On Our Minds
Marketing & Sales
On Our Minds
Marketing & Sales

3 Best Practices for Direct Mail Marketing to Small Businesses

An image of colorful, digitally rendered pieces of mail featuring symbols that signify typed writing, pie charts, and bulleted information.

40 percent of Americans look forward to checking the mail every day, even though nearly 60% of mail the average household receives is marketing mail.

This suggests that Americans like getting the mail in part because of the marketing, rather than in spite of it.

Even B2B buyers respond well to direct mail. Yet many B2B marketers seem to ignore the affinity for direct mail; on average, B2B marketers allocate just 9% of their budget to direct marketing.

These statistics paint a clear picture: B2B direct mail marketing is an underused strategy.

In this blog, you’ll learn three tips for how to do B2B direct mail marketing to small businesses the right way.

To be successful in your next B2B direct mail marketing effort, here are three best practices to keep in mind:

Best Practice 1: Keep It Tailored

In direct mail marketing, personalization is key. It’s attention-grabbing, and more importantly, it helps build trust. Highly personalized direct mail can even outperform targeted digital marketing.

“We've found open rates in excess of 95% for highly personalized snail mail. That sure beats a 15% email open rate,” said Scott Potash, co-founder of leading direct mail company Postable.

Remember, personalization is about more than just the recipient's name or business name.

“When developing personalization for B2B direct mail we try to go beyond the name, company and address,” said Mike Gunderson, President of industry heavyweight Gunderson Direct. "Tailoring copy to a specific industry or job title can make all the difference to get the prospect’s attention.”

Best Practice 2: Make a Splash

Direct mail attracts more attention and results in higher brand recognition than other marketing, but you still only have a few seconds to grab your recipient’s attention.

“People are bombarded with so much digital marketing these days that it takes something unique to cut through the clutter,” said Potash. “That's where we think personalized direct mail comes in - if the piece looks great, speaks to your brand, and is personalized to your customer, you'll get their attention.”

The average response rate for direct mail is between 5 and 9 percent; to compare, the average email response rate is just 1%.

Postcards are a winning tactic. Because they don’t come in an envelope, virtually all postcards are read. Even better, 50% of recipients say they find postcards useful.

Best Practice 3: Use High-Quality Lead/Prospect Data

The data you use in your direct mail campaigns needs to be accurate.

Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a mailer, only to have a third returned because the addresses were wrong. Even worse, misspellings or inaccurate titles can create a bad impression and cause your prospects to lose trust.

On the other hand, fresh, reliable data means you can target your prospects effectively.

“For multi-touch, multi-channel personalized campaigns, it's not uncommon to see response rates in the 8-12% range,” explained Dennis Kelly, CEO at data-focused direct mail company Postalytics. “We're seeing particularly strong performance with campaigns that use automation to trigger direct mail at key steps in the customer journey, including nurture, onboarding and re-engagement campaigns. Properly organized and verified data is where it all starts. Combine that data with the merge tag and dynamic content ability of online direct mail templates, and marketers can deliver highly targeted and relevant messaging via physical media, at scale.”

At Enigma, we understand the importance of quality data for building relationships. That’s why we empower companies to connect with small businesses by providing accurate, up-to-date small business data - for free.

Done right, direct mail is a powerful, modern marketing strategy. The real key to success? Combining powerful, personalized messaging with high-quality data.

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