Printed leaflets might feel out-dated in a world of social media; however, it can be a highly effective strategy as part of a direct marketing campaign. Offering outstanding return on the investment, you can reach more homes with direct marketing strategies than any online campaign.

Here we guide you through the world of direct marketing and why it might be the right option for you.

What is direct marketing?

Direct marketing is a means of cutting out the middlemen – hence its name. The main aim of such a strategy is to communicate directly with your target audience. It is promotional material presenting critical information about your product, service, or company to a specific audience group.  Your hope for the marketing material is to promote immediate action.

Direct marketing is appealing because it is relatively cheap, and it is easy to track the conversion rate through promotional codes and the like. If you take the direct approach online – with SMS and email – you can get a host of analytics that will help you to refine your campaign. Other strategies include coupons, targeted online ads, targeted social media ads and leaflets through doors.

One of the most common forms of direct marketing is mail. You create content that you send through the post into the homes of your customers. It is easy to be quite targeted with these mailshots, as you can send the right information based on location, age, gender, social status and much more.

Despite the potentials for reaching directly into the home of your market at a relatively low cost, direct marketing strategies are moderately aggressive. You could be perceived as intruding into the house and consciousness of your potential customers and so not achieving the hoped-for outcomes.  Consequently, any strategy needs to be well-planned and implemented carefully.

Why you should use direct marketing

If you choose direct marketing strategies, you have a lot to gain. For instance, it is a highly focused way of communicating with an identified group of prospective customers. Although a lot of work will have to be done by business intelligence to get the most out of the material, once sent to the right people, your conversion rate will be impressive.

You will choose direct marketing to influence the audience. It is a nudge campaign rather than an all-out assault on their senses. Therefore, it is a great way to show your continued interest in a relationship with your customers. The building of relationships is essential to create lifelong loyalty most desired by the successful brands. Direct marketing allows you to focus the communication, adding in personal elements and speaking to the individual.

Organic online traffic versus online direct marketing

Although all trends online seem to lean towards SEO and organic traffic, there is much to be said for taking your direct marketing online too. Using targeted ads, either on websites or social media is another tool in the box that could diversify your marketing plan.

Unlike mass marketing campaigns, the aim is to create impressions on the audience. Remember that direct marketing is more of a nudge than a shove, so you can use it to appear again and again where the audience visits. Using the sort of ads that show up once the visitor has been to your website, allows you to maintain the relationship with the potential customer. If you are a small business with only a tiny budget, you can make a deeper connection with the target market without spending a fortune. You can also tweak your campaign, optimising your results from the analytics you receive. Consequently, the return on investment is much higher.

If you use these targeted ads with people who have already visited your site, you can maximise opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. When a customer buys a lawnmower, there is a chance that they might soon need a shed or a strimmer. Using these ads helps you to plant this thought in the mind of the customer, creating an impression and desire as they visit other sites.

Just a hint of caution

Direct marketing can be an intrusion into the lives of your customer, which could damage your reputation. Therefore, part of a carefully crafted direct marketing strategy is seeking the consent of the customer for the relationship you are creating. If your audience has agreed to the messaging, they will then welcome it when it arrives. Not only will this make the message more effective, but it will ensure you retain your reputation.