To understand how to break through the clutter and noise that appears in front of your top prospects, it pays to place yourself in their position. What makes them tick? What catches their attention? What would make them think highly, or think at all, of your company? Most of us are busy, and you can believe that a top influencer in a leading company is being approached, spammed, and interrupted continuously. In this three part series I will look at how you can develop a campaign through use of proper targeting and 3D (a.k.a., lumpy/bulky) direct mail that will help you get and stay in front of your top prospects.
Part 1: Micro-Focusing Your Direct Mail Program
Save yourself some time, if you are in an environment where you require a high volume of sales in order to sell cheap goods at a low price, then a micro-focused program is not for you. However, if are like many B2B organizations where you have an elite target of prospects and landing just one or two could make your year, I’ve got some ideas for you.
Setting the stage: The goal here is to identify individuals within your most desired prospects and/or companies that have stalled during the sales cycle. You will need to throw some budget into this type of campaign, but, in the end, I’m sure you’ll see the value.
Step 1: Identify your targets
Take a step back and look at your audience. Who are your top prospects? Here are a few questions to consider:
If you have 10 target companies, no need to make any changes, you’re all set. If you have 500, then you’ll need to pare that down quite a bit. We are looking to break out of that mailing mode where a low response rate is often the expectation and shift our approach to making a large impact on a handful of target organizations. Ideally I recommend having a list of no more than 50 target organizations, but this can change dependent upon the industry and the actual mail-piece you land on. You should look to hit only the top influencers for each company. Depending upon the company, the industry, and the targeted job function, this could be 1 or could be more than 10.
You may come up with an idea that is easy and cost effective to duplicate, which may allow you to expand your list. But for this exercise, plan on a high-touch, time-consuming, albeit rewarding program. Selecting too many targets may be the first step in the wrong direction.
Step 2: Secure the contacts
Next, you’ll need to determine the influencers in your target organizations. You may already have this in your CRM system. If you know their names then take a quick look on Google for their contact information. Otherwise, use a resource like demandbase to purchase names one at a time, by job title, within the companies you are targeting. Or you can try searching for your ideal positions within LinkedIn or on Google.
Step 3: Verify the information
You’ll want to verify that the information you have is correct and that the person is still with the company. Remember, we are looking to make an impact on select individuals. Depending on the details of the campaign, a wrong address or bad information could become a pricey mistake. This can easily be done by calling the operator at the company you are targeting and asking to confirm the mailing address for your targets at that company. Because email addresses are the prize these days, you’re not likely to get push-back, however asking for an email address is a dead giveaway that you do not have an existing relationship… click.
Finally, there is a natural tendency to keep growing this list of targets. Stop. The more names you add the less effective you will be. You’ll see why in the next post of this series.