Too many organisations perceive direct marketing as just direct mail. This is not the case. Direct marketing is a marketing method and direct mail is just one of the initiatives available. It may well form over 50% of what is done under the direct marketing heading, but it is slowly being overtaken by the increasing number of press and TV ads with some sort of direct response devise – e.g “Text Tell me more to 12345.”
To me direct marketing could also come under the bracket of “pull marketing” where prospects are
being directly targeted and enticed in a companies’ marketing activity to respond; they are being “pulled.”
Anyway, no matter what heading or category direct marketing is put under, each marketing initiative must have some sort of response mechanism which identifies the prospect and allows him or her to start a conversation with your organisation which could well lead to an appointment and (hopefully!) a problem-solving discussion and a business relationship.
But, don’t forget existing clients when you are looking at direct marketing. If you have got something new to say or are about to launch a new product or service, then existing clients should be given priority and should hear about this first!
There are loads of direct marketing companies and agencies out there who will tell you how to do mass mailings, but identify your market and tailor your messaging. I’m not a fan of “buy now while stocks last” or “BOGOF” campaigns, but the underlying idea could be adapted. For example, target those people with a relevant need for your product or service and have the response go to a named and labelled person within your organisation; maybe even configure a new email address or phone number purely for direct marketing purposes?
Put yourself in the position of the receivers of your offer message – “How can I get hold of this?” – ……….and make it easy for them!