5 Strategies for Planning Your Next Direct Marketing Campaign  Effective and memorable direct marketing campaigns do not simply materialize based on luck; they require lots of hard work, planning, and strategizing. Don’t jump into your next direct marketing campaign with blinders on. Follow these 5 strategies to ensure your next campaign’s success!

1. Plan your campaign based on ROI rather than savings. Too many businesses get caught up in the process of trying to save as much money as possible in the initial phases of their direct marketing, without considering the high ROI that an effective campaign will garner. A dirt-cheap, low-quality mailing list may save you some money now, but your ROI will also be significantly lower than a campaign based around a quality list. Always keep the big picture in mind, and don’t let initial campaign prices distract you from what’s really important – making money.

2. Set realistic expectations. In order to determine whether or not your direct marketing campaign is successful, you will need to set goals ahead of time. However, you also need to make sure these goals are realistic. Without realistic expectations, you will most likely have a skewed impression of what’s working for your business and what’s failing. For any direct marketing effort, it is imperative to calculate your break-even point before executing the campaign. If you have decided to purchase a mailing list or email list, the best way to ensure your expectations are realistic is to ask your list specialist what response rates they typically see on the file you will be using. If the response rates they mention align with your break-even point, you can feel confident pursuing that campaign.

3. Target your audience. Don’t waste your resources reaching out to people who have no need for what you offer. Know who your consumers are, understand their motivations, and know how to reach them. Make your campaign relevant to them; speak to their needs, fears, and desires. If your consumers don’t use the Internet regularly, don’t try to force an online relationship. Meet them in their comfort zone, not yours.

4. Simplify your message. Oftentimes businesses just want to say too much! This is confusing for consumers; if they can’t immediately understand the most important things your business has to offer, they won’t remember you at all. Make sure you have one simple, concise message across the entire marketing campaign. Create a “message hierarchy” to prioritize your messages, and make sure everyone working on the campaign understands this hierarchy. Essentially, don’t bombard potential consumers with too much information.

5. Present a strong call to action. Consumers can’t read your mind, so when you plan your direct marketing campaign, don’t leave them to guesswork: Tell them exactly what you want them to do. Effective calls to action are not about subtlety. They need to be worded strongly, and they need to quickly communicate how that person will benefit from responding to your offer. This is not the time to beat around the bush; be clear about what you want, and then don’t be shy about asking for it.

No direct marketing campaign can succeed without proper planning. The important takeaway here is to be clear and realistic with yourself about the results you are hoping to see from the campaign, and then to understand the tactics that will get you to those results. If you need help planning your next direct marketing campaign, be sure to call one of US Data Corporation’s marketing experts at (888) 578-3282.

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