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B2B Direct Mail: Four Tips for a Healthy ROI

October 25, 2012  
In a recent article at Chief Marketer, Beth Negus Viveiros argues that leaving direct mail out of your B2B marketing mix might be a big mistake—even in the digital age. "Done the right way, good old-fashioned direct mail can be a key part of your strategy," she says.

Viveiros interviewed marketers Michele Fitzpatrick and Kevin Kerner to get their insights on incorporating direct mail into a B2B multichannel marketing strategy.

Here are four tips from that discussion:

Make it meaningful. If you're going to add a direct mail component, make it a meaningful part of your multichannel campaign. One of Kerner's clients, for instance, mailed a case for a mobile phone to prospects. When the prospect set up an appointment, the sales person brought the device (loaded with an app showcasing the company's services) to the meeting.


Start with your audience first. Use tried-and-true, customer-centric thinking when creating your campaign. Why would they value this particular mailing? "Channel, offer, product, timing—these are all byproducts of who you are trying to reach," Fitzpatrick explains.

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  • by Alexandra Gibson Fri Oct 26, 2012 via web

    As someone who runs a digital agency, our clients are often surprised if I suggest something offline or something like direct mail. However, the two can really go hand in hand. I really like the examples that you gave here.

    Most importantly, figure out a way to potentially measure online by having a special URL or a special offer that's just for that offline campaign. Then you'll be able to tell just how effective that particular campaign was.

    - Alexandra Gibson, OttoPilot Media (www.ottopilotmedia.com)

  • by Adam White Fri Oct 26, 2012 via web

    The most important sentence in the entire article is "With proper targeting, you can mail at a higher cost-per-piece and still reap a higher profit."

    We stress this everyday to our customers and have the tools to help them do it. The "blanket" approach to direct mail is a sure fire money loser. Use targeted lists when you mail to prospects and even more targeted offers when you mail to your in-house customer list. Sell them exactly what they want, when they want it.

    Great article!

    - Adam White, Postcard Services (www.directmailmanager.com)

  • by Robert Georgie Sat Oct 27, 2012 via web

    I too agree with this article. We began to receive much needed feedback the moment our direct mail campaign started. Mailing free product samples to gaming reviewers and bloggers proved to be our most effective means of getting their hands on them. After that, it was simply a matter of following their sites in anticipation of a review. On the flipside, I would like to make the point that the same concerns of ROI can apply to online marketing as well. In fact, when measured against cost-per-impression and click-through rate campaigns, direct mail can sometimes be a cost effective marketing alternative.

  • by John Loftis Mon Oct 29, 2012 via web

    Excellent thoughts! I would add one more, even to the point of naming the article, "Five tips for a healthy ROI".

    The fifth tip is to, "Pay attention to your list." Whether B2B or B2C, reaching the correct person is critically important for success. Particularly in a B2B mailing, given high employee turnover seen in companies today, lists pulled from good sources like LinkedIn, Hoovers and Jigsaw are filled with names no longer employed by the prospective company. If the mailing is important, and of course, it is, verify the list.

    John Loftis-The Innovative Group, Inc. (www.innbus.com)

  • by Frank Faleye Sun Nov 11, 2012 via web

    This is impressive.marketers must no shy away from the compelling effect of direct mail shots. A mix of this approach and current social platforms should bring about desired ROI.

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