Developing a direct marketing strategy for new clients it struck us that although you can sell most things direct, some products and services particularly lend themselves to this medium. You look at them and think: targeted marketing, direct and digital campaigns, direct mail, direct response take-ones, emailings.
You could call these clients ‘direct marketing naturals’ and it is worth spending a few minutes analysing their characteristics.
Direct marketing naturals tend to be mass market businesses. Yes, you can sell solid gold accessories to tiny lists of high net worth fashion victims, but a key benefit of direct marketing is the relatively low cost per lead and, where a campaign has proved itself, it can be rolled out to more, similar prospects, further reducing the cost per sale. So it’s no coincidence that products such as mass market fashion, window blinds, household widgets, direct insurance and big membership organisations such as the National Trust continue to form the mainstay of the direct marketing industry.
These businesses have adapted and survived, rapidly taking on board the huge possibilities of digital marketing, combining it with tried and tested direct marketing skills to powerful effect. So tactics that have always worked – customer involvement in claiming discounts or entering competitions for example – can be made to work faster and in bigger volumes, by adding a digital dimension to the strategy.
They are often ‘similar but different’: like their competitors but with a twist – a usp or a set of benefits that sets them apart. Direct marketing thrives on a ‘theirs is great but ours is better’ type of message because, unlike a tv commercial or a Google ad, it has the space to explain why. Whether you are talking about a mailing, a doordrop or an emailing, direct marketing as a medium gives you room to tell the story: how this product’s design is better, 10 reasons why you should choose this insurance cover, what this roller blind service does which the others don’t.
Direct marketing naturals thrive on price-driven propositions. Although a mailing selling luxury business shirts might not shout ‘Save!’ as loudly as a plant catalogue, most direct marketing has a price proposition either at its core or, if it is well done, as a significant add-on that tips the reader into responding.
Which takes us to perhaps the most important characteristic of all. Direct marketing is often called direct response advertising for a reason. It is designed to prompt an on-the-spot response of some sort: a click thru, a purchasing decision, a request for more information. Most advertising would claim to do this, but there is a world of difference between planning a visit to a sofa store after seeing a tv commercial for their Bank Holiday sale and clicking on an emailing link to claim a 10% discount off an on-the-spot purchase.
Good direct marketers and their agencies know this and, wherever they can, they build in a means of tracking that immediate response so it can be traced via a source code to, say, a particular magazine, trade show or take one promotion. Its trackability enables us to analyse what type of people or businesses made the purchases – and find more of them.
Two Lizards are direct marketing specialists with over 60 years of shared experience across pretty much every sector, and for every type of client from bespoke fund managers to fashion catalogues to fundraising organisations.
With database development and management at its heart, as well as demanding and complex print production processes, direct marketing is not something the average agency can ‘have a go’ at.
If you want expert direct marketing, talk to experts. Talk to Two Lizards. You can find out more about our direct mail, direct marketing and specialist print production skills here. Or email or call us on 01403 731028. There’s nothing we’d like more than to talk about a direct response for your business.