There are plenty of marketing terms out there that sound similar but mean slightly different things. Today, we’re looking at direct marketing – which is often confused with direct mail. For those that don’t know, direct mail is a traditional marketing technique where you post marketing material to leads and customers. It used to be wildly popular and is still effective in some niche business domains today.
So, what is direct marketing? All shall be explained in this post, along with whether or not it’s the right technique for your business.
What is direct marketing?
In simple terms, direct marketing is a style of communication that focuses on directly targeting a customer or lead. You go straight to them with an offer in the hope that they will provide an instant response.
It differs from direct mail in two aspects:
- Some direct marketing uses direct mail, but it can also be done through other channels – like email or telephone
- Direct marketing specifically looks to get a response from the target, while direct mail doesn’t
When is direct marketing useful?
It’s a useful marketing tactic for any business that’s looking to improve its sales funnel. If you are struggling to convert leads, taking a more direct approach will help you improve your conversions and make more sales.
Additionally, it is widely used as an approach for follow-ups. This is when someone interacts with your business and registers an interest, but they take no further action. At this point, you have their information, you know what they were interested in, and you can directly target them with your marketing materials. The aim is to follow up and get that person to respond by making a purchase.
Furthermore, a direct marketing response strategy is super-effective when dealing with existing or previous customers. Here, you are armed with lots of information and data relating to that customer. Thus, you can use direct marketing to specifically target them with new offers, encouraging repeat purchases and long-term loyalty.
When isn’t direct marketing useful?
Direct marketing doesn’t make sense in the initial stages of a marketing strategy when you’re trying to grow brand awareness. It’s also not useful if you don’t have the contact details of specific leads or customers to target. As such, it should form part of your overall campaign, but isn’t something you should build the whole thing around.
With that in mind, should your business use this method? Almost every business will benefit from it in one way or another. For some companies, direct marketing is your main way of generating sales as you contact people directly with offers. For others, it’s used to follow up on leads and improve conversion rates. Then, it is also used to boost customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.
The bottom line is that this technique is specifically used to get a direct response out of customers or leads. The focus is on really selling your offer to the individual and giving them every possible reason to respond and make a purchase.