Direct Marketing (DM)
is about thoroughly defining your target marketing, speaking to them appropriately and measuring their response. It can be a highly cost effective way of increasing sales from new and current customers. It’s also a very personal type of communication and is often called ‘one-to-one’ marketing.
At its core, direct marketing is about going straight to the individual, rather than trying to reach them through third-party mediums like billboards or newspapers. At its best, it can ramp up leads immediately… at its worst, it’s called junk mail!
So why should you do it, how do you do it and how do you do it well?
To DM or not to DM
When you buy a radio ad, it’s heard by a wide range of people and you pay for that privilege. But what if you only want to reach a niche segment of the populations?
Perhaps families living in city apartments, or nurses in regional areas or male drivers of hybrid vehicles? This is where DM comes into the fire. It enables you to tailor the right message to the right people. It comes at a higher cost per head, but your investment will have less wastage. You’ll also be able to start building a relationship with your customers and tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Define your target marketing
What type of customer is your most profitable? What type of new customers do you want to attract?
Research their hot buttons
Crack their code! What are their current issues and how can you address these for them?
Write so they’ll listen
Write the DM piece so it ‘speaks into their listening’. Hit that hot button immediately. Answer their current need or desire. It’s also a great idea to include testimonials or case studies, as these types of examples can really drive your point home.
Capture their attention in the first few seconds, grabbing their interest so they’ll read on. It’s all about having a powerful creative execution, one that demands attention and will entice people to open it. Here you will need to think about not only the artwork, but also the way you’ll be sending it… a letter, catalogue, email, postcard interestingly shaped flyer?
Finish off with a call to action!
You then need to keep you entire DM piece humming. Keep it interesting, carrying your readers with you right through to the end where you have your irresistible call to action. It’s vital that you offer your customers a variety of ways to find out more, whether it’s by listing a phone number, email address or web details. And these days, more so than ever, you need to make sure that your website is fabulous.
Be a bloodhound
Bloodhounds are renowned for their tracking ability, and to be able to plan your marketing strategies going forward, you too need to be diligent about tracking. Ask every incoming lead where they heard about you, make a note of it. You can then piece together vital information eg. On the surface of it, 80 leads coming from a newspaper ad might seem pretty great, but if you were only able to convert 2 of them to sales, it pales in comparison to the 40 from a DM piece with 15 conversions.
Author: Hilary Knights
Hilary is a passionate and highly experienced senior marketing professional with strong commercial acumen, strategic experience and expertise at a senior executive and board level. She has over 17 years’ experience as a Strategic Marketing Consultant working with leading corporate entities and SMEs to transform and grow their business capabilities through comprehensive marketing strategies.