Postal Play By Play: March Madness Campaign

Katie Castillo
Personalization at scale.

There’s a buzzphrase that nearly every sales or marketer in B2B SaaS has an opinion about. Some believe it’s impossible, others believe it’s feasible with the right tech stack. At Postal we believe in the latter.

As Postal’s Sales Development Manager, I’m challenged on the daily with the exact same tasks facing other SDR leaders: finding creative ways for my team to effectively break into target accounts and source qualified opportunities that drive revenue.

With the sheer volume of cold outreach and outbound sequences that don’t end up converting, breaking through the clutter to reach decision makers is harder than ever. However, one strategy that can drive results regardless of tech stack or product offering is clever messaging around seasonal happenings.

For instance, some might say that messaging around popular sporting events, such as March Madness, has been run into the ground. By hyper-focusing on personalized outreach and thoughtfully leveraging direct mail, we were able to inject new life into an exhausted idea.

The objective

Drive engagement with target accounts (via alums from the Sweet 16 schools) through time-sensitive, relevant messaging. The end goal was to create Sweet 16 qualified opportunities from this effort over time.

The play

Step 1

Craft timely, personalized email templates for Sweet 16 teams—we started by crafting 32 emails total, each geared toward two ideal customer profiles (ICPs), and repeated this process for Elite 8 + Final 4.

First sentence: Timely, tailored messaging based on the team. For example, when Arkansas made it to the Elite 8, we followed it up with:

“Muss Buss MOVIN ON UP...congrats on a huge, bracket-busting win. Arkansas is on fire, enjoy some Razorback swag or a celebratory champs on me.”

Second Sentence: Segway into use case: 

As a marketing leader at {{company}}, I’m sure you’re always looking for ways to bust through the digital noise and move on up(market).

Third Sentence: Postal value prop + low pressure CTA

At Postal, we help marketing teams box out the competition by scaling curated direct mail and gift sends to engage target accounts, build pipeline, and drive revenue.

Worth a chat?

Step 2

Each SDR was responsible for running a search on LinkedIn Sales Navigator for their top ICPs in target accounts, filtering by alma mater, and building lists for each school. Based on these lists, we crafted personalized collections in Postal for the schools such as the following.

Step 3

We then bulk composed emails in Outreach to send all the emails for each school at once. This allowed the strategy to scale quickly.

Here were some examples of the subject lines:

  • Collection Monday > Selection Sunday
  • KelvWIN Sampson
  • 100 NCAA Tourney Wins (and beyond)!
  • Thrilla-Nova
  • Wright stuff
  • Old school scramble
  • GONEzaga
  • Cinderella has a ‘stache

Step 4

Watch responses like these roll in:

The impact

Since launch, we’ve created 38 opportunities, equating to about a 11.5% conversion rate of the accounts engaged. An important aspect to note is the level of personalization that went into each email. The success of your outbound campaigns won’t be reflected in the effort you put into tailoring your messaging to an individual, but rather in the level of personalization you use holistically.

Results and metrics

  • Accounts engaged: 337
  • Cost of items sent: ~$2.5k
  • Opportunities created influenced by March Madness campaign: 38
  • Conversion rate of accounts engaged to opportunities created: 11.2%
  • Pipeline influenced: $1,484,500
  • ARR influenced (annual recurring revenue so far): $19K
  • ROI (return on investment so far): 660%

Another interesting thing to note is that the Average AOV (average order value) increased by 33.84% when you look at these opportunities created that were influenced by this campaign compared to the AOV of opportunities from the previous quarter. While it’s hard to support the argument that our March Madness campaign was the sole reason for this, it had to have influenced our AOV as well.

The takeaway

Personalization can absolutely scale, yet that doesn’t mean it won’t take a reasonable amount of time, energy, and thoughtfulness to make your efforts a success.

Failing to plan doesn’t mean planning to fail…sometimes it means having to scramble to get a timely outbound campaign in motion. There were a lot of late nights watching the games (new for me, I’m not a huge sportball person) that couldn’t have been avoided.

But I do think that, while successful, this campaign could have yielded even bigger results if we’d started planning it sooner. As you can fish with a net or a spear, we started at the Sweet 16 but technically could have cast a much wider net (engaging this audience prior to Sweet 16). 

Given the results and the last minute heroics that went into this offline campaign, there isn’t much I would have changed if we had to run it back.If you’re looking to run a similar campaign that integrates offline gift offerings, request a trial of Postal and learn how our Offline Marketing Engagement platform will help your sales organization crush revenue goals like you won’t believe.

Sales Velocity
Katie Castillo

Katie Castillo is the Sales Development Manager at Postal - you can find her coaching, training, and enabling the outbound SDR team to crush their quotas. Coming from a donor relations background in nonprofits, she's big on a prospect-centered approach to outbounding and loves using Postal to humanize the pre-sales process. When she signs-off, her time is spent with her husband chasing after two rambunctious toddlers, reading rom-coms, and decorating cookies.