engage magazine issue 005 \\\'07 - Page 66

66 ASK ENGAGE Quick Guide HOW TO PART 5 Direct Marketing Every business needs to be marketed to be successful. Even word-of-mouth is a form of marketing! In this issue engage’s Business Editor Colette Machado looks at different forms of direct marketing that will help get your business noticed and get you sales – direct mail, leafleting and handouts, telemarketing, and email marketing. Direct marketing is the way in which your business makes contact with existing or potential customers in order to generate sales or raise awareness and it tends to allow you to target customers more accurately than other forms of marketing. Direct mail, leaflet drops, telemarketing, and email marketing are all forms of Direct marketing. For many businesses, it is the cheapest form of marketing. But in order to make the most of direct marketing your campaigns need to be thoroughly prepared in order to get the response rates you want. Although you can use direct marketing to target both businesses and customers you will need to change your strategy for each group. limited resources where they are most likely to produce results; measure the success of campaigns accurately by analysing responses; test your marketing on a smaller target group before developing a full campaign. The drawback of direct marketing is that results are not guaranteed. Make sure you are aware of the laws that govern direct marketing. information. Commercial list providers can provide you with mailing lists, however, of both relevant business and/or consumers if you don’t have your own (for a fee of course!) Details of list providers can be found on the Direct Marketing Association website at www.dma.org.uk. Leaflet drops and handouts Due to being less targeted, leafleting, tends to bring lower response rates than direct mail. It is however probably the simplest and cheapest form of direct marketing. If you want to promote your business in your local area ie taxi service, gardening services, etc, unaddressed leaflet drops and street handouts, may be ideal. When handing out leaflets you can decide whether you need to get your leaflet into every building in the area – blanketing - or whether you just want to hand out information to people in the street near your business. If blanketing, you can also have your leaflets posted, which sometimes leads to more people reading the leaflet than if dropped through a door. To find out how effective your campaign has been, include some kind of incentive for feedback ie a small discount for the first 100 customers who bring in your leaflet. Make sure you include any offers in your overall budget for the marketing campaign. Direct mail – using your database Direct mail, seen by many to be junk mail, can be very effective if properly planned. It allows you to get information about your products and services directly to people who may be interested in it. As well as a letter, you can include other information such as a product brochure, orderform and pre-paid reply envelope. For a successful direct-mail campaign you need to have a good mailing list, the most successful, if managed well, being your database. You will know who your recipients are and can target them accordingly. Not only should it have your customers’ names and addresses, but having more specific information about them and their habits will make it more useful. It should also be kept up-to-date. If you don’t you will be targeting people who may not live at a particular address any more or have their changed their email address and therefore will not receive your The benefits of direct marketing Direct marketing allows you to get responses from targeted groups of customers. It enables you to focus engage | uk ISSUE FIVE 2007