Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Marketing

The Term marketing basically refers to informing about the value, use, benefits and advantages of the product to the customer or buyer. Marketing is divided into 2 categories direct marketing and indirect marketing.

It is very important for every business in today’s world to know how to market a product it does not matter if you are selling a hair pin or an airplane you have to market your product. It’s not going to sell itself.

What is direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is basically a system where once the goods are manufactured and ready for use they are sold directly to the consumer by using different marketing methods that connect the buyer to the manufacturers goods directly, and there are no middle men involved.

This is done by connecting to the consumer directly using different modes such as Telemarketing, Email Marketing, SMS, Social Media marketing etc.

Advantages

From the point of view of the customer or consumer the advantage is that it does not increase the price of the product that they are buying, compared to products that are not marketed using direct marketing techniques. This would involve a price rise due to commission from retailers and wholesalers

From the point of view of the manufacturer it gives them exact and proper feedback about their product in terms of customer reviews as they are communicating with the consumers directly and do not have to depend on information from retailers or any other middlemen involved.

Disadvantages

The disadvantage of direct Marketing is that most people do not like to be approached directly by people who want to sell them something. In other words people hate to be sold too, but they love buying. They feel they will find out about a product when they want to buy it.

From the point of view of the Marketing executive or Marketing Manager they prefer these Methods of direct marketing because you are not wasting any energy, time, or money as they are reaching out to the potential customers directly.

How to use Direct Marketing?

If you are interested in using direct marketing techniques for your business then here is a list of a few methods and how you can use them.

Email Marketing

In today’s world everyone uses emails to communicate thus sending out an email directly to the person is a very effective way to market, but you have to be careful of not spamming them. You should have permission from the person to email them with offers. You can do this by asking them if they are comfortable in providing their contact information so you could send them an email. But you should remember to always allow them an option to unsubscribe or stop the emails.

Telemarketing

This is one method of direct marketing that most people do not like a lot, or do not prefer as they feel they shouldn’t be disturbed anytime of the day asking them if they are interested in buying or using a service or a product. So the best option is to record a voice mail of the offer and send it out to the user and they can block or accept the call according to their wish.

SMS

Another method of direct marketing which is very useful in today’s world is sending out a bulk SMS to a list of potential customers this is better than telemarketing as the customer does not get disturbed and can check the text message later when he feels like.

According to me direct marketing is very effective and useful. But in order to do that you have to build a good relation with the customer before you start sending out any products or offers that they could purchase.

I’d like to help you if I can. I had a great time writing this article, I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to being in touch with you again soon.

The Basics and Tips of Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is an approach to product marketing communications that doesn’t employ contemporary marketing channels. This ultimately means that deals are done directly between the manufacturers and customers without involving channel intermediaries such as distributors, retailers and wholesalers. It is a strategy commonly employed by electronic manufacturers and banks in dealing with their clients directly. Brands that employ distribution channels target marketing communications towards distributors, retailers and consumers, while directly market brands communicate directly with clients. Direct marketing may employ tools such as direct mail, mobile telemarketing services, and voicemail marketing among others.

Marketing directly has been found to be the most cost effective avenue and form of marketing. By the use of direct mail, telemarketing services, email marketing and leaflets drops, the system allows you to focus on customers with utmost accuracy unlike the majority of marketing techniques. It is distinguished in a number of ways. Firstly, direct mails are sent to clients. This comes in an array of ways including email addresses, web browser cookies and mobile messaging. Secondly, marketing directly aspires to drive a precise call to action. In this case advertisements may give free call lines to clients for information. Careful preparation prior to the approach is however necessary to achieve utmost investment, achieve adequate response rates and to avoid contacting individuals who don’t desire receiving a direct mail in direct marketing.

The process of marketing the things directly presents with an array of different approaches. They comprise of traditional methods like telemarketing services, mail shots and modern approaches that include mailing lists, mobile messaging and social media. The most appropriate of these approaches will ultimately depend on the customers targeted, the information to be passed across and the response you wish to generate.

For most companies direct mail has proved to be affordable, manageable and therefore mostly employed. These are companies that lack effective and adequate expertise and capital to utilize electronic direct marketing approaches. Direct mails are cost effective and are likely to generate more client responses unlike majority of direct marketing approaches. Direct mail focuses information directly into the hands of the customers that require it. It is therefore very effective once well planned and coupled with high quality mailing list.

It allows you to aim at a specific group of clients especially with the use of direct marketing leads. The use of these leads ensures that you focus your time and energy on the endeavors that matter to your business. They enable you to communicate adequately with clients, increase your sales and to grow your business. Leads in addition allow you to focus the right amount of resources where they are likely to produce results, gauge the success of advertisements and other campaigns, and most importantly to test your marketing. Direct marketing leads hence increases the sales of your business to existing clients, builds client loyalty, reestablishes failed customer associations and generates new business ideas.

Marketing is not always a cheap task, but with direct marketing leads where you focus your campaigns on the precise businesses and people owning them, it will definitely pay off. Once you get your leads, make sure that you reach the right customers. You may get your leads from Bressers who will in addition help you reach prospective customers.

What Does Direct Marketing Cost?

For the purpose of this article we will be talking about direct mail, telemarketing and email marketing. With direct mail, you can mail out a simple letter, a colourful postcard or small package with a sample of your product. Telemarketing allows you to speak directly to your prospects and inform them of your product or service. An email campaign can be as simple or elaborate as you want, providing your prospects with quick links to your website.

You can also try to do all three! The key to marketing is repetition. By reaching out to your prospects using different marketing methods, you strengthen your initial message. This also gives your prospects a variety of ways to respond, which will improve response rates.

Of course, the costs associated with each direct marketing method will vary for each form. Regardless of the form you choose, there are a few things to think about when setting a budget for your direct marketing campaign.

The first cost is going to be the list you use. Unfortunately, there is no absolute cost to a direct marketing list. Your list cost is going to vary based on what type (mail vs telemarketing vs email) of list it is, how many records are on the list, what data elements it contains (how targeted it is) and how it was sourced (compiled, subscriber, direct source, etc). There is also variance in costs from one list owner to another as their compilation methods vary as well as cost and procedure involved in maintaining the accuracy of the data.

Based on list type, a mailing list is usually cheaper than a telemarketing list as it’s just a name and mailing address. A telemarketing list will have name, mailing address as well as a phone number. The extra cost for the telemarketing list is the extra element of the phone number.

An email list than has name, mailing address and email address will normally also be more than a simple mailing lists. There are email lists that contain just name and email address, and these tend be cheaper. Depending on what kind of marketing campaign you are planning, you might want to steer clear of these email lists as the sourcing of this information might not be entirely reliable.

The more records on a direct marketing list, the cheaper the cost per record. For example, you may pay $.05 per record when purchasing a mailing list with 5,000 names. That same list could cost $.02 per records if you purchase 1,000,000 names. This is because list owners will offer volume discounts.

List owners also impose list minimums. If the number of records falls under their minimum, they will charge a flat rate. This means if they charge $250 for a minimum thousand records, and you only want 500 records, you will still have to pay the $250 minimum.

If you want more targeted lists, or specialty lists, these will cost a bit more. In general, the more data elements, the greater the cost. A simple list of females in Seattle is going to cost less than a list of female nurses in Seattle with a good credit rating who own cats. Although a finely targeted list may cost more, they should perform better than a broadly targeted list. You will have to determine if the added cost is worth the improved response rates.

After the cost of the list, the next expense will be the delivery of your message.

If you choose to send your message out by direct mail, you will have to take the cost of printing and postage into account. By using postcards instead of envelopes, you can almost cut your postage rate in half. If you purchase a large enough mailing list. you can mail out en masse, allowing you to qualify for bulk rates.

If you decide to use telemarketing, the size of your telemarketing list will help determine the cost of your campaign. If your list has only 1,000 names you can probably call the list yourself, keeping the telemarketing campaign in house, which will obviously keep the costs down. If you are working with a large telemarketing list, you might want to consider contacting a call center. A single caller at a call center typically makes around 100 calls per 4-hour shift. Of course you’ll have to pay for the service.

The costs associated with an email marketing campaign are probably some of the lowest. You will have two options, you can either purchase an email list and send the emails out yourself or you can have the list owner deploy the list on your behalf. The size and the frequency of the emails should help you decide which option is best for you. If you plan on emailing to the list very frequently, it would be more cost effective to send them out yourself. However, if you plan on sending out to a large list you might want the list owner to send out the emails on your behalf as they have dedicated servers that are whitelisted allowing for better deliverability.

As mentioned before, there is no straight answer to what a direct marketing campaign is going to cost. It’s like going to a car lot and asking what a car costs. There are many variables that go into the cost of a car – year, make, model, etc. It is the same is with direct marketing. The best advice is to find a knowledgeable list broker who can explain all of these options and help figure out the best direct marketing campaign that will work for you. List brokers don’t charge for their services and will know which is the most cost effective method of direct marketing for your product or service.

Prospects Influential Inc. is a team of experienced direct marketing list brokers with access to over 70,000 direct mail lists. We provide targeted direct mailing lists to both B2C and B2B companies, from large corporations to small businesses. Our list brokers help our clients achieve maximum returns from their direct marketing efforts by recommending and then providing the best quality mailing lists available.

Benefits and Challenges of a Career in Direct Marketing

Internet or Direct marketing may be a new term in our dictionaries however it is not a new concept. Direct or Internet marketing is ‘the’ way to send a message to the customer directly through various channels that eliminate the middle men or indirect means to interact with the customer. This has been done since marketing began albeit in undefined ways and now with the advances in technology, Direct/Internet marketing has become the most preferred way to reach the customer directly to promote a product, a service, a company… a message.

Direct marketing is a preferred way of knowing how the intended product PR message is faring with the masses because the responses can be quite immediate. That is why with the increasing competitiveness in businesses and the need to reach out to the customers in a more effective manner, a career in direct or Internet marketing is a very rewarding. Everything depends on marketing and whether a product will sell or not and whether the masses will pay heed to a social awareness message or not, depends mainly on how well it has been marketed.

With the way the world is growing closer… not smaller… closer due to the internet and the ease of being able to find any sort of information online or through other channels like the mobile phone, emails on the internet, advertisements, and many more; sending a message to them directly is not a challenge. What could be better than actually communicating with your customers? The only challenge is that with many direct marketing strategies being used, people thinking of a career in direct marketing may have to resort to their creativity quite often and having that is definitely a plus.

Many people think that direct marketing is not an honest field to have a job in and that is mainly because many big and small companies and even individuals have misused the power of interacting with customers directly and flooded them with constant interactions. This has left a bad taste in customers’ mouths and most of them don’t like being contacted anymore. This makes the job quite difficult… but not impossible.

The thought that a career in direct marketing is not a good idea is right and wrong, based on where you’re looking at it from. If you plan to succumb to the unethical ways for short term but immediate profit by flooding the customers with constant messages and emails, then direct marketing may not be for you however, if you are creative and have a knack of creating relevant and quality communication, then direct or Internet marketing may just be the thing for you because that is what it is all about; effective communication.

With the amount of knowledge we can share today and the level of understanding we have towards various cultures, various age groups, and their demands, direct marketing is the best way to promote a product or a company and used effectively, this can be a very strong tool that may be difficult for the competition to beat.

If a person is interested in pursuing a career in direct or Internet marketing they need to find schools to make sure they learn the right tricks of the trade and understand the basics of this amazing phenomenon. Communication and a basic understanding of how the human mind gets motivated are the two very important tools for a direct marketer however a few other things that will be good to know are:

Mass media
Behavior change therapy
Qualitative and quantitative research methods
Marketing and communications

There are many more courses out there… you just need to find them and make the best of them to be a successful marketing person.

The writer is a freelancer who likes to write on a variety of topics, she has been a life skills trainer and is deeply involved with sharing knowledge with others to help them make informed decisions and also writes for a variety of online clients.

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.