Direct Marketing

By Pat Smith

Direct marketing encompasses all types of advertising that let companies have direct contact with their customers. Internet marketing has opened the door to add numerous new advertising techniques that can further expand market reach.

In the past, direct marketing was comprised of telemarketing, postcards, and letters sent through the mail. Today companies can make use of websites, blogs, e-mail, digital newsletters, web advertising, and social media marketing.

Advanced technology has made it easy for companies to connect with consumers and provide personalized marketing messages. For example, e-mail correspondence and electronic newsletters can include the recipient's name, along with special offers personalized specifically for them.

This is accomplished by using software that utilizes information stored in your customer database. The same technology can be used with websites, blogs, videos, and other types of cross-platform marketing endeavors.

Personalized messages not only capture consumer's attention, but can have positive influence on their buying decisions. Making use of cross-platform marketing techniques can build brand awareness, improve response time, and help companies develop customer loyalty.

The solution to keeping existing customers and attracting new ones is to send targeted direct messages using a balanced combination of print ads, telephone marketing, web marketing, video marketing, and e-mail marketing.

It should go without saying that companies must track the results of every type of direct marketing campaign. Companies that use a variety of techniques often find it helpful to work with an online marketing consultant. Professionals can help owners create a strategic marketing management system and understand how to implement multiple techniques and monitor results.

An exciting advancement with online video advertising is videos can now be personalized to create an interactive experience. At present, there are only a few companies offering this advanced technology, but it is certain to become readily available in the near future.

Another exciting advancement is personalized websites. This type of technology lets companies include viewers' names on the website. When the customer visits the website they will see their name included in the sales copy. Personalized websites are also valuable for conducting online surveys and collect collecting data about the visitors buying habits.

Both of the above require business owners to develop a customer database. This can be accomplished by offering a newsletter subscription on website; providing an informative report delivered via an autoresponder series; conducting a contest; or having people provide their contact information in person.

One of the greatest advantages of direct marketing is it is easy to measure results. For instance, if you send out 100 postcards and receive 10 responses then you know you are obtaining a 10 percent response rate.

The same holds true for acquiring response rate from online marketing campaigns. If 100 people arrive at a dedicated webpage and 10 people participate in the survey, you can measure a response rate of 10 percent.

People that are unfamiliar with direct marketing will find it beneficial to participate in a marketing training course. It's important to fully understand how to make the most out of relationship marketing to maximize marketing dollars and acquire the highest response rate.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, nearly 55 percent of advertising dollars are spent on direct marketing. In 2010, companies spent $154 billion on direct marketing which resulted in nearly $1.8 trillion in sales. Obviously this method works.

If you're ready to claim your share of the direct marketing pie, Online Marketing DNA is here to help. We are a full-service online marketing agency that specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small-business owners expand their online presence.

Our services include: SEO marketing, lead generation, web design, local listings, and direct marketing. We work very closely with our clients and are limited to the number of people we work with at any given time. We invite you to browse online marketing blog and encourage you to contact us to arrange a consultation.