Guess who’s back, back again…
In the digital age that we live in, more traditional marketing methods are often thought of as outdated, overdone, and even obsolete. But there’s a reason why these marketing tactics have been successful for so many years. And with a little jazzing up, marketing tactics of the past can become your golden ticket to increasing brand awareness, lead generation, and ultimately conversions in 2023.
Often overlooked in favor of their newer, shinier successors, check out these 3 old-school marketing tactics that are back with a vengeance, and how they could play a critical role in your marketing strategy in 2023.
The Return of Direct Mail
For years, direct mail dominated the marketing scene. But with the rise of digital marketing, direct mail quickly took a backseat. And understandably so. The world of digital marketing holds boundless potential for brand awareness and lead generation. However, both B2B and B2C consumers are feeling the fatigue of digital marketing.
32% of US consumers feel overwhelmed by the number of devices they own
And the average person sees an astronomical 10,000 ads per day. With how connected we’ve grown to our devices and the constant content clutter we experience daily, it’s no wonder ads, emails, and organic social posts are getting lost in the shuffle.
Alternatively, in 2021 the United States Postal Service reported a marketing mail volume of 66.2 billion pieces, compared to its peak of 103.5 billion in 2007. With decreased competition in this space and increased competition in digital marketing, direct mail is an alternate route to consider reviving your marketing mix.
Direct Mail’s 2023 Glow Up
Rest assured, the 2023 approach to direct mail is not your mother’s direct junk mail. The direct mail strategies of today resemble those of digital marketing. Utilizing CRM data, brands can use segmentation tools and create lookalike audiences, just like marketers do within paid social advertising or Google Search Ads. Tactics like geo-targeting, personalization, and QR codes are just a few ways to take your direct mail campaign into the digital age and make your investment go the extra mile.
Recent studies on direct mail are promising for marketers.
3 out of every 4 consumers can recall a brand after receiving a piece of direct mail.
Let your creativity run wild and jump on the opportunity to incorporate this classic marketing tactic into your 2023 strategy.
A Modern Direct Mail Success Story
Buca di Beppo, a chain of family-style Italian restaurants, recently launched a highly-successful direct mail campaign with the help of Postie, a marketing technology company. In an effort to increase foot traffic across its 76 locations, Buca di Beppo implemented a campaign featuring a birthday discount for prospects. Utilizing its first-party CRM data, the restaurant group created lookalike audiences segmented through geotargeting.
Customized to each location and recipient, the target audience received a personalized experience in each mailer. The campaign drove 20,000 new customers with a 307% return on assets in the 3 months following the campaign.
Image Credit: Best Rewards Programs
The Return of the Blog
The rise of bloggers began in the early 2000s with personal micro-blogs. Starting as a hobby and growing into a career, countless bloggers have transformed their pastimes into their main source of income in the decades since the internet boom. But how important are blogs for B2B businesses? For companies who’ve yet to invest, blogs may seem labor-intensive and even unnecessary, but inbound marketing and thought leadership holds more weight than you might think.
A B2B prospect consumes an average of 13 pieces of content before making a buying decision.
This content shouldn’t solely be product or service-focused. Consumers crave content that is relevant and valuable to them, delivered in a digestible way. Enter a perfect medium: blogs.
Blogs are an avenue to establish your brand as a thought leader and leverage internal experts within your organization. Employing brand-to-demand marketing techniques balances long and short-term strategies of building trust with consumers before converting them into leads — a strategy in which journalistic, blog-based brand storytelling is a critical element. Identifying and addressing timely topics your target market cares about builds trust over time with prospects. And for sales teams, having articles on hand that convey the value your company can bring to the table only increases their ability to effectively underscore your solution with prospects and convert them into marketing-qualified leads.
2023 Glow Up
Today’s blogs are not the digital diaries they may have started out as. Modern blogs — like IBM’s Security Intelligence — are journalistic outlets in their own right, emerging as go-to resources for decision-makers within an industry.
Written, long-form content is crucial for helping potential customers find you organically and for building brand equity, and it’s no longer a best-kept secret. Today, everyone and their mother has a blog. So, what should you be doing to propel yourself above the competition? Take your blog a step further, and create a full-blown content hub.
A complete content hub is home to a variety of content types. No one prospect is the same — different people consume content differently and prefer different formats. Visual learners will appreciate infographics and videos, while prospects who are further along in their buyer journey may be looking for more intensive content like whitepapers and downloadable guides. Meet the buyer where they are and produce a robust content hub, allowing them to match where they are in their journey with your content.
A Modern Blog Success Story
Celtra, a cloud-based software automating creative production for brands, provides extensive resources for its client base. Not only does Celtra consistently publish in-depth blog posts across a variety of subtopics within their niche, but they also offer resources in a number of formats — from podcasts to videos to playbooks. Creativity is at the core of everything Celtra does, and their consistent branding and constant stream of content make Celtra a shining example of an all-encompassing content hub with the power to earn audience trust and convert them into customers.
Image Credit: Celtra
The Return of the Cold Email
Cold emails require little introduction, as anyone with an email address has had a message from some company they’ve had no prior contact with mysteriously pop up in their inbox. In recent years, cold emails have earned themselves a bad rap for being spammy, salesy, and maybe even sleazy.
But when done correctly, cold emails can bring value to your sales and marketing team. This email marketing method is especially relevant in the B2B space.
Why should cold emails be used in modern B2B marketing?
- They’re a relevant and appropriate channel to reach professionals
- They allow for personal touches that other channels don’t
- They open the door for data gathering on a prospect and potential follow-ups using other marketing methods based on how they interact with the content provided
2023 Glow Up
Sending a cold email is no longer an act of blasting off a generic message to a massive list of prospects and calling it a day. In fact, that’s a great way to be ignored and even marked as spam or blocked permanently. In 2023, it’s imperative to take a more thoughtful approach. Ensure you’re complying with CAN-SPAM, which includes accurate sender information and an opt-out option. To avoid being marked as spam, ensure you include a clear opt-out option in all of your emails. This way, email recipients can unsubscribe from your list rather than marking the email as spam, hurting your domain reputation.
In addition to technicalities, adding levels of personalization to emails can make all the difference.
Results from a CEB survey of B2B marketers also reveal that individual stakeholders are 40% more likely to buy from a vendor that provides content tailored to their interests and needs.
Within your email, provide real value to the person you’re sending it to. Do your homework to choose content and messaging that’s tailored to the unique needs and interests of that particular person. Your message should clearly show how they could benefit from your resources, products, or services.
Finally, with intense competition in inboxes, the need for compelling subject lines is more important than ever. In fact, “69% of email recipients decide to report email as spam based on the email subject line alone.” Successful subject lines are concise, relevant and activate the curiosity gap of the recipient. You can experiment with personalization here too, perhaps using the recipient’s first name or addressing a problem you know they’re uniquely up against.
A Modern Cold Email Success Story
Ambition, an employee productivity software company, recently revamped its cold email strategy based on targeted, A/B-tested value messaging. To avoid manually sending each email, Ambition created a drip campaign made up of 8 touchpoints for each prospect. Ambition A/B tested copy, days of the week, and time of day across 578 prospects. At the conclusion of the sequence, Ambition received responses from 73 prospects, transforming those prospects into leads. Through A/B testing, optimization, personalization, and persistence, Ambition successfully employed a cold email campaign to generate leads.
2023 is a comeback season, no doubt about it. While digital marketing tactics seem like the flashier, more attractive option in the eyes of many marketers, traditional marketing tactics should not be forgotten. They’re legends for a reason, after all. How might you put a 2023 spin on these classic tactics to supercharge your efforts and reach your marketing goals?