8 Direct Mail Best Practices for B2B Marketers

Here at Salesforce, we’re re-establishing direct mail as a top tactic to engage our hottest prospects. It’s a great way to grab people’s attention, even if only for a few minutes, which can be HUGE compared to what we see with online interactions. With direct mail, we get to have our product front and center, and provide a tangible reminder of who we are. Plus, who DOESN’T like getting cool, unique packages at work??

We’ve compiled best practices, plus some tips and tricks for you to execute on the best possible direct mail campaign:

1. Align with Sales to Nominate Prospects

Because direct mail campaigns can be quite pricey, it’s always best to work directly with sales to ensure you are hitting the best prospects. At Salesforce, we start by using Einstein lead scoring and data science to help narrow down the list of recipients, but we always run the final list by our sales teams to ensure there are no red flags (such as someone who just moved roles or is leaving the company soon). Our sales + marketing alignment is that much stronger when we give sales an opinion in who marketing is communicating with.

2. Create Clear CTAs

This is a best practice for any marketing campaign, not just direct mail. Your marketing should always have a clear call-to-action — what do you want the recipient to do once they get the mailer? Do you want them to go to a “contact me” form, or download your latest e-book? Make sure you are explicit in what you want their next tactic to be.

3. Customize to your Audience

Just like people, every account is different. Accounts come in all different sizes, represent different industries, and have varying goals. It’s critical that you customize direct mail to your different audiences as much as possible.

Find groupings of accounts that speak similarly to their customers or end users, and make sure to use their language. Avoid abbreviations and acronyms, and use examples that companies of any size can understand.

A great example of this is creating messaging that speaks to a financial services audience versus a healthcare audience. Financial services buyers wants to know how they can improve relationships with clients, while healthcare workers want to improve relationships with patients. These small, but meaningful, edits make a big impact and demonstrate that your company really understands your customers.

4. Personalize Your Message

It’s critical to customize to your audiences, but it’s also just as important to make each mailer as personal as possible for the individual recipient. By using things like variable tags, you can insert personalized touches, such as using the account name, prospect’s first name, and signing a letter with the individual account’s sales rep, phone number, and email. This helps take the account relationship to a whole new level.

5. Make it Unique & Shareable

Think about yourself as a recipient — is your mailer doomed for the trash, or will it be passed around, kept at your prospects’ desk, and maybe even shared on social media? Make sure that whatever you send is something you can proudly put your logo on, and that it’s unique to your brand’s look and feel.

6. Be Sustainable

One common complaint of direct mail is that it can be wasteful to the environment. At Salesforce Pardot, the majority of our mailers are made from 100% recyclable materials. The few mailer components that can’t easily be recycled are reusable.

A great example of this is a recent mailer we did with a personalized video player that showed Pardot demo videos. The mailer itself was made of 100% recyclable materials. The embedded video player was not easy to recycle, but it came with an outlet where recipients could reuse it and upload their own videos. One prospect even put her wedding video in the mailer and left it at her desk! We love seeing creative ways to reuse our direct mailing materials.

7. Create a Follow-Up Plan

Once the mailer is out the door, your work isn’t done yet! You should have a follow-up plan teed up with your sales team, including reports and dashboards for you to use to check in on their follow-up activities and hold teams accountable.

If sales won’t be following up directly, make sure you have a drip campaign ready to go to send the recipients additional content and keep them engaged. Make sure sales knows how to speak to the mailer CTA’s and how to move the conversation forward to learn more about the business.

8. Have Fun!

Direct mail can be a great creative outlet. Find ways to stay relevant with current events (like movie releases or fashion trends), or anchor your send to a fun holiday (National Emoji Day, anyone?)

I hope to see some of your mailers sitting at my desk soon!