Direct marketing can be defined as a method of selling products or services directly to the customers, without any kind of intermediaries in between. Sending brochures, catalogs, e-mails, text messages, leaflets, or making telemarketing calls are some of the means used by advertisers for such campaigns.
How to Create a Campaign
Identify the Niche
The first thing that all companies should aim for is to select the target customers appropriately. For this, extensive market research should be undertaken. Mailing lists can be obtained along with certain personal information, which will help the businesses identify their potential customer's interests, as well as contact details.
Select Appropriate Tool
Hiring specialists in the field, who have successfully run campaigns like this before, will help a business to identify the best method for advertising and selling their product. The method selection depends on the budget too. For example, sending out e-mail newsletters is much cheaper compared to printed leaflets.
Plan a Creative Campaign
There are a number of things that businesses can do to make their campaign stand out from the rest. A potential customer might receive multiple mailers everyday. Therefore, the advertisers should keep the language simple and easy to understand. It should be like a one-to-one dialog, to appear more intimate.
Secondly, benefits of the product should be mentioned very clearly. Thirdly, the offer should be mentioned at least thrice in the newsletter or leaflet, once in the very beginning, then in the middle, and finally at the end. Lastly, contact details should be clear, so that the customer knows whom to get in touch with for inquiries or to buy the product.
Implement and Follow-Up
After the campaign has been implemented, following it up is extremely important. One of the important tips is to update whatever information, feedback, or response that is received through the campaign. For instance, if certain addresses have changed, it should be ensured that the mailing list is updated.
Thus, by regularly recording all changes and responses, businesses can plan the next campaign even more productively.
Pros and Cons
There are some very clear-cut advantages that direct marketing has over other kinds of advertising such as print and television commercials. Firstly, direct mail marketing campaigns are a boon for small business owners.
For instance, a local salon in a city, which has most of its clientele in a particular area, would be unnecessarily wasting money if it advertises in newspapers. Instead, if brochures are sent to its target audience in the nearby localities, the business can gain tremendously.
Secondly, for businesses that are targeting niche markets, this method is much more beneficial than other forms of media. For example, if a five-star hotel has to sell a special high-end package, it would not serve any purpose to advertise it in a newspaper as only the rich would buy such a package.
As for the disadvantages, these campaigns can sometimes backfire, especially if the customers are thronged with unwanted e-mails, flyers, leaflets, or phone calls. As many such companies share personal information about the clients with one another, there is every chance that it can be misused.
The key to a successful campaign lies in being clear about your market as well as creative in the various marketing tools used. By thoroughly researching on the potential customers and making them an offer which is way above the competitors, a business can ensure greater success.