In an online world, is Direct Marketing now redundant?

by Stephanie Weber

in Direct Marketing,Email Marketing,Internet Marketing

Hell No! –  Statistics show that 23% of sales is generated by direct marketing

Webermail 150x150 In an online world, is Direct Marketing now redundant?According to a recent survey undertaken by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct marketing generated an average of 23% of sales in 2011 in the UK. With 4 out of the 5 companies providing Business to Business (B2B) services being the most reliant on direct marketing.

Direct marketing – a way of communicating your goods and services to a targeted audience – is an excellent way of ensuring your business gets noticed by your ideal customer, as these statistics clearly prove.

With statistics like these, direct marketing ought to be seen as an investment and not an expense!

So why isn’t it?

Digital marketing – using your website as a lead generating tool – has been a cost effective and efficient way to market to customers. It has partly become popular due to social media causing older age groups to become online savvy. Everyone now has a website and it’s across all age ranges from new born baby photos to travelling silver surfers blogs.

So there is a perception that small business can market themselves for free. When in reality, many business owners just haven’t got the time to fully understand the techniques and technical details of what it takes to market themselves successfully online.

As a result email marketing has therefore become understandingly popular. No postage fees, and automated systems available to automatically market to your list 24×7. All at the expense of direct mail marketing. This is not to say that email marketing is not a useful and successful tool for generating leads, because it is. However, the main risk here is that everyone is now doing it. And they’re not doing it well. This has lead to blanket spam emails, as people do not take the time to target their emails, or even to add value. Far more likely to turn the recipient off than into a buyer.

The DMA research estimates that in the next 12 months, the amount of money companies are predicted to invest on email marketing is set to increase by 11.9% alone!  In an economy in recession and with no indication of when a recovery is to occur, these figures can’t fail to go unnoticed by even the tightest of business people.

Advantages of Direct Marketing

However, with a tough economy, it’s become even more important to stand out from the crowd. To show your prospects why you are different and why they should choose you. Right now, it is much easier to achieve that through direct mail marketing. You are far more likely to get your message read, plus the prospect feels differently as you have spent money to contact them, and taken that extra effort.

Unlike media advertising, it enables you to target particular people with a personalised message. Direct marketing can be cost effective and extremely powerful at generating sales, so it is ideal for small businesses. Direct marketing allows you to generate a response from targeted customers. As a result, small businesses can focus their limited marketing resources where they are most likely to get results.

Direct marketing uses a variety of different methods. Direct mail, mailshots and leafleting are widespread, and other forms of direct and integrated communication are growing in popularity. Telephone marketing, mobile marketing and texting offer more opportunities to reach your target market.

The ideal campaign would use an integrated approach of direct marketing with digital marketing using various social media elements as a promotion tool.

A direct marketing campaign with a clear call to action can help you boost your sales to existing customers, increase customer loyalty, recapture old customers and generate new business.

Keep your beady eye on the costs and track the benefits…

Direct marketing can be evaluated and measured precisely. You can analyse results to see which target group was most responsive. You can also test your marketing with sample groups before you roll out the campaign that will deliver the best response rate.

Whether you are targeting business (B2B) customers or consumers, direct marketing can deliver results. Choosing the right communication method is vital. Businesses can be more receptive to receiving sales calls than consumers, for example. Individuals will prefer different ways of contact, so it’s important to make sure you take account of their preferences.

The other advantage is that direct marketing is totally accountable. With any direct marketing campaign, you can calculate a break-even point – the number of sales you need to make to cover the cost of the marketing. In addition, you can work out the cost per response and the actual Return on Investment (RoI).

This simple analysis will enable you to tweak your campaigns in order to improve your results. You can also identify those that are most responsive and target them again in future.

How to get started

In order to implement a successful direct marketing campaign, there are 3 essential components:

  1. a list
  2. an offer 
  3. sales copy

Thankfully, help is at hand, as here at Webertek, we have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process.

For further information, why not call Stephanie at Webertek on 0203 286 0230 and ask how direct marketing represents a truly cost-effective way of making yourself known to your target audience.  Make sure you stay ahead of your competitors.

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