Any type of commercial activity can only essentially be divided into two categories i.e. interact with consumers to sell your product or services or dealing with other businesses for the same purpose. In corporate jargon, they are called B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) communications respectively.
As we all know, marketing and promotions remain at the core of any instance of sale regardless of its nature. Whether you deal in the components of radiographic equipment or sell kid’s accessories, your venture will need promotion in one way or the other. In other words, marketing is the cornerstone of both B2B and B2C sales. Nevertheless, B2B and B2C marketing campaigns are executed with approaches. Making this distinction is important to most the most of spent marketing resources.
Direct mail marketing and B2C and B2B promotions
Direct mail marketing has been effectively used for decades for the promotion of businesses pertaining to every sector. Many people wrongly think that direct mail marketing can only be used by ventures that operate on B2C sales. However, the reality is quite contrary. With the arrival of mailing list brokers and targeted mailing lists, direct mail marketing has undergone some groundbreaking changes.
Right now, direct mail marketing is not confined to any particular commercial sector or type of sales. Everyone, literally everyone, can employ direct mails for the promotion of their commercial operations. All thanks to the availability of dozens of targeted mailing lists and their several sub-selections. This is the major reason why direct mail promotions have refused to become irrelevant.
So, it has been established that direct mail marketing is an all-inclusive promotional tool. Regardless of the type of sales, you are dealing with, you can use direct mail marketing to promote your business. Nevertheless, there are some essential distinctions that one must make while drawing direct mail marketing strategies to promote B2B and B2C sales.
In this power blog, we will try to review all those essential features so that businesses can be able to make the necessary changes to their B2B and B2C direct mail marketing campaigns.
The major difference between B2B and B2C sales are the target audience businesses want to reach out to. B2C promotions usually entail targeting a huge pool of prospective consumers. On the other hand, B2B promotion and sales only entail reaching out to a handful of clients. So, it is clear at the onset that one can’t use the same direct mail tactics in both cases. Let’s discuss how one has to take care of the aspect of target audience when carrying out direct mail marketing for B2C and B2B sales.
While reaching out to the individual consumers instead of entities, it is imperative for businesses to keep a larger lead pool in mind. For instance, a company selling cereal will have to work out an extensive direct mail marketing campaign for its business. It surely would want to reach out to every household in the region where it operates. And for that, it can resort to Every Door Direct Mail. However, it’s not necessary to take up this approach in every scenario.
If a company is selling fruity cereal, then it might specifically want to target households with children. Direct mail marketing enables them to execute this strategy with the help of insurance mailing lists. One of its selections provides the information regarding children in the house. So, a business can execute an extensive direct mail marketing campaign centered on a large pool of households with children. While reaching out to a larger target audience in B2C sales, businesses should take care of these factors in devising direct mail marketing.
Since a B2C direct mail marketing campaign can entail thousands of recipients, therefore business must have to keep the cost of promotions in check. Using inexpensive paper, printing and envelope is important to ensure the cost per mail remains in control. Even a slight uptick in the cost of a mail can collectively result in a hefty bill in the end. Furthermore, always use USPS for their cheapest rates, particularly if you are carrying out a mass mailing for B2C sales. It is essential to contain the cost of the promotion to ensure better ROI.
When targeting masses, it is important to use simple language. Don’t write long phrases full of verbosity and jargon since you are not trying to impress your literature teacher. Consumers don’t want to read anything even with the slightest dash of complexity. No mass promotional campaign can succeed if it steered by a convoluted direct mail copy.
The prospective consumer pool for B2B promotions is small as compared to B2C promotions. Therefore, businesses have to take a different approach with their direct mails here. Let’s have a look at the features that should be taken care of when devising a direct mail for B2B promotions.
Since prospective clients in B2B sales are not many, therefore it is better for businesses to devise customized mail pieces. Instead of starting your mail with the salutations such as ‘Dear customer’, you can use the name of the entity you are interacting with. Also, try to instill this feeling in your mail that you broadly know every individual prospective client. Customizing your B2B direct mail can help you in exhibiting your seriousness to the given business.
Many times business decisions entail picking between these two: quality and quantity. For B2B communications, businesses should focus on the quality of the entire direct mail campaign. Use first-rate material for the mail. Also, use quick shipment services to deliver them. Similarly, make sure that the content of the direct mail is also indicative of quality. Grammatical mistakes and typos must be taken care of. Also, try to abstain from using informal language in your B2B communication piece.
Direct mail pieces for B2B and B2C sales require different levels of knowledge regarding products. Let’s have a look at features of a product relevant in the direct mails for each B2C and B2B communications.
Any B2C mailer should not get into the minute details of the product being offered to the consumers. For instance, a mom doesn’t want to know which type of artificial food color is used in the cereal. Nevertheless, there is some product information that must be part of a mail piece of B2C communications.
- End customers are always interested in knowing the price of the product a business is offering them. So make sure that your direct mail covers the topic of the price of a given product.
- Consumers also want to want to know how the marketed products can affect them. For instance, if you are promoting a drug for diabetes through ailment mailing lists, then inform the consumers about its delivery mechanism and any side effects.
In B2B communications, you are mostly talking to individuals who already know many technical details of the product you are trying to sell them. Therefore, it is important to be completely transparent in your B2C communications. The superlatives used for products in B2C communications can’t work in B2C mailers.
- Talk about all the technical aspects of the products and how it can be integrated/ used in the business environment of the client. Try to convey the information as if you are trying to convince yourself.
- Put an objective analysis of the product in your direct mail. Talk about all the advantages and downsides of the product in your mail piece. This honest conversation is important to gain complete trust of your prospective B2B clients.
Lead turning into a prospective consumer solely depends on the decision taken by the targeted recipient. This is another domain where B2B and B2C promotional and sales strategies vary. Let’s have a look how decision-making is different in B2B and B2C domains and how direct mail marketing should be molded accordingly.
B2C sales are governed by a single decision-maker
In B2C sales, in most of the times, only a single decision-maker is involved i.e. an end-consumer you are trying to sell your product to. For instance, if you are promoting your car accessories venture through automotive mailing lists, you will be dealing with a single decision-maker i.e. the car owner. In other words, you only have to persuade a single person in your direct mail when you are carrying out a B2C promotion. Therefore, a direct mail copy for B2C promotions should be read in such a way that it is conversing to a single person instead of a group of people.
B2B affairs involve multiple decision-makers
The majority of businesses are run by more than one decision-maker. Therefore, direct mail for a B2B promotion should take care of this aspect. For example, if you are reaching out to a plumbing company through specific professionals list, then you might be dealing with several people who are in the position to call the shots. In such cases, it is important to compose a direct mail that must appear convincing all across the board.
With the involvement of multiple personalities, decision-making in B2B is always a lengthy process. This means a lead conversion takes more time in B2B promotional and sales process. Therefore, marketers need to exhibit a lot of patience in B2B communications. In addition, they might also need to carry out some back and forth through direct mails to draw out decisions from prospective clients.
The consumer response also remains different in B2B and B2C interactions. Responses in B2C communications are mostly derived by emotions and impulse. People tend to buy things because they just like them. In many cases, they can’t rationalize their decision of buying a certain product.
On the other hand, businesses are not run on emotions and sentiments. In B2B communications even if you are dealing with a single decision-maker, you can’t expect him to respond impulsively. Let’s try to understand this with the help of an example.
Consumer response in B2C
If you promote your product for clinical depression among the patients through ailment mailing lists, you will definitely take a more sentimental approach in your direct mail. You will make sure that your direct mail piece is thoroughly empathizing with the patients. The reason is pretty simple i.e. you want to elicit an emotional response from your consumers because it will most probably turn into a lead conversion.
Consumer response in B2B
On the other hand, if you are promoting the same product among a group of physicians through specific professionals lists selections, then you will have to devise the direct mail in a different manner altogether. You can’t use the same emotional motif here promoting sentiments. The communication here must be centered on rationality. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the desired response.
Nature of business relationship
A business relationship is an important indicator for the sustenance and growth of any commercial operation. Long-term relationships are desirable in both B2B and B2C sales. Nevertheless, the on-ground realities tell a different story.
Many B2C relationships end at the point of purchase and businesses remain okay with that because they are constantly vying for new consumers. Therefore, it is not advised to exhaust your resources on a single consumer when you are available with an untapped consumer pool outside of your existing base.
B2B relationships are not one-off transactions in most of the cases. It is difficult to acquire clients in B2B sales. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to convert every consumer relationship into a long-term affair. Sustaining long-term relationship also needs more investment. For instance, businesses have to be constantly in touch with B2B clients through direct mail and other communication channels.
Direct mail marketing with the assistance of seasoned mailing list brokers and their targeted mailing lists can help you in executing all the B2B and B2C strategies that we have discussed here. You can use response mailing lists and specific professionals lists to foray into B2B communications. On the other hand, every targeted mailing list selection can be used for B2C promotions.