Nothing upsets me more than spamming under the guise of direct marketing. It’s really a pet peeve of mine. How dare you approach me and tell what you are selling without first asking me if I even want or need your help.
With the evolution of technology, direct marketing has taken a life of its own spanning from letters and emails to whatsapp and social media messages directed to the masses in futile attempt to become visible to whomever.
Now, don’t get me wrong, once done correctly, there are clear and unmistakable advantages to direct marketing such as:
- Connecting with your target audience in real time thus helping build relationships
- Instant feedback either positive or negative should help you ascertain if your strategy is working
- Speaking to your target in a relaxed ‘non sales like’ atmosphere may assist you in actually accomplishing a sale
- Providing content that your customer can now share with others thus increasing ‘word of mouth’
That being said, let’s focus on the “once done correctly” aspect of direct marketing for a moment. Put yourself on the receiving end of a random whatsapp or social media message for just one moment. Let’s say you received a message from someone wanting to sell socks. Just like that, out of the blue you receive this message “Get your one of a kind, custom made pair of socks in different colors for just $19.99 per pair. Tell me, your initial reaction will be annoyance, disgust, or maybe an expletive may escape your lips. It is safe to assume that a combination of these three queries would be going through your head at any given point in time
- Who is this person?
- Where did they even get my contact from?
- Who told them you would be even interested in buying this product?
The seller has automatically left a bad taste in your mouth so even if, in the future you wanted to buy socks, you are so not going to purchase from them.
As an entrepreneur, there are ways to get around these this and do direct marketing the right way
- Find out who your ideal customer is and where they are likely to be
- What frame of mind they would be in when receiving your message
- Figure out their needs beforehand to ensure your message is spot on – mind your language.
- Engage the customer and where ever possible ask for feedback
Let me give you a working example. A woman is shopping for a dress to attend a corporate dinner. She sees the perfect dress at the perfect price and tries it on. It fits….except the midsection doesn’t fall quite right. In the changing area there is a sign that says: We understand. Our new waist clinchers are designed for moments like these to keep you comfortable and looking your best!
That is what I call perfect direct marketing. The message is directed to the woman who is beautiful and does not hamper on the fact that she’s overweight but, like many women, may carry a little extra weight in the mid section due to childbirth. The message has connected with your customer on an emotional level by providing a solution to her immediate problem.
Another example, you provide party bags for children’s parties. Why not go to a local party supply store and ask that they give out flyers to their customers and maybe put a poster of your services in the window? Parents who are purchasing party supplies maybe in the market for someone with your services and, they will be in the right frame of mind to receive the message. Are you getting the connection?
Direct marketing, though time consuming, is relatively inexpensive and can help you reach your target audience, once you do the work to find out who they are. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there.
Another way to market directly is to make connections and create a mailing list and send out periodic emails giving valuable information to your potential customers. Valuable to their growth and development not what you think is valuable. Remember, you are building relationships so put yourself out there and get people to trust you. Do not be so quick to sell! Engage in a ‘Freemium’ campaign where you may give free items such as ebooks, videos or information to build trust and to establish yourself as a leader in the industry. Get them to believe in your product or service as much as you do, then sell the solution to their problem.
Always remember, no one likes spam! The last thing you want to be known as is annoying with a negative stigma attached to you. That is very hard to break from.
If you need assistance with your direct marketing campaign such as designing an effective strategy or assistance with partnering with appropriate companies that can help you with your business, do not hesitate to call at (868) 355- 1567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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