Direct response marketing targets your Market Segment / Target Market directly without using any other traditional marketing channels, sales channels, promotion and advertising. Direct Marketing is a very Effective Marketing Tool / Approach because it allows you a direct communication with your Target Audience (Your Potential / New Customers). Compared to other Marketing Tools and Marketing Tactics Direct Marketing is simply better targeted Sales and Marketing Approach.
Direct Marketing Plan
The first step in planning your Direct Marketing Campaign is identifying your Target Market. Who are my Best Prospects? What are the Best Converting Leads for my Business? How many Leads do I need to generate? Where my new customers live and work? What are their needs, interests, desires, social behavior…? After you define your Target Market for your Direct Mail Marketing the next step is buying a Mailing List, Email List or Phone List for your Target Market. These Direct Mail Lists allows you to communicate your message directly to your potential customers. When you make decision about obtaining your direct mail list you need to compare the alternatives of buying or owning the list versus renting. Many companies rent mailing lists and do not sell the mailing list while other mailing list brokers will sell the list and you own the mailing list which means you can use your mailing list more than once. Most marketers use more than one Direct Marketing Campaign and if this is your case you want to own your list and use it over and over.
Direct Marketing Tools
Based on the goals and objectives of your Direct Marketing and the specifics of your Target Market Profiling next you need to decide what are the most effective and efficient Marketing Tools to maximize your Direct Marketing effectiveness or Maximize your Return n Investment (ROI). For example, frequently used Direct Marketing Tools you want to consider are Sales Letters, Product Catalogs, Coupons, Gifts, Fliers, Event Announcements, Invitations, Discount Announcements, Membership Invitations, Store Opening Announcements, Surveys, Try New Product Letters, Loyalty Programs, etc. You can use one or more Marketing Tool or you can test multiple marketing tools and compare their ROI. It is always smart to test your Direct Mail Approach. Before you spend a lot of money test different approaches on a small scale, then measure, compare and develop the most effective Direct Mail Campaign for your business.
Measuring ROI on Direct Marketing
The goal of any Direct Marketing Campaign is Maximizing the ROI. For non-profit organizations the objectives are similar such as maximizing the number of new members obtained with the Direct Mail Campaign – again there is an Investment made for the Direct Marketing and there must be a Measurable Outcome. Business organizations generally try to maximize the profit or ROI (Lead Generation), however in some cases the marketing goal might be improving the Brand Awareness or educating their Current Customers (activities that don’t focus on Short-Term Lead Generation).
Direct Marketing Follow Up
Many marketers are able to execute successful Direct Marketing campaigns but fail to Follow Up. Make sure you plan how to manage your entire Direct Marketing process effectively. Before you start your direct marketing you need to plan everything in advance such as how you are going to manage the calls, responses and sales orders from your direct mail projects. Plan and be clear in your marketing materials about your Call to Action. For example you can lead your prospects to visit your website, call a toll-free phone number, send an email, subscribe, order through mail, order online, etc. Keep in mind that preparing your mailing list and writing and printing your sales letters is only the first step of your Direct Mail Marketing.
Advantages of Direct Marketing
– Direct marketing can be used for communicating with your current customers as well as targeting new prospects and generating new sales leads for your business. If you own your mailing lists you have a big advantage because you can communicate with your Target Market periodically and have a continuous communication. This is effective marketing approach unlike sending only one Direct Mail Piece.
– Compared to other types of marketing campaigns direct marketing allows you to reach large customer or prospect base. This means generating large number of new Sales Leads and finding New Customers in a short period of time. When you have a high-quality mailing list or email list you can develop and execute an effective direct marketing campaign in a couple of days.
– Another advantage of Direct Marketing compared to other Sales, Marketing and Lead Generation Techniques is that you are in control of your marketing process 100% of the time. This is very important for maximizing your Marketing ROI. You are the one who makes the decision about who will receive your marketing and sales materials, when they are going to receive your marketing materials and how many prospects you are going to reach.
– Direct Marketing allows you to continuously measure and improve your marketing ROI. Since you are in control of your marketing you are able to measure your efforts. You can target your entire mailing list at the same time or you can develop and execute multiple marketing campaigns on a small scale before you develop a large scale Direct Marketing Campaign. In most cases it is a good idea to test your Direct Marketing approach before you invest a big part of your marketing budget.
– Direct Mail Marketing can be used by both small and big companies and can be cost effective compared to other media such as TV or print media because it is fast and focused directly on your Target Market.
Direct Marketing Facts
Direct Marketing such as direct mail marketing, phone marketing and email marketing is used by more than 60% of all marketers. The response rate varies and depends on your industry, target market and the quality of your mailings but as a rule of thumb you can expect a response rate between 1% and 3%. Phone marketing has the highest response rate but it is the most expensive alternative so you need to measure your marketing effectiveness (ROI) and find out what works best for your business. A very common metric for measuring direct marketing effectiveness / Direct Marketing ROI is “cost per lead” or “cost per order”. For example, you can calculate the cost per order by dividing your total cost by the number of orders you will receive out of your direct mail marketing campaign (you can also use the free excel template provided by Excel4Marketing).
Direct Mail Marketing vs Junk Mail
What is a Junk Mail? Junk mail is poor direct mail marketing communication or in other words mistargeted communication. The recipient does not belong to your target market profile and she is not interested in your products and services. Junk mail is a waste of time and money and it works against your business and brand. Think about the direct mail you receive every day and you never open. How many letters have you received and never opened? Think about the mail you have received addressed to “Current Resident” selling products and services you do not need and you will never buy. These marketers waste your time and their time plus they have paid for this mail. In order for your direct mail campaign to be successful you need to purchase a mailing list from a reputable mailing list company or mailing list broker – this is very important to avoid wasting money on your Direct Marketing.