Using Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a common strategy used in business as a method of reaching potential customers. It is not to be confused with direct response marketing, which is a similar but slightly different strategy. While with direct response marketing, consumers respond to a direct offer from a company, direct marketing simply involves the business choosing a niche market and using different methods to promote a product to that group. With direct marketing, the business takes the time to directly engage the potential consumer rather than wait for a response to an advertisement. For example, while direct response marketing would place a general advertisement on television and leave the ball in the consumer’s court to show interest and make a call, direct marketers attempt to identify potentially interested individuals and contact them directly to promote a product.

Identifying a niche group is crucial to effective direct marketing without wasting time and money. Many good articles are available that detail the use of a niche group. For the purposes of direct marketing, a business identifies a demographic of consumers whom they believe would be likely to benefit from their product and even take this group into consideration when manufacturing a product. In a good strategy, marketers target this group directly rather than marketing to consumers in general.
A good comparison between direct response marketing and direct marketing is to imagine that in direct response you, as the marketer, are waiting for customers to bite, while when using direct marketing, you are directly asking the customer to bite.

A major concern with the marketing strategy is the possibility of consumers becoming overwhelmed and irritated by constant contact from marketers. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in this day and age with the overabundance of spam material sent to consumers. For this reason, it is imperative to develop strategies that have the best possible chance of garnering customers. The last thing a business wants is to overwhelm customers to the point of scaring them away. Whatever form of advertisement you choose to use, aim for the goal of making sure that your future customers are excited to hear from you and that every contact with them is positive.

There are several ways to go about identifying potential target consumers and marketing your product to them. The use of email has become the dominant method today. Companies will often pay fees to one another to share email addresses of their customers. This is where the spam concern enters the picture. Make sure to only contact customers who have given consent to have their email addresses used for the purpose of informing them of promotions regarding a certain type of product. Offers can also be sent directly through postal mail.

Direct marketing has its advantages and disadvantages in comparison to direct response marketing and other promotional methods. Most of the disadvantages surrounding this method involve logistical marketing difficulties and the complexity of identifying potential customers. When done in an effective way, direct marketing can prove to be a lucrative strategy.

How To Profit With Article Marketing

Internet users are always looking for good content, and one of the best ways to make money online is to write articles which drive traffic to offers that you have. There is a lot of work involved, but at least it won’t cost you a lot of money to get going.

Keyword research is the first thing you will need to do. The trick is to find what people are looking for on the internet and then using those keyword phrases to generate articles that will direct them to the products that they are looking for. Try to find keyword phrases that have a lot of searches but not too much competition, and in this way it will be easier to get your article to page one of the search engines for that particular keyword phrase.

You can either use your article to direct your customers to your website, which will have various offers for them, or you could direct them straight to an affiliate website. If you are submitting your article to article directories, just check the fine print, as some directories don’t accept affiliate links, only links to your own website.

Some article sites will let you embed active links into the text of your article. For instance, if you write about a holiday in France, you could then link up relevant keywords with a travel agency that would give you a commission if the reader books a holiday through them. Use your article several times on your blog, website or article directories and you should get a lot more traffic.

You don’t have to be a wordsmith to write an article, you just need some time and some thought put into your article. If you write often, you will get better and quicker and it will become easier. Remember with article marketing, more is better. The more articles you can write and get out there, the more traffic you will generate.

A good domain name purchased and forwarded to your chosen product, will work well for something that you promote a lot. This makes your link look friendlier and more professional, and more article directories will accept links like this.

Never copy other people’s articles. A lot of article directories ban you for plagiarism. Rather write your own unique content with your own spin on it or hire a writer to do an article for you. Once you have submitted your article, promote it in the social sites, bookmarking sites and forums for mazimum exposure.

I am sure that you will agree with me that article marketing can be very profitable indeed if done regularly and over the long term.

Be a Marketer

Have you ever spent money on advertising but then didn’t get the results you felt you should have? I know I have. Any of us who have ran a business has had this happen to us.

According to the ad rep, you just didn’t do it often enough, or for a long enough period of time. In other words, you didn’t spend enough money with him.

Well maybe you’ve heard this definition of insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting different results. So who’s insane, the rep, or the person who keeps giving him money for the same thing expecting different results?

You’re told that what you need is “exposure”, when you know what you need is sales.

Unless you have endless funding to create a brand name, you probably don’t have the budget to buy ‘impressions’ and hope for the numbers to eventually tilt in your favor.

You want return on investment NOW, you want RESULTS!. When you spend $1 in marketing you’d better get $2 back in sales – better yet, $3 or $4 or more, depending on the Life-Time Value of your clients.

Let me show you what I mean.

Recently, I decided to sell my pickup. Who was my target market? Someone looking for a pickup. Where would I find that market? Places where pickups are advertised – because that’s where someone looking for a pickup is likely to be looking.

I could have just put a sign on my truck and waited. Or put a sign in my yard. After all, thousands of people see my truck every day. And hundreds of people drive by my house every day. But what percentage of those people are looking to buy a pickup? One percent? Probably less.

But of the thousands of people looking at the truck ads in the paper, or on the internet, how many are interested in buying a truck? A lot more than one percent.

What’s the difference in these two approaches? The sign was way cheaper – or was it?

What was the ROI? Zero.

The internet ad I placed was $40.00. My truck sold for $20,000. What was the ROI? I got results because I employed the principles of Direct Response Marketing.

I wasn’t interested in building name awareness in the general public’s mind so that one day down the road, when someone out there became interested in buying a pickup truck, he’d call me. No, I needed results NOW.

I determined who my target market was, used the right medium, and delivered an effective, “matching”, message.

Now it’s true that if you offer a product or service that many will want eventually, such as window washing, but not all of them want it now (so we’re not talking groceries here), you should design an ongoing marketing strategy that will move the ‘not now’ folks to come to you first when they are ready.

But it’s wasteful to spend your marketing dollars on those that will never use your service or product. (e.g. Renters don’t usually pay to have their windows washed)

That’s where target marketing comes in. Unless you sell groceries, the general public is too big a target. Kinda like blowing up the whole barn to get rid of the hornets’ nest under one of the eaves.

Direct Response marketing is the answer for the small business owner with a limited advertising budget. And an essential strategy for a large business with a large advertising budget. In either case, an effective message to a targeted audience will get you the results you desire.