There are lots of ways to reach your potential customers – advertising, social media and networking, for example. One of the most effective ways to get your brand in front of the right people is direct marketing. This is about talking to people individually – it’s more targeted, more impactful and can bring better results. If you’re thinking about using email marketing for business leads – or any other form of direct marketing, you’ll need a strategy. And that starts here.

Why do you need a strategy?

All marketing campaigns – from social media and internet marketing to media advertising – need a strategy. Without one, you can’t measure how successful you have been, or see where you could make changes to do better next time. Investing time in building a strategy means you can be more targeted from the start, and your campaign is more likely to generate results.

What do you need to know?

The first thing to do is decide what type of direct marketing you want to use. If you have the time and resources, you can use a multiple channel approach – for example, a mailshot followed by an email, and then a telemarketing call. But for many small businesses, there’s often only the time and budget for selecting one of these options to begin with. So choose whether you are going to concentrate on email newsletter marketing, telemarketing, text marketing or printed mail – the most common forms of direct market.

Once you know what your channel is going to be, consider the following:

What are you selling? Direct marketing usually works best when you have a single proposition. So if your business sells products, choose a single product or product line, rather than trying to sell everything at once. Similarly, if you sell services, decide which service you want to highlight.

Who are you selling to? Based on your choice of product or service, take the time to define your target audience. You might want to target people in a particular postcode, or who have particular jobs or income levels. You may also want to target people who have bought from you before, but who haven’t been customers since – this will all depend on what you want the outcome of your campaign to be. You could use digital media marketing services to help you with audience research.

Campaign timing. When is the best time to put your message in front of your audience? If you are targeting seasonal events like weddings, Christmas or back to school, you’ll need to make sure your message lands well in advance. If you’re offering last-minute deals or bargains, you might have more flexibility with timing.

Message frequency. Is once enough? Or do you need to get your message in front of your audience two or three times? You might want to give your audience up front notice about an offer, sale or new product launch – and then remind them closer to the time.

Offers. Giving your audience something that you’re not offering to anyone else is a great way to give your direct mail campaign some impact. Just as social media and marketing campaigns offer discounts to people who follow or share messages, you can offer exclusive discounts or bonuses to people who receive your direct campaign message. This also makes it easier to track response.

You will also need to think about how you are gong to measure results. Using either promotional codes for people to use at the checkout, or QR codes so that people can visit your website helps you to see how many people have taken action. Print mail is the hardest to track, so if good measurement is important, try using managed email marketing campaigns – they are much easier to track and report.

If you’re considering direct marketing, use these tips to help build a strategy that gives your campaign focus and direction. And if you’re looking for support to help you plan and run email marketing for business leads – or any other form of direct marketing – why not call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above to find out how we can help?


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