The Most Efficient Direct Mail Strategies for ABM
November 4, 2020
By Julia Bye
At the end of the workday, I take my dog for a walk. After walking the usual 20-minute loop, we approach our home and the anticipation starts to grow. As part of our normal routine, it is time to get the mail. Regardless of the fact that it also includes bills and a lot of junk, I love checking the mail. There is something thrilling about receiving a card from a friend or a package just for me.
I am not alone in my love of snail mail. With much of our world being digital, it often goes overlooked as a successful marketing endeavor. But direct mail can be an integral part of your account-based marketing (ABM) campaign, offering one more avenue to create its multi-touch strategy. Better yet, today you can even measure its results.
When creating your direct mail strategy as a component of your ABM campaign, take into consideration the following factors and tactics.
Consider Your Customer
Like any marketing tactic, you want to see the best ROI for your efforts. There are a couple of things to think about when developing the direct mail component of your ABM campaign.
Each piece of mail you send will use up some of your marketing budget. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you will want to take the customer’s lifecycle stage into consideration when determining what to send and how much to spend.
If a lead is new and hasn’t shown high engagement from your digital efforts, a postcard could be the perfect way to gain their interest. Alternatively, if they are a potentially huge customer, or already a customer you are trying to retain, you could consider sending them a personalized gift or package.
Direct mail is hard these days if you are B2B. With many people working from home, we no longer have insight into where they are showing up every day. If your lead works in an industry that requires them to be in the office, direct mail is a great strategy. However, if they are working from home or you aren’t sure, try a virtual gift card instead.
If you have read any ABM blogs by now, you know that it is all about personalization. From the use of smart fields and personalization tokens to imagery showing their logo or aspects of their branding, there are many different ways to make your ABM materials speak directly to your ideal audience.
Direct mail is no different. For instance, your sales team can send a handwritten note speaking directly to your lead’s challenges or referencing a specific conversation they have shared. Take that one step further, and you can customize the swag you send. Instead of sending everyone a logoed cup, send a gift that you know pertains to their hobbies or interests. Say that your ideal customer has an interest in wine. Send them a bottle of their favorite or a gift card to attend a virtual tasting hosted by a well-known sommelier.
Combine with Other Efforts
Account-based marketing is a bit like dodgeball, with your ideal prospect the lone kid remaining on the other team and your team focused on hitting him from all different sides. ABM isn’t just about one marketing effort, but a combination of tactics that result in your prospect seeing your company in ads, getting an email from your team, and a million other ways you can reach someone these days.
Direct mail should just be one of the many tactics you are taking to engage and convert your ideal customer profile (ICP) into a customer. When defining your strategy, plan accordingly, so direct mail and other touch points are hitting at different times. One type of outreach may work better for a specific audience or industry than others, so always evaluate and adjust based on what you have learned from each ABM sprint.
Add Conversion Opportunities
Tying a conversion opportunity to a direct mail campaign is an easy way to assess whether or not the campaign was successful and also find out additional information about leads that you may not already have (i.e., their email address).
In order to properly track conversions from direct mailers, you should either create a custom url which you are able to track, or a landing page built specifically for a direct mail campaign. Setting up your direct mail campaign in this way will allow you to see how many visitors it gained as well as how many people converted.
Flatter with Some Killer Swag
There is a lot of noise, between the accessibility of the digital world constantly at our fingertips and the fast pace at which we live our lives. When you send a piece of direct mail, you want to stand out from the crowd and be memorable.
Luckily, sending great swag doesn’t mean you need to step away from your computer and spend the day stuffing boxes anymore—there are tools that can help you send great gifts to your ICP at the click of a button. SwagUp is one such company that eliminates the work of creating and sending swag.
Use Tools to Measure Results
Like everything in marketing these days, it’s important to know what’s working and what’s not. Direct mail is no different. Depending on your tech stack, there are ways you can connect the dots to better understand how engaging a direct mail campaign has been.
If you are connecting your direct mail campaign to a conversion opportunity, measuring the results is simple. But not every direct mail campaign will include a conversion effort.
Thanks once again to technology, there are resources available that can help measure the effectiveness of a direct mail ABM campaign. Postalytics informs you of the delivery and response status of each piece of mail you send. It also integrates with automation platforms like HubSpot so you are able to score and give direct mail as an engagement metric for their lead status.
Maybe it is nostalgia from growing up as a 90s child and getting letters from friends, or even passing notes in school, but there is something special about getting a physical piece of mail personalized and delivered straight to you. By adding direct mail strategies to your ABM campaign, you are creating another opportunity to stand out from the crowd and move your ideal prospect closer to becoming a customer. Give it a try, you may be blown away by the results.
About the author
Julia Bye is a Minneapolis-based Director, Client Strategy for SmartBug Media. With a background in agency marketing, she specializes in lead generation, lead nurturing, sales enablement, and content-based tactics that focus on her client's sales and marketing goals. Read more articles by Julia Bye.