to send multiple waves of offers and even A/B test to optimize your efforts. No matter how personalized your mailer, don’t expect great results with a “one-and-done” to your audience – especially if you’re new to mailing and new to the audience. It takes at least 4 direct mail touches, plus layering in other channels.
Integrate your direct mail efforts with your emails and social ads, and supplement all your offers in a consistent manner.
5) Measure success for your campaigns
Think about how you’ll measure success from the beginning. Forecast KPIs and even identify what success should look like for your direct mail campaign. As you build out your direct mail offerings, make sure to set up your programs in a way that makes it easy to track results.
Here are some metrics you can track to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of your direct mail campaign:
- Campaign audience size
- Cost per mailing
- Total campaign budget
- Response and Conversion rates
- Number of buyers
- Average revenue per buyer
- Revenue / Profit generated
Use these data points to calculate your profit and subsequently the ROI of your campaign.
Tip: Coding mailers can make it easy to track response rates across your campaign. Just add unique codes to your mailers, collect responses using these codes, and set up a unique campaign URL, email address, or phone number that invites respondents to enter their unique code. For example: www.yourbusiness.com/09141783
6) Test and optimize your direct mail campaign
Direct mail, like other marketing efforts, is an iterative process.
So like other marketing efforts, don’t forget to test the performance of your direct mail offerings. As you receive data on the performance of your campaigns, refine and optimize them.
Be persistent. It might be intimidating to keep sending mail to the same address when you don’t receive any responses, but remember that timing is a critical part of any marketing program. If you trust you have accurate business data, you’re targeting the right market segment, and you know the Life Time Value (LTV) of your customers, then you should have confidence to continue mailing until your convert the address to a customer.
Remember, direct mail is an extremely effective channel that when used properly can yield excellent results for your business. But it’s important to focus on building a direct mail campaign that is personalized, relevant, and well-executed for your target audience.
Not sure if direct mail is right for your business? Want to learn more about how to build a direct mail campaign? Register for the upcoming webinar we’re hosting with Printing for Less to learn how you can leverage direct mail for your business.