September 2011 - Best In Class Approach

tips best in classDirect mail with a multi-channel campaign nets results.

Want to see a great invitation in action? We recently saw a terrific example that illustrates how all of the elements of segmentation, personalization, incentives, and response mechanisms can come together to pack a powerful punch.

A B2B trade association wanted to sponsor an industry conference. To do so, it created a multi-channel campaign that included direct mail, email, personalized URLs, and QR codes.

The association crafted a personalized mailer that pitched the conference and invited attendees to respond for more information. Before mailing, however, it divided its target group into key segments, including distance, market vertical, and job title. This resulted in more than two dozen versions of the piece, allowing the marketing team to speak to prospects’ individual needs before adding any other personalization.

The next step was to create a mailer with punchy but informative copy and a personalized URL printed across the top (as well as embedded in the copy on the back). The personalized URL invited recipients to log in to fill out a survey about what they were looking for at the conference and register for a chance to win a prize. A QR code was used to invite them to learn more about attending exhibitors. For those not familiar with QR codes or how to use them, the code was flanked with a short explanation and an invitation to scan the code.

Personalized landing pages were broken into control groups to test various marketing approaches. These included both generic and pre-filled landing pages of varying lengths and with slightly different copy and offers. All responses were tracked to determine which approaches were most effective.

Respondents were sent confirmation emails. Non-responders were sent follow-up emails based on live tracking information gathered from the personalized URL dashboard.

Those targeted for follow-ups received emails prefilled with their contact information and live links to their personalized URL. Emails included up-to-date conference details (for example, “This event is already 81% sold out!”) updated on a daily basis to create a sense of urgency for recipients to act upon the invitation immediately. Those who looked at multiple pages on the event website but did not register were passed along to the sales force to be contacted in person.

The campaign was highly successful. Forty-two percent of recipients responded by asking for more information, and from the direct mail campaign alone (not including direct sales calls), the association netted a high percentage of new attendees.