Industrial marketing is a subject with many nuances. Spirited debate breaks out among industrial marketing practitioners about any number of strategies and tactics. Online versus offline, email versus social media, inbound marketing versus outbound marketing, cold calling versus warm calling, letters versus postcards, the list of contentious issues is virtually unlimited.
One area of industrial marketing in which you will get virtually no debate is the value of sequences in direct mail. Put simply, direct mail sequences dramatically build awareness and increase response. The most obvious example of this is the way that collection agencies send you a first, second, third, and final notices each spaced about one week apart.
The main reason direct mail sequences work well is the clutter factor. As you know we are hopelessly over-communicated. With the onslaught of advertising messages it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get noticed. If you send out a single mailing you will not even begin to show up on the radar screen of your prospects. To coin an expression you probably have not heard before, “Save your money.”
Another reason direct mail sequences work is they allow you the time you need to tell your whole story. It takes time to build interest and the concept of “tune in next week to see what happens next” as used in countless television programs is just as effective with mail.
Direct mail sequences are also a great way of building intensity or pressure and acknowledging the fact that a good percentage of people procrastinate. Next time you want to fill a webinar or seminar be certain send out three or four notices starting four weeks in advance. Change up formats such as long sales letters, postcards, and short sales letters and watch your attendance figures rise.
When creating a direct mail campaign that utilizes sequences be certain to incorporate the telephone. Send out your mailings in waves and follow up by phone after each mailing. You will see an incredible boost to your response rates.
Many a direct mail campaign has been abandoned too soon. If the time had been taken to think through a sequenced mailing campaign of three or more touches interspersed with telephone follow up it very well might have been a huge winner.
Like the old song said, “One is the loneliest number.” Single shot mailings rarely work. Get sequential and get response.