To increase B2B marketing response, increase response options.

Many of the best practices I promote for use in email nurturing campaigns, on Web sites, and in offer content come from my direct mail marketing experience. One such practice has been proven effective over and over and over — including a mail-back reply device.

In a direct mail marketing communication, 20% of the replies ALWAYS come from the reply device if there is one. This is true even if the mailing is going to titles that spend their lives online such as CIOs and other top IT management.

Why does this work? Because every person likes to do things their own way. By giving prospects more ways to respond, marketers increase the chances that people will find the response avenue that meets their personal style.

What does this mean to B2B marketers?

Marketers conducting lead generation or nurturing campaigns by offering free informational content should include their phone number and an email address to give the prospect the option to interact with the company making the offer. This is important because prospects that are already researching solutions and are further along in the buying cycle may have other questions and may want to engage with someone at the same time the offer is accepted. That’s why phone numbers and email addresses must be prominent on Web sites, in Webinar invites, on trade show booth invites and all other marketing communications.

Many marketers may respond that the prospect can just go to the Web site to find the contact info. But why make it MORE difficult for a prospective customer to respond?

Putting phone numbers and email addresses on sites that mass market — or on many types of e-commerce sites — may not make sense. But for businesses selling complex, high-ticket items with a long buying cycle, it is a necessity if those businesses want to increase response to their marketing.

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