Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Understanding the Business

Direct marketing is a fairly simple concept to grasp - it doesn't involve traditional advertising techniques, but instead communicates directly with customers through the use of direct mail: emails, e-newsletters, fliers, catalogues, business letters, or coupons, to name a few. Several modern tools are used to beef up one's direct marketing campaign, including address validation, use of database on neighborhood demographics, and many more. But here are the basic things you need to know about direct marketing, and how to get on the road to success.
The benefits of direct marketing are wide-ranging. Its success is easier to gauge than conventional advertising forms, because you can get data on response and sales rate and compare the cost of advertising with total sales incurred. It also goes directly to your existing customers, along with potential ones who can be converted given a better understanding of your products or services.
Direct marketing can be done in various ways, including direct mail. It can be unaddressed and widely delivered, for instance fliers distributed inside a supermarket. There are also catalogues, fliers, and brochures on new stocks, promos, and special deals, which are sent to customer addresses and may require optimized tools like programmable Web services on zip code, demographics data, and related information.
Email is another extensive mode of direct marketing, with customers spending more time online nowadays. E-newsletters are sent out daily, monthly, or quarterly, keeping customers updated on new company offerings, after-sales services and product care, industry news, or simply company feedback for product or service improvement. It's low-cost to do, enabling you to touch base with subscribers with good planning, layout and design, content, and efficient mail delivery system.
To build a customer database means to know your customers' contact details, and if you want to target potential ones, you'll need to build a profile of the typical customer you have in mind. Your resource can be from a simple spreadsheet to a more targeted database software or service, which you have to pay attention to because it is a valuable business asset.
Target certain demographics by zip code, for example. There are Web-based tools these days that offer fundamental demographic data at the block level, with each profile containing complied information like area distribution by race, age, ethnicity, income, and education. Eight million unique neighborhoods in the United States can also be covered by a neighborhood demographics service like this. Block-level demographics provide better customer insight, help determine new markets, and segment your target markets and identify fraud through like-region comparisons.

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