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You want to attract new customers for your MSP business? Don’t underestimate the impact of mail-order campaigns. I myself have built my career with the help of successful mail order campaigns and today I would like to share a few of my secrets of success.
When they first start investing in marketing in earnest, many MSPs assume that it’s primarily the digital channels they should focus on – ads across Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
These advertising channels can certainly achieve good results, but truthfully must be added: This requires a lot of commitment on your part. Going about it half-heartedly is usually not effective. You must have a sufficient budget to be able to finance setbacks. It’s first a matter of finding out what works. So you may achieve long-term rather than immediate results.
When our MSP partners ask if we have any marketing advice for you, we usually check to see if all the stops are already being pulled out in the non-digital space. To be more precise: Have you already done everything to optimize and unify your emfrom marketing strategy? Have they already achieved success with mail order marketing?
Correctly heard: It is about letters, ink and old-fashioned paper. But to smile at this form of marketing would be a mistake. Perhaps because people are inundated with digital advertising these days, the effectiveness rate of mail order marketing is at an all-time high.
To support this claim with facts: Since approx. 20 years, the Assosiation of National Advertisers has been collecting marketing data in the USA. The return rates for mail order marketing are higher than ever before.
Compared to their existing counterparts in the digital marketing, Get more feedback via mail campaigns. On average, you can expect to get five to nine times better results versus email, social media, and paid search marketing.
Almost 80% of consumers say that they rely on mailings when making a purchase decision. That makes this one of the most trusted marketing channels around.
In short: proven success!
But, before the euphoria gets out of hand now, a few caveats: As with any marketing effort, choosing the right channel is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need the right material, at the right time, for the right person. When it all comes together, mail campaigns work for many reasons. They’re different, they’re tangible, they’re personal and appealing. This will give you an exceptional opportunity to stand out and be noticed. Of course, you need to be careful not to send out the usual boring flyers or brochures.
How do I know all this? I built my reputation doing B2B marketing for technology companies and now I’m a VP of marketing here at NinjaOne. I can tell you from personal experience that mail order marketing works. If you learn these secret tricks of the trade, you can also use it to achieve success for your MSP company.
First things first: getting ready for effective direct mail marketing
As with any marketing project, there are a few things you need to do ahead of time to make sure your campaign is as successful as possible.
Step 1: Develop the profile of an "ideal customer."
Let’s sit back and invent our absolute ideal customer.
Who would you most like to work with?
It’s about the kind of customers that your service is made for, that you’d like to work with in the future, and would be happy if the reverse were true as well.
This "Ideal Customer Profile" (ICP) always refers to a group of customers and not to specific, individual companies.
Here’s some quick food for thought on important characteristics that might be relevant when creating the ICP:
- Industry or. across all industries
- Number of employees (overall company and individual locations)
- budget for the use, of the services you offer
- What technologies are already being used
- Level of technical background knowledge
Step 2: Create a list of companies and key contacts
Next, create a list of companies that closely match your ideal customer profile.
Even before you send out your mail, set up a system to help you track all your hard work!
This step requires the most research (think social media profiles and networking with each other). It’s worth creating a super-specific list in order to
Ultimately, not wasting time and money in the mailing process.
Step 3: Determine how you’ll monitor your progress
Even before you send out your mail, set up a system to help you track all your hard work!
If you don’t already use customer relationship management software (we recommend a basic CRM to track interactions with customers and prospects), keep it simple and start with a spreadsheet. This will help you remember when you sent what, to whom – and what the resulting outcome was.
Mail campaigns tend to have high success despite low volumes. You should be able to keep track of the progress and success of the campaign in this way.
Step 4: Set a timeline for follow up
One of the biggest secrets to success in almost any marketing campaign is "follow up". Preferably, keep this process as simple as possible as well:
Use the same program or spreadsheet that you use to document progress. Determine the times when you will contact the recipients of their mailings.
This can be emails, calls, or perhaps a second mailing; in other words, all channels and means that support their primary campaign.
Steal these ideas for terrific mail marketing
Direct mail marketing is a great way to generate awareness for your MSP. But in order to tap into this source, every piece of material you send out must be relevant.
Don’t forget: Whatever you send will be directly associated with you and your company. For better or worse. If the mailed material misses its target or is simply too unspectacular, what impression will be left of your company?
It is important to think carefully about the content of these letters or packages. Just the little bit different, the intelligent ulterior motive, will stand out and set them miles apart from the other nonsense advertising that is circulating. So don’t hold back, have fun and think out of the box.
A little jump start? These mailing ideas are just the thing to get you started.
Idea #1: Make it something personal
I have learned that the personal approach is most successful in mail order marketing. But how do you get into face-to-face contact with someone you don’t know personally? You use all the information you’ve gleaned from researching the person you’re contacting on.
Use their social media channels, or your records, to refresh your memory. What distinguishes this contact? What would amaze or excite him or her? Here are a few popular options to stimulate brainstorming:
- Favorite food / favorite drink
- Small fan items from their sports club / a band / TV series / etc.
- Something that fits well with their current life situation (for example, we sent a romper suit to expectant parents among our potential customers)
On a side note, you should definitely be careful that ideas like this don’t backfire:
- Not crossing the line into unpleasantness (z.B.I hope the aftersun cream helps with the sunburn you got on vacation with your wife in Hawaii last week.") As a rule of thumb, if it’s on Twitter, LinkedIn, or in online or print publications (z.B., if someone has been in the news or won a prize) has been found, you can also use it. Facebook and Instagram on the other hand are rather frowned upon, especially if the person doesn’t post anything obviously related to their work there.
- Sending things that require an intimate knowledge of the size of one’s contact, such as a t-shirt, can not only be difficult, but also taken as an insult.
- You don’t have to put your own logo on everything. Instead of spoiling the cap or jersey of your favorite soccer team with a logo of your company, send a friendly, personalized cover letter with it.
- Consider costs incurred by logistics and shipping. That can add up to quite a bit.
- Avoid anything that can leak or break! I still have trauma from the "honey from the neighborhood" someone sent me. The glass broke, my hands were sticky and my opinion of the sender was irrevocably tarnished.
Idea#2: Make your contact the most popular person in the office
I dear it to send out promotional materials that make my contact the attraction in his office. These are things that can be distributed, passed around or placed on the desk and magically attract other office workers.
Not only does this naturally make the recipient feel good – and think just as highly of the sender – but it also leads to conversation with other employees. In response to the question "What’s the?", followed by "Who is this from??" and "What exactly do?". If this chain works, then your brand gets a lot of attention, for the investment of just a small package.
Here are some promotional items that can make your contact’s desk a popular go-to spot for his or her coworkers:
- Food to share, such as specially adapted pastries, candy, etc. (For example, I still remember that I was once successfully "marketed" with cupcakes. I’ve also sent personalized goodies from Baked by Melissa on behalf of NinjaOne myself.
- Locally produced food works even better. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a local bakery or brewery willing to accommodate special requests and even deliver it themselves. For MSPs looking to target smaller companies, this creates a good impression.
- Desk-friendly mini-games with addictive potential (and company logo!), like a little Jenga, a Rubik’s Cube, or something to fiddle with, etc. There are hundreds of manufacturers that offer individualized, logoed, items. I prefer 4imprint for promotional products and custom ink for apparel.
Idea #3: Make people want to show off their promotional materials
If you want promotional materials to have a bigger impact, make sure they look good enough to earn a prime spot right on the recipient’s desk. What could be better than sending something that is in your recipient’s field of vision every day and constantly reminds them of you?
Here are some things that are easy to embellish and also personalize and can catch a lot of eyes:
- Desk accessories, like pens, business card holders, stress balls, pen quivers, etc.
- Drinks and accessories, like coffee cups, coasters, mugs, etc.
Idea 4#: Make it family friendly
Making your mailer recipient an attraction in the office is great, so is making them a hero in your home.
Send something your contact can share with or gift to their kids. Parenting plus points for him can transfer to you as well.
Here are a few affordable things that will please both her contacts and his kids:
- Toys related to your themes or brand – I’ve personally shipped stuffed animals, branded Legos, VR goggles made out of cardboard, and also nerve guns (I’m sure parents still love me for the nerve guns today!).
Some pitfalls should be avoided, however, when it comes to children’s toys:
- Don’t send anything that is inappropriate for the age of the children (if you can get that information).
- Make absolutely sure that the items being shipped can’t pose any danger whatsoever.
Remember, you don’t have to go all-in on every tactic or promotional idea mentioned here. To get the best return on your investment, read on. I explain how to customize your direct mail program to meet your unique needs.
Your mail order marketing should be based on your capacities.
Pro Tip: The best mail marketing program is the one that you can also manage on an ongoing basis.
Depending on what stage your business is currently in and the importance you place on marketing, I’ll show you different options for an appropriate marketing program and also which step might be next for you.
If your marketing program is still in its infancy
Let’s say you’re a jack of all trades and don’t have too much help. Estimate that you could realistically set aside one day per quarter to devote to direct mail marketing.
An easy and inexpensive way to take the first step is to use the word "mailing" again to forget.
When it comes to a low volume of targeted companies, it can be easier to just stop by in person. Simply walk through the front door and greet the office manager with these words:
"Hey, I’m Frank from Acme IT Services. I’m not trying to stop anyone from working here, I’m just here to deliver those hot soft pretzels for your team. There’s also a little something in the box about what services we offer for businesses like yours. If you ever need help, here is my business card. Thank you!"
This is an inexpensive way to try out different promotional materials. If something resonates particularly well, then you can start investing in packaging and shipping.
When your marketing program is ready to stand on its own two feet
For MSPs who have enough technicians so that more time is available for marketing and business development, I would recommend choosing ten to twenty target accounts. Start a small mailing campaign and plan some follow-ups on other channels as well.
And remember to use a simple process to monitor it all, to keep track of progress and developments.
How to make improvements to a fully established marketing program
Send their promotional material to customers who find themselves in different stages of their sales process (cold calling, advanced, recapture, etc.) Increase the personalization of the material and send unique items, intended for very specific contacts.
Since you are already evaluating the performance of your campaigns, start with repetitions here and there to improve your results. Work to optimize, make your processes more efficient and reduce your costs.
With a correspondingly higher budget and large bandwidth, it can also make sense to turn to software companies that specialize in just that. So check out Sendoso or PFL when you’re ready to really get started.
I sincerely hope this article has given you the insight into the mindset of a "marketer". Of course, they also have the confidence to steal some of my ideas and launch a direct mail campaign of their own, tailored to their MSP business.
No time for marketing?
If you don’t have time to effectively implement the marketing strategies described here because you are simply too busy with the core tasks of your business – try making your life easier with the top rated RMM on G2 Crowd. Try NinjaOne today for free.