This is a guest article by Mac McIntosh of Sales Lead Insights B2B Marketing Blog
Too often, business to business marketing people get caught up in the little details of direct mail instead of honing in on the top factors which determine success: the list, the offer, and the results. For example, are you fussing over whether you should use white or gray paper for a campaign? This decision won't make a bit of difference if you send out your offer to the wrong people or make a bad offer.
As you embark on a direct mail campaign, understand your overall objectives. Do you want to gain sales leads? Are you trying to get established prospects to go to the next stage in the buying cycle? Your objective should be backed up by both the letter and the offer. Also take the direct mail list into consideration. The very best way to attain better response is to come up with a great offer; one which is targeted to your audience and persuades qualified leads to contact you for more. It can be a mistake to simply offer something cool without the relevant focus. Of course, you'll measure a great response rate for the free iPod, but these will not necessarily be from people who are the right prospects for your offer.
To get people to indicate a genuine interest, educational-style direct mail marketing is known to work wonders. Buying guides, white papers, reports, case studies and how-to guides are all great examples of this kind of direct mail marketing. Another great way to generate genuine interest are seminars and web events. Remember, you must make it easy for people to contact you and get more information. By including a response form with questions listing the variety of methods prospects can use to contact you and obtain more info, you can pre-qualify prospects and find out if they really match your criteria for a hot lead.
The best direct mail marketers understand that campaign success is driven by the list and the offer. By understanding exactly why you are attempting to contact your list, and offering something which supports this aim, your response rate and number of inquiries generated will be greatly improved.
M. H. "Mac" McIntosh is described by many as one of America's leading business-to-business sales and marketing consultants and an expert on sales leads. He is president of Mac McIntosh Inc., a B2B marketing consulting firm that helps companies get more high-quality sales leads and turn them into sales. More tips at Mac's Sales Lead Insights: [http://www.sales-lead-insights.com/]B2B Marketing Blog.
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