A Business Owner’s Guide to Running a Direct Marketing Campaign
Direct marketing has a proven track record for engaging with customers – so learn the basics to begin exploiting its potential.
According to Central Mailing’s Direct Mail Statistics 2013, 48% of the UK population responded to a direct mail piece they received in the past year.
Whether postal-, phone- or email-based, the power of direct marketing has been proven time and again. And you don't need to be a marketing expert to harness its potential for your company.
Pick Out Customer Profiles
Marketers begin by drilling down into their database, creating profiles of their existing customers. This profiling process helps hone and target their campaign's 'message' to appeal to customers' identified needs and 'pains'.
Analyse your current customer database – or your accounts if you don't have a dedicated database:
Identify commonalities between existing customers. For instance, size, turnover, industry type and so forth.
These similarities can be used to inform your campaign – its voice, its angle and its offer – so you can target those specific customer types that are known to engage with your products/services.
Data Provider – A Powerful Ally
Bring a data provider on board to help flesh out your records and offer expert advice on how to create a database if you don't already have one. Their own extensive database will also offer additional information that can be added to your existing entries such as postcodes, telephone numbers and more; all of which can help you target the right person within a particular business.
A data provider will also be able to spot common database problems such as 'gone-aways', missing information, legal compliancy issues and more.
Sourcing New Clients
The most important part of your campaign is generating new business leads:
Use market research and your products/services' USP to identify potentially untapped sectors.
Spot gaps where you might be able to extend your reach and use direct marketing on a small-scale basis initially to identify potential new areas ripe for exploitation.
A Helping Hand
Rent or buy email lists or direct mail lists from a data provider – these will be specifically tailored to complement your own database findings/market research and open up a wealth of new prospects to target.
Producing the Campaign
With customer profiles and markets identified, it’s time to create your actual campaign. Unless you feel you have the appropriate skill set in-house to produce it, source a reputable copywriter and designer for your direct mailers (plus printer if you are undertaking a direct mail campaign).
There are a variety of platforms available online for sourcing individual creatives such as People Per Hour – or you may prefer to approach a reputable content/marketing agency to do the work for you.
... on costs here. How your message is actually presented to a potential customer is vital – first impressions count plus a great copywriter can hone your messaging even further.
Monitor what interest your campaign generates and collate campaign data for post-campaign analysis. A data provider can also help to analyse your data and offer fresh insights on how to move forward.
Identify and maximise the potential of your existing customer base.
Use a data specialist to create an easily-searchable database.
Rent or buy email lists or other direct mail lists to get ahead of the competition – and take the guesswork out of targeting your marketing campaign.
Hire creative professionals to ensure your marketing's message hits its mark.
Getting the data you need
Discover how to get the data you need for each stage of your campaign planning process in the guide ‘Your Campaign, Our Data'.