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B2B Sales Letters – Do B2B Sales Letters Still Make Sense With The Rise of Digital?

The Case for Including B2B Sales Letters in Your Marketing Mix

Print media and direct sales used to do the heavy lifting in generating leads. With the incredible rise of digital marketing, print media seems be losing its luster. That’s what the trends tell us.

Before jumping on this trend, you should consider whether direct sales letters are still effective. Are they getting the job done? After all, your boss is only interested in the bottom line, not the latest fad.

To aid you in making a logical decision about using B2B sales letters, we’ll look at some key issues impacting B2B sales letters.

· The Growing Gap Between Print Media vs. Digital Media

· The Truth About Sales Letter’s Return on Investment (ROI)

· B2B Sales Letters – Branding and Personalization Made Easy

· Target of Opportunity or Time To Say Goodbye to Print Media

The Growing Gap Between Print Media vs. Digital Media

According to a survey by CMO Council, 12% of direct marketers planned to decrease their marketing spend on direct mail in 2013. In another study by Winterberry Group, spending on print media was expected to decline in 2013 by 1%, while spending on digital was expected to increase by 6%.

This year that gap promises to widen even further. But that doesn’t mean direct mail is history and ready for the graveyard. The same Winterberry study points out that direct mail remains the largest marketing expense.

The Truth About B2B Sales Letters’ Return on Investment (ROI)

Discussions about ROI always seem to pop up, especially when your boss enters the discussion. And figures get bandied about willy-nilly. We all know it costs more to print and mail a B2B direct mail than it does to email an electronic letter.

The discussion shouldn’t stop with ROI. Instead, you should take it to the next level and discuss cost per lead. After all, the purpose of writing B2B direct mail is to generate leads. Looking at cost per lead, print media is competitive with all other media channels.

A 2012 DMA survey, however, indicates that when using in-house mailing lists, direct mail ROI beats all other channels significantly. With the average cost per lead at about $51.00, content mailed using in-house lists comes in at $19.35.

B2B Sales Letters – Branding and Personalization Made Easy

When communicating with your prospects, you want to brand and engage. B2B direct mail excel at this. Branding can be personalized with print media easier than with some other channels. Likewise, you can further personalize your message with targeted mailing lists for prospects locally, regionally, etc.

Sales letters lend themselves to generating relevant, useful, and engaging content. That contributes to increased response rates. This may help explain why B2B and B2C direct mail response rates surpass response rates of any channel at 4.4%.

Print Media B2B Sales Letters – Target of Opportunity or Time To Say Goodbye

It’s decision time. Before making a decision, however, let’s review what the data tell us.

First, it’s apparent that the gap in spending between print and digital is growing. But overall, expenditures on print still exceed that of digital. Second, ROI is higher for direct sales letters, but when you look at cost per lead of in-house mailing lists, sales letters win, hands-down. Third, messaging with direct mail is also tough to beat. It accommodates branding and personalization.

Direct mail still remains a powerful media channel. B2B sales letters, specifically, remain tremendous lead generators. Sure, shifting winds suggest digital media’s growth in mobile and social media may test print media’s dominance.

Not so fast. Two key takeaways challenge that notion.

First, it’s important to maintain a balance in your marketing mix. Balance ensures fresh content delivery – some print and some digital. It avoids staleness in your messaging. Secondly, it affords you an opportunity in breaking through the noise. With information overload from bulging email boxes, countless Twitter feeds, you stand a better chance of reaching your prospect with direct mail.

Direct sales letters may have lost some luster — but not their effectiveness.

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