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Are You Making These Direct Marketing Mistakes?

Posted by | Sep 8, 2015

Direct marketing is one of the oldest types of marketing. While the Internet has changed the way marketers use direct marketing, many continue to make the same common mistakes that they made years ago.

Reducing even a few of the common mistakes will result in a better return for your marketing dollars.

There are too many common mistakes to discuss in one blog post. I will focus on a few that can make a real impact in your direct campaigns.

  1. Renting or buying lists

    One of the most common mistakes is that direct marketers look for an easy way to find and target an audience. With some small exceptions, list rental is a bad idea. It’s important that you grow your own list using inbound marketing tactics. To expand your list the right way, use predictive analytics to find “look-alike” prospects.

  2. Targeting too broadly

    Targeting too broad of an audience results in wasted marketing dollars. Instead, marketers should use data analytics and predictive modeling platforms to narrow down their audience into a more qualified target. These platforms allow you to use a variety of variables to segment your audience. You no longer need to rely on one single cookie visit, single purchase decision, zip-code wide address, etc.

  3. Not integrating across multiple channels

    Another common mistake is not integrating your marketing efforts across multiple channels. A good direct marketing campaign should integrate all the channels used by those consumers being targeted. Direct mail and other offline channels should be combined with online tactics and channels. Use tracking elements to measure how well each channel performs.

  4. Not creating enough touches

    One-touch tactics will not be successful. A minimum of three touches is necessary to get results. Five to seven touches is considered ideal.

  5. Not using both emotional and rational appeals

    The most effective ads use both emotional and rational appeals to motivate consumers. They reflect the adage that consumers buy with emotion and justify the purchase with the rational information. It is important to make sure that your ads appeal to both.

  6. Focusing on the product instead of the prospect

    Often times, marketers develop campaigns using their own mindset instead of the customers. Don’t make the mistake of using appeals that are vendor-oriented. The one reading your marketing message is interested in one thing: “What’s in it for me?” Focus your message on their problems and your solutions.

  7. Not doing continuous testing and refinement

    Most direct marketers know they should thoroughly vet their marketing tactics before starting to use them. However, too often that’s where it stops. Marketing campaigns only improve with ongoing testing and evaluation. An ongoing and controlled testing program is the way to achieve better results.

These are only some of the common mistakes made by many direct marketers.

What kind of mistakes would you add to this list?

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