February 26, 2020

5 B2B Direct Mail Best Practices for Scaling a Sending Program

Ben Coffee
Ben Coffee

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These B2B direct mail practices are brought to you by LiveRamp Head of Marketing Operations Ben Coffee. Learn how Ben’s team used Sendoso to convert 1 in 3 cold contacts to conversations here.

When we started our sending program, it was experimental. I was LiveRamp’s account-based demand generation manager at the time, and I knew our prospects are bombarded with emails and SDR outreach from hundreds of companies that also want their business. We needed to try something different that could cut through that noise and get to people’s attention.

I also knew that getting more creative was critical to our success, and my reputation. It was my firm belief that experimenting with direct mail would give our campaigns that extra “kick” in performance. So we dipped a toe in the water, beginning with a round of direct mail postcards sent as part of a campaign to boost registration for our “RampUp on the Road” thought leadership event.

The response was amazing. We saw a 30% lift in registrations and over a 60% attendance rate. Because every experiment needs a control, we skipped the postcards the following year. Responses flatlined. We had our proof.

Why We Chose Sendoso as our B2B Direct Mail Solution

From postcards, we branched out to include swag. We learned a lot from those first sends: Namely, that they worked really well, and that sending them involved a LOT more work than our postcard experiments. Fortunately, it was worth it. And it was the biggest hit with SDRs. Where 10-12 touchpoints could go unacknowledged, quite often a simple bottle of wine opened the door to a conversation and an opportunity.

It was the wine that brought us to Sendoso. We used to work with PFL, but we switched to Sendoso because our program nearly derailed after they announced that they were no longer able to ship wine and champagne. We reached out to Sendoso for a solution, and they (no pun intended) delivered.

I knew Sendoso would propel our success after chatting with Kris Rudeegraap (at the time I didn’t even know he was the co-founder and CEO). I saw that the UI was sleeker for our users, more versatile, easier to integrate, included more options like eGifts, and scaled more cost-effectively.

In addition, I’ve always been excited about Sendoso’s product roadmap vision. Our team loved the handwritten notes that they can create (and I did, too). I jumped on the Amazon integration that enables reps to send personalized items from the online marketplace. I decided to enable printed versions of our eBooks, of which we have a dozen versions, each version tailored for a core audience or target industry. Sendoso’s technology has always provided the flexibility we’d look for to customize our outreach and simplify the experience for our senders.

5 B2B Direct Mail Best Practices for Sending at Scale

A little more than four years later, I’ve learned some lessons from our experiments and adventures in sending. Here are five of the best B2B direct mail practices I’ve picked up along the way.

B2B Direct Mail Best Practice #1: Identify and Enable Your Teams

We’ve grown at a brisk pace since 2016, nearly 5x the number of active senders from where we started. Part of this growth comes from scaling our campaigns across departments.

Sales and sales development can use B2B direct mail to acquire new logos; business development can use it to strengthen relationships; events teams can use it to connect with their attendants, and customer teams can use it to improve loyalty and smooth over rough patches. There’s a use case for every team, and lots of opportunities to open doors and increase your reach, so be sure to get every team member engaged with your Sending Platform.

As teams grow, find ways to keep sending easy. Leveraging Single Sign-on (SSO) and creating a queue for requests for Sendoso Touches are two ways to minimize friction for your users.

B2B Direct Mail Best Practice #2: Keep Your Items Fresh, Fun, and Functional

One of the joys of sending is the ability to connect one-to-one with the recipient. That’s easier to do when you’re spoiled for choice and empowered to show off your creativity. Sometimes, the moment calls for something sweet, or (our old chestnut) the bottle of wine with some nicely branded glasses. Other times, it’s a rideshare gift card. Occasionally, a high-end executive gift sends the right message.

Regardless of the items you reach for, keep it creative and fun, and be sure to track the performance of your items. Trim the fat when necessary (do you really need another branded clothing item?).

B2B Direct Mail Best Practice #3: Document Everything (and I Do Mean Everything)

Good documentation makes everything about your campaigns easier. Whether it’s training documentation, email or note scripts, workflows, decks, or FAQs, everything you document makes it easier for your team to adopt good sending practices, and make the most of the resources at their fingertips.

Documenting team-specific collateral is another way to make the process easier, with messaging ready-made for the accounts or individuals your teams are trying to target. While good documentation is a time investment, it pays out plenty of dividends over the long haul.

B2B Direct Mail Best Practice #4: Internally Market Your Program

Just as with external prospects, market your Sending Platform to your teams in order to drive internal adoption. I don’t think it is common knowledge yet that sending physical gifts can be automated and so easy. When you’re sharing with other teams internally, it’s a safe bet to assume you’re introducing them to a new concept. All the same principals at play in your outbound efforts work just as well closer to home. This takes several different forms:

  • Make sure your program gets plenty of internal visibility. Post fliers about the program in your office to raise awareness.
  • However, don’t just rely on a flier in the break room. To get people interested, follow up with personal outreach to let them know the resources are available.
  • Be the champion of the program anywhere you can, including in internal meetings and conference calls.
  • Be proactive in your follow-up. Check-in once or twice a quarter, and inform your teams about new features and products available for use.

Another great way to make your program visible is to feature your swag store prominently in the office. The LiveRamp swag display lives right by the front desk, prime real estate for getting fresh eyes on the offerings.

B2B Direct Mail Best Practice #5: Keep an Eye on the Purse

What gets measured gets managed, so be sure to take an active role in the budget monitoring for your campaigns and teams. Split costs among teams, always stand ready to demonstrate the ROI of the program, and remove the friction of sending by eliminating the budget concerns for your senders.

Keeping a close rein on the budget not only ensures you’re getting the most bang for your buck in terms of ROI, but it also makes it easy to demonstrate and defend the value of sending as part of your team’s success. (Want a quick guide for measuring B2B direct mail ROI? Check this out.)

By making the sending process easy and handling with care, we’ve been able to grow the LiveRamp marketing campaigns a lot since that first run of humble postcards hit the mailbox. We’re grateful to have Sendoso as a partner in this success as we continue to scale our B2B direct mail programs to meet the needs of successful teams.

Looking for more B2B direct mail best practices? Grab a copy of our eBook!

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