- Marketing Tip One: Define and learn about your target audience
- Marketing Tip Two: Perform research
- Marketing Tip Three: Assess your previous results
- Marketing Tip Four: Formalise your business goals
- Marketing Tip Five: Define your marketing tactics
- Marketing Tip Six: Agree your marketing budget and resource
- Marketing Tip Seven: Continually evaluate your results
- Marketing Tip Eight: Be flexible to changes
Are you looking to boost the return on investment (ROI) of your direct marketing efforts? Then these 10 tips provide essential reading.
In the right hands, direct marketing is a cost-effective tool for generating sales. In addition, it’s great for making contact with potential and existing customers. For this reason, direct marketing is also a powerful method for promoting your products and services and creating brand awareness for your business However to get your business in front of the right people, at the right time, you have to know what tactics to use and when. With that thought in mind, the following 10 tips will help improve your direct marketing efforts and boost your return on investment.
Tip 1: Choose the right contactsThe success of any direct marketing campaign relies heavily on the data you use. It must be well targeted at the type of individuals or businesses that are most likely to purchase your products or services. Make sure you understand the profile and key characteristics of your best customers, so you can seek out and target more prospects just like them with your marketing campaigns.
Tip 2: Keep your list up to dateAll marketing lists go out-of-date with time, and an outdated list will seriously hamper the success of your campaign. Expensive mailings can end up straight in the bin, and time can be wasted on telemarketing calls that don’t connect to the right prospect. Close to the beginning of your campaign date, refresh or purchase a new list to give yourself the best chance of reaching your target audience and minimising wastage.
Tip 3: Define your campaign objectiveBefore purchasing any data, ask yourself: “What am I trying to achieve with this campaign?” Some businesses launch a campaign to generate leads and orders, others aim to raise awareness of their brand and products. Determining your objective is the first and most important step in any direct marketing campaign because all other steps should drive towards achieving that goal. Without a clear objective, it is impossible to determine whether or not you’ve been successful.
Tip 4: Make sure your objectives are SMARTYour campaign goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. With SMART objectives documented, you can make sure that you are focused on making progress towards achieving them, which should have the greatest positive impact on your business.
Tip 5: Include an offer, call-to-action and multiple response mechanismsTo generate high response levels, your campaign needs to excite your prospects. One of the best ways to do this is to include a time sensitive special offer in your communication – and then shout about it. It’s no good if your offer doesn’t stand out and grab attention. The deadline will give the prospect a reason to respond quickly. Plus a clear call-to-action will tell them what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. Some prospects will prefer to call, some an email, while others will prefer to visit a landing page on a website – where they can get more information and complete a call back form in their own time. As a result, you should try and include all these different response options in your direct marketing campaign.
Tip 6: Include testimonialsIncluding a customer testimonial in your direct marketing campaign is one of the most compelling messages you have at your disposal. You’re not saying how great you are, your genuine customers are! A message from your customers provides a greater impact because of its objectivity and independence from your company.
Tip 7: Keep testingOnce you have delivered your first campaign, it’s important to measure your response and then try to improve it with your second campaign. What’s more, you should repeat this process for every campaign you launch, as testing and learning what works best for your target audience is vital to success.
Tip 8: Call to follow-upCalling your prospects after a direct mail or email marketing campaign is a great way to personalise and reinforce your message. Following up with a timely phone call will help you to turn more prospects into leads, which, in turn, will help increase sales and revenue.
Tip 9: Have realistic expectationsBefore you spend time and money on conducting your campaign, you should work out how many leads and sales you are likely to generate. This will give you the confidence that all your hard work will provide the positive ROI that you’re looking for. This might sound difficult, especially if you haven’t done much marketing previously. However, you can set realistic expectations about response rates to determine how many leads you are likely to generate. For example, a typical direct mail response rate is around 1% of the total volume you mail. So if you send out 1,000 mailings you can expect around 10 enquiries back. For business email campaigns to cold prospects, you can expect around 0.5% in clicks, of which only a portion will become actual leads.
Tip 10: Track your response properlyThe more mechanisms you include for response, the harder it can become to keep track of how many leads your campaign has actually generated. If you include a telephone number, you should include a unique quote code so you can track the resulting leads. If you include an email address, either make it unique to your campaign or again ask the prospect to quote a code. Finally, if you direct prospects to your website, make sure it is a dedicated campaign landing page with a uniquely trackable form. Following each of these tips will help you significantly improve the number and quality of the leads you generate, and ultimately your sales and return on investment.
With reference to the New Business Data (New Connections) service that Market Location are providing me with, please find my testimonial below for your use as you see fit. The new business notification service has proved to be a valuable part of my marketing strategy. As a sole trader I have to be careful with both my time and money, and so far I have found the service to provide a good return on both those things. I opted to have the data sent through on a daily basis, and have found that I therefore need to be able to dedicate a small amount of time every day to dealing with it. It’s no good saving it up to do one big monthly calling session, or mailshot – you have to strike while the iron is hot. For that reason, if you’re not able to put this time aside on a regular basis, this probably isn’t the service for you. But if you can, it’s great to be able to get your foot in the door before anyone else. Market Location have been extremely helpful throughout the process. From the initial sign-up to checking up on how things are going their reps are more than willing to give you advice on the best way to use the data they provide. In general I would say this is a service where you definitely get back what you put in. You may need to work a little harder to secure the deals, making time for cold calling or sending out letters, but this means that the relationships you form are strong and will probably last longer than others. Yours sincerely, Kevin Sanders (Owner)
We examine our New Connections new business data to look for trends in the types of businesses starting up in the UK.
This infographic gathers data from the Market Location Database of Businesses to track which counties had the most new businesses established in 2013 and which types of businesses had the biggest increase across the UK.