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 contacts
The 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 date
All marketing lists go out-of-date with time, and an outdated list will seriously hamper the success of your campaign.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 objective
Before 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 SMART
Your 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 mechanisms
To 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 testimonials
Including 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 testing
Once 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-up
Calling 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 expectations
Before 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 properly
The 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.