What is Direct Marketing? Benefits, Goals and Channels.
When it comes to marketing your business, there is no shortage of marketing strategies to try. Direct marketing is one of them and it’s often considered one of the most effective ways for promoting your business and generating sales.
In this post, we’ll explain what it is, go over direct marketing benefits, and cover the most popular direct marketing channels to consider. Let’s begin!
What is Direct Marketing?
Put simply, direct marketing is a form of advertising where businesses communicate directly with consumers, through a variety of channels. This form of advertising is targeted to consumers who have shown an intent to buy from you and delivers a highly customized campaign.
Direct marketing is an aggressive marketing strategy that can increase your customer base and generate more sales.
However, you have to spend some time planning your direct marketing strategy and then carefully implement it.
Since direct marketing is a more aggressive approach to generating sales, there is a risk that customers may label the offers as unwanted mail (or email). You can minimize this risk by using individual opt-out lists and segmenting your customers to deliver more targeted campaigns and improve the success rates of each campaign.
Another way to minimize the risk of your marketing efforts getting labeled as junk mail or spam is to establish a communication preference that offers your customers a way to control their marketing communications.
An example of a direct marketing strategy could be sending text messages to people who have opted in for your newsletter but haven’t made a purchase yet. You could text them a discount code that expires within a week of receiving the text.
After the week or whatever time period you opted for expires, you should be able to clearly tell how successful the campaign was by tracking the number of people who used your discount code.
Direct Marketing Goals
Direct marketing has a single goal: to convince consumers to take action. This action should result in a tangible and measurable result such as signups, purchases, downloads, and similar.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to get a sale. However, keep in mind that some of your consumers won’t be ready to make a purchase immediately. That’s why you can pair your primary direct marketing goal with a secondary goal such as:
- Visiting your website
- Returning a postcard via email to get a quote
- Submit their details
- Requesting more information
- And similar.
One of the key factors in any direct marketing campaign is your call to action. A call to action is nothing more than an incentive that will prompt the consumers to respond to your marketing campaign by performing the desired action.
Your call to action needs to be clear and concise, offering a direct benefit to your consumers. The benefits could include discounts or coupons of various kinds, an invitation to an exclusive event, exclusive membership, and more.
The most important thing to remember about direct marketing is that it needs to give you a return on investment. If you’re trying to drum up new business by hanging flyers for your business in your neighborhood is not getting results, it’s not worthwhile to continue on with this marketing approach.
That’s also the beauty of direct marketing — if one approach is not working, you can easily change your approach and opt for emailing your customers with a coupon for a discount or a BOGO deal.
Direct Marketing Benefits
1. Better Conversion Rates
As mentioned earlier, direct marketing allows you to send targeted, customized campaigns to a select group of customers. Since the campaigns are customized, they are more likely to get people to take the desired action. In other words, direct marketing offers better conversion rates than other marketing strategies.
2. Easier On Your Marketing Budget
Direct marketing is easier on your budget. It focuses on a particular set of customers which helps keep your marketing costs low. Since it results in better conversion rates, it also gives you a better ROI, often resulting in more profit.
3. Re-engage Past Customers
Direct marketing can be a great way to re-engage past customers. Once someone makes a purchase from your business, you can retain their records and execute direct marketing strategies to get them to return and make another purchase. This also helps improve customer loyalty, especially when you pair direct marketing strategies with customer loyalty programs.
An example would be sending a discount offer to your past customer and rewarding them a certain number of loyalty points if they use the discount within the next 30 days. They can then redeem loyalty points for additional discounts or special offers.
4. Drives New Business
Direct marketing strategies are especially helpful when launching a brand new business or a product. Aside from helping you get the initial sales, direct marketing strategies can help you acquire loyal customers for life that will turn into your brand ambassadors.
5. Evaluate New Offers
Lastly, direct marketing is a great way to evaluate and test a potential new product or service. This allows you to gauge the interest of your existing customers as well as a potential new market without spending a lot of money on more expensive marketing tactics.
Based on your results, you can then tweak not only your marketing strategy but also your offer to ensure it matches your customer’s needs.
What Are Some Common Direct Marketing Channels?
There are several common direct marketing channels that you can use in your business:
- Brochures and catalogs that you can distribute on a regular basis to encourage customers to do business with you
- Fliers that you can distribute via mail or in front of your place of business
- Newsletters that you can send via email or as a printed newsletter that gets distributed via regular mail
- Coupons which can be sent via email or regular mail and redeemed online or in your physical place of business
- Email marketing campaigns that have special offers that you can use offline and online
- Targeted online display ads which you can combine with remarketing techniques to generate sales
- Phone calls and text messages which you can use to offer coupons, discount codes, and special offers
- Kiosks or stands and pop up shops which you can use to promote existing offers as well as to test the interest for new offers
Direct Marketing Examples
Generate Sales With Direct Marketing
After reading this article, you should have a clear idea of what direct marketing is and how it benefits your business. The next step is to use the tips in this article to create your direct marketing strategy and focus on one or two marketing channels to promote your offers.