Direct Marketing System

A direct marketing system will usually involve submitting advertising and promotional materials and opportunities directly to a potential customer. Usually there is some kind of connection between the purchasing habits and preferences of the targeted consumer and the product or service that is being offered. Lists of home addresses, phone numbers or electronic mail addresses are frequently compiled when a consumer makes a purchase. These list are then made available to companies and advertising agencies. In some cases, the lists are purchased out right. However, it is not uncommon for these lists to be rented to clients who wish to connect with a targeted market. Some examples of a direct marketing system could include traditional mail campaigns, telemarketing, email advertising, door to door sales, home party sales, consumer response radio, television or display ads, and direct marketing websites. In most cases, this contact with potential customers is unsolicited. Email campaigns are one exception. Opt in email advertising involves sending out promotional messages to recipients who have given permission beforehand. In this way a message is distinguished from spam emails that are generally not welcome in a consumer's in box. Passivity is not encouraged with this type of advertising. In most cases, a consumer is asked to take action. Such actions could include answering a survey, linking to a merchant website, or actually making a purchase. Some campaigns will be very targeted while others will use more of a blanketed approach, sending out multiple messages in a random manner, in the hope that at least some of the messages will meet with success.

Utilizing a direct marketing system has proven to be a very popular approach over the years. One of the reasons why this approach tends to be popular is that marketers can quickly and easily measure the effectiveness of these campaigns. Since consumers are encouraged to take action, it is easy to calculate success. If ten thousand mailings were sent out and three thousand responses were received, the marketer knows exactly how successful the campaign was. If the results are satisfactory, the methods may be repeated in future campaigns. But if the results were disappointing, the marketer knows that changes need to be made before a new campaign is launched. One of the most common types of approaches that may be used in a direct marketing system is called direct mail. Most consumers are familiar with this approach. Junk mail, as these messages are frequently called, arrives in most family's mail boxes on a regular basis. Post cards, circulars, and catalogs can be used to effectively acquaint potential customers with a particular product or service. Telemarketing is another method that may not always be welcomed by consumers. Contacting potential customers by phone is being done with less frequency since the advent of the do not call list in 2003. Email marketing campaigns can be more successful and tend to have a better reputation. This may be because of the opt in feature that insures that messages are only sent to interested parties.

One factor that can be very difficult to measure in a direct marketing system is the level of annoyance and bad will that such campaigns might produce. The National Do Not Call registry has provided consumers with a way to opt out of receiving phone calls that sell a product or a service. This registry was put in to place as a result of consumer complaints. Receiving phone calls during family meals and at other inconvenient times was frustrating to many consumers. By adding their names to a national list, consumers made sure that marketers were prohibited from contacting them. Having a choice as to whether or not to receive such calls is important to many families. The negative connotations that are associated with telemarketing campaigns can make this a less than appropriate promotional choice for many companies. Businesses that violate the terms of the Do Not Call registry may be subject to hefty fines and penalties. Junk mail can have an equally negative connotation. Having mail boxes that are crowded with postcards and pamphlets may be seen as annoying by many potential customers and can negatively impact the perception of a particular brand. However, items such as catalogs may be more welcome in many homes. There are options that are offered through the Direct Marketing Association that protect consumers from unsolicited mail. These annoyance factors must be considered when choosing a direct marketing system.

In spite of consumer annoyance, utilizing a direct marketing system can be very effective. This effectiveness is usually measured in higher sales revenues. And since marketers are appealing directly to the customer, the response time between the initial appeal and the sale is shortened. If this approach did not yield such strong and easily proven results, it would not have remained popular for so many years. The Bible tells believers to lean on the strength that God provides. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." (Ephesians 6:10)

Offering coupons can be another effective method of implementing a direct marketing system. Placing coupons online or in print media invites potential customers to take part in an interactive way. Door to door sales was once a popular method of face to face contact with customers, but has declined in recent years. Home parties have declined in popularity as well, but still linger to some degree as an effective way to sell and market products. What ever approach a company might choose, connecting with customers directly can be a very effective method of increasing sales.

Direct Marketing Solutions

Direct marketing solutions include designing a website to make an impression on visitors and customers with quality content and one that is easy to navigate. So that a website can be found easily a direct marketing consultant can help to make it search engine friendly. In addition, a consultant might work closely with a company to make the website a mirror image of what the company is trying to convey. A website should convey a brand, company name, a logo, products and services, a link that explains the mission statement, and frequently asked questions to help a visitor to learn more about the company. Optimization tools can make search engine ranking higher with the help of relevant keywords and keyword phrases, relevant page titles, and Meta tags that can be found by search engines. Some other benefits with advertising solutions include tracking competitors, email with potential and current customers, and advertising through business listings and with major directories.

Designing a website is one of the most important aspects of having an online business. Direct marketing solutions may include design templates to choose from that can be customized with chosen graphics and fonts. Ecommerce designs include a shopping cart for customers to purchase products or services easily online. The site should be easy for a customer to navigate with simple instructions and links that leads to the process of choosing items, shipping methods, payment methods, and checkout. Marketing solutions may include many professionally designed portfolios to choose from. Advertising should always be done with integrity and with the awareness that business should be conducted wisely. "And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face for ever" (Psalm 41:12).

An existing website that is not helping to secure sales may need to be redesigned and include search engine optimization (SEO). A direct marketing consultant can do an analysis of a site and make recommendations for changes that will help to increase traffic and boost sales. In addition, the changes can include a site that is friendly with search engines. Targeting keywords and keyword phrases is one way to improve SEO along with informative and quality content. A website owner needs to understand the importance of providing quality and appealing information to visitors and customers. Other ways to redesign a site to be search engine friendly is to have relevant page titles and Meta tags. Page titles provide search engines with information that describes the content of web pages. Meta tags give search engines descriptions based upon either a sentence or keywords. When a search engine spiders through a website to find relevant information it will look at page titles and Meta tags.

Being able to track a competitor's success with web pages, internal navigation, page titles, and keywords can help a business to get a better idea about what might be successful for their website. Direct marketing solutions may have research tools that will assist with identifying traffic statistics. An internal navigation of a competitor's site might reveal some important information. If a competitor seems to have a great deal of success with affiliate ads, keywords, and blogs then these should be noted when setting up or redesigning a website. Other things to look at with a competitor include press releases, products, solutions, as well as news and media coverage.

Email marketing can be a great way to find out if customers are satisfied by conducting surveys and having a blog so that a customer can provide feedback on products and services. An email newsletter helps to provide a professional template for a company that includes the name, contact information, and logo. A direct marketing consultant can help a business owner design a newsletter and put together quality advertisements and articles. In addition, using software can be very helpful when trying to connect with customers through email. Software makes it possible to send bulk email to all customers at one time. Using a template makes it easy to add images, graphics, and text. Software allows the owner to view the results of a campaign after implementation. Email advertising is low cost and is very popular because of this. The main thing that a company needs to keep in mind when using email for advertising is to not be guilty of sending unsolicited emails. To avoid customer dissatisfaction there should always be an option with every email for opting out. In other words, a customer should have the choice to discontinue receiving advertisements.

Advertising with business listings helps to provide additional exposure. Standard listings online are usually free. This includes the business name, address, phone number, and website address. Enhanced listings provide more exposure with top of the line ad placement that includes graphics, feature logo, and the ability to add quality content about products and services. Direct marketing solutions will normally advise a client to include listings with several different online companies. The ideal business listing has contact information, payment options, products specifics, business summary, links to the website, coupons and promotions, and customer reviews. Online business listings that go into great detail usually cost the most but they will also provide the potential customer with vital information and a link to go immediately to the site.

A profitable website will include a compelling design that directly reflects the mission of the business. Each page should reflect what is most important about that page. Quality content is one of the most important aspects of web design. Without quality content a visiting potential customer will become disinterested quickly. A direct marketing consultant will understand the importance of having related information that makes the customer feel they have learned something just from visiting a website. When learning about something ties back in to the products and services then there is a higher chance that a sale will happen.

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