The art of direct marketing

The art of direct marketing.

Despite all the advances in technology and the growth of social media, businesses continue to enjoy fantastic success from direct marketing campaigns.

Whether it be via email or snail mail, direct marketing puts you in touch with your core audience and it can be a fantastic way of communicating changes or reaching out to specific sectors that you are looking to target.

However, direct mailing can be a costly approach at times, so you must prepare a fool proof campaign that hits the ground running.

To help you make the most of direct marketing we have put together a helpful set of tips to deliver a stellar campaign.

Create a target list

Your audience may determine how the campaign is run and will affect your content, so it is important to create a database that reflects your goals and aspiration.

You may have heard of the 40/40/20 rule. This states that 40 per cent of the success of a campaign is based on your list selection, 40 per cent on what you offer, while only 20 per cent can be attributed to your creative execution.

There are many different ways to create a list. If you are targeting existing clients then you should maintain an accurate and up to date list. However, if you are looking for new leads then it may be necessary to purchase new data. Since GDPR this process has been somewhat complicated, but with some assistance, you should be able to find a list that suits your needs.

Choose the right platform

There are several ways to deliver a direct marketing campaign. The most traditional is of course direct mail marketing. This can be costly, but it can also be a very effective way of reaching your audience.

With the correct printed materials, you can make an important first impression and in an age of emails, it can offer a more ‘personal’ touch to a campaign.

A more frequent medium in today’s digital age is, of course, the e-shot. Cheaper to produce and easier to send repetitively to a large audience, eshots can offer greater interactivity and help to reach a more modern audience.

Looking ahead, platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook are now offering options to reach people digitally via their social media inboxes. Offering the benefit of delivering an instant notification to targets, these platforms may one day be the go-to option for many businesses.

However, what is most important is that you choose the right platform for your audience. If you are targeting an older group of people mail marketing may prove more effective, while for a more tech-savvy group a quirky, interactive eshot might be more suitable.

Make an offer that your client can’t refuse

You don’t want to give away your services for free, but there is certainly no harm in offering a value-added promotion. Something as simple as a free 1-hour consultation can be all that is needed to encourage a business to employ your services.

For those feeling more generous, you could offer a fixed-rate package of services, which will give clients some certainty in engaging your firm.

The key is to give your audience a reason to get in contact sooner rather than later. You could even make the offer time-limited to encourage them to contact you more quickly or tie it into an event you are holding to offer them more incentive to attend.

Write great copy, create great designs

The content you send out not only has to reflect your brand and its values, but it also needs to be visually appealing and make an impact.

Direct marketing relies on first impressions. If you send out content that is boring and unengaging then you aren’t going to achieve much success.

Research has proven that attention spans are much shorter these days and so the copy should be punchy – it needs to get directly to the point.

Designs should be bright and appealing. You want people to think WOW! when they open the letter or email. Failing to achieve this means it will more than likely end up being deleted or thrown away.

Call to Action

An important, but often overlooked element of any piece of direct marketing content is the call to action. This is the point at which you encourage communication and should be short, sharp and to the point.

Use a strong command verb to start your CTA, which directs your clients to what they should be doing next.

You should also use words that provoke emotion or enthusiasm and gives them a reason to take the desired action, this could include a fear of missing out (although certain sectors do have rules in regards to sales that involve undue pressure).

Keep the client in mind

This point is so easily missed, but it is critically important. When creating content, always keep the client in mind. Don’t try and bamboozle them with technical talk, get to the point and do it in a way that anyone can understand.

If possible, get someone who is not involved in the business to review it or try and place yourselves in a client’s shoes.

You don’t have to outline every issue or provide them with the solution. The reason they will be coming to you is for you to deal with things and handle it for them.

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous or even humorous if it is appropriate.


If you send something out and you don’t get a response you may feel like the campaign was a failure, but sometimes things require a little more persistence.

If the budget allows, try and create a campaign that employs follow up communications. You don’t have to pester people, but it doesn’t hurt to remind them of what you are offering.

It is also very important that you are responsive to leads. Don’t wait a long time and if someone shows an initial interest then follow up with them.

Get the experts to do it for you

To maximise your chances of creating a successful direct marketing campaign it makes the most sense to engage an agency that can handle every aspect for you.

They will take away the strain of creating effective materials, handle the mailing and provide guidance on where to take the campaign next.

Our team have more than 20 years’ experience creating and running successful direct marketing campaigns.

Why not contact us today to find out how we can help you reach out via direct marketing.

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