Five Steps to A Profitable Direct Marketing Campaign

Direct marketing is when you want to reach out and touch your target audience in a personal way; not mass marketing such as through a radio or television commercial. Direct marketing can be extremely cost-effective if done correctly. Examples of direct marketing include;

  • personal letters or e-mails
  • personalized e-news
  • brochures sent directly
  • explainer video
  • trade show stand
  • boardroom lunch

These five tips will help you maximize your ROI (return on investment)

1. Set your budget

What results do you need to achieve from your direct marketing campaign? This can be decided on by factors such as;

  • sales made
  • phone calls converted
  • units sold
  • new contacts made
  • interest generated
  • referrals generated

Your target should be whatever are the optimum results suitable for your business. This will help you set a reasonable budget and decide how large your target audience will be.

2. Find your target audience

The point of direct marketing is to direct a specific message to a specific audience. It’s not one size fits all. If you have a varied customer or potential customer base, then segment your market. Send them a marketing message that resonates with them. You can segment your target audience several ways including;

  • geographically
  • by gender
  • by age
  • by specific interest
  • business sales (B2B) versus consumer sales (B2C)
  • new customers only
  • only customers who have purchased from you before

Create a marketing message specific to the group you are targeting. What will be the greatest benefit of using your product or service? What problem are you solving? And don’t think only about offering discounts. People’s purchasing behavior can be based on a variety of factors including;

  • convenience (how easy to purchase)
  • perceived quality
  • uniqueness
  • price
  • reputation (of the company or product)
  • relevance to them
  • competitor alternatives

3. Determine your method

How will you send your information?

  • Mail?
  • E-mail?
  • Video?
  • Catalogue?
  • Personal delivery?
  • Gathering at your office?

The first two steps will help determine how you will communicate what you have to say. If you are in B2B (business-to-business) sales your method will likely be different from B2C (business-to-consumer) sales.

4. Cut through the noise

You probably hear a lot of the importance of standing out from the crowd; because it’s true. With people expose to an average of 5,000 advertisements every day, you need to think about how to be compelling, relevant and MEMORABLE. Some ideas to do this include:

  • use of photographs
  • vivid colours or images
  • eye-catching titles or subject lines
  • interesting paper – marble effect, embossed, etc
  • unusual shapes


5. Evaluate your results

The reaction to your direct marketing campaign will tell you what you need to do to improve your next direct marketing campaign. Some questions that you should ask yourself include:

  • Did I meet or exceed my goals?
  • What was my ROI? (return on investment)
  • Was my segmentation effective?
  • Did I hit the right target audience?
  • Was the marketing message pitch-perfect for the audience?
  • What did my recipients respond to most strongly?
  • Were there any errors that I could have caught?
  • Why did the people who bought buy?
  • Did I receive any customer compliments, comments, or complaints?
  • What one aspect could I tweak for a better result?

Direct marketing is a powerful tool to reach customers. By following these steps, you can cost-effectively maximize your profits.