Direct Marketing Basics

    • Direct marketing is just what it sounds like. A marketing professional is directly reaching a market base (i.e., customers and potential customers) on a personal level (such as a phone call or via a private email message) basis, or on a mass-media basis (in the form of infomercials, magazine ads, etc.).

      Direct marketing (often known for its aggressive tactics that attempt to reach new customers, usually by means of unsolicited direct communications) is often used to reach out to existing, or past, customers. A key factor in the success of any direct marketing campaign is what industry experts refer to as a “call to action.”

      What that means is that direct marketing campaigns should offer an incentive or enticing message to get consumers to respond (i.e., act). In other words, as a direct marketer you must offer the people a benefit, whether it is money off their next purchase, a limited time cost coupon, or, for a non-profit, an invitation to an event or membership reduction.

      While direct marketing involves the organization attempting to locate, contact, offer, and make incentive-based information available to consumers, there also needs to be a return-on-investment. If handing out flyers to drum up business at your newly-launched pizza parlor doesn’t get more customers, it’s not worth the employees time.

      The good thing about direct marketing is that there are so many alternatives that if one approach doesn’t work, you can easily switch to another. Instead of flyers, try offering a free beverage for first-time customers and post that on your website as well as social media sites.

 Types of Direct Marketing

While the world of direct marketing is ever-evolving (in a short time span we’ve gone from facebook to twitter to Instagram to snap chat), there are three main types of direct marketing include:

Telemarketing: Direct marketing that involves calling people at home or work to ask for donations, get their opinion and support for your cause or political campaign, or solely for sales purposes.

Email Direct Marketing: This form of direct marketing targets consumers through their Email accounts. Email addresses can be harvested from websites, social media outlets, industry forums, making purchases online or purchased. Some companies require you to receive announcements in order to use their websites.

Direct Mail Marketing: Advertising material sent directly to your home or business though is more predominately used by non-profits. Other types of direct marketing include distributing flyers; door-to-door solicitations; curbside stands; FAX broadcasting; television marketing (i.e., infomercials); coupon ads in print media; and voicemail marketing.

Other types of direct marketing include distributing flyers; television marketing (i.e., infomercials); coupon ads used by print media as well as local businesses such as restaurants, and voice mail marketing in the form of robo calls which are recorded calls.

 The Effectiveness of Direct Marketing Work

Direct marketing does ensure people know about your business. But aggressive, misleading, or annoying direct marketing can leave people with a bad impression about your business. Be sure to adhere to privacy and contact laws on a federal and state level because there are stiff fines and penalties for direct marketers who violate direct marketing laws.

 Why You Should Consider Direct Marketing

Every business owner should consider direct marketing. However, the type of direct marketing that will work for your business depends on your industry, your business ethics, and your budget.



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