No business can be truly successful without an efficient marketing strategy. But for modern entrepreneurs who are not exactly marketing wizards, it can seem like a complex world of strange acronyms and unfamiliar complexities with results that can be difficult to gauge. And in fact, it can still be a strange world with difficult results, even for lifetime marketers and specialists in the field.
Two of the main reasons why modern small business owners do not reach their full marketing potential are:
- They do not have the necessary knowledge and expertise in the field.
- They do not have the time to learn marketing or gain expertise
Small business owners are some of, with a constantly full plate and full hands. They may be experts in their respective fields or industry, but that is not all it takes to build and maintain a successful business. From print advertisements and TV commercials to SEO and social media, marketing is an entire industry unto itself– and one that many small business owners have little time for.
However, direct response marketing is one area of the field that offers several advantages for small business owners and can be truly effective for nearly any type of business. In addition to opening up a direct line of communication with your clientele, direct response marketing:
- Provides a great return on investment (ROI), no matter your marketing budget
- Produces easily measurable results
- Helps increase the overall efficiency of a sales force
- Allows businesses to reach outside of local areas or traditional markets
- Builds real relationships with customers and clients
What is Direct Response Marketing?
Whereas all effective forms of marketing should be targeted towards a certain group of people and seek to engage with that target market, direct response marketing takes that engagement a step further. It is designed to elicit a specific, measured response resulting from a potential customer’s direct response to the marketer.
This type of marketing can be used to ask for customer emails on your website, solicit comments on an article, produce social media responses and similar forms of direct engagement and feedback. Before the digital era, most direct response marketing was done through telemarketing and direct mail. While these can still be effective in many industries, the internet has opened up a universe of new possibilities for this efficient form of marketing, and small businesses have benefited greatly.
Effective Direct Response Marketing
In addition to the time-honoured traditions of direct mail and telephone calls, modern direct response marketing can take the form of:
Calls to action (CTAs) on your website
Emails that are designed to elicit a certain response
Comment requests on blogs and social media
For example, if you own a commercial locksmiths, Melbourne based company, you could begin an email campaign with asking about client’s biggest security concerns. If you run a bakery in Seattle, you could create a survey with different Seattle-themed cupcake designs and allow customers to decide which one you will make. The method of your campaign, as well as the specifics therein, will depend largely on the type of business you own.
It is also important not to forget about the time-tested, tried and true methods of direct response advertising that can be just as effective today, namely direct mail and telemarketing. Telemarketing is not always the preferred option for many modern small businesses, but it can be very helpful to hire out a firm to do this, especially if your business is more old fashioned or not technology-based. Direct mail, on the other hand, can be greatly beneficial and cost-effective for nearly any type or size of business. Unless you own a company that is specifically an antagonist to snail mail, providing people with a tangible, material item they can hold in their hands has a certain power that should not be underestimated.
Direct responses can be one of the simplest forms of marketing for those who are not experts in the field, as the results are easy to measure and quantify. However, even the best direct response campaigns should be used in conjunction with other marketing techniques as part of an overall strategy. Bringing each element together can help ensure real results and a productive business.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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