Effective Practices in Direct Marketing: Part One

In today’s day and age, consumer attention spans are rapidly shortening to an alarmingly low duration. The nature of modern technology paired with the convenience of variety and dizzying speed the internet offers have created a modern market where brands must grab the attention of customers fast and with pinpoint accuracy.1

So, what must a company do to stay ahead of competition? Plenty. Companies are increasingly spending time identifying the best ways to market their products and services to the consumer with more precision. Among the plethora of strategies at their disposal, one that hits the sweet spot is direct marketing.

Going by research, the direct marketing services market was valued at $5220 million in 2018, and is expected to reach $5830 million by the end of 20242. Direct marketing entices customers to purchase directly from the company itself, primarily by employing marketing communication strategies that reach the consumer fastest, and (hopefully) also strike an emotional chord with them.

Essentially, a good direct marketing campaign will be able to achieve multiple key objectives, such as:

  • help build long-lasting relationships with new customers
  • conducting a sampling test to understand the appeal of your product or service with the customers
  • help understand the customers better
  • provide customers with unique compelling content that can be shared with potential customers
  • boost sales over short time-spans

Now, while it sounds simple enough to understand, it’s essential to employ a few hygienic practices in a direct marketing strategy to ensure it doesn’t deviate from its primary objective.

Essential notes to strike when employing direct marketing strategies

Direct marketing campaigns require intricate planning and an understanding of the needs and preferences of the customer. Engaging customers in creating unique relationships through various platforms & channels is essential for boosting your response rate.

With this in mind, it’s critical for your strategy to stand out in the eyes of the customers, bring good ROI and set yourself apart from the competition.

In order to achieve these objectives, these two practices are staples to consider when executing your strategy:

  1. Personalisation is Key
    Customers want to feel special. Taking a customized approach can create a sense of belonging for existing customers and potential customers alike. Rather than viewing your email as junk or spam, they’ll feel like the company understands what they really want and understand their needs.Let’s take a look at how customisation happens in direct mail for starters. Each mail can be customised with the recipient’s name by addressing them directly. This makes them feel unique and valued by your brand. Brands should also find ways to connect with recipients at a deeply emotional level by personalizing the product or service offered to them. This involves leveraging available data to tailor-make a unique offer that caters to specific recipients. In fact, brands that go the extra mile by customising the actual offering itself are bound to delight customers with ease. Understanding buying patterns and automatically servicing past customers without being prompted to act will leave them charmed, showing them you remember them with fondness.Simple activities such as the ones above are more likely to deliver the intended outcomes for the marketing efforts, and also aid brand recall.
  1. Information delivered with Inspiration
    Even today, a flyer, brochure or insert can feel more permanent than a tweet or an email, owing to the tangibility factor. Your audience can touch it, handle it and go through it whenever they want. A customer is likely to spend more time interacting with a piece of direct mail than browsing with an email or tweet. It opens the gateway to provide more information.It must include all the information you want the customers to know so that they make the desirable decision. There are a few ways to accomplish this goal:
  • Use clear, indicative and attractive images that draw the eye.
  • Incorporate graphics & text that relate to your brand and convey the desired message about your products or services.
  • Include authentic and comprehensive testimonials that indicate a customer why they should choose you over other competitors. 

Effective direct marketing is a key ingredient for marketing success

It is apparent that the most important thing is to pin your focus squarely on the customer’s needs. Their loyalty needs to be earned, and your direct marketing content should assist you in achieving that goal. Your message should be concentrated on how your brand benefits the customer in terms of value, convenience, and quality, and should prompt them to respond with a query, or better, a transaction request.

In the next part of the series, we will take a closer look at some more effective practices, as well as dive deeper into how customer behaviour shows that the need for direct marketing services is steadily on the rise.