How a customer care package can be an event in a box
Many marketers need to fill the void left by the cancellation of in-person events, which are not only a significant source of leads, but also solidify customer relationships, provide training and generate PR.
An obvious option is taking events virtual. But despite the experience of companies including Adobe—which recently converted its 2020 Summit in Las Vegas event to a digital conference with more than 100 online sessions—it isn't known to what extent customers will embrace digital events.
One not-so-obvious answer? Mailing personalized care packages to customers and top prospects at their homes and, later, offices. Dan Frohnen, CMO of Sendoso, a company that specializes in direct mail, discusses how such packages can be events in a box.
Is direct mail a viable channel right now?
Absolutely. What we’ve found is that people are receptive to having conversations with brands that come across as helpful and empathetic. Long gone are the days of anyone thinking that a batch and blast will be accepted and have an impact. Some of our top sends during these times have been virtual care packages via grocery and food delivery services so customers can support local businesses while self-quarantined. Also popular are gifting subscriptions to streaming platforms, podcasts, magazines or educational services to keep people engaged and entertained, and customized eGift choices that allow customers to select what is relevant and important, including the option to donate to charity.
What worked a month ago, and what should be sent now?
A swag bomb with a bunch of branded swag to share around an office will not have the same impact when sent to someone’s home. You can’t really share branded T-shirts, cup holders and water bottles with your cat or significant other. Concepts that are resonating right now include video mailers, which are boxes with a personal video message and marketing collateral/giveaway; conference in a box with all the collateral/giveaways a prospect would have received at an event, plus a thoughtful handwritten note; and more personal items based on what a marketer knows about a recipient.
How does a care package support customers working from home?
One of our customers is sending work-from-home care packages to target accounts that include a coffee mug, a snack pack, a printed blog post with #WFH tips and a “Do Not Disturb-Genius at Work” door placard so the kids know when mom or dad is in a meeting. They want to let prospects know that they support them in any way they can. Like most of us, customers have had to pivot their programs to digital for the next two months, but they’re getting creative with ideas including substituting a winery tour with a wine.com eGift card.
What about clients who don't want gift packages?
A thoughtful direct mail piece or personalized gift can create a sense of connection to the world. Of course, we need to respect the boundaries between professional lives and personal lives. That’s why it’s critical to create an experience where your recipient can opt into having something shipped to their home address. You can do that with a quick email asking them to confirm the best address or a landing page offer with a form fill to collect information.
How long does it take to assemble a package?
There are many variables, including vendor supply and speed or weather conditions, but the typical time range from concept to arrival is about two to three weeks. Branded items take approximately two weeks. Printed collateral can take from three to five days. Non-branded items can take anywhere from two days to a week. Perishables vary by vendor—some ship only on certain days—but turnaround times range from three days to two weeks. EGifts, of course, are instant.
What’s your advice for B2B marketers during this crisis?
Be hyper relevant. Lean into what your customers and prospects are thinking and be helpful. All we can do now is to educate and enable each other. When people are ready to buy, they will, and it will be from the companies that took a helpful, educational and relevant approach. To weather an economic downturn, do only the things that matter. Now is the time to cut anything in your programs that do not have immediate ROI. Additionally, take this time to get outside of the box. Experiment with concepts and try things that have always been on the back burner.