How to Develop the Right Direct Marketing Mix For Your Business

Direct marketing is a type of marketing that communicates directly with the prospect or customer. It should have a clear call to action and is often measurable. It is generally used to acquire or retain profitable customers. There are a number of different channels available to you, each offering different benefits and costings.

Direct Mail

Every household in the modern world no doubt receives several mail shots per year. This is often referred to as junk mail generally because many people don’t like receiving it through their letterbox. Because of this negative connotation it is critical that any Direct Mail that you send is highly targeted and personalized. The more personalized and relevant your mailing is, the higher your response rates will be. If you have a large customer base, it is beneficial to segment them based on the data you hold about them. This way you can try and personalize your message to that particular group.

Within your letter you need to have a clear call to action so customers know how to buy your product or service. If you are a complete beginner it would be beneficial to employ a creative agency to support you, however this could be costly.

The biggest advantage of Direct Mail is that it is completely measurable so you can track how it is performing incrementally. You would need to set up a no contact control cell within your mailed population in order to understand who would have bought your product anyway. In terms of cost, Direct Mail is generally more expensive than online channels due to the postage costs so it is probably an option for a more established business with a larger marketing budget.

Door drops

Door drops are less targeted mail shots or flyers delivered through your letterbox. They are not addressed to the householder personally. You will have seen local takeaway and taxi cab firms use door drops and they can be effective as a localized marketing strategy for acquiring new customers. If you can offer a discount this will increase your response but don’t expect to see great results.

Telemarketing

This is another form of direct marketing that can be intrusive so proceed with caution. There are outbound and inbound options depending if you call the customer or they are calling you. You must ensure that you have permission to contact them by phone otherwise you could be breaching data protection laws. It is beneficial to position the call as a courtesy call prior to offering any product or service. This will put customers at ease and make them more receptive to talking to you. This can be an expensive channel as you have the network charges to cover as well as staff if you don’t have time to make the calls yourself.

Email marketing

Email marketing follows the same principles as direct mail in that you are mailing to your prospects or customer base. Again this is a measurable channel and is cost effective as you don’t have the postage costs to consider. The barrier to email marketing can be the filters that classify emails as spam. This could mean that your prospects don’t actually receive your email. This channel is a great way for you to connect with your customers or prospects and offer them real value.

Direct Sales

Direct sales is not specifically direct marketing as it generally involves sales agents selling your product or service but it is another option for your marketing mix. You could employ a direct sales agency to sell your product on your behalf for a fee. This channel can be cost effective if you have the right staff and a relevant offer for the customer.

These are a handful of direct marketing channels to consider when you are planning your marketing activity. Each one has their own merit depending on your objectives for your business and your budget. Always bear in mind that it is important to have more than one marketing channel in your portfolio in case you start to see a reduction in your response rates. This can often happen when you are in a saturated marketplace.

Purchasing a Direct Marketing Mailing List Will Increase Your Company’s Sales

A direct marketing list is a great option to when it comes to growing your business. It is proven that purchasing a direct marketing mailing list will increase your company’s sales. This form of marketing allows you to target your message to people that will have an interest in your product or service. It also allows you to easily focus your marketing efforts to the audience of your choice, whether you are using direct mail, telemarketing and/or email marketing. You can purchase your direct marketing list from any list broker or compiler.

Prior to purchasing a direct marketing list, you will want to gather exact who you want to target and where you want your target to be. You can supply zip codes, counties, states or have a distance radius ran from your location. Along with your geography, you need to come up with your ideal customer. Even if your ideal customer is very specific, it is good to start as specific as possible and work backwards from there.

There are quite a few different direct marketing lists available. These include:

Business Mailing List – this list is able to be targeted by industry, sales volume, employee sizes, and more. It also allows you to target specific decision makers by title within each organization. The database can include business name, address, phone number, contact name and title and more.

Residential Consumer List – this file would be targeting people at their home address. There are many ways to create a targeted consumer list including age, income, gender, and more. You also have the option of simply targeting everyone within a specific geography.

Home Owner Mortgage List- this database would include all individuals that own there home. The majority of this file comes from county tax offices and is selectable by mortgage information including year home was purchased, home value, interest rate, interest rate type and more.

New Movers List – this file is comprised of people that have newly move into an area. This is selectable by anyone moving into an area and can be further segmented into new home owners and new mover renters.

Specialty List – these records would include magazine subscribers, specific professional titles, and other databases created through online surveys and more.

Direct Marketing to Customers With E-mail

Direct marketing is a way to market directly to customers without using advertising or other types of general promotion that is meant to attract larger groups of people. Instead, the marketing message is sent directly to the potential customers individually. Direct marketing mail is the fliers, postcards and other mail often termed junk mail. Online, junk e-mail, also called spam, is illegal unless the customer signed up to receive the e-mail marketing messages.

E-mail Marketing

The principle of e-mail marketing is just the same as the principle of sending direct snail mail. The messages should be targeted to addresses that are most likely to belong to people who are interested in buying the products. With snail mail, that often means sending out mail to people in specific zip codes. Online, it means sending the marketing messages to people who sign up for the messages.

This targeting makes the messages reach those who you know are interested in the products and who you know are interested in hearing more about them. They are more likely to read the message than someone who has not been targeted for your direct marketing.

Legal Direct Marketing

To keep the direct marketing e-mail messages both legal and targeted, get customer leads by asking people to sign up for your newsletter or sales list. The information sent out with a newsletter is not just informational. It’s also full of targeted marketing messages. A newsletter is direct mail when it combines news that the customer wants with marketing information such as prices and product links.

Inexpensive Marketing

Besides the targeted aspect of marketing, one of the best reasons to use it is because e-mail direct marketing is one of the least expensive methods of sending out marketing messages. Purchasing advertising can be expensive, depending on the size of the ad and where it is placed.

Using direct marketing only costs as much as using an auto-responder, which may be free in some cases. The newsletters or other marketing messages are sent out, with little trouble, all at once and don’t require a lot of time to set up. They can be sent out as often as needed in order to inexpensively send out a high number of messages at once. They can reach many targeted customers instantaneously. With direct marketing e-mail, a sale can be advertised in minutes to the very people who are interested in buying.

Direct Marketing Versus Internet Marketing – Which Is The Best?

With the surge in marketing on the internet, some question, direct marketing or internet marketing?
 
First, are you advertising or are you marketing? There is a difference and it is important to know the difference.
 
Advertising is simply announcing a product with the intention of creating awareness with the end result being possibly a sale or even just a visit to a website or similar action.
 
Marketing is a deliberate step by step procedure aimed at a closing of a sale.
 
We are going to look at marketing today.
 
Direct marketing has been around much longer than internet marketing. Direct marketing is often done with direct mailings. This often takes the form of flyers, cards and brochures mailed to a home or business. It can also be personal sales visits to a business or home. Phone calls are also a form of direct marketing.

 
Internet marketing has different methods also. There is direct email, banners, text ads and now social networks. As with direct marketing different methods are used and different combinations and variations are used.
 
Before starting either marketing campaign it is necessary to determine the cost effectiveness. How much expense can be used to make a sale? This is directly correlated to the price of the product and or volume of sales once established with the customer.
 
The costs involved with direct marketing can be prohibitive if the price of the item you’re selling is not high. But if you are selling say real estate the costs in direct marketing can be an expense compensation many times over. The personal visits, repeated mailings can pay off, but is there a better way? Lets look at internet marketing.
 
One of the major factors in internet marketing are the sheer numbers of people available on the internet. There are different figures batted around for the number on the internet but 1.8 billion is a figure often quoted. It is huge. Add to this the different mediums available to the internet marketer. There are videos, pod casts, audio only messages, writing and many interactive mediums and techniques available. The auto responder is another favorite tool giving instant answers, sales letters and even digital products delivered immediately. All of us like ”immediately” don’t we?

 
But what the internet offers that is truly amazing is the ”viral” ability of products and services. Having a sales video go viral,that drives traffic to a sales site, can mean instant success. Sites like YouTube have more viewers than CBS,NBC and ABC put together. That sort of audience is hard to capture but most importantly it is free.
 
Direct marketing will always have a place in this world but for sheer numbers and contacts it is hard to beat the cost effectiveness of internet marketing.