How to find customers with direct marketing

Direct marketing can be the most cost effective form of marketing

Direct marketing is targeting potential customers using direct mail, tele-marketing and fax broadcasting. Choosing from a large range of criteria for consumers and businesses you can pinpoint the exact audience relevant to your products or services.

Obtaining new clients is essential to the success of any business. Direct marketing gives you the opportunity to reach the most relevant audience for your product or service and create a direct relationship with them as an individual.

Direct marketing can also be used to develop an on-going relationship with customers to maximise their loyalty, value and consequently profitability over time.

Why use direct marketing?

Direct marketing is a term given to any form of activity that puts a company in direct contact with its customers or prospective customers to create and develop an on-going relationship. You can choose exactly who you want to target as opposed to other forms of marketing (e.g. placing adverts) which go to a mass audience, most of whom will not find your product or service relevant to them.

Direct marketing methods include direct mail, telemarketing, inserts, door to door distribution, fax-broadcasting and electronic media. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the direct mail industry is now worth £8.6bn to the UK economy.

How to choose a list The quality, accuracy and relevance of the list of potential customers used is one of the most important factors of a direct marketing campaign. The more thought put into its selection, the more accurate the targeting will be and the more responsive the campaign.

Firstly you must decide which product or service you wish to promote and then choose a list of the audience for which this is most suited. The list is selected from a wide range of relevant options.

These include area, industry type, turnover, size of company, job function etc for business data and area, income, age, marital status, home ownership, investment potential, interests etc for consumer lists.

Conducting a direct marketing campaign The more time invested in selecting who the product appeals to, the more accurate the targeting will be. Equally important to who is being targeted, is the message they are being targeted with. You must focus on your most important objective and keep the message clear to gain attention and create interest.

The prospective customer must understand how they will benefit from what is being offered. The message should close with an understanding of what is required of the recipient of the offer (they complete the enclosed form, phone the company, visit a website etc).

Campaigns should also be carried out in controllable quantities. If the campaign is too large it carries the risk of the response being too great to cope with. A smaller distribution is easier to handle and responses can be dealt with more efficiently and professionally.

Buying lists online Using the Internet you can quickly obtain details of the number of potential businesses or consumers in your catchment area who most suited to your product or service. You can vary your selections (e.g. company size, turnover, industry type, location etc for business lists and age, income, interests, details of any children etc for consumers) and carry out unlimited free searches until you are completely happy with the resulting list.

Buying online removes the restrictions of minimum order quantities so you can buy as many, or as few, as you need.

Purchasing online also means direct mailing lists can be accessed around-the-clock and the majority of data is available for immediate download. Some business, and all consumer, lists require approval of the mailing piece/telephone script. This is usually given the same or next working day.

Data is purchased by credit card or credit account and can be downloaded straight to your desktop or printed out as labels.

You must focus on your most important objective and keep the message clear.

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