If you have been on the internet in the last few years, all you hear when it comes to marketing is social media. Although social media is an effective and cost effective way to market, B2B direct mail is still very much alive.
Inbound marketing is great, but outbound is still important.
I have a lot of clients who want nothing to do with Facebook or Twitter. They also don't know what managed services is, or that it even exists. So how are they going to find your website, twitter stream, Facebook page or YouTube channel?
I have had new clients excited about the idea of managed services, but had no clue something like proactive network management even existed. So if you are not marketing to these potential clients in a way that they will see, you are missing out.
The death of "snail-mail" or "junk-mail" or whatever you want to call it is very exaggerated. Have a look at this survey of how 1,000 B2B marketers perceive the effectiveness of direct-mail advertising:
So over 3/4 of the marketers asked still think direct-mail is a viable marketing option.
So how do you run an effective direct-mail campaign for your business?
Your headline needs to accomplish a single thing: Capture the readers attention. Try something like this:
Example: "Let me show you how to reduce IT downtime while reducing or retaining your existing IT budget"
Make a promise that will have your readers continue reading all the way to your offer.
Example: "Imagine knowing your network will be monitored 24x7 while you aren't spending a penny more than you have to - Imagine the load off your mind having a team of professionals ensuring every detail of your computer systems are running smoothly"
If your reader doesn't know what you want, how will they give it to you? You need to make sure your offer is clear and concise.
Example: "Here's how you can have that peace of mind right now. Take advantage of an unusual promotion our company is doing: I would like to meet with you at no charge to show you how I can be of service to you and your employees.
Speaking of that action you want, this also needs to be clearly laid out on your mailer. If your reader doesn't know how to act, they won't.
Example: "Please call me at your convenience so we can set up a meeting to discuss further how I can ensure your computer systems will be running when you need them most.
Call me directly at *your phone number*. or visit us at *your landing page URL*"
You need a way to insist that your reader acts as soon as possible or else they will forget about you. A deadline on your offer is a proven way to encourage action now, not later.
Example: "I am only offering free consultations for the month of *insert month*, so act now!"
Social proof is an excellent tactic for any type of marketing, direct-mail not withstanding. People don't like to be the first to try things, so offer some proof about your services like a testimonial from a satisfied client.
So you got your reader to visit your website. Don't make them jump through hoops to get the information they require. Design a simple landing page that will give them the information they need and get them to commit. If you want them to call you, have a direct phone number, don't put them on hold!
I like to create my own, very targeted mailing lists. I pick a niche industry and do the hard work of qualifying each lead myself. I know my community better than any costly mailing list company and I am sure you do to. This also cuts down on postage and printing costs.
The reader may not bite right away, but if you can get them to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook, you may be able to work your inbound sales later. Always be sure to have links to your social media pages.
If you cannot measure your results, you will not know how to tweak your campaign or even know if it is successful. Use unique url's or phone numbers to help you track your direct-mail campaigns.
Direct-mail marketing isn't too different than social media marketing. You need to experiment to see what works for you and your prospects. Don't be afraid to do A-B testing and see which headlines or calls to action work best for you.
About the author:
Brad Kendall has over 10 years of experience in the ever-changing, fast-paced, dynamic technology industry. He currently operates three highly successful businesses including an I.T. consulting firm, a digital software and hardware company and a firm that develops mobile and SAaS applications. Find out more about Brad at his website http://www.bradkendall.ca.