Direct marketing is a classic technique where companies send advertisements to individual consumers. Classic methods included mailers and catalogs, while newer methods may be social media, e-mail, and interactive television or websites. The best tips for direct marketing include clear verbiage, a call to action, avoiding fluff, and changing what does not work. In most cases, direct marketing should have a specific purpose and a target audience. Tailoring each marketing method to these areas is standard for achieving maximum results from the marketing method.
Clear verbiage is necessary to quickly and accurately inform consumers about the goods or services available for sale. Many individuals only spend a few seconds scanning direct marketing items, regardless of the method. Stating the goal or purpose of the advertisement is necessary to avoid losing the consumer’s interest in this short time span. A common technique is to include fewer words and more pictures or creative looks to the advertisement. The type of advertisement and style or format is often different depending on the delivery method as well.
A call to action is necessary to inform consumers what they should do once they've received a direct marketing advertisement. Catalogs may include sale notices or coupons that require a consumer to purchase goods by a certain date. E-mail or online advertisements may list a link to a coupon or website that offers special deals. Consumers must know that the advertisement is not a reading exercise. The purpose of a call to action is to keep the consumer interested and engaged in the advertisement.
A common problem with direct marketing advertisements is to include too much information or fluff that is not necessary to the advertiser’s purpose. Companies should avoid this problem. Consumers who cannot cut through the fluff in order to find the direct marketing message may soon stop reading the advertisement. In some cases, the advertisement may not appeal to everyone due to its busyness. A lack of strategy may also be a perception consumers have about poor advertisements, leading to low opinions about the company sending the advertisement.
Many forms of advertisements — including direct marketing — are not without drawbacks. Companies need to look at the response rates and determine how effective each advertisement is in drawing consumer interest. Once the company knows what works and what fails, they should avoid repeating the latter. Altering advertisements also keeps the notices fresh and will hopefully draw new interest from consumers. Rotating messages can also improve marketing interest if consumers are looking for the advertisement and any deals associated with it.