Direct Marketing on the Internet: Steps Toward Success

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It is a common misconception that direct mail, one of direct marketing’s oldest and most effective channels, is becoming obsolete. In fact, direct mail and direct marketing are alive and well. However, with the emergence of digital marketing, direct marketing has become a more interactive, Internet-driven channel. Shifting direct marketing tactics online can foster easier customer data acquisition (i.e., demographic, psychographic, and behavioral), which can assist in building a reliable customer database for targeted messages.

Successful direct marketing campaigns need to incorporate both online and offline tactics. Direct marketing on the Internet can present marketers with the opportunity to gather customer data as well as deliver targeted messages that will ultimately lead to success.

Converting Your Offline Customers Online

In today’s marketplace, customers still have their preferences between offline and online. Generational gaps have created segmentation challenges across channels for marketers; many customers may not want to interact with brands in an Internet-exclusive sense, and others may not want to receive direct mailings.

market 300x199 Direct Marketing on the Internet: Steps Toward Success

However, some of the most powerful customer engagement tools can be found online, illustrating the importance of converting offline customers to online. There are a number of ways to do this, but the most effective involves integrating digital with traditional marketing tactics. QR codes present an opportunity for marketers to drive traffic to their site, ultimately exposing them to a range of tools to stay connected with the brand.

From a Chief Marketer post, Grant Johnson, founder of Johnson Direct LLC, says, “Mail is still the best way to drive prospects to a call to action to websites, microsites, YouTube, and social media outlets. We have seen a huge increase in demand from firms trying to use direct mail more effectively to drive results.” Converting offline customers online can be the key to increasing brand awareness and targeted messages.

Engaging Online Customers through Online Channels

Sixty-two percent of all adults worldwide now use social media. For marketers to ignore this channel, or fail to drive prospects to branded social accounts, could result in serious missed opportunities. Social networks allow marketers to be connected with consumers 24/7 with the advent of mobile devices; they also allow marketers to listen, share, and engage with potential customers from the moment they arrive online.

Social should not be a place to force sales pitches; rather, it should constitute a forum for marketers to create and grow relationships with customers and prospects. Following users’ posts, tweets, likes, hashtags, etc. could lead to information that could be used to deliver direct, personalized messages in the future.tech 300x199 Direct Marketing on the Internet: Steps Toward Success

Leveraging Customer Data and Creating Targeted Messages

After a relationship has been created with the prospect, marketers can pursue a more aggressive path. Mobile push notifications triggered by location or purchases or personalized, targeted emails can make customers feel unique, increasing the chances of conversion.

For direct marketing to be effective online, marketers need to make sure they are delivering personalized results. Batch and blast techniques could land your messages into the spam folder, or cause social users to un-follow, resulting in a loss of communication and potential business.

By integrating each of these marketing tactics into an effective campaign, marketers can get one step closer to the holy grail of one-to-one marketing.

©iStockphoto.com/Alex; a-wrangler

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kristin Hambelton
Kristin Hambelton is responsible for all marketing efforts for Neolane including corporate communications, branding, product marketing, demand generation, partner marketing, and operations.

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