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.

Analyze This – Why Using Analytics With Direct Marketing is a Smart Idea

Does your company gamble with your direct marketing strategy? Do you have any idea if you are connecting with the right customers or is it all a crap shoot? If you are not sure exactly how your direct marketing idea is working, implement an analytics program.

Web analytics requires a long view providing a memory of how your site performed on a given day. Precise, proficient analysis of your web presence is essential to be competitive in your specific market. The association between your website and a search engine must be measured and re-measured against strategic performance indicators. Direct marketing benefits from using this tool.

Web analytics is the process of tracking and improving the measurable results of any website marketing program. The idea is for analytics in helping to understand where traffic comes from, where they go, and more importantly the company’s return on investment (ROI). Otherwise you are simply wasting your money.

The Getaway Bed and Breakfast is a perfect example of how to use analytics to direct their marketing in the most efficient way. At first the idea of spending a lot of time going over even more reports was crushing to the management of the organization. Unfortunately for The Getaway, previous marketing campaigns had lukewarm results at best. Something needed to be done.

Their direct marketing was based on informing all and sundry about the amazing amenities and plentiful services the B&B had to offer. That type of marketing only succeeded in information overload. Instead of concentrating their advertising efforts on one or two areas at a time drawing in the most reservations, The Getaway tossed it all in the air hoping something would come up a winner.

After instigating a proper web analytics program, management found that the web page visited most frequently concerned romantic weekend packages. Repeat visitors were more apt to be from the northeast. Keyword searches were practically non-existent indicating they were choosing the wrong ones. Click-through rates were a shocking.08%. All this information and a lot more confirmed that the direct marketing The Getaway was using was ineffectual. They needed new ideas.

By combining testing and analytics, The Getaway was eventually triumphant in seeing a profitable return on investment with their new direct marketing ideas. They were no longer gambling with their marketing budget but instead using every cent wisely.

When it comes to implementing a marketing campaign or strategy, marketers want to know if the websites being used are attracting visitors and whether or not the investment is paying off. With web analytics, you can identify website trends and direct your marketing ideas with the right course of action. You will also understand how visitors interact with your website. You can identify the navigational bottlenecks that prevent visitors from completing your conversion goals.
Successful analytics happens only with careful planning, timely execution, persistent monitoring, and ongoing improvement of the results you achieve.

Next time you set up a website, remember not to gamble your company’s future business like you would a game of chance. Guarantee yourself a win by using analytics software.

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.