At a time when trust in sales and marketing is at an all-time low, personalised direct mail might seem like a risk. But now more than ever, B2B brands need to stand out from the crowd and build meaningful connections with their audience. We can think of plenty of ways direct mail can support these goals – so long as it’s done right.
Trust in B2B sales and marketing is at an all-time low. It’s down there at the bottom of the pile with politicians, would you believe! Not surprising really after years of salespeople relentlessly cold calling or door knocking. Before GDPR came into force last year, it was much less straightforward to opt out of unwelcome company emails and have clarity on what our data was being used for.
So how do we rebuild trust with customers? Three words: Be more human. The focus should be on human to human relationship building with customers. Out with the old relentless spamming and mass email blasts, in with the new customer-centric approach to attract and convert people through a relevant and personalised customer journey. The key here is the age-old saying: Treat others like you would like to be treated yourself.
How do we rebuild trust with customers? Three words: Be more human.
There is a shift happening. A shift away from the relentless sales calls and email hounding, and towards mixing online tactics with offline human touchpoints that set you apart from other sellers, foster trust and increase conversions.
We live on our screens so the impact of receiving something thoughtful and tangible is delightful. Done right, personalised direct mail and accompanying gifts are the secret sauce that can amp up any B2B sales cycle.
Currently, it is the most uncompetitive channel and gets the highest response rates, so get in there before everyone else does!
A handwritten note has an innate emotional appeal, showing you care about a prospect and have put in far more thought and effort than firing off another email. It also stands out from the pile of mass-printed generic mailers that many businesses receive on a daily basis.
Our advice? Look at your lead nurturing journey and identify the most suitable touchpoints for an injection of thoughtfulness. Below are 11 personalised direct mail ideas to get your ideas flowing…
1. The door opener
Calling and emailing your prospect accounts isn’t getting you through to the decision maker – so send a highly personalised handwritten note to their office. B2B sales can be boring, but you can guarantee that your approach will be received and read, as it stands out from all the other prospecting they’re faced with. When you reach out to follow up, reference back to the handwritten note. Chances are they will remember you, helping to secure you that first demo call or face to face meeting.
Inkpact worked with a market research company and posted hundreds of handwritten letters. 1 in 5 letters secured a face-to-face meeting.
2. Meeting confirmation
If you are targeting busy C-level professionals, and have the common pain point that video, phone or face to face meetings frequently get cancelled or postponed, drop a handwritten note when the date and time are confirmed. This helps to build rapport from the get-go, will pre-suade them to attend, and can sit on their desk as a handy reminder.
If only there was a way to breathe life back into opportunities that stop responding to emails and simply fade away. All is not lost – send a personalised direct mail piece to suggest that you continue the conversation, instead of sending an email every week that continues to get ignored.
4. Proposal follow up
Instead of pinging out chaser emails asking for updates on a proposal, delight leads by sending a handwritten note. You can build rapport by including a little gift or add value by sharing relevant content, either physically printed and included in the envelope or shared digitally via a URL.
5. Kick off contract negotiations
You’re at the last but often painful hurdle of contract negotiations. Sweeten the deal by sending a handwritten note along with signature requests to help get things signed off and reduce the back and forth.
6. Drive agreement across teams
Complex B2B sales involve convincing multiple decision makers and departments. Aid agreement by sending a little something along with personalised direct mail to build relationships and encourage dialogue.
Most teams will have automated email sequences to onboard and welcome new clients. Everyone loves receiving packages, so get the relationship off to a strong start by sending a physical welcome box to get them excited. Include gifts and educational materials along with a handwritten note.
Alternatively, if your budget is a little strapped, you could set a trigger for clients who don’t respond to welcome emails, preventing teams from disengaging after all the hard work of closing the sale.
8. Onboarding and adoption
No matter the size of the team adopting your product for the first time, there is always a teething period when they are learning how to use it and get the most value. Your aim at this point in the customer journey is to engage them as much as possible so you become ingrained in their day-to-day business, and they are less likely to churn.
Use personalised direct mail to reach out to the team with helpful, inspiring and educational content, or offer incentives for users who adopt your service the most.
9. Delight customers
Successfully engaged customers are champions for your business, recommending you to peers and advocating your product internally. Word of mouth has become the most powerful form of B2B sales and marketing. So make customers smile on their birthday or work anniversaries with a card, or say congratulations when professional achievements are reached.
10. Cross-sell / upsell
Personalised direct mail can help to win new business, retain old business and even grow existing business. Are there other teams or other use cases that your customers aren’t taking advantage of? The more your product can integrate into a company, the more likely they will remain a customer long term.
By this time you have spent months building a relationship, so you can send highly personalised gifts to show you care and help clinch a renewal. Thank them whenever you can to encourage loyal and long-lasting customers.
Word of mouth has become the most powerful form of B2B sales and marketing. So make customers smile!
Making your direct mail ideas a reality…
Now the big question – how do you go about implementing all these concepts?
Time is precious, and before now gifting and handwriting letters were often too time-consuming for busy sales teams. Enter, Inkpact. We combine the ease and insights of email marketing campaigns with the power of pen to paper. By working with a personalised direct mail provider, businesses can access a hassle-free, scalable, flexible, demonstrably effective new platform to help build pipelines and close deals.