How to Build a B2B Direct Marketing Campaign for 2022

Jaycen Thorgeirson
Founder & Chief Storyteller

You have your audience identified. You’re ready to send them a high impact direct marketing campaign…

… except, well… First you have to figure out what that campaign is. If this feels daunting, fear not! There are simple steps you can take to build a campaign that will go beyond viewership, leading to advocacy.  

Last week we explained what a B2B direct marketing campaign is and gave you one of our favorite examples.  

This week we will share with you the right way to compose your campaign, step by step, along with some additional resources to help. 

How to create a B2B direct marketing campaign

It may feel overwhelming, but there are clear steps to creating your B2B direct marketing campaign. Begin with your audience, and keep them and their needs at the top of your mind throughout, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful direct marketing campaign. 

1. Research your audience.

Everything about your campaign should be designed with your audience in mind. Not only will this give you the greatest connection, but it will bring you the highest ROI.

Knowing this, how can we expect to design an effective campaign if we don’t really know our audience? 

In B2B marketing, you need to go deep to understand your target audience. Leverage social tools to gain personal insights on those whom you're seeking to connect with. Take time to search the internet to see if you can learn what is top of mind related to their organization and role. Learn one or two specific details about everyone in your audience, and incorporate that into your campaign. 

Is this specific attention, often known as Account Based Marketing, effective for B2B in 2021? Read here to find out. 

2. Decide on the action you want your audience to take.

To put it bluntly, if you don’t know what you want, there’s no way your audience will do it. 

Figure out the one thing you want from your audience. 

Here are a few examples of possible calls to action, or CTAs, you could decide on:

  • Visit your website
  • Book a phone call or virtual meeting
  • Make a donation
  • Download a free demo
  • Read a white paper

Don’t leave this vague. Pick one specific action that you want your prospects to take, and build your campaign to make taking that action as easy and important as possible.

For more about getting a specific response from your marketing, read this. 

3. Focus on one message. 

Similarly, before you even begin designing the details of your campaign, you need one clear message to build everything on. Like your CTA, if you aren’t clear on what you’re trying to say, your audience won’t have a clue. 

What is the one, most important thing that people who see your campaign need to take away? This can be something about your company, your prospective partnership, or the solution you offer. Preferably, this hits them at the core as to a pain point they are actively trying to solve for. 

Make sure this message is simple and only one sentence. Anything more complicated won’t be a good guide for you as you create your campaign.

For more on focusing on your message, click here.

An example of one clear message for B2B

In our case, as B2B ABM marketers who specialize in direct marketing campaigns, our primary message in all of our marketing is Deliver Remarkable. Because in this marketing landscape, being remarkable is not an option. It’s a necessity if you want to be noticed at all - especially among senior level decision makers. 

But in our direct marketing campaigns, we’ll often coordinate the campaign around its own story. For instance, in one of our most recent campaigns, we wanted to show our prospects that we would be their perfect partner.

Our one clear message for that campaign was, “We’d go together like peanut butter and jelly.” Everything else about the campaign, once we’d figured out that message, flowed easily. 

Read more about that successful and playful campaign here.

4. Make your campaign multi-faceted 

In our experience, a multi-step multi-touch campaign is the best option. Your prospects need multiple touchpoints before they’ll be ready to take the next step.

Similarly, a combination of different media will improve outcomes, as well. Combine AR/VR, video, print, sensory rich materials/packaging and digital elements for a high touch DM campaign.

Consider beginning with a high impact direct mail outreach to gain attention, then following up with phone calls or digital nurture programs. Additional direct mail touches that add more value or information will help your campaign as well.

Here are examples of multimedia campaigns that drove ROI.

5. Write the copy and design the creative.

Once you have the outline of your campaign decided, you can begin developing creative. This step is no less important than any that have come before. 

Your copy and creative will vary widely based on your message, audience, and CTA. But the following tips will always guide you right:

  • Shorter is better. Say it in as few words as possible.
  • Use the language of your audience. If you’re talking with experts, use industry jargon. If not, use layman’s terms. 
  • Keep your message top-of-mind throughout. Every picture and sentence in your campaign should reinforce your primary message. 
  • A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth one hundred thousand. Use video whenever you can, and always include relevant pictures to break up text. 

These are the fundamental principles of good writing and design. For more inspiration, check out examples of other successful campaigns for similar audiences or industries.

Here are examples of direct mail fundraisers that worked for nonprofits. 

6. Send it and follow up.

Once you’ve done all the above, it’s time to send your campaign. But after that, you don’t just sit back and hope the customers roll in!

After your campaign is over, you need to have a process in place for following up. Make sure that the follow up step is suited to the level of engagement you received from your prospect. Did they call for an interview, or did you lose them after they checked out your website?

Track your prospects' interest and follow up. Most people need to see a message repeatedly before they’re interested. Then, they need to see it even more times before it sticks.

Maximize your chances to convert. Make sure you have a follow-up planned for after your campaign.  

Don't Miss Next Week's Blog:

Examples of B2B direct marketing campaigns that drive ROI

Next week, we’ll give you the best examples of B2B direct marketing campaigns to drive ROI. These campaigns will inspire you to create your own top-notch campaign for your perfect prospects.

In the meantime, explore these articles for more on direct marketing campaigns and outbound marketing. 

We publish B2B and Outbound Marketing guidance every week, so don’t miss out! Subscribe now and receive weekly deep knowledge and quick tips.

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