The technological revolution has rocked a number of industries from newspapers to network television. Marketing has felt the force as well, and direct marketing has taken on a deeper meaning as social media and virtual presence put you in your customers’ lives to an unprecedented degree. However, with those changes has come increasing sophistication in customers. The campaigns that used to hit a sweet spot now miss the mark with a tech-savvy clientele.
Instant satisfaction comes with instantaneous communication. That’s why you can put these tips to work right now and improve your marketing success rate.
Clean your lists. Direct marketing is…well, direct. If you’re working from an outdated list full of dead ends and detours, you’re taking an indirect route to find your customers – if you manage to find them at all. Working from a clean list also lets you customize your message, improving response rates and reminding your customers that they’re more than just part of a target demographic to you.
Clean your website. Think about how you feel when shopping in brick and mortar businesses. When you see orderly racks, pleasant lighting and harmonious colors, you’re probably tempted to spend more than you would in a shop that felt less welcoming. Making a few changes to your copy to enhance your SEO viability couldn’t hurt, either. Fixing broken links and adding vital information shouldn’t take more than a short while unless your site’s so out of date that you need a full overhaul. If that’s the case, don’t delay – every minute that customers visit a poorly maintained site could represent lost sales.
Deliver an unambiguous message. Another way to be direct in your direct marketing is with plain talk in an up-front format. Print ads in magazines and on billboards can get away with hiding sneaky details in small print the way a spinach-hating child might tuck the hated dish under a few forgotten fries, but direct marketing campaigns don’t have that dubious luxury. Tell your customers about your offer, show how it benefits them and make it easy to respond. An email blast with 150 well-chosen words speaks more to your customers than 500 meandering words that outline your offer instead of describing it directly.
Build a stronger brand. If your art department, writing team and marketing personnel don’t communicate, you muddle your message. There’s a reason that financial institutions don’t pick adorably quirky fonts for their letterheads and logos, and it isn’t just a mutual distaste for Comic Sans; it’s a matter of presenting a unified brand image that suits the service they’re selling. Changing your logo and letterhead isn’t a right-now prospect, but editing your copy to reflect your brand’s personality should be a quick fix. Bring your remote copy writers in on a conference call or make them a part of weekly meetings. They’re your voice, so be sure they’re speaking with the company’s intended tone.
Make a better offer. You don’t have to give away the store, but giving your customers more in exchange for their time and attention will generate more interest. Even cost-free ways to add value to your campaign bolsters its effectiveness. Get creative with brainstorming offers that move fence-sitters to the right side of your fence. Sometimes it’s a sale, but don’t jump to that easy conclusion; price has a greater influence on decisions not to buy than on decisions to buy. Gifts with purchase, access to exclusive video instructions and partnerships with other companies can give you some low-cost possibilities for adding value.
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