to Drive Your Small Business Sales and Revenue.
Recently I read in a small business LinkedIn discussion group that digital marketing is the surest form of marketing for a small business that is looking for growth. I was looking for short answers to share about direct vs. digital marketing. Hours later, I found plenty, short and long answers. Here’s the short.
As a publisher of a quarterly newsletter, Direct Marketing Success, I have an enormous collection of Direct Marketing articles, white papers, case studies and reports. I frequently use social media to share my direct marketing knowledge with a small business. Or just about any other channel known to find a small business.
When I do get involved in discussions over the Internet, some are surprised that I use and promote direct mail. Direct mail is like a dinosaur, extinct, gone for good.
Yet, I know a lot of companies that use direct mail. The mailers I know even use the articles I write for our quarterly newsletter as marketing tools to promote their own business. On some occasions, we use a Pterosaurs to deliver the goods!
Direct Mail is a channel of direct marketing.
Direct Marketing is much more than a single communication channel like direct mail.
“Direct marketing means delivered directly to a single customer through any channel the customer may use or prefer.”
Direct mail started as an advertising tool after World War Two. In that period of time, most advertisers used radio or newspaper, the most common channels to advertise. Television was on the horizon, but at that time in history, people owning a television, was just beginning to grow.
Direct mail took off as a great tool for a small business.
When I changed the name of our publication in January of this year, during a visit to the paper and digital archives, I uncovered some valuable information when digital began its ascent in marketing.
Specifically, Direct Marketing with mail has many different tactics to reach customers. A marketing message can gather the reader’s attention with captivating copy, an impactful design, and crafting an offer that is hard for anyone to refuse.
However, direct mail embraced digital marketing, (although it was not called digital), with more tactics to dazzle the reader. For example:
- Companies tested their direct mail messages in small (50k) sample sizes and analyzed the data for its potential to increase response.
- List companies built segmented databases of “like groups” lists for relevant direct mail targeting specific audiences.
- Direct mailers were one of the first users of what we now call CRM.
- Direct mail companies studied their mailing results looking for behaviors to increase response.
- Innovative direct mailers were studying email and website data from their service providers, 15- 20 years ago.
Direct marketing is a great strategy for small businesses to apply in their marketing today. When you need to reach a customer directly, digital and direct marketing techniques are the two leaders to deliver the message.
Yes, direct to the mailbox still works. Add any other communication channel to get a higher response. Plus, the data collected, stored and analyzed, teaches marketers about the customer’s preferences, leading to better messages for future marketing communications.
Sound familiar. Yes, direct marketing and digital marketing were made for each other.
Looking for additional ideas? “Offer: 10 ways to use the direct marketing and mail basics… and kick butt today in your multi-channel and digital marketing.”
Please let me know what you think about direct and digital marketing? Do you use it? If so, in what way?
Want to learn more about us and how our approach to learning marketing services can work for you and your organization?
Take our All Marketing Is Direct to Customer journey today.
At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.
Need more information on direct and customer-centric marketing? Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct.
Our data policy: Any data shared with us, stays with us.
© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.