LUMITOS's online marketing blog

How to Successfully Gain Sales Leads
With Stand-Alone Mailings
1.06.22 | 0 Comments | Author: Rolf Preuß

If you don’t have any experience with stand-alone mailings, you’re probably asking yourself “What are stand-alone mailings? What do they achieve? Are they worthwhile for our company?

At least that’s how I felt many years ago as the Head of Marketing at Schleicher & Schuell. I wasn’t really convinced by what the third-party providers were telling me. Nobody wanted to, or was able to, commit to what I could achieve with a mail shot to their contacts.

With a somewhat queasy feeling, I booked my first stand-alone mailing: a trade fair invitation to analytica 2002. It was sent to over 10,000 recipients of the chemie.de and chemeurope.com newsletters.

In it, we presented all the products that were going to be exhibited at our booth. Well, what can I say? The outcome was sensational. We had never had so many visitors at our booth!

Was this down to the stand-alone mailing or our new trade fair booth concept? Probably both. But what I do remember is that visitors came to our booth with a print-out of the stand-alone mailing. For me, that was proof enough that our stand-alone mailing had worked.

Inhalt
▶ What is a stand-alone mailing?
▶ Why are stand-alone mailings more important than ever?
▶ What are stand-alone mailings best used for?
▶ What can you achieve with stand-alone mailings?
▶ What do stand-alone mailings cost?
▶ My recommendations

What is a stand-alone mailing?

Nowadays, the majority of B2B companies use e-mail newsletters of their own. These are sent regularly to the distribution list contacts in the company’s own CRM. Each e-mail newsletter usually has several topics.

The content tends to cover current topics, such as new products and services, company news, webinars and workshops, or invitations to trade fairs.

By contrast, a stand-alone mailing is uniquely created and sent to achieve a specific objective. In a certain way it’s more like the classic advertising letter sent to contacts by post in the pre-internet era.

Stand-alone mailings can be sent not only to your own contacts: using the address database of trade publishers, industry websites or specialist portals such as chemeurope.com increases the reach and helps you gain fresh sales leads.

Such third-party service providers send your stand-alone mailing on behalf of your company to selected subscribers of their newsletters. Depending on the provider, we are talking about 5,000 to 35,000 subscribers, which measurably increases the reach of your own advertising message.

Why are stand-alone mailings more important than ever?

In the wake of GDPR regulations coming into effect, many companies decimated their email distribution lists. Their contacts were sent once-only notifications asking for confirmation in advance of a deadline that they still wanted to receive the newsletters. The result was predictable:

As open rates are typically 20 percent, this led to 80 percent of recipients being lost overnight. Only those who opened the email and clicked on “Yes, continue sending” remained on the distribution list.

Distribution lists with 10,000 contacts were thus downsized to less than 1,000 contacts. This was a dreadful situation to carry on with email marketing and presented marketing managers with a tough challenge. How could sufficient numbers of sales leads still be generated?

Only about 10% of the subscribers who were contacted confirmed that they wanted to continue receiving the company’s newsletter.

Only about 10% of the subscribers who were contacted confirmed that they wanted to continue receiving the company’s newsletter.

Since that decimation of contacts, distribution lists have grown only slowly. As a result, stand-alone mailings from third-party service providers have gained in importance. Without much effort, marketing managers can reach tens of thousands of contacts and compensate for the shortcomings of their own distribution lists.

What are stand-alone mailings best used for?

There are many different types of campaigns for which stand-alone mailings can help you boost success.

1. Invite recipients to trade fairs

Professional trade fair marketing involves inviting potential customers to your booth. Use stand-alone mailings in the run-up to the trade fair to interest the newsletter subscribers of third-party portals in the highlights you will be displaying there.

The stand-alone mailing can announce product launches, introduce the booth team or link to a calendar for trade fair visitors to arrange a meeting at your booth.

A stand-alone mailing that invites visitors to the trade fair. This exhibitor offers free guest tickets for the event.

A stand-alone mailing that invites visitors to the trade fair. This exhibitor offers free guest tickets for the event.

Offering ticket vouchers also increases the likelihood of welcoming many new visitors at your booth.

2. Introduce products

You can use a stand-alone mailing to effectively generate interest in your products and services. For example, introduce a new product as part of its launch campaign. Or promote four to six different product lines to reach even more potential customers.

A stand-alone mailing to promote products and a product test.

A stand-alone mailing to promote products and a product test.

This type of stand-alone mailing also works very well if you want to offer potential customers product samples they can test.

3. Advertise a new catalog

Product catalogs are still popular with decision makers and users. A stand-alone mailing makes the catalog even better known as being your “top sales rep”.

A stand-alone mailing to generate interest in a chemicals catalog

A stand-alone mailing to generate interest in a chemicals catalog

In your stand-alone mailing, briefly introduce the catalog. Interested recipients can fill out a contact form to receive the printed version. For you, they are valuable new, GDPR-compliant sales leads that you can use for your own email marketing in the future.

4. Invite recipients to a webinar

Webinars are an easy and cost-effective way to inform potential customers about products and their applications. But how do you attract dozens of participants so that everyone in your company is satisfied it has been worth the effort?

Stand-alone mailings motivate potential customers to attend who you are not yet in contact with.

A stand-alone mailing to attract participants to a webinar.

A stand-alone mailing to attract participants to a webinar.

For more ideas on how to promote your webinars, see the blog post “Advertise webinars successfully: 5 effective measures to boost participation”.

5. Promote white papers

Do you offer white papers on your website that inform customers about the various applications of your products? Then you should make these valuable lead-generating publications even better known.

A stand-alone mailing lets you reach potential customers who don’t yet know your company. Briefly introduce the topic of the white paper and offer it for download.

Stand-alone mailing to offer white papers or e-books.

Stand-alone mailing to offer white papers or e-books.

Interested recipients will be happy to fill out the contact form. And you’ll gain fresh, GDPR-compliant contacts to whom you can send advertising emails in the future.

What can you achieve with stand-alone mailings?

Unlike in 2002, when I booked my first stand-alone mailing, meaningful success metrics can be made available these days.

Of course, the achievable results depend on the content of the stand-alone mailing. If you invite people to a super-duper trade fair in Greenland, you won’t get much response. If, on the other hand, you invite people to a trade fair like analytica, there will be lots of interest because more than 30,000 visitors go there regularly.

Let’s look at some facts and figures. I’ll show you just how successful stand-alone mailings can be. From among 10,000 recipients, you can expect around 100 to 1,000 to react, depending on the content of your stand-alone mailing and the target group.

Mailing Type

Responses

Invite recipients to a trade fair

250 to 500

Promote products

200 to 900

Offer white papers for download

100 to 500

Offer printed catalogs

100 to 300

Invite recipients to webinar

100 to 200

For downloadable white papers or e-books, my experience is that 100 to 500 interested recipients will fill out the contact form and start the download.

What do stand-alone mailings cost?

I can’t give you a broad-brush answer to this question. It’s like the products you and your competitors offer: prices depend very much on product quality and service.

But, to give you a rough idea: the price for a stand-alone mailing to a mailing list of 5,000 contacts ranges from €2,000 to €6,000. This includes the creation and dissemination of the stand-alone mailing.

For around €2,000, you can have a stand-alone mailing sent to 5,000 recipients.

For around €2,000, you can have a stand-alone mailing sent to 5,000 recipients.

My recommendations

As a marketing manager, I have had very good experience with stand-alone mailings over the years. I started with a focus on invitations to the analytica trade fair and then used stand-alone mailings for other purposes as well.

For me, the most successful stand-alone mailings were those in which I promoted several products. They generated the most sales leads for me.

If you have no experience with stand-alone mailings, my recommendations to get started are:

    1. Promote more than one product in your stand-alone mailing. This increases the likelihood that recipients will respond. I’d start with three to five products.

    2. Ask the third-party service provider to show you examples of successful stand-alone mailings. These might inspire you.

    3. Choose a provider that doesn’t just go through the motions but one that gives you tips on how to succeed.

After you have reaped the rewards of your first successful stand-alone mailing, you can go further to try, for example, trade fair invitations.

You want to find out how to use stand-alone mailings effectively in the chemical, life sciences and food & beverage industries?

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