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Mar 01, 2011

New Chart: Direct mail rated as an effective tactic by many B2B organizations

SUMMARY: Although inbound marketing tactics are growing in popularity, outbound marketing tactics are still key components to many successful B2B marketing plans.

In this week’s chart, find out how nearly 1,000 B2B marketers perceive the effectiveness of an old standby -- direct mail.
by Jen Doyle, Senior Research Analyst

The effectiveness of direct mail

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The vast majority of B2B organizations find direct mail to be either very effective or somewhat effective for their organization. This is likely a result of the various personalization and segmentation capabilities organizations executing this tactic now have, such as personalization for name, location and other data points and segmenting lists based on a number of criteria.

Organizations of all sizes found direct mail to be a very effective tactic. One-quarter of organizations with fewer than 100 employees viewed the use of direct mail in this light; 19% of mid-sized organizations and 21% of large organizations also considered direct mail to be a very effective tactic.

Organizations in the business services sector are the most likely to find direct mail very effective, with 34% of business services organizations assigning this rating. This may be an indication that organizations in the business services sector are also the most efficient in their execution of this tactic.

Only 13% of organizations in the business technology sector find direct mail to be a very effective marketing tactic. Many of these organizations need to communicate complex feature sets and capabilities to their target audience, which may not easily be achieved without causing confusion through a direct mail piece.

For additional research data and insights about B2B marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary from the MarketingSherpa 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.

Useful links related to this chart

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Members Library -- Direct Mail and SMS Combo Lifts Rewards Program Membership 5%: 5 Steps

MarketingSherpa 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

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Comments about this Chart

Mar 01, 2011 - Bill Grunau of Circle of One Marketing says:
I normally love your charts, data and posts, but this one rates as one of the lamest posts I seen in a long time. Your headline says "New Chart: Direct mail rated as an effective tactic by many B2B organizations". Really? 21% said it sucked, I mean "not effective", 57% gave it a courtesy "somewhat effective" which I take to mean they do it and are too embarrassed to admit they are wasting their money, and only 22% said it is effective. I cannot grasp how 22% saying something is effective turns into "effective tactic by many B2B organizations". From my perspective the data clearly shows that direct mail is still used by those that cannot figure out another way to market their products and the majority of the survey clearly say it either is not effective or only marginally so. I am sure I will here about this post from the direct mail bozos trying to keep their outdated marketing biz alive, but let's face it, direct mail is the original Spam and almost all of it goes in the trash. btw, really glad you guys don't count votes and aren't in congress... 22% constituting a majority or many is very creative vote counting. LOL

Mar 01, 2011 - Mike Telem of ActiveInsight says:
Interesting numbers, especially regarding the tech companies. I think especially with hi-tech (complex) products it has to do with the fact that with emails you arrive to an audience who is out of context. They are not really listening.

Mar 02, 2011 - Jen Doyle of MarketingSherpa says:
Hi Bill, thanks for your comments, and I’m glad you normally enjoy our charts, data and posts. The reason why the headline for this week’s chart indicated that direct mail was rated as an effective tactic was that 79% of respondents gave direct mail a rating of somewhat effective or better. Perhaps you can grasp why the headline indicated this tactic was rated as “an effective” and not “a very effective” tactic by many B2B organizations. Also, let me remind you that it is not us that you are disagreeing with, but nearly a thousand marketers that participated in this study, at least three out of four of whom are good enough at what they do to produce direct mail campaigns considered very or somewhat effective in relation to other tactics.

Mar 02, 2011 - Jay Adams of MakesBridge Technology says:
Our technology customers as well as those in other industries have had their interest in direct mail reignited by automation. The tradition issues of the expense of large scale spray-and-pray mass mailing and the lack of accountability have been addressed.

Mar 06, 2011 - joe adkins of proforma promotions plus, inc says:
Our Direct Mail customers have also expirienced lackluster results with direct mail as it has been used in the past but we are finding ways to turbo chage the mailings and have signifigantley increased response rates and traffic to our clients stores/websites/events and our tactics have been especially efffective with our B2C clients as well as our C-Store clients. I don't believe Direct Mail is leaving us anytime soon- it is just a game of numbers as it has always been, it just needs a facelift and some fresh ideas to make it more effective.

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