The Basics and Tips of Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is an approach to product marketing communications that doesn’t employ contemporary marketing channels. This ultimately means that deals are done directly between the manufacturers and customers without involving channel intermediaries such as distributors, retailers and wholesalers. It is a strategy commonly employed by electronic manufacturers and banks in dealing with their clients directly. Brands that employ distribution channels target marketing communications towards distributors, retailers and consumers, while directly market brands communicate directly with clients. Direct marketing may employ tools such as direct mail, mobile telemarketing services, and voicemail marketing among others.

Marketing directly has been found to be the most cost effective avenue and form of marketing. By the use of direct mail, telemarketing services, email marketing and leaflets drops, the system allows you to focus on customers with utmost accuracy unlike the majority of marketing techniques. It is distinguished in a number of ways. Firstly, direct mails are sent to clients. This comes in an array of ways including email addresses, web browser cookies and mobile messaging. Secondly, marketing directly aspires to drive a precise call to action. In this case advertisements may give free call lines to clients for information. Careful preparation prior to the approach is however necessary to achieve utmost investment, achieve adequate response rates and to avoid contacting individuals who don’t desire receiving a direct mail in direct marketing.

The process of marketing the things directly presents with an array of different approaches. They comprise of traditional methods like telemarketing services, mail shots and modern approaches that include mailing lists, mobile messaging and social media. The most appropriate of these approaches will ultimately depend on the customers targeted, the information to be passed across and the response you wish to generate.

For most companies direct mail has proved to be affordable, manageable and therefore mostly employed. These are companies that lack effective and adequate expertise and capital to utilize electronic direct marketing approaches. Direct mails are cost effective and are likely to generate more client responses unlike majority of direct marketing approaches. Direct mail focuses information directly into the hands of the customers that require it. It is therefore very effective once well planned and coupled with high quality mailing list.

It allows you to aim at a specific group of clients especially with the use of direct marketing leads. The use of these leads ensures that you focus your time and energy on the endeavors that matter to your business. They enable you to communicate adequately with clients, increase your sales and to grow your business. Leads in addition allow you to focus the right amount of resources where they are likely to produce results, gauge the success of advertisements and other campaigns, and most importantly to test your marketing. Direct marketing leads hence increases the sales of your business to existing clients, builds client loyalty, reestablishes failed customer associations and generates new business ideas.

Marketing is not always a cheap task, but with direct marketing leads where you focus your campaigns on the precise businesses and people owning them, it will definitely pay off. Once you get your leads, make sure that you reach the right customers. You may get your leads from Bressers who will in addition help you reach prospective customers.

Benefits and Challenges of a Career in Direct Marketing

Internet or Direct marketing may be a new term in our dictionaries however it is not a new concept. Direct or Internet marketing is ‘the’ way to send a message to the customer directly through various channels that eliminate the middle men or indirect means to interact with the customer. This has been done since marketing began albeit in undefined ways and now with the advances in technology, Direct/Internet marketing has become the most preferred way to reach the customer directly to promote a product, a service, a company… a message.

Direct marketing is a preferred way of knowing how the intended product PR message is faring with the masses because the responses can be quite immediate. That is why with the increasing competitiveness in businesses and the need to reach out to the customers in a more effective manner, a career in direct or Internet marketing is a very rewarding. Everything depends on marketing and whether a product will sell or not and whether the masses will pay heed to a social awareness message or not, depends mainly on how well it has been marketed.

With the way the world is growing closer… not smaller… closer due to the internet and the ease of being able to find any sort of information online or through other channels like the mobile phone, emails on the internet, advertisements, and many more; sending a message to them directly is not a challenge. What could be better than actually communicating with your customers? The only challenge is that with many direct marketing strategies being used, people thinking of a career in direct marketing may have to resort to their creativity quite often and having that is definitely a plus.

Many people think that direct marketing is not an honest field to have a job in and that is mainly because many big and small companies and even individuals have misused the power of interacting with customers directly and flooded them with constant interactions. This has left a bad taste in customers’ mouths and most of them don’t like being contacted anymore. This makes the job quite difficult… but not impossible.

The thought that a career in direct marketing is not a good idea is right and wrong, based on where you’re looking at it from. If you plan to succumb to the unethical ways for short term but immediate profit by flooding the customers with constant messages and emails, then direct marketing may not be for you however, if you are creative and have a knack of creating relevant and quality communication, then direct or Internet marketing may just be the thing for you because that is what it is all about; effective communication.

With the amount of knowledge we can share today and the level of understanding we have towards various cultures, various age groups, and their demands, direct marketing is the best way to promote a product or a company and used effectively, this can be a very strong tool that may be difficult for the competition to beat.

If a person is interested in pursuing a career in direct or Internet marketing they need to find schools to make sure they learn the right tricks of the trade and understand the basics of this amazing phenomenon. Communication and a basic understanding of how the human mind gets motivated are the two very important tools for a direct marketer however a few other things that will be good to know are:

  • Mass media
  • Behavior change therapy
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Marketing and communications

There are many more courses out there… you just need to find them and make the best of them to be a successful marketing person.

5 Ways of Using Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is attractive to many marketers because in most cases its effectiveness can be measured directly. For example, if you were to send out one thousand solicitations by mail and you receive seventy responses, then you know that the mailing led to a seven percent response rate.

Any medium that you choose to use to communicate directly to your prospects is being employed in direct marketing. These 5 methods are examples of direct marketing that you can use to obtain prospects and increase sales for your business.

Direct mail

One of the most commonly used mediums in direct marketing is direct mail. Direct mail allows you to design marketing pieces in many different formats. Direct mail can include envelope mailers, catalogues, self-mailers, snap mailers, dimensional mailers, brochures, and postcards. When you write your direct mail piece make sure you know your target market, and how you are going to appeal to their wants and needs. Write your objective and refer to it often. Don’t lose sight of where you want to go with the piece that you are writing. You can purchase a mailing list of businesses and services in your target market from a list company, or you can develop your own list by gathering email addresses on your web site.

Telemarketing

Telemarketing is a direct marketing sales technique that has the advantage of speed in a marketing campaign. When you are a conducting a telephone solicitation you should first introduce yourself then offer an incentive in solving a problem that you know exists (to do this would require you to do some research on the business or what individuals would be looking for in your product). Ask question that you know will lead to a yes answer (keep prospects on phone answering yes to your questions). Describe your product or service and how it solves the client’s needs. Ask if they have any questions. You now can ask for a face to face meeting, or to get permission to send information via mail or e-mail, or make another brief follow-up call. If unavailable, ask what would be a good time to call back.

E-mail

The most common medium today for direct marketers is e-mail because of its low cost, and because customer responses can be generated rapidly. You must understand that the internet is a different medium. The copy that worked for you in postal mail will not on the internet, not as e-mail. In e-mail copywriting, the subject is the headline, you must write succinct headline-3 to 5 words. Your subject determines whether your e-mail gets read or not. Next, make it personal. People on the internet want personal notes. Next, get to the point keep it short and simple. Next, give them an incentive to act by giving them a reason to buy now. Next, include a call to action to tell people what you want them to do. Don’t leave them wondering what to do next. Next, drive people to your web site (don’t try to close the sale in the e-mail). Next, build relationship with your clients. Listen to their want and needs. Treat your clients like you would treat yourself. Next, you must follow through on your promises that you made to your client. Do what you said you were going to do.

Direct response

In direct response marketing the customer responds to the marketing message directly. An example, of this would be infomercials, where prospects view a television presentation of a product offering, and can make a purchase with a credit card over the telephone or internet. You can use communications in magazines, newspapers, radio, e-mail, and direct mail to solicit a response. For example, order forms or coupons in magazines and newspapers to purchase products, or receive discounts on products are techniques that have been used very successfully in increasing sales. These same offers are distributed by e-mail and tell and toll-free numbers, which in today’s marketing world, is more economical and faster.

Personal selling

Making personal sales calls on prospects is another technique of direct marketing. You should first conduct research on the companies, or the target prospects that you are trying to sell your product or service too. You can also buy a list from a reputable list company. If you take this route make sure that you have complete information on your target market. When making a personal sales call you must write a sales presentation before hand. This presentation should be written to fit the needs and desires of the prospect that you are presenting your product too. Your presentation should provide clear examples, or even demonstrations of how your product or service will accomplish this. Your presentation should contain more that just one way your product can be of service to your prospect. You must also be prepared to handle objections and questions that the prospects will have.

Direct Marketing – Brand Identity Guru Tips

If your company doesn’t have a direct marketing program in place, a direct marketing agency can create one for you. A direct marketing company provides small to very large customizable ranges of business-to-business and business-to-consumer direct marketing options sure to fit your needs. From database creation and maintenance to data analysis and creative program execution, a direct marketing company can take any existing direct marketing program, or a lack of one, and develop a highly efficient direct sales machine for your company.

A good direct marketing company employs experts in each aspect of direct marketing who have proven time and time again they have what it takes to create a successful direct mail campaign and turn your existing unorganized data into a powerful computer-readable customer database.

The goal of any successful direct marketing program is ultimately a positive effect on your bottom line. Good direct marketing programs are proven performers that will give you an edge over your competition. The direct marketing expertise and capabilities that a good direct marketing company offers will turn your direct marketing expenditures into successful investments.

Look for a company that has years of target market research experience ready to work for you. They will uncover who your best customers are and develop a direct marketing campaign that will get them to respond.

They should know how to impact behavior, get results and form the basis for long-term relationships with your customers and prospects.

Direct marketing abilities should include:

– Direct response advertising

– Customer relation’s management

– Data management services and data analysis

– Media planning, media buying and complete direct marketing campaign management

Seven HUGE Tips to Direct Marketing that gets results

Successful direct marketing takes planning and strategic thought…

1. Know your goal: What do you want your direct marketing to accomplish? What kind of impression do you wish to leave? Do you wish to inform your prospects about your product or just make them aware? Recently, Brand Identity Guru was asked by a client to expand its direct marketing efforts, so we created a direct marketing piece to showcase our client’s most attractive points. That direct marketing piece now accounts for 30 percent of the client’s new business.

2. Research: Don’t just have a list. Learn something about your customers so you can speak to them better. Discover their hot buttons, so you can push them.

3. Plan properly: The best direct marketing campaigns work along with PR, traditional advertising, brand strategy and efforts by your sales force. Ultimately, each piece is part of a larger total company campaign and should work together.

4. Be relevant: Direct marketing efforts should offer something your clients might want to buy.

5. Be conscious of details: Find the name of your primary contacts, and make sure you spell them right in the items you send to them. Even the best direct marketing piece is useless in the trash.

6. Be consistent: Use a series of pieces that speak to your customer’s needs. Don’t know what they are? Ask. Usually, December is not a good time because mailboxes are already overcrowded. Brand Identity Guru suggests waiting until February or another month.

7. Follow up: If you don’t follow up, the results of your direct marketing efforts could crash to a halt. Initiate a conversation with people on your list. A phone call a week or two after your mailing is a great idea.

Direct marketing is a powerful tool to capture your prospects’ attention and orders. If your direct marketing includes an attractive offer, imagine what the results will be. Throw in a brand-centric foundation and you have a direct marketing effort even more powerful than the sum of its parts.