A few weeks ago I launched my first ever direct mail campaign. Armed with nothing but sheer determination and a dream, we ventured into the uncharted waters of direct mail, hoping to make one last run at some of our most coveted accounts before year’s end.
This is our story.
It all started with an idea from one of our Enterprise sales reps. Well, an idea and a small budget surplus…
He had a wish list of top prospects but wasn’t getting the response he wanted. And we had a little bit of money leftover for experimental marketing…see where I’m going with this?
But with the holidays right around the corner, we didn’t have a ton of time for a full-on ABM campaign (personalized nurture plus direct mail plus BDR outreach plus LinkedIn etc.)
So instead, we went with ABM Lite.
For your convenience I’ve condensed the campaign into 6 quick steps below, but here’s the general idea:
We sent handwritten postcards to our target list that said: “Book some time, enjoy some wine.” If they followed the URL on the postcard and booked time with their rep, we sent them a bottle of wine.
Seems simple enough right? As it turns out, there’s a lot more to this campaign than meets the eye.
We knew just sending direct mail wasn’t going to be enough. After all, how many direct mail campaigns have you ignored over the last year and especially around the holidays? So to ensure the campaign actually lead to conversions (and didn’t just eat up our surplus budget), we prompted recipients to interact with our product. This way they’d experience the magic of conversational marketing first-hand and be intrigued enough to book a meeting
Here’s the step by step breakdown.
Step 1: Define our list
This step doesn’t often get the attention it deserves…but I learned firsthand how important a clearly defined and accurate list is pretty quickly. We took 10 target accounts from each of our Enterprise sales reps, found 1 or 2 ideal contacts from each, and included them in our campaign. So all told, about 100 contacts were added to the campaign.
Now this is the part where I almost messed up the whole campaign. Being a newbie to direct mail, I just assumed that the addresses tied to the contacts in Salesforce were the correct ones.
But, after one quick gut check, I quickly realized the challenge of direct mail. People work from home, or at a different office than HQ or sometimes…the address in Salesforce is just plain wrong.
So, good little nugget to remember – always double check the address and confirm location via LinkedIn.
Step 2: Targeting
To maximize brand awareness before we actually sent even one piece of mail, we ramped up our LinkedIn ads targeting these select 100 contacts. Small audience I know, but remember this was just a test ?
This way when the direct mail arrived, the recipient was hopefully at least familiar with the Drift name. So at the very least, we went from cold prospecting to lukewarm prospecting.
Step 3: Let’s talk about direct mail.
One of the biggest issues with direct mail campaigns is that it’s really hard to merge your offline direct mail campaigns with your online channels.
We even had an entire webinar on this exact topic, which you can watch here.
We knew the offer had to be compelling enough for someone to go to our site and chat with us.
Well “Book some time, enjoy some wine” seemed like a nice enough hook.
We also made sure that the URL was short and easy to remember and navigate to.
Step 4: Add a personal touch.
Now for the fun part – lots and lots of handwritten notes. There are tons of platforms to help you create handwritten notes in bulk (like Sendoso or Letterfriend), but we decided to roll up our sleeves and write these the old fashioned way…by our ourselves.
(Not bad right?)
Since we didn’t want this to look like just another mass mail, we made sure the message and handwriting were personal and human. The note was short and sweet (under 50 words) and personalized with the recipient’s name and company.
Step 5: Create an engaging and intriguing landing page.
And a conversational landing page (CLP) does just that. Take a look:
Anyone who visited the URL on our mailer was sent to a clean and simple conversation so they could learn more about our solution, book time with a sales rep and get their well-deserved bottle of wine.
Plus, everyone who had a conversation on the CLP got a taste of our product and saw firsthand how conversational marketing works.
Step 6: Send an introductory email and follow up sequence.
Finally, we gave our BDR team an email to send in coordination with the direct mail. This both alerted the prospect that a postcard was coming their way, and furthered their awareness of Drift ?
There was also a 4-email sequence with the same offer that was activated after the letters had been delivered as a means of following up and reiterating the messaging.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Awesome Alex, you sent a bunch of people some wine, but did it actually work?”
Well, our campaign ended in 7 booked meetings for our Enterprise sales team…and counting. That’s a 10% target account to meeting rate. Not too shabby for a $200 investment.
What are your plans for leveraging direct mail in 2019? What have you tried that’s worked?