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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5 Easy Steps to Direct Marketing for SMB and Non Profits

I have been busy helping some organisations and non profits with better selling and better marketing skills and a frequent topic came up. Does Junk mail work because we are not getting as much out of social media?

First off its not junk mail unless its marketed as such. A 2 for 1 pizza coupon on a flyer is not junk its cost savings and dinner for a consumer. Tweeting out a promotion is not effective if I am not a follower and cold calling does work for specific products and services. It is all about how the marketing is done and what the call to action to the customer is.

Social Media does work but again it depends on what you are trying to do,

Both can be very effective weapons in winning the hearts, minds and $$$ from our customers.

Direct marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective and inexpensive methods for an organisation to promote or sell its products or services. It allows you to target a specific group of people to generate a specific call to action.

Direct marketing is contacting your potential customer directly and includes direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing or text-message marketing campaigns.

Direct marketing is also helpful in building brand awareness, customer trust, loyalty and repeat business. Done properly, a DM program can also be easy to measure especially when a response code is used.

Here are five basic steps to starting your own direct marketing campaign.

1. Choose a promotion or offer for your specific campaign

Usually, a response is improved when there is a promotion or offer that the consumer can react too. A discount, a sale or a contest creates a sense of urgency to respond in the appropriate time-frame.

2. Run the campaign often

If you are doing a DM with mail or flyers, the average consumer may not react and usually a marketer needs to do 5 or 6 campaigns in order to get a response. Each campaign can refer to the same promotion but done in a different style or method.

A local Telco likes to send me mail, a flyer, a telephone call and even a postcard. They are still selling the same product but trying to get me interested via different marketing methods. Paper based marketing is still effective and even though it may be called junk mail a $5 off coupon on a postcard works for me.

There are new guidelines for email marketing that needs to be understood

3. Have a call to action

When you are developing your campaign for your promotion, make sure you make an offer that will encourage your customers to act immediately. If there is no sense of urgency or time-line then the consumer will not act quickly. A car dealer can promote a lot sale and a BBQ on a weekend and the consumer can respond to obtain a free promotional item or register to get their discount code. Act now, call now, registration must be done today! Hurry before it is too late.

4. Make it Personal

Junk mail is addressed to the address not the person. If you are using a database then address it to the consumer. There are different tricks to use to get people to open their mail and handwritten ones work best. Computer generated forms look just like that so give some thought to how the envelope needs to look to invite a response. There truly may be a reason why some marketing is done on a fridge magnet.

Hello John
As a valued Subaru customer, we would like to invite you to our new model showing. Come in and look at what the new models have to offer and enjoy a complimentary custom frozen yogurt and a chance to win a Samsung Tablet……would get a better response than…

Dear Homeowner
As a valued automobile customer, we would like to invite you to our new model showing. Come in and look at what the new models have to offer and enjoy a complimentary custom frozen yogurt and a chance to win a Samsung Tablet……would get a better response than

5. Evaluate your Responses

Direct marketing allows data to be gathered for later analysis to see what worked and what didn't. The more data you collect and analyze, the more you will learn about your consumer behaviour. The more you know, the more successful you will be for your tweaking your next direct marketing campaign.

“Tony, the postcard campaign worked really well in the L4X and M3X postal codes”

Take a look at who the consumers were in that area and what they bought and when to better understand how they reacted to the campaign.

“We sent red postcards to those addresses and not the grey ones, so lets do another run with red postcards to the postal codes that didn’t react…ok?”

Marketing can be simple and complicated but the best method is to set a budget, develop a story and a call to action and choose the methods of delivery. If effective then you can see your sales or interest activity increase.

There is a lot of activity on multi-channel and cross -channel marketing programs that require staff and $$$ to do effectively.

A simple method could be to generate a response from a postcard mailing that drives traffic to your website where you can then attempt a conversion. Another method could be to sign up for a newsletter or on-going couponing.

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