Direct Marketing – The Dos and Don’ts

When you have a product you are proud of, you’ll want to shout about it from the rooftops. The problem with shouting for all the world to hear is you will annoy as many people as you interest. It’s the same with direct marketing.  

We live in an age of constant access to customers. Through email, social media, mobile phones and the internet in general, there are a multitude of avenues to go down to promote your product to the public. But then, everyone else is using them as well. All these traffic is becoming a white noise and customers are more practised at blocking out and ignoring the marketing that comes at them.  

But, that doesn’t mean that direct marketing is a lost cause. There is still a lot you can get out of reaching out directly. But, you need to stand out. It’s no good just throwing any old message out at your contact database. You need to make each point of contact count.  

With customers using new, changing media, direct marketing has to change along with it. Below, we have put together the dos and don’ts of getting direct marketing right in the digital age.  

Do – Be Personal

  There’s nothing quite as uninspiring as a scripted message. Sending out a bulk message to all and sundry is a sure fire way of finding your direct marketing sent to the recycle bin. If you want to attract customers, you need to engage their interests.  

There is a new wealth of customer information out there thanks to the data from Facebook and Google. Marketing lists need to be well researched and detail the interests of each customer group you are marketing to. The worst thing you can do is come across as generic or robotic. Your marketing campaign should be distinct in addressing each group and offer a call to action that reflects their personality and interests. Make sure your messages offer a personal, human touch.  

Don’t – Cold Call Customers

  We’ve all had cold calls. They are a nuisance. They interrupt our work flow or our home lives. They are rarely relevant and they rarely inspire any positive responses, let alone sales. It is a tired practise and you can invest your money and time in much more productive marketing techniques.  

What’s more, now that caller ID is a standard on mobile phones and even home phones, the public are simply able to ignore callers they don’t recognise. Leave the phone until you need to respond to enquiries.  

Do – Keep In Touch

  The internet has a very distinct benefit in terms of direct marketing. It is an open platform that can make your direct marketing a one-to-one conversation at the click of a button. Facebook, Twitter and the like all offer a quick and simple line of communication where you can post adverts and answer questions on the same screen. So, make sure you have somebody around to answer responses and questions posted to your wall.  

It is also important to follow up your direct marketing. If you have received contact details for a potential customer it is (hopefully) because they are likely to have an interest in your product. Just because you didn’t receive a response first time round doesn’t mean they will always pass you over. This month might just be the month they need your services.  

Don’t – Neglect Your Contact List

  This is a necessity not just for avoiding annoying people with your marketing but in ensuring your marketing is not wasting you money and resources. Whether it is because a contact has responded with interest or with a definite ‘no,’ you need to keep your list up to date. If you have ever received mail inviting you to join a service you already use, you will understand what I mean.  

Ensure that contacts who have become customers are labelled to only receive the follow up material. Adding additional personal information is also important as it allows for a more personal touch with your future communications.  

Do – Tell Them Everything

  Thanks to the internet, we are all able to quickly get hold of the information and details we need for pretty much every situation. This includes purchases. Contact details, web pages and reviews are all a Google search away. Your customers should not need to do this for your direct marketing.  

Your marketing should have everything the customer needs to make a decision and a purchase. Email and web ads should click through straight to the relevant page on your website. Mailings should tell customers everything they need to know about a product or service. Many companies have taken to using QR codes in their advertising and direct marketing. But customers might not appreciate digging out a phone to find out more. It is much better to just put all the information there to properly pique the customer’s interest.  

Don’t – Overlook the Old Ways

  There’s a lot to be said for physical mailing. With so many businesses using email, you are relying a lot on making the short subject line of your email stand out from the rest of the junk mail folder.  

A physical, colourful, attractive piece of mail, on the other hand, is a lot easier to get interested in. A customer can see what you are saying or offering straight away, removing that decision to click before you can show off your marketing. It sticks in the mind more as it has not only been seen but has been felt in the hands, leaving that extra impression. It may even stay out on the counter for longer, catching the eye again and again instead of going straight into the trash. When everything is going digital, old fashioned paper mailing suddenly seems a lot more unique.