Offline Direct Marketing Follow Up Tactics

Creating an e-dialogue with your customers has its rewards and challenges.

Are you prepared? If you’ve already integrated email into your marketing plan, you know that gathering the email addresses of your customers and prospects (while essential) is only the beginning. Lead follow-up is the key to continuous business. After all, customers buy when their ready to, not when companies want them to. So, if a small business keeps in contact with their leads, they will most likely walk away with the sale. That is why many companies must adopt a lead follow-up system: so they are the one standing there when the prospect is ready to become a customer. But, lead follow-up needs to be consistent, even persistent, right? So, when does lead follow-up change from continuous contact to pestering?

Here are a few offline direct marketing follow up tactics you can use:

  • Offline direct marketing follow up tactics #1:

Offer something of value in the follow-up. The point of lead follow-up is to warm the leads that weren’t ready to buy yet. Give them something they will appreciate. This gives you another “excuse” for contacting the lead and makes them feel obligated to you. Staying in contact is the key, even if the prospect is not asked to purchase something every time.

  • Offline direct marketing follow up tactics #2:

slow the lead follow-up down. If the prospect seems irritated by the constant communication, slow it down. As long you have the prospects information, your lead follow-up can be adapted to meet the needs of your prospects. But don’t let too much time pass before you contact them again. Consistent lead follow-up needs to be made to increase the chance of a sale.

  • Offline direct marketing follow up tactics #3:

Integrate mail & email, Reach your customers, wherever they are. Today, that could be offline or online, phone, on paper or strictly electronically.

  • Offline direct marketing follow up tactics #4:

Process Marketing – Process marketing is the stuff you can do every day as part of your normal routine. It’s long term, grows over time and rarely requires you to spend your hard-earned cash. Use business cards, brand all your stationery with your URL, talk to people about your business and look for PR opportunities in the local press.

Marketing for Small Business on the Internet

Marketing on the Internet involves online advertising to reach potential customers. It requires creativity like designing, development and technical aspects like marketing and advertising. Affiliate marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing and interactive advertising are all different facets of marketing on the internet. It also includes sales, public relations, information management, and customer service.

Direct marketing techniques like radio and television commercials, mailings, and newsletters are the inspirations for small business internet marketing, which involves direct response marketing strategies. Business-to-business, also known as B2B, and business-to-consumer, also known as B2C, are the two business models to which internet marketing for small business can be linked.

The entrepreneurs marketing their services or products on the internet are at an advantage. They don’t need to put huge amounts of energy and time into an internet marketing plan like other traditional methods. With the help of few resources, national and international markets can be reached. Websites and blogs have been developed for this purpose. Using the internet to market a small business is helpful because data is easily available on the internet and people are using the internet more and more. Newsletters can be directly sent to customers and if it doesn’t contain the information they are looking for, they can search for information about the product online, make a decision and purchase it online itself.

Reaching local customers via the internet is a fairly new process for many local and family owned businesses. They’ve typically used other methods and many are now realizing that many consumers search the internet before they decide who to call for their local needs.

Business owners should strongly consider using the internet to market their products and services. Online is the place for small businesses to be found by potential customers these days.

Kelly Dear is a marketing consultant for small businesses. She works with many small business in the Atlanta area to help them develop their online presence and be found by customers searching for their services.

Is Mobile Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?

The rise in the number of consumers purchasing smartphones along with the increased affordability of data plans has made mobile an increasingly attractive marketing option for marketers. Indeed not having a mobile marketing strategy and SMS marketing program means you are passing up an opportunity to engage with your customers in a very targeted and personal way.

However, a common mistake made by many businesses who do dip their toes into the mobile marketing field is to run their mobile marketing campaign as a stand-alone effort and then write off mobile when they don’t get the results they expect.

Mobile marketing, and in particular SMS marketing is more effective when it is integrated into your overall marketing strategy and run as a supplement to your existing marketing efforts.

It is likely that your customers will be exposed to numerous forms of media during the course of the day which you can use to get your message to him/her. Combining traditional channels such as print, direct mail, radio and television with relatively new channels such as mobile, email, online banner advertising and social media will generate a higher impact leading to improved brand recognition and message recall.

So what can mobile offer as part of your marketing strategy?

Targeted & Relevant: – Text message marketing is permission-based i.e. your customers need to “opt-in” to receive promotional texts from you. As a result, you will always be sending your promotional offers to consumers that have expressed an interest in your product or service. And any consumers that join your “mobile club” are more likely to respond to promotional offers or other calls to action you send them in a positive way.

Immediate: – SMS Marketing has immediacy that other forms of direct marketing lack. A marketer/business owner can make the decision to send a promotional offer and have his message in his customers hands within minutes, giving them the opportunity to make real-time marketing decisions.

Interactive: – Mobile marketing promotions can be highly interactive letting you engage the consumer even further. Get your customers to text a keyword to a phone number and instantly send them back a promotional text, or ask them to scan a QR Code in-store to receive a mobile coupon direct to their phone.

Convenient & Effective: – It is safe to say that the majority of your customers never leave home without their mobile phone. As a result, they will always have any mobile coupons that you send them on-hand, ready for instant redemption.

So how can mobile be effectively combined with other forms of marketing?

Lets take the example of a business that wants to invite customers to a special end-of-season sale, where they will be clearing old stock. A marketing campaign to increase footfall and drive sales is conceived. A combination of e-mail marketing and SMS marketing would be an effective combination to promote an event such as this. Both forms of marketing are permission-based where consumers will have “opt-ed” in to receive promotional offers, ensuring a high possibility that any promotional offers sent will be positively received.

Sending a promotional e-mail to your subscriber database informing them of the upcoming sale will stimulate interest. You could include eye-catching graphics of special sale items, include links to your website, provide a paper coupon that can be printed and presented at the point-of-sale etc.

After reading your promotional e-mail many of your subscriber database will be interested in visiting your shop to take advantage of the great promotional offers. However, in the time between your mail being received and the event real life takes over and many of your subscribers will have forgotten about your sale.

This is where the immediacy of mobile can benefit you and your campaign. Sending an SMS message on the morning of the event will break through the daily noise and remind your subscribers about your sale. Due to the ever present nature of mobile phones and the high read-rates of SMS messages you can be confident that your promotional text will be read.

Also, many online SMS marketing services allow you to create a message and schedule it to go at a future date, so you can create your promotional/reminder text at the same time that you send your e-mail blast and schedule it to go at a time that you feel will maximise the impact.

Your SMS message can be a simple reminder or can contain an additional special offer. And the increase in the number of consumers using smart phones provides the opportunity to be even more eye catching. So why not add a link with directions to your shop or a link to a graphical mobile coupon that can be redeemed at point of sale.

This is just one example of how mobile marketing can be combined with another forms of direct marketing to good effect. In this increasingly digital world, not having SMS in your promotional arsenal denies you the opportunity to engage with your customers in this targeted and immediate way. So the next time you are looking at running a promotional campaign don’t forget to consider “going mobile”.