Direct Marketing is smarter marketing. Instead of marketing to an audience, you are strategically selecting the households you want to target with your message and offer. Direct marketing has been around for centuries and still continues to be one of the most successful forms of marketing. It allows you to communicate directly with your target audience in order to promote your products and services. Let’s look at the benefits of direct marketing and how you can successfully use this strategy in your marketing plan.
Benefits of Direct Marketing Strategy
A key benefit of using direct marketing is the ability to build a relationship with potential customers. You are not relying on retailers, distributors, or other advertising platforms to promote your product or service. Instead, you are choosing who you want to market to and are able to directly communicate with them. You can introduce your company and products, build trust, and grow relationships with the end user.
Instead of sending out general marketing pieces, direct marketing gives you the opportunity to personalize your advertisements. Since you have selected your audience, you know who they are. You can add their name and tailor your messaging and offers specifically for them. Personalized marketing shows you understand your audience and strengthens your relationship with them.
Mass marketing efforts display the same message to a general audience, but not everyone in that audience will be a good fit for your offer. Direct marketing is a targeted approach where you select who you want to reach. You can focus your efforts on the people most likely to make a purchase and reduce your marketing waste. You can even divide your audience into different segments, further customizing your offers for each group.
Direct marketing offers your recipients the chance to respond to your offer. Whether it’s contacting the business, completing a transaction, or filling out a form, you invite your audience to act on the offer. Some marketers include coupon codes, QR codes, and special URLs to incentivize the audience to respond.
Because you know who you are marketing to, you can capture responses and see which prospects made a transaction. Direct marketing provides opportunities to measure your campaign results, so you can see what is and is not working. If you use A/B marketing tests, you can see which piece performed better and which segment resonated with it more. Tracking and analyzing responses enables you to refine your marketing strategy, so you can continue to improve results.
How to Successfully Use Direct Marketing Strategy
Effective Use of Data and Analytics
The key to an effective direct marketing campaign is having high quality data. Your results will only be as good as the data you use. Filter your marketing list through data hygiene steps to make sure you have current contact information and complete data records. This process includes running NCOA and CASS, updating formats, filling in missing information, suppressing do not mail addresses, etc. These steps keep you from targeting bad records and allow you to maximize your marketing budget.
Once you have good data, the next step is to decide who to target. You can make a random selection from your prospect universe, but the best step is to incorporate data modeling into your selection process. Modeling will analyze your current customers then score and rank each prospect, so you know which ones are most likely to make a purchase. Data analytics helps you make the best choices for your company, so you can target your audience with confidence.
Clear and Compelling Messaging
Remember you are advertising to an individual. What you say and how you say it matters. Study your customer data analytics and profile information, so you can understand who they are and what they value. Utilize what you learn to create compelling messaging and relevant offers for your target audience.
Don’t forget that they will be receiving this marketing piece as a one-sided conversation. They won’t be able to directly ask you questions, so make sure they have all the information they need to respond. Include a clear call to action that’s easy to follow.
Testing & Optimization
Since direct marketing targets known individuals, use this opportunity to test different messaging and offers to see what your audience responds to the most. Only test 1-2 different elements at a time. If you do more than that, you will skew your results and make it difficult to know what is working. When you have your campaign results, incorporate what you’ve learned, so you can optimize the next campaign.
Integration with Other Channels
Direct marketing may have its roots in direct mail, but it is a strategy that can be used across many different channels including email, social media, display, etc. In today’s advertising world, omni-channel marketing is proving to be the most successful method. This strategy uses direct mail and direct digital advertising to deliver the same message across multiple channels, surrounding your audience with your offer. Each impression and interaction help move your prospects further down the sales funnel and reinforces the marketing efforts delivered across the other channels.
Direct marketing is a powerful strategy that puts you in control of who you target and what you communicate to your audience. When you use high quality data and analytics, clear and compelling messaging, testing and optimization, and integration with other channels, you are using tools to create successful marketing campaigns.
If you need help choosing the households most likely to respond or measuring campaign results, contact our team. We would love to help you build successful direct marketing campaigns and focus your efforts where it matters most.