Direct marketing for new customers

If you're looking for a simple and effective method to reach consumers, direct marketing campaigns help companies quickly get their promotional messages in front of targeted customers. Direct response marketing allows you to create new business opportunities using proving methods, to improve customer loyalty, and adapt to market demands on your next campaign.


Benefits of going direct


Direct marketing involves direct selling to a specific audience with advertising or promotional material of your product or service. This form of direct response marketing often results in a great return on investment of time and money. Direct marketing also provides measurable results through consumer response. Marketing direct also doesn't have to be you as the owner doing the work, as businesses often outsource their direct marketing or have salespeople qualify the leads. The trick to a successful direct marketing campaign is to offer an incentive or enticing message to the right audience. 

Common outbound tactics


From telemarketing to using the latest software, your direct marketing techniques will depend on your business type, industry and the best way to contact someone. The most common forms of direct marketing include:

  • To communicate directly via phone calls and direct visits still works, especially if you have a past connection and it is practical to do so. However, having twenty people call in a week is feasible; two thousand isn't. 
  • Email campaigns can be highly effective. The best way to start is to build a qualified list of e-mail addresses from current customers and people who've subscribed to your newsletter, either through your website or social media platforms. Then, create a direct mail campaign and send your newsletter or email marketing messages out regularly. Finally, use proper e-mail marketing software like Active Campaign, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or Constant Contact to track who opens your advertising messages for follow-up. 
  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, present opportunities to target users with direct messages based on demographics, location, career and interests. If you're selling to businesses, LinkedIn is focused on professional networking.
  • Holding events and webinars, inviting prospects to receive exclusive or limited offers, advice, networking or incentives.

Whichever direct marketing campaign you use to get your message in front of a lead, make sure it's as targeted as possible, so your contact is well down the sales funnel to make the best use of your time.

Automating lead generation


Tracking and measuring leads is increasingly easier with automation software. For example, you can track metrics within LinkedIn Sales Navigator to target potential customers, keep track of key leads, and it helps companies reach out and engage with prospects. Or you can use HubSpot's range of marketing, sales, and customer service software, which integrates with several other products.


You'll find lots of similar software products to distribute your direct marketing message, but the basic premises of each are:

  • You can see when consumers visit your website and rank them based on what they clicked and viewed. For example, if they are actively looking at products, services and prices, then you'll know that they are a hot lead (warmer than consumers who don't visit your website).
  • Direct marketers can automatically contact leads via social media, text messages or e-mail without you needing to be involved. Or you can dive in and send contacts personalised messages.
  • You can connect social media for messaging and insights. And, online channels such as LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter can all collect valid details from target customer profiles. You can then build a profile of potential customers who have ‘touched' your business multiple times. 
  • Everything is tracked and maintained in the lead gen software, so it's easy for your marketing team to see what's going on.

Content marketing


Content marketing is a form of indirect marketing that involves creating helpful content that a searcher wants to read or use. For instance, a potential customer registers to receive a whitepaper, podcast, research paper, watch a video, or attend an event. This generates a list of your target audience as they are genuinely interested in your products or services (assuming they've agreed to opt-in).


Giving away free content as a lead magnet allows you to qualify the lead better, as they have responded to a content offer. But, of course, you can also sprinkle content everywhere, such as in social media, your newsletter or advertising.

Sending physical items


It's still ok to send prospects a physical item in the post, like a sample product, invitation or card. People are so used to their online worlds, sending gifts, letters, and other physical items that stand out can set your company apart from your competition.

Partnering and referrals


If you have complementary businesses that sell to your market, you could sell directly to their customer base. Examples of this form of direct marketing could be tradies in the building industry, who refer business to each other. Or, an accountant may partner with a lawyer to run a joint webinar, inviting customers with the expectation of cross-marketing.

Measuring success


To implement an effective direct marketing campaign, you must measure your success along the way, to know you're on the right track. Use CRM software (like HubSpot) to track what direct marketing methods worked for a particular campaign. You can then compare the outcomes with the money and time spent to calculate the return on your direct marketing efforts.

Next steps


  • Research which direct marketing strategies would be best for your company, then make a start.
  • Find out more about HubSpot and the free version of their software.
  • The Department of Internal Affairs details the anti-spam rules you'll need to comply with, preventing people from sending unsolicited emails.
  • Track your direct marketing results and do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

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