As we continue into week 74 of work-from-home quarantine, checking the mail and getting packages has become an anticipated event in our house. It’s a lifeline to the outside world. And if you’re someone who leaves packages alone in the garage for a couple days, it’s like Christmas! That box could be anything, but you don’t get to unwrap it until Thursday morning!
In all seriousness though, many companies are successfully converting their B2B direct mail programs for a (at least temporary) work from home (WFH) environment. And in some cases, we’re seeing evidence that WFH direct mail programs are providing measurably better results than the would have when directed to the office two months ago.
Key to those successful WFH direct mail programs are a couple things:
- Ask permission: Even if you can somehow verify a prospect or customer’s home address online, it’s far better to ask them directly for their preferred WFH address and get permission to send. This has a few advantages. One, your prospect agrees to let something work-related come to their house. Two, they’re now going to anticipate and look forward to something from you. And three, it’s possible they are sheltering in place somewhere else (a second home, their parent’s house, etc.).
- Focus on warm leads, opportunities and customers (no cold leads): A pre-existing relationship has been key to getting high acceptance rates for WFH package delivery. In our not-quite-scientific research of list segment acceptance rates of WFH delivery, we’ve seen close to 100 percent for customers, 90 percent for active opportunities, 70-80 percent for warm leads – and less than 15 percent for cold/new leads.
- Send something that engages others in the household: In other words, get the family and/or roommates involved as a positive reflection of your brand and campaign. It could be a game, small toy, even something trivial works. Remember when we used to go to in-person trade shows and bring back chochkies for the kids? Similar thing here but a more intentional strategy.
- Make the mailer part of a more comprehensive before/during/after plan: The mailer itself is but one component of what should be a broader, multi-channel and integrated campaign between marketing and sales. Consistent theme and messaging focus, tight sales follow-up with added value, etc. I’ve seen research that shows integrated campaigns involving direct mail get a 2-3X higher response in some cases vs isolated, individual direct mail sends.
- Keep delivery preference records up to date: Over the next few weeks and months, some of your prospects and customers will start returning to the office. If you continue direct mail campaigns moving forward, make sure you’re updating their preferred delivery address. Right now getting your stuff at home might be acceptable. Eight months from now it might again feel like a minor violation of work/life boundaries.
If you’re executing or considering WFH direct mail campaigns, I’d love your feedback on what’s working, what’s not working or even what you’re trying here as well.