Digital direct marketing is the delivery of marketing materials on a digital platform to a designated address, whether it be email, IP, or mobile. Typically, direct marketing refers to direct response marketing, which means the target can immediately respond to the ad and that response is measurable. Meaning, technically, PPC campaigns are direct marketing. But with the amount that digital marketing is changing with the vast amounts of targeting technologies and available and specific data, this term is becoming more specifically focused on directly reaching an individual consumer. It is a powerful tool to include in your digital marketing arsenal and has a number of advantages over traditional direct marketing, like such as mailers, telemarketing, or door-to-door. There are a lot of benefits to utilizing digital direct tactics, check them out to the right.
Organic social media is a great way to speak directly with your market and even spread messages to acquire new ones. But what about paying for advertising on these channels? What is the difference? In the most simple answer: Paid will expand your reach, deliver better analytics, and set different objectives other than social followers and engagement.
Your Ideal Customer
Forms of Digital Direct Marketing
E-Mail Marketing | Instant Message Marketing | Location-Based Marketing |
- No need for printing, fulfillment, and postage
- Materials can more easily be shared easily via phone, social media, desktop, etc.
- Often has a shorter production schedule; quickly turn around campaigns
- Marketing materials reach your audience instantaneously
- Wider range of trackable metrics
- More accurately measures campaign ROI
- Saves trees by cutting down on paper
- Eliminates need to physically ship items; no burning of fossil fuels
- Purchased or rented lists can target based on psychographic profiles instead of just demographic profiles
- Obtaining a list in this way is risky, though, which I touch on next
Email marketing has stood the test of time. It remains as one of the strongest digital marketing tactics available. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38, that is according to a 2018 study by the Direct Marketing Association. One reason for this is because a majority of people check their email at least once a day. Another reason is because it allows you to send marketing materials immediately, often right into their customer’s pocket.
First thing you need is an email list. There are three ways get one.
- Purchase a list
- Rent a list
- Create an opt-in email list
List providers are companies that collect and provide demographic and psychographic information on people. When you give your email address to a website, you agree to “opt-in” to receive emails. More times then not, those email collectors sell your email information to large data companies, such as Axciom, who then sell it to email list retailers, who then organize those lists and sell them to businesses for marketing.
They offer a wide range of targeting options. For example, if you want to send an e-blast to “bald, wine-enthusiast dads living in Asheville who take at least two leisure vacations each year,” chances are you can find a list provider who promises they have that data.
HOWEVER, it is very possible that their data is incorrect, incomplete, or obtained illegally. This is especially true for smaller companies who need to deploy a campaign immediately or if they do not have a large email list of their own yet.
The best, and most successful, form of email marketing is to create an email sign-up and ask your customers to opt-in to your email list.
Instant Message Marketing
Text message (SMS) marketing is a form of digital direct marketing that allows you to advertise directly to an individual to their mobile device. SMS is extremely effective because of its ridiculous open rates that average well over 90% every year (Google search this to find countless sources). There are many service providers that will organize and send these campaigns for you, but these are only effective (and acceptable) if sent to people who have signed up to receive texts messages from your brand. Because of this, it is most effective as a remarketing tool for merchants to get visitors to come back to the marketplace (brick and mortar or e-commerce). It is a great tool for sending promotions to frequent visitors of your store.
Social Media Messaging
Social media messaging is another form of direct instant message marketing. It is similar to text message marketing in that it has ridiculous open rates, but not as effective as a tool. You cannot automate this service due to social media privacy policies, so this can only be done manually. Messaging people on Facebook or LinkedIn can be a great place to connect directly with potential buys or clients but is only efficient if you are selling expensive, or reoccurring, products or services.
Location-based Direct Marketing is a new marketing tactic that has been developed due to recent technologies. Essentially, specific areas can be “blueprinted” using beacon technologies to capture specific individual’s mobile devices and send them ads or notifications about your brand. The act of selecting the time and place of this location and drawing your map is called Geo-fencing. Beacon technologies can be used to capture individuals from audiences at a certain place and time that match your targeting criteria, and then be sent display ads later on within apps or websites they may visit. Say you want to target people that visit the Biltmore during a certain event? This is not a tactic you can implement on your own, but there are many companies that sell these services within their ad platforms. If you think this could be a good technology for your brand, further your research on these technologies! Here’s a few for starters: 1, 2, 3 ! It is a very interesting subject!
So What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.
It Can Be A Useful Tool…If You’re A Large Company
Marketing Automation allows you to test large amounts of content in short time, as well as extend your reach for email marketing.
“However, the term “marketing automation” has become a buzz-word, where marketers seek out marketing automation software under the impression that all of the digital marketing tools necessary for growth, including those needed to generate new leads, roll up under the hood of marketing automation. This misconception leaves many marketers with sophisticated tools to automate the middle of their funnel, but no solution to generating new leads to nurture in the first place.
The consequence is that marketers begin buying lists of email addresses to nurture instead of generating inbound leads. While it seems like a quick fix, it’s not a long-term solution, nor does it create the fertile ground for a healthier, longer relationship with your future customers. In our plant analogy, it’s sort of like using artificial chemicals or enhancers to make your plant grow faster. Sure, it seems like a good, quick fix–but it doesn’t set you up for future, long-term success.”