Here’s how to use a secret B2B marketing code…

Here’s how to use a secret B2B marketing code…

that will keep your business growing and growing.

Your customers and even a few of your prospects can be influenced to purchase your goods through a variety of marketing channels. There’s email, a call-to-action on a web page, text messaging, LinkedIn, and yes, even direct mail. It’s always recommended to use the channel of choice favored by the people you want to hear from you. 

Email marketing, as a communication channel in use today, is recommended for B2B marketing and sales organizations. Yet, there is a lot of talk about spam, fewer people opening their email, or just cherry picking the emails to open and read. 

Most businesses have a website. Along with the website, corporate email is a given. So, where does email come into play? There is a lot of abuse regarding email addresses. Besides spam, many people who promise they won’t share an email address, do. 

What makes a good B2B marketing campaign in today’s digital market?  

For starters, send an email introducing yourself and the company you represent. If Social Media is a good place for a B-2-B company like yours, do some checking on the competitors to see if they have a presence in social media. 

For instance, let’s say that a lot of lead time is the norm using customer acquisition programEven being cautious, sending an email to someone you don’t knowis usually not a smart move. Aggravate the wrong person with an unwanted email or sending the same email to a person who received it two weeks prior, you’ll likely lose your place in line. 

When starting a quest for new customers, play by the rules. Having prospects opt-in to your email database is a good rule to abide by. Adding another communication channel into the mix is a great idea. 

Email and direct mail were made for B2B. 

For example, direct mail is one of the safest communication channels to get information needed to introduce your company’s products and services. Aligned with email, you’ll find this is a great way to increase opens and response. Be patient. Your time is well spent on learning more about the companies you contact and their needs. 

Wait, there’s more. 

In the old days, maybe in 2007, email and direct mail started to team together with some forward-thinking companies. Tying them together with the World Wide Web using landing pages and call-to-action tools of direct marketing, these companies were getting additional responses from the contacts in their data base. Company personnel started smiling more with better open and response results using beginning new found segmentation usage with the company database. 

Many of today’s successful B2B campaigns are using a variety of strategies in direct marketing, direct response, customer-centric, data driven, websites and landing pages, social media, digital and content marketing with a variety of communication channels to reach contacts and turn them into customers.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251.3608

 

 

 

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Valuable Pointers That Will Help You…

Valuable Pointers That Will Help You…

navigate the course of marketing and sales using personalization!

When it comes to direct marketing personalization, is your database or CRM, last usage date from the previous decade. You are not alone.

Is your database of customers and prospects a hodge-podge of, well, just names? You are not alone.

It’s easy to end up having egg on your face embarrassing yourself and your company. Bringing about a response that is entirely opposite the one you were hoping for is about as popular as a bee sting on one’s backside. You’re still not alone.

Target the right market.

Ultimately, the key to eliminate direct marketing waste is to target the right people at the right time with the right messages. Personalization assumes that you know something about the people to whom you are mailing, emailing, or sending to a landing page and so on. It’s an effective way to keep customers spending their money on your products and services.

As data increasingly becomes more accessible, most marketers are looking for ways to make it more scalable and actionable in order to better target prospects in various stages of the buying journey. If you are a small B2B company, more than likely the cost for purchasing big data is way beyond your marketing budget.

However, consider, small B2B companies are usually closer to their customers. Therefore, if sales will communicate with your marketing team, work with them, and share their data, will they work together? Maybe. Depending on your CRM or database.

“CRM is over 30+ years on and salespersons still hate it.”  

Customer Think, Thomas Wieberneit, July 9, 2019

We are now over thirty years after the first CRM tools were introduced, initially as helpers for the sales force. Our first encounter was with a software program called ACT! As you can imagine the software was limited, but a few tools existed such as addressing and adding notes from the sales team was a good start for anyone’s sales force.

According to MarketingProfs, organizations that align sales and marketing, are seeing more than a 30% increase in sales. 

Personalizing your content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. So, quit thinking it’s a waste of time. When it’s done right, it can be the most powerful persuader in your efforts to influence customer behavior and building better relationships.

On the other hand, doing personalization badly is worse than doing no personalization at all. Fortunately, you can avoid those bad outcomes by getting into personalization slowly, step by step. If you are not sure about the personalization, test it with customers you know well who’ll give you the best feedback.

Customer data is the fuel for achieving previously impossible levels of personalization with a customer-centric strategy. Personalization is the key to keep your customers engaged.

Strategy’s, such as direct marketing and customer-centric are used with today’s technology, and the vehicle’s that allow you to deploy your customer message in a variety of channels they prefer. You want each customer to feel your marketing message is personal, every product recommendation right-on and the timing is always impeccable.

Critical Pointers that will help you navigate the world of marketing and sales personalization.

Are you aware which specific companies are currently in-market to buy your product? Wouldn’t it be easier to sell to them if you already knew who they were, what they thought of you, and what they thought of your competitors? Any good direct and customer-centric strategy focuses on people and the delivery of a message that will resonate. Personalization is one key to keeping your customers engaged.

  • Accuracy.

Probably, the single most critical element when it comes to personalization. There is nothing more unbelievable than mail or in other communication channels, when your message arrives and personalized incorrectly. Receiving such mail or email, is an immediate turn off for many businesspeople. Consequently, do everything in your power to get your information right.

When you’re not sure about a name or spelling or any variable data it’s best to use personalization in moderation or as in a testing mode. When you make a mistake once, maybe it’s only a typo, and you may be forgiven. But when you make the same mistake multiple times, in the same correspondence, your error is blatant, and a relationship comes to an end.

  • Data tools.

Start with good data and good information. Check and double-check your facts, verifying spelling and accuracy of names, and every piece of variable information in all your communication channels including in your direct mail piece and other communications channels.

  • Today, personalization is not a name and other contact points.

Personalization is more than a name. When people think about personalization, they usually always think about names. Personalization can include any information that could be helpful to your marketing and sales activity. Obvious fields could be features and benefits of your product and services.

  • Keep adding and updating data.

Continually add to the good data you already have. Every time you and your sales team communicate with a client, use this opportunity to learn more about their business. Add what you learn to your database.

  • Go slow with prospects.

Don’t overuse personalization with prospects. When you use too much personalization too soon, you’re apt to lose prospects to the never-ending round trash can to never be seen again.

It stands to reason that you would know more about clients and customers. But when prospects get messages from you that include information that is totally wrong, you’ll never have a chance to do business with them.

  • Alternative personalization. 

Use personalization alternatives. If you’re not sure about the variable data you have, try personalizing your message in ways that do not rely so heavily on using the prospect’s company name, products and services. This “generalized personalization” helps take the guesswork out of direct communication when personalization in direct mail was so prevalent.

A good use of color can eliminate any negatives one may feel when you neglect some important personalization.

  • Do not overuse personalization.

Yes, this happens all the time. Use personalization in a natural way. Don’t overuse personalization in such a way that it seems every paragraph has a personalized message. It’s a turn off and makes people think you’re scamming them when using email or other channels.

  • Know when to capitalize.

Watch out for capitalization in personalized data. It’s a sure sign that what you’re sending really isn’t “personal.” Convert your data to upper/lower case. Examine the copy one record at a time, if necessary. Otherwise you might get Ibm instead of IBM. Or Mcduffy instead of McDuffy.

  • Be Careful with abbreviations.

Watch out for abbreviations in personalized data fields. It’s a sure sign that your personalization isn’t really personalized but a mechanical function. In the real world and in a truly personal communication situation you’d probably write out the word “Suite.” When it appears in the address as “Ste,” it’s a sure give-away that it’s not personalized. Even color may not help in this situation.

  • Personalization is powerful.

Once you start using personalization, you’ll discover that it is a powerful tool, and that you’ll want to get better at using it. The key is to determine ahead of time all the fields you’ll really need in your database. Use a database structure that allows for substantial growth potential.

  • Personalize just right.

Personalize only what needs to be personalized. When people begin utilizing a variety of communication channels, personalization in their sent materials, tend to personalize everything, at every opportunity. In a real one-on-one letter, you probably wouldn’t use the person’s name in every single sentence. You’d use it sparingly and perhaps for an effect. So, carry this practice into your use of personalization for direct marketing and use restraint.

That also means to target the right accounts. Ultimately, the key to eliminate any digital marketing waste is to target the right people at the right time with the right messages. Intent data paves the way to do just that. FYI, “Intent data” is online behavior-based activity across the internet (not just on your website) that links buyers and accounts to a topic. (Intent data is on our publishing schedule for fall.)

Summary

Personalization pays. Personalized reply cards and letters almost always out-pull non-personalized direct mail as well in email and other communication channels you may select. But you need a guide and a good guide cannot only show you if it’s right for you but can help you learn how to best use it for your situation.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251.3608

 

 

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Why Old-Fashioned Direct Mail Is Still Awesome for B2B Companies

Why Old-Fashioned Direct Mail Is Still Awesome for B2B Companies

The postal service reminds us today, nearly four in five B2B companies open most of their direct mail. 

Digital marketing and advertising tactics are playing a major role generating interest among consumers who are not already customers. Demand creation through advertising or better known as acquisition advertising, is implementing certain strategies to market a company’s products and services to new customers. It typically requires collaboration and alignment between marketing and customer service teams. 

But old-fashioned direct mail in lead generation can also play a big part.  

That’s because most consumers, including b2b, open most of their direct mail. They consider this type of mail communication less intrusive than email, which often arrives in floods. According to a few advertising and marketing publications, direct mail is the second most popular form of acquisition advertising behind television. 

“The part of the advertising industry that hasn’t been impacted by the internet and frankly can’t be because the internet does not do acquisition advertising,” said Gary Mulloy, CEO of Money Mailer, a demand creation direct mail business that reaches 15 million homes a month. 

To be sure, companies will continue to rely on search advertising, in which a company targets current customers mostly online. The next time you try to read a newspaper or another type of publication advertising online, count the number of digital advertisements you encounter. 

By exposing consumers to products and services in digital advertisingthey many not beware their data is collectedused and shared with others. By a few estimates, businesses lose about a quarter of their customers each year. To compensate, they need to replace them, so collected data sold by others may be tempting 

More than two-thirds of advertising dollars are spent on demand creationNike famously refers to its athletic endorsements as Demand Creation” that spurs interest in its shoes and apparel. Overall demand creation advertising is a $140 billion to $150 billion-per-year industry. Direct mail accounts for about one-third of that.  

“The biggest companies of marketers need is to have a primary demand creation medium” said Mulloy. People are more apt to open physical mail than one of the many emails they receive, or another advertisement goes unread. That is a less intrusive form of advertising.  

Consider that: 

  • The average American gets 570 emails a week compared with 19 pieces of direct mail advertising. 
  • The U.S. Postal Service says that about 98% of people check their mailbox daily. 
  • A 2014 study by the marketing research group DNN found that 77% of consumers open most of their direct mail.  

The most effective strategy for demand creation is combining direct mail and internet advertising to drive traffic to company websites. Direct mail can build brand awareness at a reasonable cost. 

“The internet and search trends appear to be speaking to current users and you cannot grow your business by only talking to current users. You need to constantly acquire new customers,” said Mulloy.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or phone 800.251.3608 (USA)

 

 

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Five Strong Marketing Skills to Kick Up Your Response Rate…

Five Strong Marketing Skills to Kick Up Your Response Rate…

and borrow more customers from the competition.  

Imagine if you were able to accelerate your marketing message frequency to customers, by boosting response using strategic marketing in direct and customer-centric marketing?  Next, imagine directly reaching customers online with a dash of traditional marketingsuch as email for example, with a higher frequency of response, building and writing a series of relevant marketing messages. 

If you like this idea, here’s how to start. 

Learn how to study your marketing data. Today, your company must capture and study marketing data, to determine what you need if your goal is to increase sales. The best way to start is by building custom marketing segments based on customer data. It will allow you to send specific messages to like-minded buyers from your database  Maybe you’ve thought of testing marketing segments, but time slips away. Today it’s not a dream. You can create datadriven direct marketing with ideas from your traditional marketing results easily by using another communication channel, such as email.  For example, if youre a small business-to-business company with 500 or less employees, it’s a good time to learn how to build a company specific multi-channel marketing platform. It can lead you towards a fair share of new or larger corporate customers.   Borrowing a few customers from your competition is also within reason. If that’s your goal, a customer segment project will cause companies to stick around. Learn how by reading the next 5 points on customer acquisition. 

1.  Don’t waste time on building a strategy.  

Yes, tongue in cheek. The best strategies we always recommend is direct and customer-centric marketing strategies, developed for company growth. Think of the direct marketing strategy as a message sent directly to a prospect or a past customer. The customer-centric strategy means you know something about your contacts and customers to deliver a relevant message to their needs  Check out the article in this issue of Direct Marketing Success; How a multi-layered personalization can snag a few more customers…when something is known about the recipient which provides a significant benefit for advertising. It’s guaranteed to stimulate an idea or two.  If you are hungry for more information using segmenting in your database, it’s a great article to help you understand what you need to increase your customer base. Start tinkering with personalization and customer segments as such and you’ll experience first-hand how the two work together in great unison and see the results for yourself 

2.  Use a silicone emollient, such as learning customer data, that keeps your marketing running on all 5 cylinders. 

Data, data analytics, and data management are the work horses that hold your marketing platform together. If you feel that data analysis is not your strong suit, find someone who does understand marketing data. There are more people available today who understand and can interpret the appropriate data for you  Start and stay in a learning mode in your quest to understand customer data. Steady the course and avoid trying to do more until you have a better understanding of the assembled data. The more you know, the more your campaign will grow as well as the marketing segments. 

3.  There are many advertising channels to choose from. 

If you feel there is a lack of customer data, stay the course. Test your assumptions and learn more from existing customers. Test your ideas by talking to a select group of your best customers. Next, use direct marketing mail to reach other contacts. Direct mail is usually a great place to start data collection because everyone has a mailbox.  Add email to the mix of direct mail. Using the Pareto Principal, 80% of mail business addresses have an email address. If you start out with direct mail, use a simple website landing page to capture additional email addresses from those who have purchased from you in the past. Offer something free. For example, a gift to offer a percentage off their next purchase.  Eventually, you’ll have enough information and data, which will make multi-channel your double-digit marketing response of choice. 

4.  Besides having an address, use direct marketing mail techniques, specifically for creating offers. 

Most, if not all direct marketing professionals have a very strong motivation gene in their DNA to go after the consumer tooth and nail to make a purchase. For instance, powerful direct marketing copywriters can use the right words and craft creative offers. Copywriting professionals know the importance of an offer no one can refuse.   Bring in the customers with dazzling design, pulling the reader into the mail piece, to consider an offer  Lastly, frequency of messages is like finding a pot of gold, especially if you can do it below budget! 

5.  Customers like to play coy. 

In today’s economy, prospective customers don’t want to be sold to. Customers can decide where, when, and how they want to interact with your company. They want to make their own decisions. This decision could be in your first contactor after two months of messages before there is any contact.  With the capability of better web searches, the growth of social media and even communication with business associates, there is literally a mountain of information available to gather for the next copywriting project. That’s a big reason why we know frequency is an important direct marketing tactic. When used with multi-channel communications, you can collect additional data to record, and even sell products and services.  Cross-selling and multi-channel communications get a better response. It even makes your customer service better. The list of accolades for a great customer information and list data is a job no one regrets tackling. 

Summary. 

Customers that receive relevant messages tend to respond higher. Revenue increases with every marketing campaign. Add as much information as possible to your database. Data is the key for better business and more business for the future. Start today. Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or phone 800.251.3608 (USA)

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