Is Direct Marketing still a Relevant Tactic in the B2B World?

By: Brad Allen

In recent years a lot of the chatter in the marketing world has been centered on the growth of social media networks and the internet. Some might be forgiven for thinking that the use of direct mail marketing has been all but forgotten in light of the newer tactical options. Has the world of direct mail marketing suffered a killer blow from the rise of social media channels and the internet? Or is there still a place for B2B direct marketing offerings?

Well, some recently released information would suggest that it is still very relevant within this market place. Online marketing tools, it seems, have not completely cornered the marketing world across all audiences and the printed materials of mailing, letters and catalogues are still deemed to have relevance in a B2B context. A survey by Marketing Sherpa found that around 79% of the 1,000 people surveyed believed direct mail delivered to business mailing lists to be either very effective, or effective, as a tool for their business. 34% of business service organizations found direct mails to be very effective.

The key to a direct marketing campaigns’ success appears to be ensuring that the direct mail targets its audience perfectly – meaning that your B2B direct marketing lists need to be up to scratch. This could be why the business services group found the tool more useful than say a business technology company. Take a look at these top points to make sure, that as part of an integrated marketing mix, your next B2B direct mail hits the spot.

Remember your audience

Keep your target audience at the front of your thinking all the way along when creating the campaign; it needs to offer them value in order to be successful. So think about the timing, the imagery and content to ensure that your audience will be receptive.

Make the message meaningful

Ensure that the direct mail is part of an overall omni-channel campaign and not a stand alone or add-on at the last minute. Providing your customer with a seamless marketing campaign will help the direct mail become more effective.
Think about size

Going big is coming back – think outside the box when it comes to the design of the piece. Larger or unusually shaped mailings will grab someone’s attention more so than a plain white A4 envelope landing on their desk. Getting that attention is the start then you need to employ your meaningful and relevant message to keep them with you.

Plan your spend

Direct mail can be an expensive marketing option so make sure you do the math first. Work out what level of ROI you expect, you can then potentially tailor your business mailing lists to target your audience more specifically. Even if you mail less through this method you can up your cost per piece to produce a higher quality piece of direct mail that then should provide you with better results.

Written by

Marketing list professional with over 12 years experience in sales and marketing. Proficient in all areas of direct and online database marketing, marketing management, and business development.

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