Direct Marketing – 5 Essential Components of Successful Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing produced $2.05 trillion in sales in 2012. That represents about 8.7% of US GDP in 2013. This implies several key points.

First, competition in direct marketing is stiff. With all those advertisement dollars being spent on direct marketing, you need to ensure your message is getting through and being heard. Second, with stiff competition, you need to craft compelling messages, not once, but repeatedly. You need to do this effectively and efficiently, if you want to do more than just tread water.

Thus, it’s important to develop a marketing strategy that optimizes your budget spend by employing direct marketing more effectively. Here are 5 essential components of successful direct marketing.

1) Deliver a Compelling Sales Message

Several elements go into creating a compelling sales message. Successful sales letters and other marketing content must be relevant, useful, and persuasive. Marketing content that works grabs your prospect’s attention, shows uniqueness, and builds trust with your prospect. Employ these three elements in all your direct marketing content.

· WIIFM – Tell your prospect exactly what’s in it for him or her.

· Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Clearly describe why your solution is the superior one.

· Testimonials – Let your satisfied customers “sell” for you.

2) Follow-up Leads Promptly to Attract and Engage Your Prospect’s Attention

You might have a lead-generating sales letter, but if you don’t follow-up, valuable leads will slip through the cracks. Follow-up a live event with a phone call, an email, or a letter that invites the prospect to take the next step.

Offer a free demonstration of your product or service. Set up an appointment with a subject matter expert who can go into greater detail on how your company’s solution works, and why it’s better than the competition’s. Then, before the scheduled demonstration, send a white paper that explains your product in detail.

Follow-up, engage and spark your prospect’s interest in your solution.

3) Promote Your Brand

Benefits from branding give companies and edge over competitors that don’t brand. Branding helps position your product or service favorably. It also gives you pricing and distribution power. The takeaway is: never miss an opportunity to brand.

Direct marketing affords you many online and off-line media to build brand awareness. Online media: (1) Banner advertising; (2) Blogs; (3) Email; and (4) Website. Off-line media: (1) Print advertising – sales letters, postcards, brochures; (2) Press Releases; and (3) Public Relations.

4) Nurture the New Customer Relationship

Lead nurturing is just as important as lead acquisition. Most companies want to develop long-term relationships with customers. That’s because they become repeat customers. And, over time, repeat customers generate more sales and profits to your bottom line.

Outbound marketing provides many ways to build and maintain a thriving lead nurturing program. You can employ email, direct mail, social media, mobile, podcasts, seminars, phone calls, and videos.

5) Integrate and Synchronize Online and Off-line Direct Marketing

To optimize your message and direct marketing budget, success lies in finding the right mix of online and off-line methods. One method isn’t necessarily better than another. Instead, the secret sauce to successful direct marketing depends on how you weave these various methods together.

You can integrate and synchronize these methods along the sales cycle beginning with message delivery. Start with a sales letter, follow-up with a phone call or email. Refer your prospect to your website for deeper marketing content, and don’t forget to brand throughout this process.

Achieving the right marketing mix produces a “multiplier effect” that helps you close sales faster and easier. Employing different media in a consistent and coherent manner working towards the same goal optimizes your marketing efforts.

Don’t Overlook the Value of Direct Marketing

With so much attention focused on inbound marketing lately, it’s easy to overlook direct marketing’s benefits. However, as you can see, it still commands the lion’s share of sales. Therefore, it’s prudent to examine your marketing strategy’s focus and align your budget accordingly.

Before you undertake a direct marketing campaign, employ these five essential components to compete effectively and efficiently for that $2.05 trillion market.

Email Marketing Best Practices For Your Small Business

Emails are very popular in today’s high technology environment where people send messages across the Internet to one another every day. From here, email marketing has offered businesses a cost effective way of advertising. This marketing approach is especially effective for small businesses that are limited in funds for advertising and expansion. Email marketing functions is an essential online marketing tool in all modern businesses today. It is the way to move the business forward with massive leads and additional sales.

An Effective approach

It is quite easy to integrate email marketing into the existing marketing campaign for a small business. Existing customers as well as potential leads captured online or offline can be included into the email marketing plan of the business. The company has to nurture their existing customers and potential leads to keep them interested in the products and services offered; otherwise, as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Email marketing can be direct or indirect. A direct approach on email marketing is to mail out promotional offers on products and services for an instant response. Direct email marketing is very effective as it offers a direct response from customers. The promotional offer can be of a limited time only offer which would compel consumers to make a quick decision upon reading the offer in their email. Instant messages sent out with success stories and testimonials would create a desire in the consumer to want the same for them self.

Direct email marketing can also include videos and newsletters containing updates of the company’s offerings with coupons that ensure great savings for consumers who make purchases.

It is crucial to identify an attractive or compelling opt-in offer that would capture the prospects attention and stir their hearts toward the offer. It is an indirect means of marketing to them when personal information is collected for further follow up by the company. Building a relationship through email with your prospects will help turn them in to a customer.

An opt-in offer used in an email marketing strategy must attract the prospect while in the same token be as simple as possible for them to join your list. Hence, there should only be a few boxes required in the opt-in form.

Besides a direct approach, email marketing can be activated on an automated approach. This automated approach refers to pre-written or prepared emails of advertising content that are scheduled for mailing out to subscribers or customers on the company’s mailing list. Such automated email marketing campaign is effective in keeping customers updated with the promotions of the business to entice a further look on the website or at the store. These automated systems for delivering emails on a schedule are called auto responders.

Another approach on email marketing is through online newsletters for the company which is cheaper than printed materials mailed to the consumers’ homes. Eco-friendly consumers would appreciate such an approach and the business benefits from much lower cost.

Tips on email marketing

The effectiveness of any marketing campaign depends on the approach. There are good marketing campaign tips that would bring in more leads and sales while bad approaches would turn consumers away.

1. Businesses must remember not to spam consumers’ inbox with too many emails pushing them to consider their products or services. Sending out these buying lists is spamming while wasting money. Consumers can get agitated and annoyed with constant marketing mail that takes up their disk space and precious time.

2. Emails should be short and sweet with contents to the point to avoid taking up consumers’ time. Sentences in a marketing email should be kept between 7 and 10 words that facilitate easy reading and understanding. Point form facts are easier to read than full sentences across the screen.

Email paragraphs should be short with not more than 3 sentences so that the reader would be able to keep their concentration and understand the contents clearly. Too many sentences in an email paragraph reflect poor authorship with a boring writing style that is long winded on its actual content.

3. An email subject line should be appealing and relevant to its content. It will either captivate the attention of the recipient for a further read by opening the email or it would be trashed immediately without opening. Busy consumers offer only one second or two for an appeal to their mental decision on opening or trashing their email if they receive hundreds a day. Some may use the automatic spam email deletion facility where the system automatically deletes what it deems as spam mail before the recipient even have a view of it. Hence, the business’s efforts in sending these mails would be wasted with no fruition.

4. Another good tip to utilize email marketing effectively is not to have hard selling approaches. Modern readers do not like to feel coerced into embracing the product or service offered in their emails. These mails would be quickly trashed and subsequent mails would be automatically deleted by the auto spam system detector. Share valuable content that exudes marketing professionalism and product expertise to interest and engage recipients into reading the whole email before taking a positive action.

5. An effective marketing email would have a response avenue where interested consumers can make a direct contact with the company immediately to satisfy their curiosity or purchase orders. The right link must be attached to move the consumer to the web business site immediately for a detailed browse on products and services. A valid hotline number must be available at a strategic part of the email to invite consumers to call. These hotlines must always be manned by friendly and knowledgeable customer service professionals without passing the call around.

Great presentations

Marketing emails may have a strong impact on the readers; hence, they must be well written to serve their purpose. Great presentations on the subject line of content would win the consumer over to the small business instead of its competitors