How to Get Direct Mail into the CEO’s Hands
In B2B marketing, who is the decision-maker? Who do you want to see your marketing materials? It’s the top management, of course. They are the ones that have the power to write you a check and order 1,000 of your products.
Of course, top management people are busy. They’ve got packed schedules with meetings and out-of-town travel. To get something on their desk, you need to get past their assistants, along with the mailroom attendants that sort and screen incoming mail. Here are some tips on how to design and deliver direct mail to upper management for B2B sales.
Personalize your mail. Send a personalized letter “written” by your CEO to another CEO or top manager at the company whose business you’re courting. Type the letter on the CEO’s personal corporate stationary and have him actually sign it. Try not to use a signature stamp if you can help it.
You can write the basics of the letter – the selling points – and then have the CEO fill in some details that only CEO-type people would know. The CEO can talk about how good it was to see the other CEO at a recent fundraiser or party or talk about business challenges both companies are facing that only a CEO would understand.
Of course, many CEOs don’t or won’t take the time to do all of this. But a letter ghostwritten by you in your CEO’s place about the benefits of working with the other company and how you can specifically address the other company’s needs also works well. This time, you can use that signature stamp, if needed.
Use dimensional mailers. According to the Direct Marketing Association 2005 Response Rate Report, dimensional mail came in second to telemarketing (5.28% vs. 5.53%) in the lead-generation category. A dimensional mailer is anything that is uniquely packaged so that it has some dimension beyond the usual flat envelope. It could be a box, a cylinder or oftentimes, it’s something of interest inside a box. A box is usually good enough to get past the mailroom because boxes hold goodies inside.
Send a sample of your product inside the mailer, or better yet, send something that relates to your marketing theme. And remember, you’re sending this package straight to the top dog, so include something good (that might equal expensive, but it will be worth it). One example is a company that sent a CEO a box with a silk napkin embroidered with the receiving company’s logo, a silverware set and a menu that was comprised of the sending company’s services. The offer was that the sending company’s sales rep would bring a catered lunch to a scheduled appointment if the CEO would hear her out.
Don’t use teasers on the front of your envelope or postcard. Teasers that work with consumers, like “Free” and “Urgent” won’t fly when it comes to corporate mail. The mailroom attendants will throw those away without a second glance. Use classy envelopes and full color postcards that have a simple, elegant design that the mailroom attendant would think the CEO wouldn’t mind seeing. Use plain envelopes but colorful postcards. A black-and-white postcard only works if it gives off the feel of your brand. In most cases, though, a full color postcard will catch the CEO’s attention more so than one that looks like newspaper print.
Use overnight mail. If you can afford it, overnight it. When the package says FedEx or DHL on it, it usually gets opened right away. There’s obviously something important in there if the sender spent the money to get the package there overnight.
After doing all this, you’ve got a good chance of getting your mail in the hands of the decision-maker. Now what? Make sure your offer is out-of-this-world and is something the top manager wants and needs for his company. Offer him something he can’t get anywhere else, like a special report or a special product that none of his competitors have. Don’t waste your money getting your mail in the CEO’s hands if you can’t give him a great offer.