Do you know the difference between advertising and direct marketing? Many people use those terms interchangeably, but they actually mean two different and distinct things. Knowing the distinction and understanding how to use them can help you grow your business and expand your client base.
According to Principles of Marketing by John F. Tanner, Jr. and Mary Anne Raymond, advertising is “paid promotion with an identified sponsor that reaches many people at one time and can be repeated many times.” It’s meant to reach a mass group of people, who may or may not have anything in common.
Tanner and Raymond describe direct marketing as being more specific. It targets a well-defined group of people. The return on the marketing can be calculated and different methods can be tested. You can also use direct marketing to guide the audience to a specific action or next step.
As a financial professional, you can leverage direct marketing to target specific clients and encourage them to take action and contact you. If you have already started direct marketing, and aren’t satisfied with the results, take these three steps to modify your direct marketing campaign.
Don’t lose faith.
Direct marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. The fact is a large percentage of your audience will choose not to accept your offer or message, whatever it may be. That’s okay. The goal is to get at least enough people to respond to make the campaign profitable.
Before you make a change, you need to be sure you have a large enough sample to make an informed decision. You can’t do that if you only stick with it for a week or two. Give your direct marketing campaign enough time to work.
Test your campaign and modify it accordingly.
Perhaps the best thing about direct marketing is you can get hard data about what works and what doesn’t. With direct marketing, though, you can absolutely know how many people are influenced. Remember, you’ve asked them to take a specific action, so you can know how many people have acted and how many have not.
Try different adjustments to boost your success rates. The key is to track the success of all these adjustments to see what works best. Without data, you’re just guessing.
Personalize your message.
There is plenty of technology available that can let you automatically personalize your message. Whether you’re using an email or a postcard, software can pull information from your list and insert it into the marketing piece. Then, when your audience receives the piece, it’s addressed directly to them.
This may seem like a small thing, but it can have a huge impact. Suddenly, you’re directing your message to a specific person, not the masses. That will help the message resonate with them.
Direct marketing is a powerful tool, when used appropriately. Take the time to plan your strategy and then stick with it long enough to see it through. If you follow these steps and stay persistent, you’ll see results.
Still unsure of how to change your campaign to get results? No problem. Download our complimentary guide to get the full scoop of how to use direct marketing techniques to drive results.
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