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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2023-02-15

The B2B buying journey has fundamentally changed in the past few years. Buyers today are more likely to conduct their own research and there are more options: the number of channels that B2B customers use has doubled to more than 10, according to McKinsey.

Also, customer expectations of omnichannel are increasing—they want even more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience.

But even as the digital world expands, we may be seeing a return to analog, according to The State of Direct Mail, a new study by Lob and Comperemedia. The study highlights the power of direct mail, pointing to better results with direct mail when it is combined with other channels such as email. 

The study showed that 58% of respondents are increasing their direct mail spend this year, with 16% significantly increasing it. The power of “snail mail” lies in all the reasons it differs from digital channels: it offers something tangible to hold and take with you, as well as look at without the glare of a computer screen. Direct mail may be a “traditional” channel, but it’s still effective—especially as part of omnichannel outreach.

Email + Direct Mail = The Perfect Combo

It takes roughly eight touchpoints to convert a B2B sale with a new prospect, according to RAIN Group. Direct mail can be used in conjunction with a variety of channels, including social, display, email and CTV. When it comes to what is most often used alongside direct mail, email takes the lead with 72% of study respondents using both channels.

One interesting strategy I’ve seen is tied to website visits and a potential buyer’s actions on that site. The more specific the direct mail—and how it relates to the prospect’s online behavior, such as the web pages they were viewing—the more it will stand out and get their attention.

Here are three ways B2B marketers can dominate when using direct mail as part of their omnichannel campaigns:

  • First-party Data: Use direct mail to follow up with prospects that have already engaged with your company (such as through a website contact or download form). Getting a prospect to provide their mailing address can be challenging, but third-party data can augment your database for a more complete record, including mailing addresses.
  • Third-party Data: Marketers can build custom audiences that include mailing addresses using third-party data from a provider like OMI. One of the best strategies is a process called audience mirroring, which identifies the traits of your best customers and uses those traits to build new audiences made up of prospects similar to your best customers. Email, display and social ads can be deployed to these audiences, with direct mail sent as another touchpoint in your campaign sequence. 
  • Intent Data: Find buyers who may be in market but haven't yet engaged with your company by using intent data. Buyer intent signals can be obtained through monitoring online activities, keyword searches, website visits, content downloads, product reviews and more. At OMI, we map those intent signals to our business contact data to zero in on the individual contacts behind the digital behavior – individuals who potentially hold high promise of becoming a customer.

Direct mail can drive powerful results, especially for acquisition campaigns. Of those polled, 28% of companies use direct mail for new customer acquisition.

In our increasingly connected world, marketers need an omnichannel approach that guides potential customers in their decision-making process and responds based on how they interact with content. Adding direct mail to your marketing mix can allow you to achieve that in an unexpected way.

OMI’s high-quality B2B business contact data is used by Fortune 1000 firms and start-ups alike to drive modern digital marketing initiatives—from intent monitoring and ABM to email marketing and omnichannel campaigns utilizing display, social media, and more. Reach out to our team today for more information.

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