SalesTechStar Interview with Kris Rudeegraap, CEO at Sendoso
Direct mail can help build deeper customer and prospect relationships in B2B; Kris Rudeegraap, CEO at Sendoso weighs in with a few thoughts and observations in this chat with SalesTechStar:
Hi Kris, we’d love to hear about your journey through the years…tell us more about Sendoso and how it’s grown over the years?
I’m excited to share that Sendoso has undergone tremendous growth since we first launched in November 2016. Over the past few years, we have completed five successful funding rounds, bringing our total amassed funding to more than $152 million. Our September Series C funding enabled us to open a brand new European headquarters in Ireland. It has a dedicated logistics and supply chain operation to help us deliver more personalized engagement strategies for our 20,000 global customers. Today, Sendoso’s global warehouses in North America, Europe, and Asia handle upwards of three million sends in over 165 countries.
We’ve recently expanded our executive leadership team with five new additions, including a Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Product Officer, to help support the growth of our customer and partner base, logistics, and supply chain operations. Heading into 2022, we look forward to scaling internationally and establishing new roles to support our new areas of expansion.
Can you share a few thoughts on the impact of direct mail in marketing and sales today? A few top reasons why marketing and sales teams should have a direct mail cadence embedded into their overall processes?
It’s imperative for sales and marketing teams to integrate direct mail into their processes, as this can generate a response rate that is 30x higher than email and boosts ROI by 20%. As our world becomes more digitally saturated, direct mail has become one of the few remaining marketing strategies to engage prospects and customers offline. Nearly three-quarters of consumers say they feel overwhelmed by email advertising according to a study by Edison. More than one-quarter report using ad-blocking software to augment their digital experience, according to Statista.
With buyers growing more averse to targeted digital marketing campaigns, direct mail marketing provides a personalized way to create a memorable human touch and break through the noise. Rather than cold-calling and leading with cookie-cutter strategies, sales teams should embrace the opportunity to be creative in their approaches. They should deliver a variety of personalized sends such as handwritten cards, innovative swag items, and eGifts to add an extra touch experience.
Creating meaningful relationships with prospects and customers to drive sales has been the theme of the year – how can sales reps and sales leaders do this using a balanced mix of digital channels and direct mail?
It’s a delicate balance between approaches, but it’s key that whatever messages teams send be personalized to the receivers.
It’s also important to send a gift or piece that fits the receivers’ personalities. If you have a deal brewing with an avid coffee lover, rather than sending them an eGift to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, surprise the prospect with a customized send for use at their local coffee chain for an extra personalized touch!
If you know a customer is politically active and cares about social causes, if appropriate, share what your company is doing about those causes. We’ve found that when companies are open about their social causes and issues, they’re more likely to build trust with their prospects and clients.
If you personalize messages and send follow up gifts, then you won’t have to worry as much about the right balance between digital and direct mail.
A few learnings from successful sales teams and marketers who used direct mail to draw prospect and customer interest?
One customer, BetterCloud, leveraged direct mail marketing to create a variety of campaigns throughout the marketing and sales process to reach and engage with its targeted accounts.
Since its founding in 2011, gifting has been a major part of BetterCloud’s brand DNA. Before using Sendoso however, its staff handled packaging, shipping, and tracking of sends manually, taking up extensive time and money. They also personally wrote notes to each customer.
When BetterCloud switched to Sendoso, they were to focus on their core business objectives and not shipping. Sendoso took over all shipping and note-writing responsibilities.
One year after adopting Sendoso, BlueCloud saw a 92% increase in direct mail’s pipeline influence and a 529% increase in direct mail’s closed-won influence.
What should sales leaders and marketers who are using a direct mail cadence for the first time keep in mind?
I highly recommend that teams using direct mail for the first time prioritize the following areas to create a successful campaign:
Build a Quality Mailing List
Your direct mail efforts are only as good as the mailing list you have. If the people on your list aren’t ideal candidates for your products or services, then they’re not going to be receptive to your offer.
Making Their Offer Worth It
It doesn’t matter how much you fine-tune your mailing list – if the offer doesn’t suit the people you’re targeting, then you’ll see mediocre results. Personalize offers whenever possible. Also, make sure you clearly state your offer so recipients understand what to expect in exchange for their response.
Designing an Appealing Package
What makes people open up a direct mailer? It’s all in the packaging. If you can design yours with a clean design, easy-to-read text, appropriate images, and high-res photos, then you’ll likely catch more than a few eyes.
It’s impossible to know how well your campaign is doing if you’re not tracking them. Make sure you’re incorporating trackable phone numbers, coupon codes, QR codes, and URLs. It’s also ideal to have a platform that makes it easy to see metrics and even generate analytics reports.
How do you feel sales and marketing trends will change through the rest of 2021 as business reopen?
As businesses reopen, I predict that the sending of eGifts in the B2B space will increase in popularity. The shift back to the office and hybrid work environment will allow marketing and sales teams to connect with potential customers with the return of physical sends. However, I anticipate that despite the likely return to normalcy in 2022, eGifts will continue to be the most popular item sent by marketing and sales teams. Our platform’s data found that they made up a larger percentage of attempted Sendoso sends in Jul’21-Sep’21 than in the prior 12 months – 60% of total attempted sends vs 54%.
As the world returns to a sense of normalcy, we will likely also see virtual marketing and sales events decrease in utilization. The increase of virtual and digital engagement efforts that occurred during the pandemic has target audiences experiencing digital fatigue, leaving sales and marketing teams in a precarious position to create new strategies to reach their target audiences along the customer journey.
A few thoughts on what marketing and sales leaders should be doing more of during this time to create better output.
Sales and marketing leaders must begin to consider creativity as the most critical skill to develop more engaging campaigns and create better output. In this digitally saturated era, sales and marketing can be tempted to rely on technological solutions to help streamline the creative process; however, this one-size-fits-all approach to reaching prospects simply will not work.
Going forward, sales teams must prioritize creativity to develop more personalized campaigns. They should set aside time blocks to train for creativity. They should expand their talent pipeline to candidates outside of business and marketing majors to those who have majored in fields such as creative writing, English, art, and humanities to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to their teams.
Sendoso is a leading Digital Gift Sending Platform that helps companies stand out by giving them new ways to engage with customers throughout the buyer’s journey. By integrating digital and physical sending strategies, companies can increase the effectiveness of their existing go-to-market programs and improve their relationships with customers. Trusted by over 800 companies, Sendoso is an essential part of successful demand generation, account-based, and customer experience programs. Founded in 2016, Sendoso is backed by $152M in venture funding and has a global footprint, with a presence in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Kris Rudeegraap is the co-founder and CEO of Sendoso, the leading SaaS based corporate gifting platform designed to help revenue-driving teams stand out by sending personalized gifts, branded swag, eGifts, and virtual experiences to prospects and clients at strategic points throughout the customer journey. Prior to founding Sendoso, Kris spent time at Talkdesk, Yapstone, and Piqora, where he discovered that creating meaningful engagements through direct mail and gifting was an effective way to drive demand and increase sales—which inspired him to create Sendoso. Kris is a California native and CSU-Chico alum currently residing in the Bay Area.
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