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I get lots of calls regarding direct mail regarding B to B campaigns — specifically, questions about how to succeed in this arena. B to B direct mail requires a different approach. This is especially true for businesses with more than 25 employees, because it is all too easy for a mailroom clerk or administrative assistant to discard mail that appears to be solicitations or advertisements. Post cards are particularly susceptible to this. Letter packages tend to fare a little better, but, only if you follow some of these key tactics:

  • Segment your mailings by company size. Mail that goes to businesses with less than 25 employees may not require as much attention, but when mailing to individuals at larger companies where gatekeepers frequently exist, consider the following:

    • Make sure your envelope conveys real value – a relevant message and a not too “sales-y” appearance that is clear about the contents.

    • Smart designs get noticed. Some gatekeepers have a good understanding of what their companies or their bosses’ needs are. You want them to say, “I really have to show this to the boss; it might be a very good fit.” Don’t be afraid to use graphics to convey the message, but don’t overdo it. o Make the letter appear to be continuing correspondence. A bold statement on the envelope that says something like “Here is the information you requested” will many times get your mailing into the right hands.

    • Try to appeal directly to the gatekeeper with a message on the outer envelope. Make the message convey value to the gatekeeper as well as the intended recipient.

  • Make sure that your mailing list is current and the names and titles of the people you are trying to reach are correct. One sure way to get the piece in the round file is to address it to a nonexistent person or to someone who is no longer with the firm. Misspellings are also a no-no. This is a major tipoff that you don’t know the recipient so you can bet that this piece is destined for file 13.

  • Keep in mind that creating a compelling outer envelope is a very delicate task, especially for B to B direct mail. Success usually involves extensive testing. Be prepared to test a few envelope versions before betting the ranch on a single B to B mailing. Once you find the right combination, however, B to B direct mail can be very lucrative.

Call me with any questions. If you have any proven B to B direct mail campaign winners I would love to hear about them.

 


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