Benefits of direct marketing

Good direct marketing campaigns focus on promoting a specific product or service, and call on your customers to act – to receive further information, register their interest, visit your website, make a booking or a purchase.

Direct marketing gives you the opportunity to promote your products and services directly to the customers who most need them. A good direct marketing campaign will:

  • help you build relationships with new customers
  • test the appeal of your product or service
  • tell you which marketing approaches reach your target market
  • provide customers with compelling content they can share with potential customers
  • increase sales.

However, direct marketing campaigns require careful planning and a clear understanding of responsible direct marketing practice. Being aware of the benefits and challenges of direct marketing will help you use direct marketing effectively.

Making the most of direct marketing

A well-planned direct marketing campaign can take you straight to your ideal customers. Identifying the benefits of direct marketing will help you stay focused on getting the most out of your direct marketing campaign.

Target your ideal customers

Using direct marketing allows you to target specific groups of customers with tailored messages. By taking the time to research and identify the customers who are most likely to need or want your products and services, you can focus your marketing efforts where they have the highest chance of achieving results.

A well-targeted direct marketing campaign will also provide you with an accurate understanding of how your customers are responding to your product and service offers.

Market on a budget

Direct marketing that is targeted to a specific audience can help you set realistic sales goals and improve sales results on a tight marketing budget. Businesses can run effective and purposeful direct marketing campaigns at a fraction of the cost of broadcast advertising.

Increase sales to current and lapsed customers

Most customers welcome contact from familiar business people who make an effort to understand their needs and build a personal relationship. You can increase sales to your existing customers by maintaining reliable customer records and choosing simple, well-planned promotional tactics.

You can also use direct marketing tactics to re-establish relationships with customers who haven't returned to your business in a while. Approaching lapsed customers is an opportunity to rekindle sales, keep your customer records accurate, and find out why your customers move on.

Improve customer loyalty

Direct marketing helps you build direct relationships with your customers. You can personalise promotions, letters and offers to create an immediate link with your customer and increase their personal connection to your business.

Many businesses combine direct marketing and customer loyalty strategies to keep and build customer relationships (e.g. by sending birthday cards, discount offers, invites to upcoming sales).

Create new business

When using direct marketing you can communicate directly with your chosen target market and this should give you a better sales success rate than communicating to the mass market, many of whom may not be interested in your products and services.

If you use effective techniques for sourcing and finding new customers, you can generate new customer prospects and grow your sales to new customers.

Direct marketing lets you adapt and respond to the needs of your market, and your business. You can achieve fast and flexible sales results using direct marketing. For example, you could use a direct marketing campaign to:

  • boost sales of a particular product
  • run out discontinued stock
  • renew stale sales figures
  • increase customer contacts
  • directly follow-up on a promotion.

Word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of marketing.  An effective marketing campaign will provide customers with collateral about your business that they can easily share with their friends, colleagues and family.  This can generate new leads for your business.

Test and measure your products and sales performance

Direct approaches provide direct feedback. Direct marketing is also a great way to gauge your customers' appetite for your products and trial new products or services.

Direct marketing also allows you to test new markets, review sales results, measure the effectiveness of your sales and advertising tactics, and easily make adjustments to your campaign. Each time you run a direct marketing campaign you should monitor and review the results, using this information to improve the success of your next campaign.

For example, if you mail 100 customers a catalogue with a discount voucher on the back page and 20 customers bring this into your business to use, the campaign had a response rate of 20%. By working out the cost of creating and mailing the catalogue, as well as the profit you made from each customer that responded, you can assess the success of your direct marketing campaign.

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