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Direct marketing: The more things change …


The rapid growth of online communications has sparked more interest in b2b direct marketing. So, what’s different about e-mail direct marketing compared to traditional direct mail?

Surprisingly little, actually. Whether you’re planning an e-mail blitz or a snail mail promo program, it pays to remember several important principles:

Sell your benefits, not your products. Too many mailers end up being thinly disguised product sheets, with loads of bullet points full of features and specs. Don’t force your prospect to wade through all those details … there’s plenty of time for that later. Remember, they’re looking for a solution. Appeal to their self-interest, not yours.

Figure out your ‘hook’ … then stick to it. Now that you’ve got your prospect’s attention, avoid the temptation to put “just one more message” into your communiqué. Too much “objective overload,” and you’ll lose their interest just as fast as you gained it.

Make an emotional connection. This seems obvious, but every day we see b-to-b promos that have all the excitement of a flat soda pop. Industrial buyers are people, too. So seek to make an emotional connection in addition to a rational one.

Panic marketing doesn’t work. If everyone’s nervous that actual sales versus projections are off by 20% in the first nine months of the year, scurrying around to implement a direct marketing campaign won’t rescue the business plan.

Remember your customer’s decision-making process and time frame. Give your sales personnel time to follow up properly on the leads your campaign generates. And make sure management gives your campaign time to work. You’ll have a much better chance of success.

 

Contact Mullin/Ashley

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