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Let's take a look at the components of a great SaaS direct mail campaign that you can implement today to spur new growth.
Direct mail is not dead!
On the contrary – its response rates are 4 times that of email. So, what are the implications of tapping into this lost art?
The top reasons SaaS companies are looking to direct mail for customer engagement include:
· to generate qualified leads
· to move customers down the funnel
· to warm-up cold leads
· to generate revenue from courses/webinars
· to follow up after an event
Your company may have other reasons, but these are the basics.
Traditional advertising agencies have harnessed the power of direct mail for years, but only lately have SaaS companies been looking to direct mail solutions for organic growth. There may be nothing new under the sun in the direct mail market, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some ground rules. Let’s break it down a bit and look at the components of a great SaaS direct mail campaign that you can implement today to spur new growth.
Most direct mail campaigns have these main components in common:
· finely-targeted leads
· warm-up email/s
· shipped, direct-mail piece
· follow-up email/s
· website and/or landing page
This, my friends, is where the similarities do and should cease, but before we dive into some great examples and inspiration, consider these 5 tips for creating a great SaaS marketing piece.
You don’t have a lot of time to make a first impression, so you want to make sure your direct mail piece has a clear and concise CTA. Graphics, messaging, white space – these all play a role in delivering your main message and capturing their attention. Direct mail can be designed for any part of the funnel, but no matter your goal, get to the point, quickly.
Here’s an example from Okta, of a quick, concise mailer that gets to what they’re trying to say, quickly.
You know that phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Spoiler alert – it’s all true. In the ten seconds, you have to make a first impression, your potential customer has to be able to feel the emotion you are trying to convey and be inspired to engage or convert with your brand.
Color and imagery are key components to the direct mail piece, and since the brain processes images way quicker than words, they are likely the only thing standing between you and a successful conversion.
For your direct mail piece, make sure images convey the tone of your brand and that they do not overwhelm the messaging. The goal is to have imagery that supports the message, like this example from Sage, an accounting software platform.
Notice the clean use of color and imagery that supports the overall brand message.
Any mailer with easy-to-read brand messaging is going to be your most effective piece. Too much of anything is a bad thing, and that stands true for direct mail pieces. You want people to instantly understand the message you’re trying to convey, without taking up too much space. Google did a great job getting to the point in this mailer, designed to drum up ad business.
You are already shelling out money for a mailer, so why not go all out? Most memorable pieces are those that are on brand, on message, and interactive. Yes, mail pieces can be interactive too. Just check out this example from SaaSMQL below. Here the goal was to increase registrants for a webinar, but this could easily work as an invitation to watch a product sample video.
Other ways to add uniqueness to mailers include:
· Adding interesting folds: draws attention
· Adding technology: creates interest, promotes engagement
· Adding special die-cuts: creates interest
· Adding a scratch-off element: promotes engagement
The DMA has done extensive research in the direct-mail arena and their expertise indicates that the best responses to direct-mail pieces were in flat mailers, with a response rate of 6.6% Postcards and letters rounded out the top three, with response rates of 5.7%, and 4.3% respectively. Siemens knocked it out of the park with this square mailer below.
According to the DMA, flats have the best response rates at 6.6%, followed by postcards at 5.7% and letters at 4.3%. However, you should consider all formats to see which one is the best fit for your campaign.
If you do decide to go the route of an interesting-sized piece, we can’t stress enough the importance of aligning the piece to U.S. Postal Service requirements. If you do not ensure you are within regulated sizes you could risk your piece not being sent, or risk spending so much on the piece you kill your ROI. The rules of carpentry work well here, measure twice, cut once.
Now to the fun part. Want a peek at what SaaS companies are doing with Direct Mail? Here are our top picks for what we consider “wins” in SaaS direct-mail.
No list of this kind would be complete without the mention of Google. Here’s an example from a mailer they sent to promote Google Ads services to B2B customers. It’s simple, direct, and clean.
Amazon is another tech giant doing direct-mail justice. Their campaigns are structured to build brand loyalty and, in this example, they developed a holiday catalog to mail that included activities for the kids and toys for purchase.
Paycom does a great job standing out with this piece from 2020. It’s simple but bold and by making use of an overlay color, they are reinforcing their brand through color Overall, a great example of SaaS direct mail.
This example from LinkedIn shows a great way to explain how to use software, in a mailer. While SaaS is a breakthrough technology, it’s not the easiest concept to relay to consumers, and direct mail can help bridge that learning gap if done correctly.
Salesforce’s mailer below is a great example of an effective direct-mail piece with clear messaging. This mailer screams growth – which is exactly what they are promising. The piece really drives home their point without even having to read the copy, but the copy supports the overall message as well.
A great example of retention marketing using direct mail is Slack’s “customer love” boxes. This is of course to be saved for the best clientele, but what a great way to show the customer they are appreciated, via mail.
A great example of the use of brand color to get attention is found in this mailer sent from Intel. It is visually appealing, gets to the point, and matches their brand feel well.
A great example of engagement is found in this piece from Gusto. The maze serves to not only engage but also help explain a process – while navigating through the maze. Its use of whitespace is equally impressive.
Mobile payment provider, Square, sent out this engaging mailer that shows power in simplicity. The use of color to convey the changing focus of each point helps effectively deliver their message.
And rounding out our top ten is this mailer from RingCentral, a provider of enterprise collaboration and cloud communications solutions. This is a great example of promoting the benefits of your SaaS software in a quick-read direct-mail piece.
Quickly, before we wrap up our direct-mail piece, we wanted to show you two, albeit more pricy options, for introducing your brand to potential buyers. These should be saved for those that are at the bottom of your funnel; those closest to a conversion, as the ROI would be negligible for a mass audience.
Take a look at this great direct-mail gifting idea from Intellimize. Not only can you add more copy to a piece of this nature, but it really adds a professional appeal to your brand. Combined with a tagline like; “Make Us a Part of Your Mornings,” you’ve got the makings of a good conversation starter.
SaaS Marketing involves more engagement than traditional products and product demos are a great way to get your software into the hands of decision-makers. With Xero’s mail piece, not only is their USP prominently displayed but the colors and white space of the mailer evoke a stress-free experience. Also, a creative way to include number coding for a free trial offer.
With so many emails and digital ads competing for consumer attention, why use direct mail? Quite simply, because mail works. Here is a tangible piece of information that can be carried, digested, and even shared – a lot longer engagement than a simple email, wouldn’t you say?
When it comes to marketing pieces, you need to do what works for your product, and with SaaS marketing, that product is a little different to sell than others. Designing a piece that will be memorable and spark engagement is a great way to introduce yourself to your consumers and at the very least, engage with your brand.
Some key points to keep in mind before entering into a direct-mail campaign include:
· consider personalization: while it takes a bit more set-up time in the beginning, personalization will go far in connecting with the customer
· clean your prospect list: if you’re going to spend money on direct mail, you want to limit the amount of bad, or out-of-date addresses. Use this time to clean your lists so they are more effective
· consider shapes and size: in mailers, shape and size matter, both to the consumer and the U.S. Post Office. Make sure you check with them to ensure your piece matches spec before you waste money on producing something that potentially couldn’t be used.
· consider your goal: having a clear goal in mind for the mailer is essential. Determine this before you involve your designer and you’ll save a lot of time in production
Once you have your goals in mind and your campaign on point, you are ready to launch. We hope you use these strategies and inspiration to help plan your next direct-mail campaign and we hope you see the benefit of using direct mail in your marketing strategy.
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