Gary Hennerberg loves sharing the results from a direct marketing campaign he helped create.
Hennerberg, chief consultant with Hennerberg Group, specialists in direct marketing and creative services, worked with a Dallas-based performing arts organization that saw sales increase more than 20 percent from Hennerberg's efforts.
"We shared online video and behind the scenes footage promoting an upcoming performance, " said Hennerberg. "Emailing to a listing of existing patrons, we found even with a heavy frequency, a surprisingly high click-through rate and increase in sharing on social media. The organization created valuable free content that people looked forward to receiving and that translated into sales."
Hennerberg noted that distribution of free and valuable content to customers and potential customers is one critical element in mounting a successful direct marketing campaign.
Simply defined, direct marketing is promotion of a business's products or services specifically at target customers. Popular channels for direct marketing include the aforementioned email and social media, plus direct mail, print and broadcast media.
"All sound marketing begins with purpose, " Hennerberg said. "Business owners should fully understand what it is they want to accomplish with their marketing efforts. It may be an offer of a discount or a premium with purchase or something extra to incent people to come into a physical location or buy now online. Purpose answers the question: 'Why are you advertising now?' "
At its core this involves communicating directly with potential customers, making the written message a vital element to success. Whether it's web copy for an online site, a postcard or mailer that convinces people to act, or an email that's read and not deleted by the recipient, inspiring copy is critical.
"Direct marketing pieces require a unique style and must align the sales and marketing message with a 'wow' factor that motivates behavior, " said Hennerberg. "This involves positioning or repositioning products or services to make an emotional connection with target customers."
Hennerberg suggested that direct marketing can be an effective tool in penetrating markets for all manner of businesses.
One example he noted are professional services providers such as physicians and dentists who may access listings of new area residents searching for services. Another are B2B firms who may use industry association membership listings in reaching target markets.