Direct Marketing Definition
the business of selling products or services directly to the public, e.g. by mail order or telephone selling, rather than through retailers.
Unlike media advertising, direct marketing enables you target particular people with a personalised message. Essentially it is making direct contact with potential and existing customers to promote your services or products.
It its perfect for small businesses, in particular, because it can be fantastically cost effective as a form of lead generation and its cost to conversion makes it a powerful sales generator.
Direct marketing takes various forms, both traditional and more modern:
One of the most important aspects of direct marketing is that it is measurable which is another key reason that it shouldn’t be overlooked by SME’s in particular.
For example, if you were to send out a direct mail campaign that offered a discount coupon for a particular purchase of a product or service, it is clearly identifiable how many of those were used.
Let’s take a look at the individual forms that direct marketing takes and what the benefits are:
A marketing effort that uses a mail service to deliver a promotional printed piece to your target audience -
The most established form of direct marketing, direct mail is decades old but still very effective.
It introduces all or some of your products and services directly to the buy in the place of business using the postal service.
Its highly targeted. Every direct mail campaign can be tailored for a certain segment of your database, from customers who have used you for years to cold prospects that may never have heard of you before. Because of this, recipients only receive materials that match their buying habits.
Its personalised. This means not only can we tailor messages to meet the needs of specific segments of your database you can also include the names and personal information of those receiving the information. This personalised touch makes a massive difference and makes recipients more likely to purchase from you.
Recipients know it, understand it and are comfortable with it. The postal service has been around forever, even if it isn’t the institution it once was.
While a lot of recipients may be sceptical about certain digital communications they remain receptive to direct mail, delivered by the friendly postman.
Direct Mail is tangible. It is essentially delivered directly to your customers and prospects hands and therefore it is virtually guaranteed that they will see it. Since the recipient can physically connect with the correspondence they are more likely to believe in the contents reliability.
Nothing complicated about tracking. One of the beauties of direct mail is that it can be tracked without relying on complex analytics. To track the success of a campaign, all you need to do is add some sort of coupon element and make a note of all those that come back.
It is fair to say that given the length of time that direct mail has been delivering results that we can rely on it as great way to market products and services.
Plenty of data is available to back up its track record meaning that this type of marketing offers reliable returns for negligible cost.