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Boost Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy with Personalized Direct Mail

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By Ben Barker August 14, 2018 No Comments

Account-Based Marketing is not a foreign concept in enterprise Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing organizations. The process of identifying target accounts, building personas and crafting messaging to those personas is well known and well-practiced. However, effective utilization of the Direct Mail channel is an element of Account-Based Marketing that is not so familiar.

Most B2B marketing organizations either negate Direct Mail completely or aren’t utilizing it to its full potential.

Why Direct Mail Matters

When you add Direct Mail to your Account-Based Marketing strategy, you’re adding a channel that has proven results.

  • 79% of consumers react immediately to Direct Mail
  • 34% of all customers are earned by Direct Mail (42% more than email)
  • 70% higher recall for Direct versus Digital
  • 5.3% average Response Rate for a House list
  • 2.9% average Response Rate for a Prospect list 

So how do you go about applying Direct Mail to your current Account-Based Marketing strategy? It’s not as difficult as you may think. Effective Direct Mail strategies share many of the same core principles as the Account-Based Marketing strategy that you’re currently executing.

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Why Direct Mail Works with ABM

Account-Based Marketing and ideal Direct Mail execution place an emphasis on the following areas: 

  • Audience Segmentation – Accounts are identified, and personas are developed within those accounts
  • Content Personalization – Content speaks directly to the personas and accounts that it’s created for
  • Timing – Messaging is crafted specifically based on different actions and different points in the buyer’s journey
  • Reporting – Campaign results are analyzed and used to scale future programs

Pairing Direct Mail with Digital communications, strategically timing your sends based on buyer journey and intent, and tailoring the content to the individual receiving it are all elements of Direct Mail execution that will spike your engagement and ROI across the board. When you examine your current demand generation and marketing communications strategies, it should start to become clear where it makes sense to add personalized Direct Mail - but getting started may not be as obvious.

So, where do you begin?

Identify Target Audiences through Advanced Segmentation

This should be easy. You’ve already identified your target accounts, so now you just need to make sure you have accurate postal information for the associated contacts. Based on your bandwidth for content creation, you may want to group accounts by industry, size or location for enhanced personalization. However, you have the ability to segment and group your Direct Mail audience any way your data allows, just like with your Digital efforts.

Many times, Direct Mail campaigns are sent in bulk to all members of a contact database regardless of account, lifecycle stage, etc. This is not a best practice, as it limits your ability to personalize the content, directly affecting your response rates.

Improve Engagement with Direct Mail Personalization

It’s proven that recipients are more likely to engage with personalized content. People respond at a higher rate to content that is tailored to their specific interests or traits. To reach these elevated engagement rates, you should version your Direct Mail content to speak directly to the recipient.

If a contact is in the discovery phase, you should not be sending them CTAs on how to take advantage of the latest product release. This type of content would be better served for someone already using your product who presents themselves as a cross-sell/up-sell opportunity. Contacts in the discovery phase are more likely to engage with educational material such as eBooks, webinars or blog posts.

Offers are just one of the ways you can personalize your Direct Mail content. You can also be tailoring the language and creative aspects of your content to the recipient’s age, gender, geographical location, industry, role, product interest, etc.

Essentially, you can leverage the data you have at your disposal to reach contacts in a more meaningful and personal way.

Measure & Optimize Campaigns with Multivariate Testing

So now that you understand all the ways you can leverage your data, how do you decide the best personalization mix for optimal results? Unfortunately, we don’t have a concrete answer for you as your brand and products are unique to your industry and company. You’ll need to earn your way into that answer and the best way to do that is by testing.

Direct Mail campaigns should always include a testing element to help you discover the optimal format and personalization mix for different products, services, and audiences. One account may respond at a very high rate when content is personalized based on recent purchase history and gender. Another account may respond particularly well to creative based on their industry and geographic location. Perhaps it has nothing to do with the accounts at all, but rather the way different demographics respond to specific communications. The only way to figure it out for sure is through continuous multivariate testing.

Create an Omni-Channel Marketing Presence

Adding Direct Mail to your Account-Based Marketing strategy will help with engagement and response no matter how you execute it. But in order to take full advantage of this high-performing channel, it should work in tandem with your other communication streams to create a true omni-channel presence.

Direct Mail should be strategically timed with your Digital communications, promotions and events and used to move contacts throughout the buyer’s journey more quickly and effectively. When a contact receives personalized Direct Mail promoting a discount for an item they recently viewed, it will resonate more than if they receive static messaging for a product they have never heard of.

Putting Direct Mail into Action with Automation

Decades of data prove that Direct Mail is an effective channel. But there’s also no denying that, until recent advances in enterprise Direct Marketing technology, this channel has been a labor-intensive, expensive, time consuming and difficult one to manage and report on.

To overcome these traditional barriers, increase the reach of their marketing budgets, and get the most out of a channel with proven results, cutting-edge Account-Based Marketing strategists are leveraging enterprise Direct Mail automation technology and are seeing some incredible results.

Looking for more on the subject of Direct Mail and Account-Based Marketing? Feel free to enjoy KleerMail's on-demand webinar The Power of Personalization - Leverage Direct Mail to Boost your Account-Based Marketing Strategy 

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