Direct marketing communicates with consumers through mail promotions, television commercials, radio ads, pay-per-click ads and product catalogs. This form of advertising is preferred by small businesses because it targets a specific audience while increasing revenue and brand recognition. Additionally, direct marketing effectively uses limited resources with its precise client outreach, says The Marketing Donut. Consider your customers’ preferences and your company’s budget when choosing one of the following direct marketing strategies.
Mass email marketing is popular right now. Be bold and go back to snail mail. You’ll not only stand out from your competitors but will also have a better chance of being seen in a physical inbox than a virtual one. Include a brightly colored coupon or sale announcement if you decide to use this direct marketing approach. Individuals looking for a good deal amidst their junk mail will appreciate the gesture. Not convinced that direct mail is a good choice over email? According to The Harvard Business Review, direct mail has a higher response than email. Plus, an informative brochure or eye-catching flier makes your company more memorable.
“We were trying to be as scrappy as we could to get off the ground,” says Wayfair’s Senior Marketing Director Nancy Go in an interview conducted by Advertising Age. For instance, instead of hiring an actor, Ms. Go chose to act in their first television commercial to keep production costs low. Since then, the Australian home decor online retailer has hit 35 percent awareness with 10 TV ads. In other words, a young company with a small budget must think outside the box. FitSmallBusiness suggests saving money on television ads by keeping your market small, buying a commercial from a local broadcaster or choosing a non-primetime slot.
Radio ads are less expensive and air more often than television advertisements, states Chron. This direct marketing option is great for small businesses that can’t afford a TV commercial. To create an effective radio ad come up with a detailed customer profile and match it to the radio station. For example, a public radio study by Arbitron found that jazz stations have a dominant demographic of college-educated male listeners over the age of 65 living in Louisiana. Not surprisingly, businesses with a similar target audience do better when their commercials air on jazz stations.
Not all direct marketing must be done offline. Pay-per-click ads generate a large amount of traffic without the high cost. Search engines place PPC ads directly in search results and businesses bid an amount for each click. The company with the highest bid on a keyword has a better chance of appearing at the top of the page. Due to this system, PPC is only effective for small businesses if the bidding is not an exorbitant amount. This direct marketing strategy is great for companies looking to advertise their product and brand at the same time. However, care must be taken so you don’t get caught in a bidding war, says Portent.
Product catalogs aren’t just for advertising your company’s products. Catalogs also create one-on-one communication between the company and the consumer. Furthermore, combining a print catalog with an online catalog is the best way to use this direct marketing strategy to your advantage. In fact, 94 percent of catalogs also have an online version, shows a survey by the Direct Marketing Association. Tap into the power of catalogs with one that positively represents your brand and speaks to your target audience. Also make sure to use a direct marketing database to ensure your company’s catalogs are reaching the right people.