My colleague, James Pennington of Anderson Direct Marketing, a full-service direct marketing agency, was recently helping a B2B marketing client build their marketing strategy for a new product. In the process, he related this story, which some readers may not find amusing. Yet it’s true.
“I was attending a social media presentation in which the speaker spent time bashing traditional direct mail marketing by stating the fact that 44% of direct mail was not opened and got tossed directly into the trash. After hearing this statement, I raised my hand and asked, ‘Does that mean that 56% of it does get opened? That seems pretty terrific to me. What’s the open rate on email?’ The presenter answered 10% and there was some serious buzz kill in the room.”
In the B2B marketing world, direct mail marketing is still the most effective channel for generating leads and it is still cost-effective for companies selling higher priced products with long buy cycles.
Although it has a valuable place in integrated marketing, email marketing typically cannot produce the lead generation, open rates and response rates of direct mail.
Here are a few of those stats:
- Prospecting emails to fresh lists typically get open rates of 9%-15% and click-through rates (CTRs) of 2.8%-3.2%. Marketo views open rates of 16%-20% as top performers. The average CTR per Marketo is 2.1%-5% with 5.1%-10% viewed as top performers.
- A newsletter to a B2B house list is getting open rates of 18%-22% and CTRs of 3%-11%. This is consistent with MarketingSherpa‘s 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report in which 1,500 survey respondents reported an average open rate of 23% for B2B newsletters and an 11% CTR.
- Follow-up emails to webinar or event attendees get an open rate of 31% and CTR of 55%.
B2B marketers looking to maximize open rates and fill their pipeline with qualified leads might want to include the still very powerful and productive direct mail marketing channel.