Small Business B2B Marketing Blog

Direct Mail Business-to-Business Marketing

Posted by Robert Hennessey on Tue, Jul, 17, 2012

Why you should consider business-to-business direct mail in a digital age.

One of the biggest marketing mistakes small business owners can make in their business-to-business marketing plan is not having a marketing plan at all. But if you’re smart enough to spend time worrying about payroll, burgeoning insurance premiums, but also your marketing return on investment (ROI), you can’t afford to ignore one of the most effective business-to-business marketing resources available.

Whether offering software services or promoting a patented medical device, the objective is to build brand loyalty through every channel possible. The bottom line is this: Direct mail remains one of the most effective components of a 360-degree approach to engaging business relations.

Businesses of all types continue to harness the power of direct mail because it works. Even with the reality of slower delivery times, increased postage rates, and the threat of decreased delivery days, the postal service remains an indispensable resource to small businesses. In many cases, the cost advantage of printed mail outweighs the cost of email.

With everything going digital, it’s easy to imagine printed mail as an outmoded business tool. In fact, political campaign professionals were determined to prove exactly that. After exhaustive testing, the January 2012 issue of Campaigns & Elections magazine reports, “It actually worked as well or better than every other medium.” According to the report, competing with one mailbox has advantages over competing with two TVs per household with over 500 channels on each. Also consider the number of Web sites hosting interactive ads, and it becomes clear that while business owners spend less time cleaning out their mailboxes than they do online or watching TV, it is quality time by comparison. Ben Mitchell, a partner at the Republican direct mail firm Political Ink, sums up the irony recounting how only a few months ago his business received a direct mail solicitation from Google AdWords® for those interested in online advertising.

There are plenty of business-to-business marketing resources for those interested in purchasing highly targeted mailing lists. Take advantage of the startup tools offered at our website to find business contacts, email lists, and sales leads. Or, canvass your local phone directory. It is a list of virtually every business within your reach. Of course, every firm should retain past contact information and eagerly seek new contacts through various sign up or opt-in programs. But, the most exceptional results can be achieved when small businesses partner together to share mailing information.

The frequency of mailing for business-to-business marketing should be conducted on a continual basis. But it shouldn’t take the form of consumer mass mailings sending out thousands of direct mail pieces at one time. This can work for small business but it is very costly. We prefer to conduct a direct mailing campaign based on your ability to afford direct marketing daily. This might mean anywhere from 10 to 50 mailings a day depending upon your budget and target audience.

Every direct mail campaign must include an offer of real value to your potential client. A free sales meeting is not a good offer for your client. Provide a free trial, service or demonstration that allows your client to experience you product or service without buying anything.

Your direct mail message is the key ingredient to direct mail success. The reason direct mail marketing works for small businesses selling B2B consultative products or services is because it fosters customer rapport and relationship building two critical underpinnings of business-to-business selling. The foundation for all your marketing efforts needs to be a focus on providing useful and relevant information as your main goal, rather than a hard sales pitch. Using a customer-centric approach in your content marketing will multiply your success in generating business-to-business marketing leads.

With regard to legal compliance, honesty is the best practice. Some states require that legal disclaimers be at least eight-point font with the understanding that most recipients do not read them. Conspicuous, honest messaging should be your style. And whereas it seems that small businesses are seldom scrutinized as closely as enterprise-level marketers, small business owners should ensure they have full rights to all the creative (images, fonts, logos, taglines, and copy) in their ad to avoid copyright infringement.

There isn’t a small business out there that can’t benefit from the power of direct mail. The long-term objective should be to integrate a direct mail campaign that interacts with or points to online Web sites and other social media tools. In this way, your small business will be building brand recognition, helping inform your prospects and build a direct relationship with your potential clients.

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Topics: direct mail business-to-business marketing, business to business direct mail, direct mail marketing

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