With email now ranking as the world's most commonly used communications channel, many packaging equipment sales reps focus their attention on it rather than direct mail advertising. While email certainly offers advantages over generating sales leads for direct mail -- instant delivery, more measurable performance insights, higher level of customization, etc. -- you shouldn't discount the value of this age-old sales tactic. Below are seven common misconceptions about direct mail.
#1) It's Expensive
The cost of developing a b2b sales leads for a direct mail campaign varies depending on multiple factors. With that said, it often costs less than other sales tactics. Statistics show the average cost of direct mail in the United States is about 20 cents to $10 per person. In many cases, you can launch for a direct mail campaign for as little as $50. However, the cost of postage is what costs for developing packaging equipment sales leads. The bottom line is that you shouldn't assume direct mail is expensive. Like most sales tactics, it requires a monetary investment. But direct mail generally costs less than other common sales tactics, making it well worth the investment.
#2) Buyers Won't Respond to It
Because direct mail consists of advertisements, packaging equipment sales reps often assume that buyers will simply discard them rather than respond to them. Some buyers will likely toss direct mail in the trash after checking their mailbox and discovering an advertisement, but others may proceed to contact your packaging equipment company to inquire about a product or service. According to the ANA/DMA Response Rate Report 2018, the average response rate for direct mail in 2018 was just under 5%, meaning for every 100 buyers to whom you send direct mail, roughly five sales leads will respond.
#3) It's Not Opened
Another common misconception about direct mail is that it's not opened. Surprisingly, though, open rates for direct mail are often higher than those for email. Statistics show the average open rate for an email campaign is about 18%, whereas the direct mail campaigns have an average open rate of 80% to 90%. What does this mean exactly? It means that up to nine in 10 sales lead buyers to whom you send direct mail will open it.
#4) It Doesn't Influence Purchasing Decisions
Direct mail can most certainly influence purchasing decisions. One study found that 76% of U.S. adults have made a purchase that was influenced from direct mail they received. Upon receiving your direct mail, buyers will stop to look at your advertisement. If it's a highly relevant, well-made advertisement, you may persuade the buyer to contact your packaging equipment company, thereby yielding a new high-quality b2b sales lead to whom you can pitch your company's product or service.
#5) Buyers Don't Trust It
Buyers will most certainly trust your direct mail if you execute this sales tactic correctly. Research shows that over half of adults view direct mail as the single most trustworthy sales and marketing channel. Direct mail shows buyers that your packaging equipment company is a credible and trustworthy figure in its industrial industry. Not all packaging equipment companies will spend the time or money to create direct mail campaigns. As a result, using this tactic in your sales efforts will differentiate your packaging equipment company from its competitors, all while building trust in your industrial company's audience. Of course, the increased trust of direct mail is one of the reasons why it influences purchasing decisions. Buyers tend to trust direct mail, so they feel more confident purchasing products or services from packaging equipment companies that send them direct mail.
#6) You Can't Target Specific Audiences
Since it's not digital, some packaging equipment sales reps believe direct mail doesn't allow them to target specific audiences. But there are actually plenty of targeting options available for direct mail. You can target buyers in specific geographic regions, for example, or you can target warehouse, distribution centers or manufacturing facilities with a specific square foot size. You can target plant managers, operations managers or maintenance managers which is particularly useful when selling products or services.
Here are a couple suggestions for how to apply a direct mail campaign to plant managers for instance:
#7) It's Not As Popular As Email or Other Digital Channels
Even with the widespread adoption of email, direct mail is still a very popular marketing and sales channel. In fact, one report found that direct mail accounts for over 64% of the U.S. local advertising market, compared to just 35% for digital. Whether your B2B company operates on the East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between, you can reach more buyers using direct mail.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't ignore digital sales tactics, including email. As revealed in this blog post, direct mail is a time-tested and effective way to attract sales leads and generate sales. However, digital sales tactics can still yield new opportunities for your packaging equipment company. Rather than relying on one or the other, consider using both email, direct mail and other touch points in your sales strategy. By tapping into both channels, you'll attract more sales leads and generate more sales.