Beginners Guide: Learn the Basic Direct Marketing Tactics, Post # Two

It’s wise to use them today in your Digital Marketing for better response.


I always loved to try changing a marketing tactic that goes a bit above the grain. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

In 2000, we were writing and designing a post card for our company marketing. During an office meeting on customer’s projects, an employee was reporting on website data from a customer’s web site. We were paid to track companies who visited their website. The project was rudimentary, and nothing like what we have today.

During the meeting, I asked her if we can do something similar with our own post card mailing. She said the supporting copy from our offered white paper in the post card could be added to our website. To drive people to our website, the contact us page was changed and the white paper brief added.

The post card copy offered two ways to get the paper. Call us and we’ll deliver it or read a brief on the Contact Us page on our website.

The only thing I remembered from the mailing of the 1500 post cards was 253 people went to the web site page. The mailing was one of our best, and the response proved it.

It’s good to learn about new and exciting tactics, but it’s vital to remind ourselves about the basics now and then. If you’re new to direct marketing tactics, here are a few more of the basics to try in future marketing campaigns.

  1. Do direct marketing, not something else. Every direct marketing message must include three elements:
  • First, it must have an offer.
  • Second, it must include sufficient information for someone to make an immediate decision on that offer.
  • Third, there must be a mechanism to allow someone to respond to the offer.

If any of these three elements are missing, you are not doing direct marketing. Those who prefer to use direct marketing mail generally provide a means of response, such as a landing page or an email address.

If you decide to use a landing page make a clear offer and provide information, such as free shipping. If using email, capture the email address with a special crafted offer for surrendering their email address to your company.

  1. Don’t fall in love with one format. The beauty of direct marketing is that you have nearly infinite choices for how each piece of the program is constructed.

Direct mail packages give you the ability to enclose a variety of items. Self-mailers offer simplicity but can be large or small, detailed or simple.

Post cards are simple and inexpensive and an excellent choice for use with a landing page.

There are catalogs, invitations, newsletters, and the list goes on.

New formats in social Media are being created all the time. Videos are now found on Twitter. LinkedIn provides a convenient location on a person’s profile page to post an article, called the Pulse.

Use Facebook to reach out to your followers to determine the potential buyers who may respond to an ad placed on your company page.

Sometimes all you need is another format to perk up your direct marketing response.

  1. Always be clear and direct. Communications 101 dictates that a message is successful only if people understand what you’re talking about and if what you’re saying makes sense. Are your descriptions clear, or do they sound like mumbo jumbo to your customers?

If you’re asking for a purchase on a landing page, are you sure your prospects understand the call-to-action on the landing page? Have you explained your offer clearly, or would an ordinary person have to ask follow-up questions?

Are you using the language your prospect will understand, or insider buzz words? Are your order forms easy to fill out, or are they mini-I.Q. tests?

  1. Don’t make changes without testing results. It’s natural to get bored with your direct marketing CRM. In fact, it’s still the biggest failure in any direct marketing campaign in my twenty-five years plus. The CRM issue may finally change with recent technology making them easier to use and the importance of multi-channel marketing.

But making changes just for the sake of changing something is unwise. If your direct marketing works, never change it until you have test results that prove something else works better. Every change should be based on data, not a whim.

  1. A marketing team is clearly the best organization a company can have to increase response and revenue. In general, Marketing is very difficult. A company completing a marketing program has a lot of choices to make for the best return.

The consumers who receive marketing messages have a lot of choices as well. The company can hope for a response, but hope is not a marketing measurement. The answer you are looking for is right here.

Your answer is data. Collect it. Analyze it. Mine it. Work it. Save it.

Every company needs a marketing team. Quite frankly, all of your marketing must be directly relevant to every consumer. They may appreciate the relevancy more than you can imagine.

If you have any questions add them below in the comments section or send an email to

Comments are cheerfully welcomed and responded to!!! And thanks for reading. Need a few more ideas to keep your marketing rolling in the right direction?

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30+ years in marketing. 30+ years as a small business owner. Love music, photography, gardening and just about anything outdoors!

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