B-to-B Small Mailings See Big Results (1,527 words)
What?! You say you're not the world's biggest business-to-business mailer. And your budget fits into something smaller than a breadbox. Not to worry. To make any size budget work harder and produce more sales leads, inquiries and sales from the companies that make up your selling universe, you need a smart plan.
THINK STRATEGICALLY, ACT TACTICALLY
Your first strategic question is to decide what business you're in. It's not enough to say, "Oh, we sell stopnuts (or railroad ties, office supplies, left-handed OEM parts, industrial coatings, health care, business services, whatever)."
Let's rephrase the "what business you're in" question this way: Why do your best customers buy from you? What unique benefit or attribute of your product, service or company keeps them coming back? If you don't know, call your best customers or take some of them to lunch and ask them. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, you can find out a lot by asking. Your customers will be flattered; they may tell you some other things you should know—and you may even make another sale!
Once you know what differentiates you from your competition, you're in a position to answer what business you're in. So you can say, "We sell widgets and ______." What you put in the blank could be superior quality, longer warranty, faster delivery, better customer service, convenience, dependability. This is crucial, because it's the strategic hook around which you can build your next direct mail campaign, as well as your brand, your company image and your other advertising and communications efforts.
Your second strategic question is: What do you want your customers or prospects to do when they open and read your direct mail? To answer this question correctly, look at the world from your customers' and prospects' point of view. What do they need? When do they need it? How do they want to get it? (Again, if you're not sure, ask your best customers.)