Direct Mail Campaigns Offer Big Results During COVID-19

Published: July 24, 2020

Nick Runyon 1The question on every marketer’s mind right now is, “What do we do next?” Events are canceled, but marketing teams are still expected to deliver results as they did before COVID-19 hit. Some of the biggest brands are making bold moves with direct mail, and those moves are paying off.

As digital messaging increases with teams working from home, tactile marketing automation (TMA) must be part of your strategy to break through the noise. Tactile marketing automation isproving to increase overall response rates and campaign effectiveness, and that’s some good news that every marketing team needs to hear right now.

In April, I made the decision to hit pause on our own Tactile Marketing efforts at PFL. Our sales team began sequencing about 2,000 prospects with email only, dropping the use of our own product, removing the direct mail component as part of our campaign in order to save budget and figure out how we were going to reach people who were working from home. The results weren’t good. Less than 1% of prospects booked a meeting with our team. This was a huge decrease from the high response rates we’d enjoyed prior to COVID-19.

In the meantime, our customer success teams were working with customers to reach people at their preferred addresses. Within days of making our change, the team developed and tested a new model for gathering preferred addresses. We reinstated tactile marketing automation with our campaigns immediately, adding about 500 prospects to a new sequence. The results? PFL landed 355% more meetings by using tactile marketing automation. Our meetings booked rate has risen to 22% since reinstating TMA.

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Now, you might be asking, “How am I supposed to send direct mail when I don’t have home addresses for my prospects?” That’s what I’m here to share with you.

Use SDR/BDR Resources To Confirm Mailing Addresses Before Sends

Your SDR/BDRs are likely already having conversations with prospects as part of their regular sales cycles. To enhance these conversations with a direct mail piece, SDR/BDRs will need to confirm a preferred address with their prospects.

The sales rep needs to clearly present value in return for address information. When the prospect knows that they’ll receive something valuable in return for providing their address, our teams have found that prospects are more willing to engage. In fact, our most recent campaign achieved a 60% engagement rate when the value exchange was made clear.

PFL customers win with this strategy, too, by pairing printed thought leadership (like helpful guides and playbooks) with a swag item or consumable treat. Prospects have the option to “confirm your address and take a meeting and I’ll send a bottle of wine or coffee to enjoy while we talk.” We encourage customers to communicate that the home address will be used only once, and the information will not be stored in any system.

Collect Preferred Mailing Addresses As Part Of Your Marketing Automation Campaign

Collecting preferred mailing addresses as part of an existing marketing automation campaign is another great option. For example, a campaign created to make up for lost meetings because of canceled in-person events can offer a meeting opportunity and deliver unused swag originally purchased for tradeshows. Again, you’ll want to make it clear you’re going to send something to the prospect, so they complete the form and aren’t confused about why you’re asking.

Append Home Address Data With A Data Service

With a small amount of information about a prospect and a data service, you can collect home addresses for prospects. Rather than infringing on a prospect’s privacy, we’ve found that prospects appreciate the outreach. Sales reps are already engaged in conversations with prospects, so a physical touchpoint is often well-received whether the prospect gave their preferred shipping address or not.

Your customers working from home requires an adaptation to marketing efforts. The magic of tactile marketing automation is the integration and support of digital efforts, delivering a remarkable brand experience to cut through the noise. In a post-COVID world, providing customers and prospects with valuable experiences through tactile marketing will create a personalized touchpoint for your brand and help you achieve your marketing goals in 2020.

Nick Runyon is an accomplished executive with 20 years of experience in developing and implementing marketing strategies that drive fast and scalable growth. As CMO of PFL, he helps marketers achieve unmatched results through direct mail orchestrated with digital marketing and sales.

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