Direct marketing is a form of business outreach that does not rely on conventional advertising. It is used by businesses to send information about its products and services directly to a targeted set of people who are predisposed to buy.
Regular emails from an online trading platform offering you stock investment tips is an example of direct marketing.
Other than email, direct marketing messages can be conveyed to likely buyers via:
- Text messaging
- Online display ads
- Phone calls
Direct marketing is used by business organizations to both inform their prospects or clients about their products and services and to persuade them to buy or take a step towards buying. That step could be checking out a website or making a phone call to obtain more information.
Improve your marketing ROI with these 5 tools
Engage those customers who are most likely to buy from you with these strategies.
Targeted online display ads.
Before we delve into the details of these five tools, let’s examine why direct marketing is a smart business move.
Advantages of direct marketing
The ability to communicate directly with those pre-inclined towards a product or service gives direct marketing an edge over traditional mass advertising, which targets all and sundry.
The high level of precision that direct marketing can achieve provides unprecedented advantages to businesses. These include the following:
- You can tailor the message to the exact needs and interests of your recipient.
- It’s extremely cost-effective because you communicate only with those who are predisposed to buy your product or service.
- You can closely track and analyse response to your marketing efforts and make improvements for even better results.
- Businesses can bypass traditional distribution channels like retailers and sell far more cost-effectively directly to the consumers.
There are a number of highly efficient direct marketing tools that your business could use to reach out to your customers directly. Some of these are given below.
Put your advertising dollars to the best use
Unlike mass marketing such as TV ads, direct marketing appeals to a smaller group of likely customers.
Phone calls are a very effective direct marketing tool, as they allow a business representative to speak directly to a current or prospective customer.
Because it allows a more personal interaction, telemarketing works well for both the seller and the buyer.
A company can connect better with their customers by way of a direct human-to-human conversation. One can:
- Explain product attributes.
- Answer questions.
- Overcome objections.
- Reach out to a larger number of people than with personal sales calls.
You can also track and tabulate the performance of your telemarketing team.
2. Promotional emails
Almost half the world uses email, of which 200 million are Indians. It is an extremely effective way to reach out to your target audience — wherever they might be.
Email gives you the advantage of creating personalized messages that directly address the recipient’s concerns.
Personalized emails build rapport, helping you both add new customers and retain the existing ones.
Email lists are usually gathered via a signup form you place on your website, blog or social media pages. It is important to only send emails to those who have chosen to receive such marketing communications.
An email is a very flexible instrument that lets you send plain text and graphics along with attachments. You can also scale up an email campaign at will, as well as track and measure its success. Experts recommend every email includes a call-to-action in it to push response.
Editor’s note: GoDaddy Email Marketing is an all-in-one tool for creating, sending and tracking promotional emails.
3. Text messaging
Texting is the fastest and most convenient way for a business to reach out to its current and future clients anywhere, any time. People are known to respond much faster to a text than to email or a phone call.
The potential of texting as a means of direct marketing cannot be underestimated in a country like India, with its 337 million smartphone users.
The principle advantage of texting is that a huge majority of the recipients of text messages read them within minutes of receiving them, leading to a very impressive ROI. Besides, with people always carrying their phones with them, texting is a great way to send time-sensitive messages. You can use information about your customer’s past purchase behaviour to send a targeted text message at an opportune time — say, during a sale.
4. Targeted online display ads
In today’s times it is not a question of whether one will opt for online display ads, but when. This is just as true of India, where 500 million people use the internet. Any business, regardless of size, cannot keep postponing the decision of tapping into the vast and enticing Google Ads and Facebook ad networks.
For the any Indian business eying a global market, online ads are the best way to achieve highly specific targeting at a low entry price. It lets it target very precise niches, thereby gaining them a competitive advantage. Besides, online display advertising lets one quantify ROI and calibrate one’s ad campaign, increasing or decreasing your spending according to the success achieved.
One might have imagined that newsletters wouldn’t amount to much in the era of instant communication and social media updates. But businesses continue to use newsletters to inform and educate their prospects and customers.
Newsletters work well because they are the cheapest way of delivering quality information to one’s prospects and customers.
Modern desktop publishing software makes it quite easy to produce well-formatted and visually appealing newsletters that can be mailed to a dedicated email list. These can be sent out on a regular basis to create a binding relationship with prospects and customers.
Digital marketing is fast becoming mainstream in India, with more and more businesses realizing the importance of making it an integral part of their business strategy.
Telemarketing, email, text, online display ads and newsletters are time-tested tools that have worked extremely well for a very large number of Indian companies. Add one or more of these strategies to this year’s marketing plan … and watch your sales increase.