Direct marketing isn’t a new concept, but the way in which it is carried out has changed with the times. Attempts at cold calling are often unsuccessful and generally annoying. The favoured platforms are now online instead, using direct email campaigns and social media to boost the sales pipelines of growing companies. What makes direct marketing so successful is that it focuses on a niche, personalised form of advertising aimed directly at your target audience – and nobody else. It’s cheaper and much more cost effective than traditional advertisement channels like posters, TV and other media ads, whilst being more capable of allowing performance tracking.
Not that these traditional practices are without their merits, but promoting specific a product or service through email will more likely influence your customers to act by using call-to-actions and encourage them to visit your website by including links. Direct marketing allows you to fill your sales funnel with new potential customers by informing them of your products or services immediately.
It’s the digital age, most clientele can have an email address and indeed would rather an email over a phone call. Sending an email is much more convenient than calling at unsuitable times in your potential customer’s working day. With an email, clientele can read and reply in their own time, and a benefit for you is that you can gauge results and gather quantitative data, measuring click-through, open and reply rates.
If you’re a smaller company or generally have a small marketing budget, direct marketing will probably be the best option to consider. The fact that direct marketing is targeted to a specific audience can help you set realistic sales goals based on your chosen expenditure. Media advertising can work well for those with bigger budgets, look at Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, but they spend millions on advertising each year. These companies have very a very strong history of branding and a seemingly endless cash resource to further their business. Smaller SME’s often do not have this.
The aim of marketing is to put you and your product in front of your target audience to then make sales. Most customers welcome contact from familiar business people who try to understand their needs and it also provides the opportunity to re-establish relationships with customers who haven’t returned to your business in a while. We are sure we won’t need to remind you that the cost of retaining a customer is much cheaper than gaining new ones…
How can automation help?
Automation is a key feature of direct marketing; this means that one person can deal with multiple clients making this approach again, very cost effective. Automation through emails allows the marketer to send predesigned emails that are personalised and purposeful emails to specific lists of interested parties, resulting in a connection. A good example of this is often seen by fan clubs sending personalised cards to their groups on birthdays.
Automation will allow you to make a personal connection with customers and has been shown to increase customer loyalty. But what’s more beneficial to you, is that automation in direct marketing can free up a lot of time. Using systems to automatically create and manage client lists will mean spending less time on boring admin duties, so you can get back to the real business of closing sales.