If you’re in sales chances are you’ve tried various methods to engage with a potential client and forge a relationship. Maybe you’ve given them tickets to baseball game, a best-selling book, or sent a hand-written note. A high-value direct mail piece is one of the six (phone, text, voicemail, email, social, mailer) most common methods salespeople use to communicate to their prospects. According to InfoTrends’ study Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth, direct mail is the leader for achieving superior business to consumer (B2C) sales where studies show “40% of consumers have made a purchase in the last three months because of a piece of direct mail they received.” According to InsideSales.com, Business to Business (B2B) however, does not take advantage of direct mail as effectively with only 38.5% of companies reporting they use direct mail and only 30% reporting using it for prospecting new clients. This appears to be changing, as direct mail capabilities is in the top five in expected growth for 2018 (11.4%) for B2B.
To better understand the communication methods and its effects in the B2B environment, InsideSales Labs commissioned a study entitled State of Direct Mail talking with 325 B2B associates, managers, and leaders to better understand the opinions of those that send and receive direct mail. Here’s some of the results of that study:
Sending Direct Mail
- Only 38.5% of companies report using direct mail as part of their business.
- The main reasons companies do not use mailers is cost (44.3%) and time (22.9%).
- Medium size organizations ($50-$500 million in revenue) are the largest adopters of direct mail (53.1%). This is 81.8% higher than large companies ($500 million in revenue).
- Respondents reported the most cost effective and the most popular direct mail items are cards with 44.2% of companies reporting they send either printed or handwritten notes.
- The most common offer in mailers is information with a basic call to action (43.7%).
- Of companies surveyed, the biggest challenge in sending direct mailers, is determining the right people to send them to (27.3%) and verifying the physical address (19.8%).
Receiving Direct Mail
- Direct mail had the highest perceived response rate among any communication method with 66.1% of respondents saying they were likely to respond to a direct mail piece. This was 34.7% better than the perceived response rate with email.
- 6% of leaders said they were likely to respond to direct mailers.
- Hand-written notes were the type of direct mail piece that respondents were most likely to respond to (77.1%) but (pens and mugs) were the most popular gifts and Amazon and Starbucks were the most popular gift cards.
- Respondents indicated that cheap gifts with a perceived value under $11.40 (average) reflected poorly on the response rates and the image of a company sending the gift.
- Respondents said they were more likely to respond to useful gifts (47.3%) than edible gifts (3.7%) by 43.6 percentage points.
- Although most respondents said mailers played a large role in their likeliness to respond, the combination of mailers in conjunction with strong messaging was the most powerful. The ability of the rep to personalize the message and have a compelling offer were the two strongest reasons prospects responded to direct mailers.