Direct Marketing – Key Reasons For Its Success

Perhaps you already have heard about direct marketing but have you fully grasped the meaning and the purpose of it? If not then, read on. Direct marketing is actually a sub-discipline of marketing wherein marketing agencies try to disseminate messages with commercial objectives, directly to costumers without the need to use any intervening media. It is being carried out through direct mail, e-mail or telemarketing. Needless to say, it has become a booming industry nowadays as more and more marketers are engaging themselves to it. Exactly how this had happened?

1. It involves a certain form of measurable response variable irrespective of what medium was employed. This is one of the key advantages of direct marketing and most likely the main reason for its success. With direct marketing hundreds and thousands of customers can be monitored as they happen to respond to promotions sent to them via email, mail or telemarketing. The measure of response is dependent upon how effective are the solicitations made and sent by marketers. The ability to measure campaigns is exactly what sets direct marketing apart from other forms thus, it is a success.

2. The design and format of direct mails come in wide-varieties. One of the many formats commonly used is catalogs. These are multi-page bound promotions containing selected products for sale being mailed to a prospect customer. There are also other formats of mail like single sheets and envelop mails.

3. It offers convenience in locating favored merchant’s sale. The current practice of direct marketing involves alerting people of the merchant’s sales and events through mails. Through this buyers are able to get firsthand information regarding special discounts, freebies among others right from their favorite merchants.

4. It can be easily be personalized and custom-tailored to client’s needs. The fact that direct marketing can easily be personalized, allows the mails received by clients to be custom-tailored according to their specific needs. This personalization can take the form of imagery or personal data which includes the name and address.

5. It can be optimized. Direct mail marketing not only can be personalized but it can also be optimized in order to send these mails the best in timing possible, design, writing and among many other factors. With the use of database analysis alongside the aid of computing and communications technology, direct marketing is indeed more targeted and has potentially resulted in increase response rates.

Direct Marketing and the Human Factor

As I roamed from room to room this morning opening my curtains to another glorious day, I realized that it was going to be another one of “those” days. You know the ones I am talking about, where the mind would rather be sitting on a beach, taking a hike in the mountains or fishing on a cool inland lake instead of where it should be: working on creating an article everyone wants to talk about.

I flipped open my computer screen, took a sip of coffee and looked at the rainy scene out of my window. No inspiration there: although my garden does need a bit of work. Speaking of work, as I scan through my overnight batch of emails something catches my eye.

In an article on The Digital Nirvana guest contributor Julie Sullivan talks about her thoughts on the true meaning of direct marketing. Aha! That is something near and dear to my heart. Thank you Julie!

She wonders why marketers and advertisers only see direct mail as the advertising tool being used to describe what direct marketing is. Not to dismiss the abilities of a good direct mail campaign (I happen to think it is important) but most advertisers shudder at the thought of using direct mail. They would rather spend advertising dollars on other forms of marketing. While I will not go into the benefits of using direct mail here, I will say that marketers need to realize that all advertising effort is, in actuality, direct marketing.

As Julie states, direct marketing really has two main principles:
1. Engage in a one-to-one dialogue with your target audience
2. Require your target audience to take some sort of action-call, click, move, you name it.

Think about that for a moment. It does not matter what form it takes or what mediums are used to advertise a message, ALL advertising is direct marketing. Each message is directed to a targeted audience hoping they will take notice of the offer. Once that happens the advertising goal is to take that call-to-action. Otherwise what is the point of advertising to begin with?

Marketers and advertisers should begin to embrace the idea of direct marketing in all its forms instead of sticking their collective noses up in the air. Sorry guys but study after study proves that people want to be treated as human beings with thoughts, feelings and desires (point one above) instead of being treated as a number on a profit and loss sheet. When a business acknowledges that fact and show it, they have taken that first important step toward the ultimate goal (point two above).

Marketers spend a lot of time and money researching what draws people into noticing an advertisement. Sounds, colors, movement, social values, analytics, jingles, catch phrases et al are tested and reviewed over and over again. If there was no value in attracting the notice of the public (direct) to put across a message (marketing) then why would any organization bother to begin with?

It is time for the advertising world to stop dismissing the idea of direct marketing as something old and past its prime. Instead see it as a time tested method that will always be in demand. Unless and until technology does the thinking and purchasing for us, never forget the human factor.

Direct Marketing Copywriters in Ireland Take Heed – Why You Should Keep Your Message Simple

Direct marketing copywriters and advertising copywriters who depend on the written word to sell their clients’ products or services, take heed. An ERSI study conducted by the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) has shown that aa many as 55% of adults in Ireland are below Level 3 literacy, the minimal level of literacy “necessary for the demands of modern society”. This means that the majority of people in Ireland may be unable to read direct marketing text that is in any way complex or not laid out in a clear, straightforward manner. This doesn’t just mean that they may not get all the subtleties and complex details of written direct marketing promotional material and communications like these, this means that they may not understand direct marketing offers at all!

Of those surveyed, 25% are at what is called Level 1 literacy. This means very low literacy skills, where even short, simple instructions can’t be understood easily. Another 30% of people are at Level 2. At this level they can follow step by step instructions and basic prose but anything more complicated gives them difficulty. These are the people who adopted just enough literacy skills to get them through day to day life but could have difficulty with complex sentences or text and writing styles that they are not used to, including direct marketing buzz words and jargon.

It’s important to understand that people in these groups are certainly not stupid; a variety of reasons could be behind their poor reading ability. Often it can be as simple as bad eyesight or hearing difficulties. In other cases it could be due to sporadic school attendance or a lack of money for textbooks and materials. Whatever the reason people in this category are the majority in Ireland so direct marketing copywriters better take their needs into account when writing!

So what can be done? How can a direct marketing copywriter ensure that their words can be understood by the widest possible audience in Ireland? Well really the best thing to keep it simple. Short, snappy sentences work best, both to make the direct marketing message clear and to keep people interested. This is not only relevant to people at lower literacy levels but for everyone in Ireland.

Long drawn-out sentences can bore the average direct mail reader, even if they understand what you’re saying, and might make them skip on to something else, especially if they’re only marginally interested in your offer in the first place.

Titles in marketing brochures are especially in need of this kind of treatment. A title sets the tone for the piece and mentally prepares the reader for what’s to come. If a title is confusing or irrelevant then the reader may be bewildered when reading the marketing offer, wondering what exactly they are reading and how the product/service on offer relates to them.

Wonderfully clever, pun-filled titles, so loved by marketing copywriters in Ireland, may be great for the readers who actually get it but for the rest it’s just another source of frustration. Keep your direct marketing message in Ireland simple and keep it loud, that way everybody knows what you are saying and your message has the widest reach.

Literacy skills are not just about reading prose however; many people in Ireland have difficulty reading more technical information such as forms, diagrams and tables. Others have difficulties with basic numeracy skills such as adding figures or understanding percentages.

Finally, relevance is also a key to people understanding your direct marketing offer. The average Irish reader assumes that all information provided to them in a direct marketing offer is important. Going off on a tangent into another unrelated or unimportant topic for a short while is likely to cause great problems. People reading it will wonder how this connects with what they have read previously and are liable to become confused as to what you are trying to sell them.

This applies not only to text but to diagrams and pictures in direct marketing material too: if it’s not connected with the promotional message you are trying to give people then it should not be there! It may look very nice and add wonderfully to the feel of the page but if you’re trying to talk about healthcare, for example, and you use a picture of a yacht then your marketing message can get lost along the way.

For direct marketing offers in Ireland the best advice is to keep your message simple and keep it to the point. Short words, short sentences and short paragraphs work best; and remember: if it’s not adding something to the reader’s understanding of your offer then there’s a very good chance it’s taking something away.

Direct Marketing Examples, a Polite Way to Use Direct Marketing

What are some direct marketing examples? Sending e-mail off lists, cold calling, or inviting everyone you know to a party to promote a product would be direct marketing examples. Direct marketing is an approach to marketing that is at times controversial. What is direct marketing? Simply put, it is presenting a product directly to the consumer. The reason that this is not the favorite approach to presenting products is because it can often include lists of names being sold and the consumer getting mail that they do not want. No one wants hordes of junk mail, or e-mail, offering products that they are not interested in. But, there is a polite way to execute a direct marketing approach. Lets talk about one example.

Offer People Free Products. People want to know that what your offering is worth their time and money. If you offer them something of value for free they will get a good look at you and your product without feeling like you are trapping them into a quick sale which would equal a quick loss of their money.

What kinds of free products? It depends what your business is and what you are trying to sell. Good things to offer free when internet marketing are e-books or reports with tips on whatever subject you are an expert on. If you have a shop, do a giveaway of something small. The number one thing to do when giving away a free product is to make sure you are giving away something of worth. When You do this, they will trust you and come back to see what else you have to offer. Which bring us to the next point. 

What do you get in return for offering them this free product? In order for them to get your free product they have to give you their name and e-mail. This works especially well when direct marketing online.You now have their e-mail address and they have tried your free product . You can continue to offer them more products and they will come back because you gave them something of value for free! Now you are direct marketing.

Now what you have done is created a list of people who like you, your products, and will open your e-mails. You are no longer a direct marketer who is marketing to a cold market, but you are creating a warm market for yourself, online.