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BEST PRACTICE: Building great mail moments

It's time for business-to-business direct marketers to smarten up. For too long, organisations that use mass mailings to either attract new customers or communicate with existing ones have been on the back foot. For while the industry extols the virtues of carefully targeted direct mail that business people love to receive because it is relevant and unobtrusive, the talk in the industry is of alternative technologies; of the adoption of SMS and email-based mailings or integrated campaigns that combine viral marketing and ambient on-street media.

Yet business-to-business marketers should start by using direct mail more effectively. Direct mail is as technologically advanced, relevant and effective as any other marketing discipline. Its reputation can be enhanced if mailing technologies are used to improve services to customers. To inspire people as they open their post, not irritate them.

If the industry could make headway towards the day when marketers are embarrassed to achieve a one, two or three per cent response to direct mail campaigns, it would be a considerable achievement.