What Do You Think Is The Most Effective Method Of Direct Marketing?

A great question recently popped up in the Answers section of LinkedIn, a place where professionals congregate to provide answers to submitted questions. The answers to this question illustrate the different perspectives and approaches organizations and individuals take to direct marketing. Here are some insightful excerpts from that forum…

This question comes from Brittany Best, New Business Development at ListGiant.com, with answers from a handful of LinkedIn professionals:

What do you think is the most effective method of Direct Marketing?

Answers from LinkedIn professionals:

“The one that gets the best response from your audience.” -Christine Hueber

“Email marketing. Email marketing still provides the highest return on investment… This makes sense when you think about how little overhead or time it can take to send an extremely targeted email to a very specific group of customers or users.” -Anna Cheung

“Integrated cross channel touchpoints that create a seamless user experience and leverage learnings from one channel to the next.” -Robyn Kahn Federman

“From my professional experiences the most successful direct marketing campaigns have been some of the most complex. Here is a sample: To invite high profile guest to an Event, we would start with a list of say 1000 names. Next we would mail out a “lively” postcard (containing variable images and data) asking prospects to log onto their personal URL web page (printed on the postcard) and answering a quick survey (i.e. Favorite candy, snack, and soft drink). Once we received that information we created a personalized email with a printable voucher for the prospect to claim his or her favorite candy, snack, and soft drink (item from survey) when they register in person for the event. Over 50% of the original high profile prospects showed up with their vouchers. Where they were able to meet face to face with our client. Another example of the POWER of the combination of variable data marketing and creative thinking.” -Mitchell Morton

“Authentic social media campaigns are hugely effective. Not only do you peak interest you engage authentic relationships and they then spread the word.” -Dwana De La Cerna

“Email and Phone. Since many are overloaded with emails and phone calls, you have to have a short and sweet message… You must know who the prospects are. Send emails and follow up with phone calls… Only when companies blast their emails or call a big database of people without having a proper prospect list, the efforts are wasted.” -Venkatachalam Ravindran

“Whenever possible, face-to-face communication. After that, I like newsletters or email with links to useful information that is product-related.” -Alan Cohen

“The most effective method of direct marketing will be where you know most about your audience, be they existing or prospective customers – what do they like / not like, do and not do, what channels do they frequent, how do they respond to promotional activity, do they prefer referrals through social media first! There is no panacea, but you can be reasonably assured that no single method will be effective for all audiences! Know your audience and test!” -David Willis

Key Takeaway: Test and Optimize

As you can see from these responses, there is no simple answer to this question. Rather, organizations need to test various marketing efforts based on audience and message, and focus on what delivers the best results. Once you pinpoint the most effective medium for each audience and message, you can create a correlating marketing strategy and work to optimize your efforts across channels.