Direct Marketing enables communication with targeted groups of consumers and it helps you build profitable customer relationships. It can help you achieve specific objectives such as:
- Generate new business leads and sales
- Increase sales from existing customers
- Re-establish relationships with dormant customers
- Increase customer loyalty
Direct marketing is an especially useful tool for small businesses because it allows you to:
- Focus your resources where they are likely to generate the best results
- Speak directly to current and potential customers
- Track and measure how successful your marketing campaigns are
- Test your marketing campaigns to see which ones work best
The most common form of direct marketing is direct mail– sending letters to targeted consumer groups through the post. Direct mail is used by all types of businesses, to acquire and retain customers and encourage sales. If you understand your customers and target your mailing effectively, direct mail can be a highly personal, highly successful form of marketing.
Another popular form of direct marketing is telemarketing– contacting targeted consumers directly by telephone. Telemarketing does have some significant advantages over direct mail such as:
- You can gauge the customers interest immediately
- You can overcome objections more easily
- You can explain complex messages more effectively
Telemarketing is particularly useful in business-to-business (B2B) marketing as people are more accepting of marketing calls interrupting them at work. Email Marketing is one of the newest forms of direct marketing and it is continuing to grow in popularity. According to figures from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), email marketing has now overtaken direct mail in terms of volume. Advantages of email marketing are that it is often much quicker and cheaper to produce an email marketing campaign than a direct mail campaign.
Whatever method of direct marketing you use, you must bear in mind that the success of your campaign depends on good planning, targeting and accurate, up to date data, because of the large amount of direct marketing sent, you have to work hard to make sure your investment doesn’t end up in the bin.