Print

A Personalised Print Campaign for a B2B company

This is some of my own work for my employer, Switchplane. They are a custom software agency who look for specific clients in different sectors. This was one way of targeting them.

👋 Introduction

Welcome to another week of Hi Social. There are quite a few new subscribers, so thanks for joining!

This week, I want to focus on print.

Digital is great. I love ads and socials and videos.

But I wanted this case study to focus on something a little different.

Firstly it is for a B2B business.

📣 Meet The Small Business

It is the company I work for, Switchplane. They are a custom software agency who build software on a retainer basis for small to medium-sized businesses.

Marketing for custom software is hard. It is ambiguous. Switchplane are selling software, but it is built from scratch and hard to explain.

Switchplane can save their clients time and money by automating processes and removing repetitive tasks from their clients day to day operations. They work across a multitude of industries from ecommerce to construction.

So, marketing for Switchplane is difficult and finding new clients is difficult.

📌 The Brief

Increase brand awareness locally and see if that covert into any leads.

The company is based in Eastbourne in East Sussex, and most clients are within a 2-hour radius.

Lots of local companies do not know that Switchplane exists, even though they have been around for 15 years.

I had the idea of running a direct mail campaign as a trial, just to see what happens. A direct mail campaign is cheap to run, and I had read a lot online about how they had been successful for other B2B companies.

💳 Direct Mail, Really?

Yes.

Because trying to communicate with prospective customers via digital is hard.

Switchplane works with a small amount of businesses long term and focuses on developing good personal relationships with prospective and existing clients.

We decided to run the campaign over the Christmas holidays last year, and instead of sending Christmas cards, we sent custom-designed Happy New Year cards.

The cards that we ordered were blank inside and had our website link on the back of the card.

We decided that we would send these cards to people that we don’t know.

Basically, cold calling, but with greetings cards.

It was risky: what if we pissed people off by sending them a card? As Head of Marketing for Switchplane, I receive hundreds of cold calls and emails every month. I ignore every single one.

This was me at Christmas, getting out and about before locking myself away to handwrite Happy New Year cards.

👩‍🦱 Who Did We Send Them To?

We created a criteria of local businesses who we wanted to send them to.

Basically, they were all ideal local clients for us. After researching each business, we created a spreadsheet of over 150 companies to reach out to, and the correct person to send the card to. From memory, this was either the Operations Manager or Director.

Then, over the Christmas holidays last year, I painstakingly hand wrote every single card. The message was simple, and went something like this:

Hi NAME,
I hope you had a lovely Christmas and looking forward to 2020.New Year is a perfect time to think about your business processes, and if you want to have a coffee in January about removing annoying repetitive tasks in your business, please give me a call.
Enjoy your time off,Garry @ Switchplane :)

It was a really simple message. But they were handwritten and did not look like they were mass-produced.

It was a nightmare to write to each one and I persuaded my husband to help out and write a few.

🔥 The Results:

We send them at the end of December and waited to see what happened.

Over the next few weeks, we noticed a flurry of traffic to the custom domain we set up on Switchplane’s website.

And we had phone calls.

The eventual outcome was this: we had conversations with a few people from the direct mail campaign and ultimately onboarded one new client.

Now, this may seem like a lot of work for one client, but I disagree.

As I said before, Switchplane works with a small number of companies long term who have a large monthly retainer per month.

The card campaign cost £400 to run, including the print costs and postage.

We were able to sign up a new client paying £3,000 per month.

Not a bad return on investment.

🎁 Takeaways:

Do not disregard personalised direct mail campaigns. They work. We are looking to run another direct mail campaign later this year.

The main reason I believe this campaign worked was that it was personal, handwritten and clearly from a human.

It is easy for your marketing to get lost in the sea of stuff on social media.

Could this work for some of your own B2B clients? Or potentially for your own marketing business?

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