Direct marketing is a classic and ideal for small businesses as it can be cost effective and, if done well, can be a powerful way to generate sales. In its simplest form it’s all about making direct contact with both existing and potential customers, in order to promote your products or services. Unlike media advertising, it enables you to target particular people with a personalised message.
There are a variety of different methods that can be used ranging from traditional leaflet campaigns and direct mail, through to more modern methods such as email marketing or mobile and SMS marketing.
Ideal if you have limited resources
Most small businesses have very limited marketing resources, so if you can focus your resource on a targeted group you can save a lot of time and money.
Another great reason to use a direct campaign is that it will allow you to evaluate and measure its effectiveness. For example, if you chose to use an email campaign, you can monitor exactly who opened the email, who opened the attachment, who followed a link to your website etc. The main point is that whichever method you use, you must include a call to action.
Measure your results precisely
While it can be difficult to measure the effects of advertising or sponsorship, in contrast, direct marketing is totally accountable. With any direct marketing campaign, you can calculate the number of sales you need to make to cover the cost of the marketing. In addition, you can work out the cost per response and the actual return on investment. This simple analysis will enable you to tweak your campaigns in order to improve your results. You can also identify those that are most responsive and target them again in future.
Choose the right method of communication
Whether you are targeting business customers or consumers, direct marketing can deliver results. Choosing the right communication method is vital as some businesses can be more receptive to receiving sales calls than consumers, for example. Individuals will prefer different ways of contact, so make sure you take account of their preferences.
Getting the most out of your campaign
Your database is at the heart of any good direct marketing strategy so treat it like gold dust and protect it. You must ensure that it’s kept up to date and accurate. Check your mailing lists regularly – remove duplicate entries, correct any mistakes and, above all, delete names of people and businesses who have asked to be removed.
The information you hold on your database can tell you about your customers’ buying habits and reveal other useful information such as age, gender and location. You can use this data to divide your customers and prospects into smaller groups and target them with special messages.
Stick to the rules
Direct marketing works because it puts your message in front of people. However, unsolicited letters, phone calls, emails and texts must only be sent to people and businesses that have given permission to be contacted. The Data Protection Act is complex and privacy laws are becoming tighter. It is your responsibility to check that your direct marketing activities are within the law.
Direct marketing is a well proven method not a fad, so if you would like to create a campaign or enhance your existing one, simply get in touch – we would love to help.