Driving Qualified Meetings with Direct Mail Campaigns

April 30, 2020

When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through the noise and reach your ideal contacts.


In 2020, modern ABM marketers are seeing direct mail emerge as an effective channel for B2B companies to engage and convert target accounts. When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through the noise and reach your ideal contacts.

A New Generation of Account-Based Marketing


How many emails did you receive last week? How many of these do you remember? We receive an average of 121 emails a day - some work, some promotional, some spam, some newsletters, and some in between. It’s difficult to make a real impact in ABM using only email outreach, considering cold outreach emails can get filtered or go to spam. Now, how many packages did you receive at your desk last week? Given the special nature of a direct mail package, it’s no wonder the average response rates are so much higher than email, with direct mail seeing 4.4% and email only 0.12%. Receiving a nice gift right at your desk in the middle of the work week is memorable, and shows that the sender made the effort to do something different.


Direct mail used to be a logistical hassle, expensive, and time-consuming. Today, however, it can be automated. Tools like Marketo allow you to integrate your vendor with the CRM, so that you can build a library of mailers and trigger sends, (more on that later). Despite these new developments, at this point in time only about 38% of B2B companies are running Direct Mail campaigns. Get ahead of the curve by learning how to implement Direct Mail in your marketing campaigns.


The 3 Stages of Direct Mail Implementation 


There are three levels of maturity when implementing Direct Mail. We recommend starting with Stage 1 and scaling your efforts gradually to Stage 3. 

  • Stage 1 -  Batched: put together a single, nice direct mail offer, and a small list of target contacts. Order a one time batch, and send to all selected contacts at once. If it performs well, optimize the direct mail offer and move to Stage 2. 
  • Stage 2 - Integrated: it involves running the direct mail campaign in conjunction with other channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Adwords, Display ads, etc. The goal is to build a target list, segment by engagement, and target the same list across all platforms. The prospects will see your company’s ads online (repeatedly) before and after receiving your direct mail gift. The goal is to insert Direct Mail at the right part of the funnel, and once you start to see the increased value, move to Step 3.

Direct Mail Stages

  • Stage 3 - Triggered: this is the ultimate goal -- the most effective kind of direct mail campaign. Triggered direct mail campaigns leverage data and automation to target each prospect and account at the right stage and time. A step up from Integrated programs, these campaigns rely on multiple channels to ensure your prospects are constantly reminded of your company. A named account list is selected and targeted across multiple platforms. Leads are then scored based on their levels of engagement. When they reach a certain score (or stage), the CRM triggers the direct mail campaign with emails and physical box sends. By pre-producing a selection of mailers and triggering the direct mail at the right point in the funnel, you are only sending boxes to very engaged leads who are familiar with your brand, and have been pre-qualified as ideal customers. This system has proven to generate the highest conversion rates and ROI.
Direct Mail workflow


Different Types of Direct Mail Campaigns


Now that we’ve laid out the different stages of direct mail campaigns, there are many different goals your company can accomplish with direct mail. The first and most common is to generate qualified meetings. These mailers have a clear call-to-action (CTA) to take a demo, and usually come with an incentive such as a gift card. This kind of direct mail campaign must be followed by an email campaign to follow-up with the contact after they receive the box. Next are awareness campaigns, these can be a great way to warm cold leads or nurture dormant leads with a small gift, chocolate, or company swag, and a signed note. 

If you are hosting or sponsoring a trade show or conference, you can send an event invite to drive people to your booth or speaking session (maybe with an incentive if they show up with the invite), and an event follow-up to attendees who have not engaged. You can also use a custom mailer to invite prospects to register for your upcoming webinar.

Finally, you can trigger a new client welcome package to your champion and their team once a new client signs the agreement. For now, we will dive into the steps that go into building an example direct mail campaign with the goal of generating meetings and pipeline.


Steps to Building a Direct Mail Campaign


1. Build a branded box containing a one-pager, a box of nice caramels, and an offer for a $50 Amazon gift card (or another similar incentive).

2. Add a CTA for a personalized demo with a deadline to receive the gift card

3. Select a list of ideal contacts from target accounts that will receive the box

          a. Who is not happy with our competitors?

           b. Who has contracts coming up for renewals with a competitor

           c. Who is the right decision maker person/title/seniority?

4. Before the boxes ship, start a sales email sequence to these contacts, prompting them to accept the offer

5. Drive contacts to a custom landing page to request the personalized demo

6. Follow-up with contacts and convert them into opportunities 

7. Track campaign ROI in Salesforce



A Few Last Tips Before You Launch the Program


  • The #1 priority in the direct mail effort is the recipient list -- you don’t want to target contacts that are too senior or too junior. A box sent to the CEO of Walmart would get trashed no matter what you send, and an Intern would never have the decision-making power to champion your product. 
  • Take the time to verify every contact’s work address and email, people move around often and you don’t want to waste boxes on unverified contacts. 
  • Have a clear CTA on the box and in any follow-up emails, make it very clear what steps you are asking the prospect to take after receiving the box. 
  • Don’t overthink the design or over personalize, it is very hard to scale, and does not have a high impact on the return.
  • Box investment ranges from $10-$100+, so avoid expensive items (many companies have rules against employees accepting gifts over a certain value), and avoid “throw away” gifts that are too cheap.
  • Finally, always make sure to track results in Salesforce (or your CRM) to prove ROI, and follow up with recipients after they receive a box.


In Conclusion: Direct Mail Works for B2B!


Over and over we’ve seen Direct Mail campaigns exceed ROI expectations. Take for example Company A’s $30,000 investment in 1,000 direct mailers at $30/ea. They sent 100 packages a week for one quarter, and targeted 704 accounts within their ideal customer profile (ICP). After 3 months this campaign generated 37 opportunities at $810/Opp, for a total of $1.7MM in Pipeline. 

We’ve learned several lessons running countless direct mail campaigns, month after month:

  1. Direct mailers work for B2B, but only when it becomes a scalable process.
  2. Director-level is the sweet spot in terms of seniority, (you don’t want to go too high and miss it). 
  3. 30% of the time the prospects were so excited by the end of the demo they forgot about the gift card - but they also add that the direct mail was what triggered their interest to begin with.
  4. Although direct mail is effective for B2B, it works even better when integrated with other channels. You always want to target the prospects with digital ads, email marketing, content etc. 

Looking to scale demand generation?

CONTACT US

Join our Demand Generation community

DEMANDGEN CLUB

Check these other blog posts:

June 2, 2020
The Basics of B2B Marketing Attribution

How do you know which programs are generating qualified leads and pipeline, and which aren’t? How can you make sure a lead is tagged correctly throughout the entirety of their buying journey? Here we discuss the basics of B2B marketing attribution.

May 27, 2020
The Top 4 Direct Mail Use Cases for B2B Startups

Modern ABM marketers are seeing direct mail emerge as an effective channel for B2B companies to engage and convert target accounts. When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through noise and reach prospects.

May 21, 2020
A cost effective Sales & Marketing tech stack for early stage SaaS companies

Your marketing “tech stack” is the set of technologies your organization uses to execute and analyze marketing across the customer lifecycle, and scale your business. The key goal of your marketing tech stack is to measure the impact of your marketing activities - making difficult processes easier.

May 19, 2020
12 B2B Direct Mail Examples to Boost your Pipeline

Given the special nature of a direct mail package, it’s no wonder the average response rates are higher than email. Receiving a nice gift right at your desk in the middle of the work week is memorable, and shows that the sender made the effort to do something different.

May 14, 2020
The 5 Worst SaaS Demand Generation Sins

A strong Demand Generation program allows a company to predictably scale the number of Opps sourced by simply increasing marketing spend. Whether you’re just starting out or have been running Demand Gen programs for years, here are a few core “sins” that your team should avoid at all costs.

May 8, 2020
Right Person, Right Time: How to Leverage Buyer Intent Data

Intent data can tell you when your target accounts show strong buying signals, allowing you to target the right people at the right time. Yet, many sales and marketing teams still aren’t sure how to include this new type of data in their workflows, let alone incorporate it into actionable programs.

May 6, 2020
Building Your Target Account List Using Data

Scaling is hard. You can have the best sales team in the world, but if they’re not focusing on the right accounts, their work likely won’t amount to new clients for your business. When you focus your efforts on ideal target companies, you maximize the campaign’s efficacy and conversion.

May 4, 2020
Building a Successful Lead Handoff Between Sales & Marketing

The lead handoff process is one of the biggest bottlenecks for every company trying to grow their sales pipeline. Marketing has invested money and resources to generate qualified leads, but they are not always properly assigned to the Sales team and followed-up with.

May 1, 2020
Why SaaS Companies Underspend on Demand Generation

Low confidence in marketing attribution and ROI often causes SaaS companies to cut investments on demand generation. By tracking your CAC and the value of each stage of your marketing funnel, you can allocate your budget to drive real growth.

April 29, 2020
How We Use LinkedIn Ads to Engage with Target Accounts

Learn how to build effective Account-Based Marketing campaigns using LinkedIn Ads. We'll present specific examples and step-by-step instructions on how to target your named accounts and drive qualified leads.

December 1, 2019
ABM Unlocked: How to Leverage Buyer Intent Data in Real Time

In this video you'll learn how you can leverage intent data to increase conversion on your ABM campaigns and engage with your target accounts. We'll provide an intro about buyer intent data, the difference between 1st party data and 3rd party data, and how to track customers' offsite behaviors.

August 15, 2019
Creating a Demand Generation Budget From Scratch

In this video you’ll learn how to draft a demand generation budget starting from your revenue goals. We’ll discuss about funnel metrics, Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC), what line items should be considered when creating the budget, how to forecast your ROI, and what tools can help you.

June 6, 2019
ABM: How to Define Your Ideal Customer Profile

In this video you'll learn how to build the right target account list. By focusing all your efforts toward the ideal accounts, you'll maximize campaign's efficacy and conversion.

March 26, 2019
How to Generate ROI from Event Marketing

In this video we'll share lessons on how to generate pipeline sponsoring third-party conferences, how to best manage follow-ups and track results, and how to scale the strategy to 100+ events per year. We'll also discuss about best practices on how to run your first user conference successfully.

December 9, 2018
Video: Integrating Direct Mail Campaigns in Your ABM Strategy

Direct mail has been emerging as an effective channel for B2B companies to engage and convert their target accounts. When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through the noise and reach your ideal contacts.

July 21, 2018
What are the biggest mistakes that B2B SaaS startups make in sales?

The 8 most common sales mistakes that I frequently notice in venture-funded SaaS startups. These include adding territories too early or hire a bunch of AEs when there is no pipeline. Avoiding these early mistakes will impact your ARR from the beginning.

June 9, 2018
The 6 Initial Steps to Transition to an Account-Based Strategy

Marketing is no longer incentivized to simply generate leads at the top-of-the-funnel and throwing them to sales. The metrics that matter now are account engagement, number of opportunities generated, pipeline ($) and revenue.

June 8, 2018
Why All SaaS Companies Need Demand Generation

Demand generation entails generating sales opportunities for your company's products or services. A good demand generation engine can help a company engage new prospects, generate interest online and offline, and attract prospects, which are then converted to leads and turned into sales pipeline.