Direct marketing examples help explain the value to companies of embracing this marketing method. In this post, we’re going to see how direct marketing connects customers with businesses and creates or deepens relationships between them. The variety and strength of so many channels demonstrates that direct marketing is the single most effective way to sell.
What is Direct Marketing?
Direct marketing is a business of acquiring customers and getting to know them, and then continually delight them by meeting their needs and creating new wants so that they take action. It does all of this by precisely and constantly measuring successes and failures when offering products and services to a target audience.
As we’ll see in the below sections, many direct marketing channels provide companies with flexibility in reaching potential customers. If it makes a direct call-to-action, it’s direct marketing. As your main objective is to meet a prospect with the right offer at the right time, keep an open mind about channel propensity.
Direct Marketing vs. Indirect Marketing
Marketing techniques are very diverse. The wide variety of choices available to brands and companies differ from each other on one key aspect besides technology: the call-to-action.
Direct marketing is about moving or pushing the customer to act (e.g., make a purchase) as soon as possible. It usually targets a more specific audience or segment, even an individual. Every part of a campaign is measurable, so establishing response attribution and ROI is fairly easy.
Indirect marketing is more subtle in its approach. It is about brand awareness and engagement, building trust in your company by pulling prospects along. It uses multi-touch techniques like content marketing (e.g., live events, blogs, videos), social media, public relations, and SEO. Because the intent is long-term, not an immediate conversion, it may be difficult to attribute an eventual purchase to a specific campaign or channel.
What are the Advantages of Direct Marketing?
The advantages of direct marketing over other forms of advertising are impressive. Here are some of them:
- Measuring campaign performance and response
- Audience targeting with segmentation
- 1-to-1 personalization
- Improving customer loyalty
- Multiple affordable options
- Easy response
- Testing offers & creative
- Generating direct mail leads
What are the objectives of direct marketing?
So direct marketing has advantages over other types of communication. But to what end? What’s the big picture that you’re trying to achieve?
Here are a couple of overall goals for centering your marketing strategy:
- Save money – Direct marketing is measurable. You know how many responses (and orders) you get, and where they come from. This data helps you make decisions about continuing, revising, or expanding your marketing plans.
- Expand your customer base – Many companies started out small and grew to amazing proportions through direct marketing. Even established companies, like retailers, sell many more products through direct response channels than in brick-and-mortar stores.
- Create customer delight and loyalty – Retention is a serious challenge in direct marketing. It costs 5 times as much to acquire a customer as it does to keep one. So to save money here, and be sure that you actually market to the right customers, look at your ways to keep them happy with the right products and services.
- Make genuine human connections – You want to build your brand? Then you need to talk with your customers 1-to-1 as much as you do to segments.
Types of Direct Marketing (with examples)
There are many forms of direct marketing, each with unique strengths that benefit the companies that use them alone or in combinations:
- Direct mail marketing
- Email marketing
- Mobile/SMS marketing
- Messenger marketing
- Social Media marketing
- Direct response broadcast TV/radio/OOH marketing
Below is a brief description and image representing each type of direct marketing. Remember that in today’s marketplace, there’s already an expectation by many customers that you will reach out to them with a variety of techniques. And according to marketers surveyed by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), omnichannel campaigns pull better response than siloed campaigns.
Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail is powerful because it is trackable, segmented, and personalized direct marketing. Also, it excels at activating decision-making parts of the brain because it is tangible – ink on paper.
One of the best and most powerful direct marketing channels, email is low-cost, measurable, and great at reaching segmented audiences. Email also plays well with other channels as part of omnichannel campaigns.
Messenger Marketing is the process of reaching out to prospects for your products or services using Facebook Messenger or other messaging apps. Open rates are about 88%, reflecting how many Facebook users engage on that platform with businesses using an automated tool.
Reaching (or responding to) customers by telephone is by now an old-school direct marketing technique that works amazingly well for many businesses and nonprofits. It’s cost-effective and more broad than in-person calls, effectively generates leads and sales, and provides a human-to-human live connection.
Social Media Marketing
Social media sites (especially Facebook) contain lots of information about your customers. Posts, links, ads, interests, keywords, brands followed, etc. – all are data points that can be leveraged to generate offers, with easy attribution.
Direct Response TV/Radio/OOH Marketing
These more traditional advertising methods usually generate brand awareness and not much else. But if they include a response method, such as a dedicated phone number, landing page, or QR code, then any response is trackable.
Wrapping it up
Direct marketing is the most effective method of making a product or service visible and available to people who are most likely to buy.
These examples of direct marketing show that you have many opportunities to connect with an audience by getting inside the head and under the skin of your customers. Here at mailing.com, we have many years of experience in working with companies of all sizes to make direct marketing work for them.
Call or reach out to us today to get started on your marketing campaigns!