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Use Direct Marketing to Increase Sales

Messaging is Key

2/25/2021 | Danette Gossett, From Good to Great

In marketing a brand there are basically two forms of promotion: image based versus lead generation or direct response (direct marketing).

I am sure you are very familiar with both. Maybe you do not understand the overall complexities of each, but we have all been exposed to them.

Think Nike’s Just Do It campaign. Everyone knows they sell a large variety of sports clothing and equipment. In this campaign they reinforced the belief that you will do all your activities better if you use/wear a Nike branded item. Nike promoted this message to a wide audience. They did not initially target any specific market segment. They also did not ask you to buy a specific item during a specific timeframe. They were just reinforcing their brand image that you could “Just Do It” if you had a Nike product.

And it worked.

Does your Client have Millions to Create Impact?

However, it typically takes a long time and millions of dollars to create the impact and ongoing repetitiveness necessary for consumers to know who you are and what you stand for just by seeing a logo.

Unfortunately, most businesses do not have the budget (or time) necessary to achieve that type of recognition. So, what do you do? How can you help businesses create an image and sales!

One of the ways is to understand and assist businesses in the other form of promotion, direct marketing. And in today’s business environment it is even more urgent.

Direct Response Demands Immediate Results

What is direct marketing? It is a form of communicating the benefit of your client’s products or services directly to their customers or target prospects so they will buy from them versus their competition. And one key ingredient is encouraging them to buy now.

While most direct marketing utilizes all the same forms of promotion as imaged based: advertising (TV, radio, newspaper, magazines including online ads) and social media, as well as direct mail, catalogs, email, and more. We are going to concentrate our efforts on direct mail marketing.

Messaging is Key

One element that is important is developing the message to appeal to a specific audience to push them to purchase now!

When helping your client craft their message you want them emphasize that if there is a problem then your clients product or service is the solution. I’m not talking about issues necessarily. Think about what your client sells and what problems they can solve. Is it faster, is it less expensive, is it unique in anyway?  

Help them develop the message to show prospects that this is the product they need. This is the product they will love because it will make their lives easier. If done correctly, they will want to buy it, now.

In addition, most effective direct response promotions also include a time limitation. You want to instill a sense of urgency, “Don’t Miss Out” for instance. And I am sure you have seen and responded to claims of “Limited Time Offer”. I know I have!

Promotional Products Can Increase ROI

Promotional products are a key element in getting attention to many of these offers. In a direct mail situation for example, a bulky package is opened more often than a flat envelope. Making the overall response rate higher (more inquiries = more sales) and increasing the ROI (Return on Investment). It makes sense, what do you go to first when you get the mail? Something that stands out!

And now that many consumers and business professionals are working remotely, mailing directly to homes is a necessity for all promotional marketers to understand.

It’s not always just throwing a few items into a box and sending it out. Help your clients understand that it could be more than just a thank you or an introduction to the business or their employees.

Partner with Direct Mail House

I highly recommend you partner with a direct mail house that has in-house capabilities for printing, list brokerage (find the right list for your client if they don’t have one), variable data options (having a name or other data specific for each recipient) and fulfillment. You become the one-stop solution for your clients (and you can charge a fee for this service).

A direct mail shop will assist you in understanding the mailing parameters as well as help you develop the best solution for a customized mailer; be it a box, an envelope or a post card. Some of our industry suppliers also help with different types of mailing services and now is the time to be exploring them and becoming an expert in their capabilities.

Expand your Sales

1.    Sending a New Product Sample to Prospects (you or your clients)

Include a card inviting them to complete an online survey to get a free gift or a discount. You can gather more data about their buying habits, seasonality, what their needs are now, what are their pain points, as well as their email address which you may not have, for other types of promotional programs.      

The client gets great information and you get to provide the next mailing!

2.    Onboarding Employees

Right now, many employers are hiring and the new employees may feel left out.

This provides you many opportunities to help. Suggest sending branded apparel that they can wear to the next zoom call; a personalized water bottle or tumbler with logo and their name that they can use at home and when they return to the office; Notebook and pen that helps them keep organized.

The list goes on an on, but it also can be an ongoing program to help keep not just new employees, but all employees engaged and appreciated.

3.    Signature Required

Yes, there is the option on signing most documents online, but that’s not necessarily what I’m talking about here. By including a pen or other writing instrument in your mailer, it indicates an action needs to be taken (and it makes the envelope bulky). Consider reaching out to non-profits as all need help right now. While many have online programs more and more of those solicitations are getting caught in spam folders and ignored. Help them reach their goals.

Non-profits are always looking for ways to increase donations and many send regular mailings, help them get a better response!

Direct Response Promotions Grow Business Now

Direct response promotions are a great way to grow any business, now, effectively. Because direct response by nature of the offer provides the ability to track what the best offers are that drive prospects to action. That way you can ensure a good return on investment (ROI) for your clients before they spend too much. It is not hard to help your clients with their marketing efforts beyond the more traditional use of promotional products with just a little self-education and partnership.

One thing to remember is that you must always be re-evaluating your offers and your delivery mechanisms. An offer that works today, may not work as well 6 months from now so do not let your clients (or you) forget to keep analyzing your results!

Danette Gossett is the founder of Gossett Marketing, co-founder of Promotions Rescource LLC and co-author of the best-selling book “Transform” with Brian Tracy. Danette utilizes her more than 30 years of advertising agency and corporate marketing experience to develop effective promotional campaigns and products for her clients. Visit GossettMktg.com or SalesPromo.org and follow us on twitter @MarketngTidbits. 
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