Are Your Mailings Irrelevant or Just Plain Stale?
Lately I’ve noticed I’ve been getting repeat mailings from large B-to-B office suppliers — and they all look the same. It probably doesn’t help that Office Depot, Staples and OfficeMax have similar corporate colors. They all seem stuck in their “10 percent or $10 off” offer, or some version of it. To make matters even more boring, the mailings always seem to be in one of two or three standard formats. You know the ones: large postcards, #10 solo or folded flyer.
You look at them and say, “Oh, that again,” and toss it. It got me thinking about the opportunity we as B-to-B mailers have to vary our offers and presentation based on what we know about our customers. I believe your offers will go farther with more of the following:
1. A mailing that recognizes I have a purchase-channel preference. When I buy office supplies, for example, I like to visit the nearby Office Depot store. When I buy music or movies, I do it online.
2. A mailing that recognizes I’m a small-business man and don’t have a large need for certain products. I recently got a 200-plus-page, hard-cover catalog from Peachtree Business Products. As vice president of a condo association, I purchased some parking tags from this company more than a year ago. It’s unlikely I’ll ever buy anything else.
3. A mailing that recognizes what I buy repeatedly. It would be nice to be reminded what fax toner, laser toner and photographic paper I buy when I’m about to run out (based on my past purchase frequency) so I don’t have to remember that stuff myself.
4. A mailing that doesn’t call me a woman. Yes, when you have one of those names that either sex can have, like Terry, you’d be surprised how many times I get called a girl. Not very appropriate. That’s why I always use Terence when buying direct. But even that doesn’t work all the time for some strange reason. Wouldn’t it be nice if places where I shop could remember I’m a guy!