What Is Direct Marketing?

Just for clarity to confirm by direct marketing I am covering:

  • Email marketing
  • Telemarketing
  • Direct Mail

Phone, email and direct (lumpy) mail can have a lot of impact on the prospects journey to purchasing from you, database building and consistent engagement is an important part of any Lead Generation Strategy. 

Email as part of your direct marketing strategy

Email is still a great communication tool and there are low cost and even free platforms to manage your campaigns from.  As you track prospect  activity you can see the warmth of your contacts and take extra action accordingly with differing email automation sequences  and other more personal follow ups (eg phone follow up, demos, trials, asking for the sale appointments and other specific calls to action). 

Keep an eye on open rates and click throughs to see when to bring some personal follow up to anyone who is taking a heightened interest in your work.  The platforms all show you the analytics of your open rates and whether readers have shared on so it is a great way to check the temperature of your prospects. 

The Golden Rules of Successful Email Campaigns in your direct marketing

“Doing some email marketing” is certainly more than writing a quick message and pressing send.  The golden rules of successful email marketing campaigns that are opened, shared and get responses are

–           Know your audience

–           Give value

–           Make it easy to say “yes”

The first 2 points are in tune with my whole inbound marketing philosophy (see my blog here https://yourleadgeneration.co.uk/hello-inbound-marketing/) . 

The third point is about never having a huge step in the journey, almost looking at your journey to say “if the prospect can say no the step is too big”. This may sound far fetched but stay with me.  If  you have a healthy database and it is well “tagged” so you can really segment it you can in turn  send really targeted messages that resonate with each segment of your audience.   For example, Those that are engaging with your email sequence might be offered a trial or demo etc…..the leads that have been in your funnel for say 6 months or you identify as warm, ready to buy might also be  offered an appointment.  To the leads that have been in your world just 1 month it might be an offer of an  ebook or other educational download.

One last thing give thought and investment to nicely designed email template.

Telemarketing within your direct marketing campaign

First of all there is a difference between telemarketing and telesales. 

Telemarketing creates prospects, lets people know about what you have to offer them and provides the opportunity for parties to find out more about each other. Telesales converts those opportunities into business for your company.  For the purposes of this article I am talking about telemarketing.

Although deemed unpopular and old fashioned telemarketing is still a proven strategy for generating leads and potential sales prospects and creates a better source of data than buying in email and direct mails list.  Whether for market research, collecting emails, named contacts or making appointments telemarketing can take the time and cost out of finding new leads by taking the information directly to the customer. 

The Golden Rules of Telemarketing

Whether you have in house skills or are briefing an outside agency my simple golden rules:

  • You have to have a bit of fun and be inquisitive and persistent. 
  • As always be clear on who you want to speak to, or the contact details you need to collect and the value of what you are offering.
  • What is the outcome you want from the call (contact details, conduct research questions, appointment, invitation to an event).  
  • Brainstorm different ways to approach the call, it might be to find out when the last time XXX was bought by the company, there are a lot of research angles that you can take to qualify if a company is a potential lead.  Don’t just go the obvious, test and meausre it before you say it didn’t work!
  • Write an initial script so you get going confidently – have some questions prepared as you want to get a  conversation going.   It doesn’t want to sound too rehearsed but it is better to have brainstormed and considered the knowledge you need to have at hand and be ready for some of the resistance you might deal with. 
  • Make sure your callers know about competitor information and any new releases/hot news so they are not “floored” and can keep conversations going.
  • Ask for feedback from the call makers as to how the conversations went, what resistance they came up against, can they suggest improvements to the approach next time, what extra briefing or information would be useful for them to have.  We are looking to systemise your approach for future repeat use so we need to keep feeding back into the process.

Dealing with Gatekeepers

How do you get around gatekeepers?? You have to think on your feet and be a bit “cute”, that is the fun bit!  My best piece of advice from many hours of telephone work is if you are struggling to get through try talking with the helpline or customer service lines as it is in their job description to be helpful! 

Generating leads requires you to be open minded and curious to look at all options of connecting when you are out to generate leads.  If you are given a name on the phone but not an email, go and look them up on Linked In and also look at the company website, often the emails are on there, or you can figure out how they are configured. 

Two final things (on what is a favourite topic of mine). 

  • I would strongly recommend  that whatever list you are working through you also go onto Linked In and try and connect on there too. 
  • Make sure you have your customer service team and all of your  people that deal with  enquiries and requests for information primed so they are turning those requests into leads by getting contact details.

Direct mail as part of your direct marketing

The same golden rules apply with regards to know your audience, bring value and aim for a wow!

For making a statement a quality direct mail campaign can have impact but you need to be sure you have the right postal address details (easier said than done!).   The main debates that I enter into when we are discussing direct mail in relation to email is:

+ Greater open rates than email                      – 4 x as expensive as email

+ People enjoy surprises in the mail               – ROI is greater on email

+ Direct mail scores high on trust                  – Quality is a big success factor

QR codes and personalised URL (PURL) can link your digital world to your direct mail and leave a traceable footprint so you can see who has responded.

There is a huge opportunity to be creative and out of the box and send targeted, personalised and quality direct mail which gets huge emotional engagement but it is very expensive in comparison with email.

Done poorly and without the budget for quality print and packaging it can be end up as just unopened spam.

Who am I?

My name is Laura Greenwood and I guide business owners to embrace marketing to create their own lead generation processes. Referrals are not enough, you need to have your web, social and direct marketing working for you to consistently generate leads and communicate and connect in a way that converts leads to sales.  I offer “Done For You”  retained marketing contracts and have a “Done With You” marketing programme which supports you  or a nominated team player to implement your marketing.

“Laura is a pleasure to work with. She exudes enthusiasm for her work, is very astute and commercially minded and is quick to spot an opportunity.”

I would love you to  connect with me on Linked In, pease click here – https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauragreenwoodleadgeneration/

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