8 Ways to Win Using Direct Mail in ABM Campaigns

A blog for B2B marketers on how to improve ABM campaigns with direct mail.

This blog looks at how exactly direct mail works well as part of ABM integrated campaigns, and ways marketers can employ direct mail as an outsourced turnkey service for best results.

You’ve done your due diligence. Hand-picked your people and companies. Got the journey emails ready to roll (maybe HubSpot), and your content persuades and solves problems. Tick, tick, tick, tick. But have you got your prospects’ full attention?

Purely digital marketers, even those that write the best copy in the world, aren’t immune to email response rates of little over 1%. Even when one avoids all traces of ‘bad subject line’ words that will mark it as spam, emails can still end up ‘auto-filed to junk’ and never viewed. The answer of course, is not to send more emails, but rather do something else. And this is where direct mail comes in.

Maybe you want to be more diverse in your marketing mix, but don’t know where to start with posting out packs in volume. Or perhaps you don’t know what exactly to send and when to send it. Chances are, you will know from current research published online, that Account Based Marketing using direct mail touchpoints, sees significant boosts to ‘other digital channel’ results within your integrated campaigns.

Park up for now visions of trawling internet promo sites, ordering stacks of items to stash in your tiny office and the job of finding addresses (often personal during the pandemic) to post to. It doesn’t have to be that way.

At Blank we thought it would be useful to share these 8 tried and tested ways you can win at ABM Marketing using direct mail, in the hope that you find them useful as Marketing Managers.

  1. Don’t overlook Direct Mail as part of ABM

You’ve got to be in it to win it. So start by putting direct mail into your tactics lunchbox and eating it. ABM strategists can often overlook direct mail, but that is a big mistake. ABM is all about going after targeted accounts with personalised messaging. Nothing gets a prospect’s attention like receiving a pack in the post. Something high-value, that provides a delightful brand experience. Even the most carefully-crafted email or call message, can feel impersonal in today’s world dominated by tech. Sending a thoughtful pack in the post, to your top prospects, is a sure way to stand out.

  1. Employ ‘one to many’ direct mail

If you’re already doing ABM, then it’s time to take your campaigns to the next level by incorporating them with a direct mail strategy. There are different types of ABM. And while we can help with all of them, it’s the one-to-many ABM that will allow you to send out to a large batch of ideal prospects. Using automation tools like HubSpot for the digital touchpoints and a company like Blank for the turnkey direct mail bit, one-to-many ABM has good ROI potential and is worth some customisation and personalisation.

  1. ‘Right things’ at ‘right moments’

The idea here being that between emails and other digital touchpoints – they (your ideal prospects) – will receive something tangible, at the point that it really engages them, and makes them feel something. This can uplift the conversions of warm prospects (MQLs), to meetings held (SQLs) by around 20%!

When you need to get a high-volume of messages out but still want an element of surprise and delight, you could do a ‘have a cuppa and biscuit on us’ direct mail tactic – a good example of right place, right timing. Send out an email when your biscuits and tea bag and branded mug is due to arrive to the said premises/house – saying ‘Enjoy a tea break on us!’ This then opens the door to response and engagement, allowing sales to easily engage, book in meetings and then make a sale. This could uplift your email replies by up to 33%.

Other ideas around finding the right moment, include sending something on their birthday, at Christmas, Easter and other milestones. This could be for existing, high net-worth clients as well as prospects. (Capture their birthday in a lead magnet in a fun way mentioning birthday surprises).  But it could just be that you are interested in new business acquisition. Warming up contacts in the pipeline, before you get to meeting stage. To get them closer to being a customer of yours.

  1. Personalise packs

According to a CEB study, individual stakeholders who receive personalised content perceive it to be tailored to their specific needs and are 40% more willing to purchase from a company than stakeholders who did not receive it. Create a personalisation strategy that enhances the value of your direct mail piece. That could mean selecting products useful in your recipient’s industry, including specific info about their company in messaging, or creating an awesome, inspired, brand experience. The higher the value of the account, the bigger the pack you send. Follow up with emails and calls.

Create individual, personalised landing page for prospects, and include the URL in your direct mail package. Set up digital advertising retargeting campaigns that reference the direct mail messaging. Implement a ‘live chat playbook’ on your website that alerts the right sales rep that their high-value target has visited the site.

For top-level accounts, send customised items for good results. Since your deal size is substantial – spend more on high-quality items and personalisation, to make a good impression. Ideas include, branded and customised copper thermal mug flasks, expensive wireless earbuds, and gin bottles. Sending a handwritten note is a nice touch plus say crystal glasses with an etched logo and branded gin bottle, with your logos.

  1. Drive goals

The desired outcome of an ABM campaign is to start those conversations off with decision-makers at your target companies. So, what do you want people to do right after they get your direct mail? Calls-to-action aren’t just for digital channels. Include a clear CTA with every direct mail send. Whether you want recipients to call a sales rep, visit a landing page, or post something on social media, spell out the next desired action.

  1. Think outside the box (or pack!)

While you might have the integrated campaign strategy perfected now and know how to personalise touchpoints, what is going to pack that punch as a memorable campaign? Mainly, don’t forget to use oodles of creativity in your campaign on top of the smart tactics. Your direct mail packs – no matter how timely and efficient, they need to be unusual, different, create awesomeness or awe. Here are a few ideas as food for thought.

You could send a box saying ‘what will your future hold’ with messaging inside. Inside is a personalised web address which then lands the prospect onto a tailored landing page to fill in their address details, hit send and get a personalised gift in the post. The landing page could be like a quiz asking which of these packs fits your needs right now…e.g., Time for you to fill in the blanks…‘wellbeing me’, ‘get me fighting fit’, send me something yummy’, ‘pack me a party vibe’.

As it happens, Blank provides the landing page address and pack type capture service for clients too and you can do a mix of different packs – all you have to do is share your idea and Blank can make it happen.  The interactive element creates engagement and makes the person feel valued.

Your sales team could do a personalised demo video to play on a handheld branded device or on a branded memory stick – amongst the other swag. It could be some tips for their industry or just a nice intro by a potential account manager. Amongst this could be some nice items to eat and wear, that the person on the video references – how to use the items etc. This makes it feel super personal.

Why not something natural that will grow with your business  – such as a cactus and give it a handwritten name tag with words like, ‘I’m William, let’s grow together.’  This is really simple but effective, a lovely plant or cactus present delivered to you for your work desk. Perhaps the pack could also contain a small, branded watering can and a nice quote on there about acorns growing into large trees, or something else inspiring.

Perhaps a notepad could include testimonials from similar clients; noting some of the benefits and outcomes they achieved by using your brand.  Maybe include some branded wildflower seeds. Or if they were a burger company – some gherkin or chilli seeds would be fun – you get the idea – make it relevant to them.  Which brings us on to the next point.

  1. Make it relevant

ABM consistently needs to be personal AND relevant – so there is some skill in picking the right items and presenting them well.  There’s no use in sending something carefully personalised but then the item type just isn’t right! Using a specialised company like Blank with 4 decades of experience means inspiring ideas can be shared with marketers as part of a turnkey service. A consultative branding company like Blank will make sure you have thought it all through and will help you access inspired ideas.

Virtual Event Swag - Blank

8. Box Smart (excuse the pun) on logistics

Many digital marketers don’t realise they can be doing something like direct mail as part of their integrated campaigns.  There is a lot of work involved in organising this, especially if it is to lists of over 50 prospects per campaign. Who will pick, source, design, store, fulfil and do any marketing assets within the packs, when you are already up to your eyeballs in to do lists?

In plain terms – Blank Group can act as an extension of your marketing team and deliver this service for you so that it slots neatly into your campaigns and doesn’t cost you your time.  Just ask>


*The State of Account Based Revenue Engine 2019 report, says measuring ABM are seeing: 99% better engagement with ABM accounts; 80% improved win rates; 73% higher deal sizes; 91% improved ROI.

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