In this Industry Insider Interview, Marne Reed, the Chief Evangelist at PFL, discusses pivoting to a digital outreach strategy in 2020 that engages prospects and breaks through white noise. Specifically, Marne explains when businesses should incorporate tactile touches into their outbound sales and marketing outreach sequences. Read on the learn what she had to say.

What is the main challenge companies face when pivoting to a digital outreach strategy? 

When Covid-19 hit we all had to quickly move to a digital only strategy. We no longer had in-person events and we didn’t know where our audience was to leverage our Tactile Marketing Automation. Digital channels were already insanely taxed and it only got worse as the pandemic raged on. Hubspot recently released a COVID-19 Marketing and Sales Benchmark Data report that shows marketing and sales emails were reportedly up by 65% yet response rates were down by as much as 25%. The challenge that we had at PFL and what we heard from our customers was that using that heavy digital only strategy was tanking our marketing and sales goals. We weren’t getting noticed and couldn’t get people to engage with us. We had to take the leap and return to our strategy of including our tactile touches in our outbound sequences.

What role does proper targeting play when it comes to outbound sales and marketing activities? 

Proper targeting is critical. Marketing and sales needs to be laser focused to hit our already challenging goals right now. When we were not clear on our ideal customer profile and the personas that we were going after, we ended up wasting precious resources and causing confusion between sales and marketing. On the flip side, when we got agreement on what the characteristic of our ICP was (put it in writing), it allowed us to have a much clearer understanding of the needs that we solved for our customers. We infused that value all of the way through our customer and prospect targeting. This invited our audience to engage and join the conversation with us.

How can companies improve the ROI of their outbound campaigns? 

Companies will see a much higher ROI when they automate and orchestrate their tactile marketing alongside their digital channels. PFL’s deep integration in the marketing automation platforms and Salesforce allows for true orchestration and personalization that improves results. It is really changing the game for marketing and sales teams. We are able to leverage the digital intent signals to influence our tactile touches. When the pandemic hit we stopped sending our own tactile pieces in our outreach sequences. Our reply rate dropped to 9.7% and our meeting booked rate plummeted to 0.9%. We added our orchestrated tactile touches back into our sequences and we jumped to a 21% reply rate and our meeting booked rate launched to 9.8%. I’d say that was a success.

Since COVID-19 hit, how has tactile marketing automation helped companies engage and convert prospects into customers? 

With the rise of all events moving virtual, it only created more white noise. We are helping our customers differentiate their brand and stand out from the crowd by sending something physical to make their virtual events more engaging. This lets people interact with physical objects during the event. Tactile marketing items are impactful, helpful and memorable.  The teams that pair physical brand experiences with their virtual booths and webinar sessions will ensure that their brands are remembered. After remote attendees shut down their computers for the day, their physical branding will remain and reinforce the story they have worked so hard to share. One of our customers drove a 50% response rate and a 46% attendance rate to their event by just sending an oversized invite to their audience.

How should companies get started with tactile marketing campaigns?

First and foremost, don’t wait. We will always have some challenge that we think prevents us from orchestrating and automating direct mail alongside our digital channels. It is easy to view market shifts as obstacles, but the most successful marketing teams are using this time as an opportunity. Those teams who shift their perspective on what they can do right now to drive growth and success in Q4 and into 21 will be best poised to thrive when the economy gains more stability.  PFL works alongside you to help you identify the low hanging fruit to prove out success.


About Marne Reed

Marne Reed is the Chief Evangelist and an 18-year veteran at PFL. She is an authentic business leader tasked with driving PFL’s expansion into enterprise software solutions, which includes the creation of a category called Tactile Marketing Automation (TMA). Not afraid of a good business or personal challenge including raising her 4 boys. She is passionate about a fine glass of wine and relaxing with her chickens.

Interested in Learning More?

In our most recent webinar, Use Technology Intelligence to Identify, Prioritize and Engage Your Prospects, we teamed up with PFL and Paycor to discuss how carefully orchestrated outbound sales and marketing campaigns can increase ROI by 20x. Learn how you can pivot to a digital outreach strategy that breaks through white noise and enables you to hit 209% of your opportunity goals by watching the webinar on-demand now!