Direct marketing is the oldest marketing method known to humankind. It involves phone calls, mailings, and advertisements that communicate directly with your target market to make your offer.

When Should You Use Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing works best for very specific niches. Like most marketing methods, you need a narrow target market that you understand well. The people on your list should be looking for products or services that help them solve their problems. Direct marketing can be expensive so it needs to be laser-targeted.

The direct method works best with services that are simple and straightforward. Unlike inbound methods, such as content marketing, you can’t afford to be subtle. You have to drive home your message succinctly and firmly. The easier your services are to understand, the better. Direct marketing methods don’t give you a lot of time to communicate your message.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Marketing

The best thing about direct marketing is that you get quick results. You can find out whether or not your market is receptive almost instantly. It’s a great way to collect hard data about your target market.

Another advantage is that it’s a tried and true method that’s been used successfully for years. There are proven techniques you can learn from direct marketing veterans which are known to get results. Unlike most “flavor of the week” marketing methods, direct marketing will probably always be around in one form or another.

The main drawback is that many prospects hate direct marketing. This is why the softer approach of content marketing is so appealing. People are annoyed by phone calls and junk mail, and they’ve gotten good at tuning them out. There are no-call lists and increasingly strict regulations about what marketers can and can’t do. Many people see most direct tactics as an invasion of privacy.

Direct marketing also requires more of an investment of time and most of all money. Printed marketing materials can get expensive, and it takes a larger sales force to collect prospects by phone.

The Keys to Direct Marketing Success

Spend a coffee break or two thinking about what kinds of messages you should use the next you run a campaign. Here are some prompts to get you started.

  • What exactly is it that your target market looking for? This is different from what they need or think they want – it’s more visceral. For example, prospective clients might be looking for comfort for some services, while others might be looking for expertise or guidance.
  • What is the biggest benefit that your service offers? Remember, we’re not talking about features here. How is a client’s situation going to improve if they receive your services, particularly from your practice?
  • How are your ads going to get their attention? Note that many practices are way too timid with their ads. This isn’t a time to politely tap your target market on the shoulder.

Ready for a deeper dive? Explore the resources below!

When you are ready to really dig into this stuff, remember that there’s a real mix of marketing advice out there. Some of it’s awesome, some of it’s half-baked, lots of it is outdated, and a whole lot of it is designed to help sell products, not professionals services.

We’ve filtered through the best of what is available to provide you with actionable advice in our Deep Dive recommendations that are from the most trusted resources and are designed specifically to promote professional services like yours.

Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Digital Advertising

Direct marketing can be a great way to give your online presence a jump start if you know how to get your ads in front of the right people. But there’s definitely a learning curve, and it’s easy to spend a lot of money learning the hard way. Do yourself a favor and get started out right by learning how to put a smart digital advertising campaign together from the bottom up with Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Digital Advertising. Here’s an idea of what to expect:

  • What makes up digital advertising
  • How to create your digital ad strategy
  • The different types of ads you have at your disposal
  • And much more

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