Direct Marketing Vs Direct Sales – How to Leverage Your Selling Power

Direct Marketing – is simply marketing that goes straight to the consumer. This can be done through direct mail, flyer distribution, email etc. as these are all forms of direct marketing. However this method should not be confused with direct sales.

Direct marketing delivers your message right to the consumer directly unlike other forms of brand advertising like radio and television etc.

Direct sales on the other hand delivers the message to your consumer also but through personal interaction. While this can be a very confusing concept to understand a rule of thumb for separating the two is when there is actual personal human interaction between you and the customer then it is direct sales not direct marketing.

Conversely many companies hire a sales force to deliver their marketing message to the marketplace via telemarketing and knocking on doors. In that case its direct marketing for the company and its executives but its direct sales for those talking to the customers.

This confusion of direct marketing vs direct sales causes two major problems. If you are the sales person your trying to make sales with no marketing and if your the owner of the business your sales reps are going to have a harder time making sales simply because you are not following the proper process.

Direct Marketing Drives Direct Sales

Picture yourself driving a manual stick shift car with 6 gears. It would be quite difficult to start a car in 3rd gear and if even if you did it would drive improperly the whole way because the original process was incorrect.

Compare this example: you send out a postcard or a flyer with your offer on it that’s first gear. Your customer responds and you collect their information that’s second gear. You or your sales reps call them back to schedule an appointment that’s third gear. They see or hear the presentation that’s fourth gear. They buy that’s fifth gear. Getting the referrals is 6th gear.

In essence direct marketing should handle at least the first 2 or 3 steps in your marketing process. The direct sales process should pick up where your direct marketing left off. What marketing medium you use is not only up to you but it’s dependent upon what audience you are trying to reach different consumer markets will receive information through different mediums.

How to Choose the Best Direct Marketing List Broker

Whether you are looking to do a mail out, a telemarketing campaign or wanting to reach prospects by email, direct marketing is an effective and affordable way to reach out to potential customers.

The lists you use will determine the success of your direct marketing campaign. Determining who to target the list is a crucial process and establishing your criteria will help you get the best results.

You may want to find a list of consumers or businesses who have purchased products or services similar to yours, or who fall into the demographic profile or income range you are trying to reach.

With thousands of direct marketing lists to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Evaluating list suppliers and finding the right direct marketing lists for your particular campaign can be over whelming.

A direct marketing list broker represents all available lists in the direct marketing industry. they will help you find the best list by understanding your target market. The brokers serve as your guide, providing list recommendations for your marketing efforts.

If possible, look for a list broker who has experience working with clients who target the same type of customer you’re trying to reach. If you are trying to fund raise look for a broker with experience with working with non-profit organisations, or if you are looking for to market to other businesses, look for a brokers with B2B experience.

Is the list broker accessible: Do they call you back? Do they answer your emails in a timely fashion? Do you feel they are trying to build a relationship for future business endeavors? Good brokers realize that relationship building offers other opportunities down the road.

You should ask how the data is compiled and how often it is updated. Ask to see a sample of the data. Before buying the list you should make sure how it looks like, what information is included.

Be aware that good data comes with a cost. Give your budget for the campaign up front so the broker will know if he can accommodate you and your needs.

Also, ask the broker about their customer service and satisfaction policies. A good list broker will stand behind their services, should you get anything other than the list that you ordered, the broker should do whatever it takes to replace it immediately or provide a full or partial refund.

You can search for reviews of the list broker, the internet has no shortage of places to post reviews of customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer’s testimonies.

Choosing someone you can trust to do their job well will save you time and money in the long run.

5 Ways of Using Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is attractive to many marketers because in most cases its effectiveness can be measured directly. For example, if you were to send out one thousand solicitations by mail and you receive seventy responses, then you know that the mailing led to a seven percent response rate.

Any medium that you choose to use to communicate directly to your prospects is being employed in direct marketing. These 5 methods are examples of direct marketing that you can use to obtain prospects and increase sales for your business.

Direct mail

One of the most commonly used mediums in direct marketing is direct mail. Direct mail allows you to design marketing pieces in many different formats. Direct mail can include envelope mailers, catalogues, self-mailers, snap mailers, dimensional mailers, brochures, and postcards. When you write your direct mail piece make sure you know your target market, and how you are going to appeal to their wants and needs. Write your objective and refer to it often. Don’t lose sight of where you want to go with the piece that you are writing. You can purchase a mailing list of businesses and services in your target market from a list company, or you can develop your own list by gathering email addresses on your web site.

Telemarketing

Telemarketing is a direct marketing sales technique that has the advantage of speed in a marketing campaign. When you are a conducting a telephone solicitation you should first introduce yourself then offer an incentive in solving a problem that you know exists (to do this would require you to do some research on the business or what individuals would be looking for in your product). Ask question that you know will lead to a yes answer (keep prospects on phone answering yes to your questions). Describe your product or service and how it solves the client’s needs. Ask if they have any questions. You now can ask for a face to face meeting, or to get permission to send information via mail or e-mail, or make another brief follow-up call. If unavailable, ask what would be a good time to call back.

E-mail

The most common medium today for direct marketers is e-mail because of its low cost, and because customer responses can be generated rapidly. You must understand that the internet is a different medium. The copy that worked for you in postal mail will not on the internet, not as e-mail. In e-mail copywriting, the subject is the headline, you must write succinct headline-3 to 5 words. Your subject determines whether your e-mail gets read or not. Next, make it personal. People on the internet want personal notes. Next, get to the point keep it short and simple. Next, give them an incentive to act by giving them a reason to buy now. Next, include a call to action to tell people what you want them to do. Don’t leave them wondering what to do next. Next, drive people to your web site (don’t try to close the sale in the e-mail). Next, build relationship with your clients. Listen to their want and needs. Treat your clients like you would treat yourself. Next, you must follow through on your promises that you made to your client. Do what you said you were going to do.

Direct response

In direct response marketing the customer responds to the marketing message directly. An example, of this would be infomercials, where prospects view a television presentation of a product offering, and can make a purchase with a credit card over the telephone or internet. You can use communications in magazines, newspapers, radio, e-mail, and direct mail to solicit a response. For example, order forms or coupons in magazines and newspapers to purchase products, or receive discounts on products are techniques that have been used very successfully in increasing sales. These same offers are distributed by e-mail and tell and toll-free numbers, which in today’s marketing world, is more economical and faster.

Personal selling

Making personal sales calls on prospects is another technique of direct marketing. You should first conduct research on the companies, or the target prospects that you are trying to sell your product or service too. You can also buy a list from a reputable list company. If you take this route make sure that you have complete information on your target market. When making a personal sales call you must write a sales presentation before hand. This presentation should be written to fit the needs and desires of the prospect that you are presenting your product too. Your presentation should provide clear examples, or even demonstrations of how your product or service will accomplish this. Your presentation should contain more that just one way your product can be of service to your prospect. You must also be prepared to handle objections and questions that the prospects will have.

Direct Marketing Vs Affiliate Marketing

Direct marketing and affiliate marketing are two of the most lucrative sources of income for many people who take advantage of the Internet. Direct marketing involves selling your own product or service directly to your target customers.

Affiliate marketing is more like retailing, which involves selling a product or service you do not own and receiving commissions on every sale you make. Choosing which one to get involved with depends on you, but in terms of advantages, direct marketing can give you the upper hand.

Why Choose This Type of Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be a very profitable online business, and there are many instances where the affiliates earn more than the product owners or service providers.

However, that is not usually the case. While super affiliates can easily make money promoting other people’s products, probably because they have bigger email lists or advertising funds, small affiliates only make a handful.

In contrast, direct marketing makes it easier for online marketers to build their own customer base and sell more of their existing and future products.

Affiliates can actually create their own customer base as well, by generating leads through email marketing. While this is true, the product owners also generate their own email lists, often gaining the trust of most customers, especially if their products are top-notch.

Hence, when it comes to gaining repeat customers, it is the product owners make more money by bypassing the affiliates.

What’s Involved

Affiliates only need to find a product to sell, and promote it through various means online. However, direct marketers have to make their own products or offer their own services.

This is necessary, because without a product or service to provide, there can never be any sales to make.

If you want to get involved in direct marketing, you need to make the product or service accessible through a website, and should have a merchant account to deal with payments.

If you sell a physical product, make sure to hire a reliable company to handle the shipping. It also involves providing customer support.

Direct marketers have to ensure that their customers have access to technical and sales representatives. This is crucial to the success of any online business.

After the business website has been setup, you can use direct marketing strategies to attract new customers. There are many ways to do this. You can employ search engine marketing, email marketing, telemarketing, social media marketing, and the many more.

The Bottom Line

While affiliate marketing is a good way to earn money online, direct marketing can offer better chances of online success.

First> of all, you earn 100% from sales if you sell your products directly to your customers.

Second, you can create your own customer base, which allows you to generate repeat sales and pre-sell your future products.

Third, you can track and record useful customer data, which can be used to predict future sales trends and the like.

Fourth, you have the option to offer an affiliate program, which makes it easier for you to generate more sales with less effort.

Hopefully this article will help you decide what methods you want to you use (whether it be direct marketing or affiliate marketing – or both) to make money online and grow a stable and profitable business.