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A Guide to Direct Marketing

Everything you need to know about direct marketing! This blogpost describes what direct marketing is, the benefits of this marketing method and how to utilise it correctly.

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  • 29 Jan 2015
  • Sophie Hardbattle
A market stall with a juice bar and lots of fruit and vegetables

Marketing is a form of promoting a business, service or product to the masses. Direct marketing is different to this, as it focuses on the individual; the company’s brand message is delivered directly to the intended viewer.

Conventional methods of direct marketing include handing out fliers, telemarketing or direct selling to a customer's workplace or home. However, these older methods aren’t necessarily the most efficient anymore, as they tend to be more expensive and take more time to implement. Newer digital methods include email marketing, social media marketing and push notification marketing, all of which are methods that Eden Agency utilise to create a successful marketing campaign.

It is common practice for companies to use both direct marketing and mass marketing in one campaign.

Benefits of Direct Marketing

Direct marketing allows your company to speak to customers and potential customers in a more personal manner. CMO Council released a report recently that stated ‘the click through rate (CTR) of emails is higher when using the recipients first name in the subject line over no use of the first name’. Although mass marketing allows you to speak to more people, it doesn’t allow you to talk to them individually.

Old direct marketing methods often involved talking to the customer one-on-one, whether that be through door-to-door sales or telemarketing. These methods can be beneficial for companies that sell expensive or high risk products, as the customer may have numerous questions to ask before buying. However, they also are quite disruptive, especially if your customer is busy. Digital techniques are often a lot more customer-friendly.

Because the person has already liked your social media page, signed up to your newsletter or downloaded your app, it is very likely that they are interested in your service/product and have already been a customer. Therefore, you are promoting to people who are more likely to be interested in buying what you’re selling.

Direct marketing allows more conversation between you and your customers. Therefore, you can guide them through a sale more easily than what mass marketing allows.

How To Use Direct Marketing Effectively

The whole point of direct marketing is to offer your customers exactly what they want or what you think they want. The only way you’ll be able to do this is to learn about your customer base and the different demographics within it. Once you do this, you can then segment your customers and send specialised marketing material to specific demographics.

You must also be aware of how often you are using these marketing methods. Take email marketing for example; if you are sending an email out everyday, or even every few days, your customer may feel like you are being ‘spammy’. Generally speaking, sending more emails can negatively impact the levels of engagement, however this is different for every business or campaign. You mustn’t translate this to “Don’t send any emails”. The trick is to send enough so you’re increasing brand awareness and familiarity but not becoming a nuisance.

A way to avoid becoming a pain is to market with a purpose. Don’t just do it because you feel like you probably should, make sure that you are actually offering something of substance to your potential customers. This may be promoting a new product, offering discount or informing them about a new campaign, for example.

The beauty of direct marketing is that it allows each customer to feel as though they are the only one that matters, it is far more personal than other marketing techniques. So to take advantage of this, use the customers name and talk directly to them.

And last but not least, make sure you keep your database up to date! Remove people that asked to be and delete any duplicate email addresses.

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