Direct marketing happens when a business addresses its customers through a number of channels, including phone, email, and in-person. The messages involve a particular call-to-action such as “call this toll-free number” or “click this link to subscribe”. When using such campaigns, the results are immediately measurable because a company can track the number of customers who have responded.
In general advertising, although the customers see the ad, it does not call for an exact response. The marketer will not be able to tell how effective the ad is or how many people are thinking of buying the advertised product.
Who uses direct marketing?
Media companies, retailers, and credit card companies all use direct marketing in some way. This type of marketing began in the nineteenth century with Montgomery Ward mail order catalogues. The Direct Marketing Association, a trade organization that provides education, support, and research for developing direct marketing, was established in 1917.
For which customers should you use direct marketing?
The customers who respond the most to direct mailing are the ones who subscribe to mailing lists. They have already shown some interest in the company’s services/products and this means that they pay attention to its sales and products. However, more people than the opt-in customers receive direct mailings.
A lot of non-targeted blanket mail arrives in email accounts and mailboxes. Despite the constant complaints of spam or junk mail, most people act upon such mailings. The percentage of people who react to this mail can increase if the advertising is targeted at a specific group or community.
How to develop a direct marketing campaign
Effective direct marketing campaigns usually start with data. The marketer needs to examine categories of prospects who he thinks will be interested in the products or services and come up with a list of contacts. The contacts can be obtained through commercial or public sources and usually represent the individuals in a certain community or neighborhood.
Such lists should not be utilized indiscriminately; the data should be studied to create messages that are likely to be relevant to prospects and customers. Direct marketing campaigns often use multiple communication channels such as phones and emails. The channel has to be selected based on the target group.
For instance, a startup restaurant might choose a door-to-door distribution of flyers to save on money. In some cases, different channels can be combined to have a bigger impact. Each direct marketing campaign should have a specific call-to-action (CTA) that tells the customer what to do. The CTA could be for an immediate purchase or a preliminary step that leads to a sale.
Every direct marketing communication channel should have some way of tracking responses. A CTA could direct customers to a landing page that deals with responses from a specific campaign or to a number that is exclusive to the campaign. A direct marketer uses response-rates to gauge the effectiveness of his communication and whether it should be changed during the next campaign.
This data can also be used to adjust the current campaign, but it first needs to be coordinated with data from other campaigns.
What is involved in direct marketing strategies?
Direct marketers identify the best channels of communication for a campaign and procure lists, radio/TV time, or print space. They also create marketing materials that can be used in a direct mail campaign and analyze the results of such a campaign.
Do you want to launch a direct marketing campaign for your business? You should find a person who has experience in handling such campaigns. If you hire a typical marketer, you might end up being disappointed.
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