About 124.5 billion business emails are sent and received each day. With this high volume, it’s crucial to make your emails stand out. A smart email program provides opportunities to effectively communicate with your customers and prospects, leading to increased sales and revenue growth. Segmenting—by target audience, relevant message and place in the buying cycle—is key. In fact, research shows that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales because of lack of segmentation. And Lyris’ Annual Email Optimizer Report found that 14.30% of respondents experienced better deliverability and greater revenue when segmenting their email marketing. Read more
There are many creative marketing strategies that you can implement in order to increase outreach to customers and improve your bottom line. While many businesses are going above and beyond in their search for creative marketing solutions, you can simply seek to be creative within the 4 basic components of an online marketing approach (i.e. brand development, inbound marketing, content marketing and email marketing).
By seeking creative solutions within these 4 tactics, you can develop a successful creative marketing strategy. Here’s how:
Creativity in Brand Development
A creative way of increasing the relevance of your brand is by making your brand tell a story. Story-banding is an effective way to connect emotionally to your customers so they can see your products as having a greater purpose. You can achieve story-branding for your company by highlighting the inspiration behind your products and services.
Emphasize what motivates your company to achieve its goals (for example creativity, self-fulfillment, better health etc.), and incorporate your operations as a means towards achieving this goal. That way you can make your brand the hero of its own story, one which customers will relate to.
Creativity in Inbound marketing
A creative way to generate leads to your website is by having unique, yet appropriate content across all your channels. One approach you can use is to dedicate a portion of your site for product education.
If you are selling a well-known product, you could come up with creative ways on how the product can be used, how to make it last longer, behind the scenes details on how it works, etc.
One company that uses product education as a tool for its inbound marketing strategy is Gonesh Incense. The company produces incense products and has a DIY blog that contains videos on how their products can be used in many different ways; from re-using flowers after Valentine’s Day to making bath salts using their fragrance oils.
Such content is not only useful and appropriate to potential leads, but it also helps their brand establish trust and stronger relationships with customers.
Creativity in Email Marketing
When you send out emails, incorporate interactive elements such as GIFS, rotating banners and menus. You could display an enticing sales discount or a new product launch by using a GIF. You could also categorize information about your product under different headings within a menu in the email.
This gives your customers the independence to browse product information and select whichever section they would like to read more about, right within the email.
Creativity in Social Media Marketing
One way that you can utilize social media creatively is by developing targeted messages that appeal to common groups of people online, who you can bring together in relevant social media groups.
For example, a company specializing in manufacturing bicycles can create a fan page for cyclists and bring them together through targeted messages that contain useful information that applies to cycling. The more cyclists the company is able to attract to join the group, the more they can incorporate their branding into the fan page and begin to nurture their leads.
Creative marketing solutions are the future of online marketing. By simply rethinking and refocusing the conventional ways through which you carry out your online marketing, you can be able to achieve creative marketing solutions and grow your bottom line.
With increasing competition in the online marketing world, it is becoming essential for businesses to innovate creative ways to appeal to customers via email. Learn some of the newest interactive email marketing trends to take advantage of.
As opposed to traditional emails that would only contain plain text and occasional attachments, interactive emails are packed with exciting add-ons to appeal to their customers. Below are characteristics as well as advantages of using interactive emails for your business.
Increased Compatibility with Google
Google announced compatibility with the media query for their email clients across all devices. This compatibility now allows email developers to include complex email designs without having to sacrifice certain components in order to ensure compatibility.
With the all-new support for media query, developers are now unlimited in their ability to incorporate complex media into emails. Google has also optimized email layouts for viewing between mobile devices and desktop computers.
An animated GIF is a combination of static images, containing multiple frames in succession, to create an animated image. It achieves video effect while occupying only slightly more space than a regular image.
These interesting animations can be designed to convey information such as sales discounts, the launch of a new product, important information about your business, among others.
Providing a framework for menu options within emails can allow your customers to quickly navigate through various products or service categories right within the email. This allows you to present your customers with several options to choose from before they can begin to load new web pages to get to your site.
If you are providing news, customers can quickly scroll through various news categories and see what interests them before they can read further. Travel companies can also offer various packages right within the email for their customers to sieve through.
Integrated forms are perfect for companies that seek to collect information from their customers (in the form of surveys, questionnaires, etc). Rather than having the reader link to a new page, the form can simply be embedded within the email.
Customers can, therefore, answer questions or make their selections right within the body of the email. There are templates that integrate check-boxes, text boxes for open-ended questions and radio buttons for closed-ended questions.
Emails that contain a lot of information can present it in a clean and catchy manner by using rotational banners. These interactive elements allow consumers to flip through multiple images, each with a separate message embedded within.
Rotating banners are perfect for tour and travel companies that are showcasing various packages. Financial institutions like banks that are advertising credit card options or different types of bank accounts can also use this feature. News snippets of various trending stories can also be laid out in rotating banners by news and media outlets.
Sliders can be used to display multiple products within the email at the same time. This allows for customers to make comparisons and to access information on multiple products without having to click on their inbox.
Sliders are perfect for companies that launch different variations of the same product and would like information on the various versions to be readily available to the customer. They are also helpful for those sellers who would wish to include a combination of pictures, product specifications and product reviews right within the email.
Futuristic Email Trends
There are also brand new interactive email designs that are slowly growing in popularity but still pretty new to most email users. These include key frame animation (smoother animations and frame changes than GIFS, with effects such as linear and parallel movement, and hover effects), cinemagraph (using GIFS to create cinematic video-like effects), and compatibility with 2k and 4k resolutions (which includes lack of width limitation and a resolution of higher than 600 pixels).
In conclusion, interactive emails are the future of email marketing, and it is important for businesses to stay up to speed with new email marketing trends that they can incorporate into their future marketing strategies. The numerous advantages of interactive emails, as discussed here, continue to make them an online marketing necessity.
Are you looking to increase your conversion rate? Call-to-Actions are an essential part of the conversion process, but what kinds of Call-to-Actions should you put on your website? CTAs should be simple yet effective, and should catch the attention of your visitors. The formula for a successful CTA page title consists of combining such sales buzzwords as “free,” “discount,” “offer,” “gift,” “guarantee,” with action-oriented words like “click,” “download,” “request,” and “send.” Listed below are 50 powerful Call-to-Action phrases that visitors can’t resist clicking on.
50 Powerful Call-to-Action Phrases
- Download now
- Click here
- Join now
- Download here
- Start now
- Click here for details
- I urge you to…
- Get a free…
- Talk to an expert
- Immediate download
- While supplies last
- Money back guarantee
- Money back guarantee, no questions asked
- Get it now!
- Act quickly
- Free shipping
- Shipping discount
- Come in for a free consultation
- Come see us today
- Reserve your spot now
- Come in today
- Start your trial
- Start your free trial
- Offer expires…
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- We’d like to hear from you
- I can’t wait to hear from you
- Limited availability
- Limited time offer
- Best value
- For more details call…
- Please don’t hesitate to call
- We’re waiting for your call!
- Send for our free brochure
- Send for our free catalog
- Subscribe to our email list
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Send in your application today!
- Apply here
- Order now and receive a free gift
- Tell us what you think
- Take our quiz!
- Sign up online at…
- Get started today
- Request your FREE quote today
- Just reach for your phone
- Members only/Subscribers only
- Contact us
- It’s important that you respond promptly
- Download our eBook for more information
Now that you know what attention-grabbing Call-to-Actions look like, you can implement your own. Don’t just copy and paste the CTA phrases from the list above. Tweak the CTA phrases so that they apply specifically to your company and your products and/or services. For example, instead of just saying, “Start your free trial,” you can say “Start your free trial with (insert company name here) so your CTA is more personalized. Use these phrases as a template for your website’s CTAs, sit back, and watch the clicks roll in!
When it comes to advertising, businesses as a whole tend to be aggressive. They let you know exactly who they are, what they do, and why you should buy from them. Even in inbound marketing, companies will try to tie the topic of conversation in with their products or services in some way. However, this isn’t the only course of action. You can also reach your target audience and successfully engage them by advertising in a more subtle manner. Such a strategy is known as soft-sell advertising.
What Is Soft-Sell Advertising?
Soft-sell advertising is a more subtle form of advertising. The goal behind soft-sell advertising is to evoke a positive emotional response. The idea is that the customer will then subconsciously connect the response they had to the brand that invoked it. Businesses that implement soft-selling marketing will often create ads that are warm or humorous, as these tend to be the ads that invoke the most positive feelings.
The History of Soft-Selling
The idea of soft-selling first emerged in 1914, when Theodore MacManus published an ad that would become the model for the soft-sell. The ad was essentially an essay on the burden of being the best in one’s field. The ad was for Cadillac, yet Cadillac wasn’t mentioned a single time. Nor was there an illustration that ran with the ad. Yet the ad was incredibly successful.
The Benefits Of Soft-Sell Advertising
The following are some of the reasons why you should incorporate soft-selling advertising into your marketing strategy:
- Less pressure on customers – Because soft-sell ads don’t push products or services, customers will feel less pressure to buy. The pressure is apparent in hard-sell ads, and it’s often off-putting. Using soft-selling ads, you give your audience the ability to discover your brand and make a purchasing decision on their own time.
- Increase brand awareness – Even though you’re not pushing your brand into their faces, audiences will be more likely to share your content. The reason? People don’t share ads, they share content. When you create a soft-sell ad, you have to focus on the quality of the content and not on the sale. If you are able to create high-quality content that invokes a positive emotion, your audience will share that content. People will share content that elicits a positive reaction to their friends, thereby increasing your brand awareness.
- Build more trust – Another result of having to focus on content quality is that you’ll build more trust. You’re basically offering your audience something of quality without asking for something in return. This shows them that you care about more than just sales. As a result, they’ll be more likely to explore your brand further. Not to mention that building trust is essential to building long-lasting relationships.
Examples Successful Soft Sell Advertising
Soft sell advertising has grown in popularity, both in regards to inbound marketing and outbound marketing. The following are a few examples of effective soft-selling ads:
- Yeti – Yeti is a company that sells coolers and outdoor accessories. They filmed an entire series of videos called Hungry Life showing a well-known chef spending time in nature, where he picks plants, goes fishing, and prepares his meals outdoors. Although Yeti’s coolers do make an appearance, they are never showcased or talked about. Yeti is obviously targeting a specific audience by showcasing a specific lifestyle. That audience will then make an emotional connection between that lifestyle and the Yeti brand.
- Burt’s Bees – Burt’s Bees uses their founder as the spokesperson. This is perfect because he essentially represents their main buyer persona. The Nature of Burt video introduces Burt, who explains who he is. He’s likable and funny, and their target audience can relate to him. What makes the video so effective is that it builds an emotional connection between the viewer and Burt, all without ever promoting the brand or its products.
Implement a Soft-Sell Advertising Strategy Today
Because many companies focus many of their marketing efforts on generating brand awareness, they tend to be overly aggressive. However, soft-sell marketing can be incredibly effective in terms of engaging your audience and building trust. As such, you should be sure to include soft-sell marketing tactics in your inbound marketing strategy.
Looking for ways to boost your social media brand presence? Knowing how to increase brand engagement on Instagram, the latest and hippest social media platform app, is a great start. People are online all day due to working from home. Virtual shopping has risen due to restrictions and pandemic fears. As we have geared toward a more online world, your brand’s presence on the web is more important now than ever.
According to Forbes, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business or brand, and 200 million users on Instagram visit business profiles daily. 70% of users turn to Instagram to look up a brand, and 60% learn about new products using Instagram. Now is the time to catch up with the competition that is already using these trends to their advantage.
Here is a compilation of our 30 best marketing tips for businesses to grow Instagram engagement and following in 2020:
Instagram Profile and Posting Habits
- Get to know the Instagram app and master how to use its basic features such as uploading posts and stories.
- Write a compelling Instagram bio and integrate it into your brand personality.
- Keep posts visually consistent to meet your brand’s style guide and tone.
- Incorporate categorized pinned stories on your Instagram page so it is easily navigable and can be used as a resource for sharing your brand identity to consumers.
- Optimize captions using brand hashtags and relevant hashtags with high popularity. (Determine if a hashtag is trending by typing the hashtag in the instagram search bar to see how many posts come up with the hashtag.)
- Use tools such as Hashtagsforlikes to optimize hashtags to use for your business sector.
- Create and promote a specific branded hashtag for a campaign. Encourage others to share the hashtag with it theming around a relevant, trending topic that consumers are passionate about.
- Use local hashtags and geotags on posts in order to attract local users on Instagram in a similar way SEO works for the web.
- Post consistently with both posts and stories, including videos, polls, and other interactive elements to keep followers engaged and entertained with your content.
- Start conversations using Instagram stories stickers and polls.
- Schedule Instagram stories to generate more views.
- Keep in mind that 40% of Instagram videos do not have sound on, so ensure you caption relevant verbal content.
- Convert instagram followers into email subscribers by making your Instagram a business account and promoting your email subscriptions in your Instagram posts and stories.
- Monitor your tagged photos to ensure a good reputation, and un-tag your account on posts that are irrelevant or spam, so they do not appear on your profile.
- Add a link to instagram stories in order to generate website traffic.
- Use humor through gif’s and memes to execute your brand message through a creative angle.
Increasing your Instagram following
- Optimize SEO on instagram by paying vital attention to your Instagram handle and name. It is very important that your handle (@…) reflects your business industry. Try to make it short, sweet, and with relevant words. The account name should reflect the account handle and industry because it is what Instagram checks its searches against when users type a word or emoji in the search bar.
- Partner with micro influencers.
- Run a contest, giveaway, or raffle entry through your account page.
- Invest in Instagram ads, which targets customers with personalization and buyer persona techniques.
- Create “savable” content, or posts that are aesthetically pleasing, informationally useful or relevant. This will entice followers to save the content to their library and increases the chances of further brand awareness. Simultaneously, creating desirable content provides people a reason to continue following your page and share your content.
- Participate in popular conversations on accounts with high following and public relevance in order to get your instagram handle out there and quickly generate new followers.
- Encourage followers to re-share your Instagram stories through incentives of discount promotion codes and/or contests.
- Open up about your business with a weekly featured vlog of the day in the life of an employee, an interesting biographical picture and captioned story of the founders, or inspirational quote from the CEO.
- Follow relevant accounts and users following competition in your industry to gain followers back.
- Promote your Instagram on other social media accounts. Feature your Instagram account in your Twitter and Facebook bios, and make a post promoting your Instagram page with a link.
- If your Facebook has many likes or followers already, consider linking your Facebook and Instagram together to boost your Instagram following.
Keeping Track of your Instagram Performance
- Ensure your account is in business mode to automatically receive valuable insights and analytics on how your posts are doing.
- Regularly test and analyze new content to post to your Instagram.
- Use a free follower tracking app to regularly unfollow accounts that do not follow yours back in order to maintain a good follower/following ratio while continuously following new accounts.
We hope these 30 tips with various resources serve you well on your journey to becoming an Instagram lead-generation powerhouse. Happy “gram-ing”!
Before a company can establish a solid marketing plan, it must be aware of the specific target markets or customer profiles it has the best chance to attract to its product or service. Creating a buyer persona is essential to effective attraction marketing.
In order to perfect your approach in buyer persona launch, these are some common mistakes to avoid:
Don’t Forget to Focus on the Buyer Decision
The most common mistake marketers make is solely defining a buyer persona by the buyer profile, rather than putting detailed consideration in what is most useful: the buyer decision.
How to fix this:
Aside from using previous data, we recommend using the research questions provided by 5 Rings of Buying Insight™, which incorporates every aspect you need to know about your buyer persona’s decision making process:
- Priority initiatives – What causes certain buyers to invest in solutions like yours? What is different about buyers who are satisfied with the status quo?
- Success factors – What operational or personal results do your buyers expect to achieve by purchasing this solution?
- Perceived barriers – What concerns cause your buyers to believe that your solution or company is not their best option?
- Buyer’s journey – Who and what impacts your buyers as they evaluate their options and make a selection?
- Decision criteria – Which aspects of competing products, services, solutions, or companies do your buyers perceive as most critical? What do your buyers expect for each?
Keep Your Research Questions Simple and Sweet
Marketers often stray from insightful target market findings if they use too much detail in their research questions. When conducting research about your buyer persona through surveys or focus groups, avoid questions that are overly personal or technical. This may deviate your campaign away from any productive findings that would help you truly get to know your ideal customer niche.
How to fix this:
When developing questions, it is best to start by establishing what the key problems or questions are that you ultimately want answers for. You may start with a larger, broader list of questions… however, do not make the mistake of forgetting to shave it down. In the end, all questions should lead to answers that are simple, sweet, and directly related to the problem trying to be solved at hand.
Assuming About the Buyer Persona Leads Campaigns Astray
It is important to remember that the most helpful information comes directly from the customers. When researching a potential buyer persona, it is crucial to avoid filling in the blanks, skipping the interview, or assuming anything about the client. A campaign could go in the complete wrong direction if this occurs.
How to fix this:
Rather than making an incorrect assumption based on survey results, in-depth conversations with people can provide the answers you need to bring your brand to the next level. Additionally, a small sample size may lead to incorrect assumptions. Since quality > quantity, and many agencies fixate too much into demographic or other obvious information rather than actually helpful insights, in-depth interviews are again a solution to avoiding this mistake. In order to avoid an over-reliance on anecdotes, always ensure they are backed up by data. You know what they say about assuming… it definitely does not make an accurate buyer persona!
Less is More: Master One Buyer Persona First!
It is important to focus on mastering one target market rather than taking on too many to handle. Trying to tackle too many buyer personas at once can overwhelm. This results in a lower quality of target profile insights and vague understanding of individual buyer personas. Before deciding to take on another buyer persona, it is important to know that this new initiative will bring about sufficient revenue and that your company has the resources necessary to execute.
How to fix this:
Instead of pondering how many buyer personas to generate, it is important to first focus on establishing how many ways your company needs to market its product or service as the solution for a given buyer persona. Once these are established, it is much easier to gauge if another buyer persona should emerge.
One Stock Photo Cannot Fit All
Though stock photos incorporate a creative, personable, and emotion-driven touch to a targeted campaign. However, marketers often forget that one stock photo cannot fit all customers within a buyer persona. Do not make the common mistake of overthinking a stock photo to the point it (mis)leads your campaign into the (wrong) direction.
How to fix this:
In order to solidify your campaign, be sure to start the buyer persona creation process with fleshed out, concrete ideas about who exactly your target market is. Only then should you allow yourself to do the fun part of depicting this persona; stock photos should embellish your envisioned buyer persona- not create it.
More on Buyer Personas:
- Why Are Buyer Personas So Important?
- How to Create a Buyer Persona Template for the Homebuilder Market
- Using Buyer Personas for Senior Living Marketing
- How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business
More and more employees are working remotely these days, in part due to the major strides made in technology. Not only do most workers have access to a home computer, but they also have access to countless software solutions that allow them to communicate and collaborate with coworkers and managers from home. It’s estimated that between 2005 and 2017, the number of people in the U.S. that worked remotely increased 159 percent. In early 2020, roughly 4.7 million people worked remotely. As of April of this year, those numbers have likely increased substantially.
If you are working remotely for the first time, making the adjustment can be challenging. This is especially true if you’ve gone into work your entire life. You’ll quickly find that working remotely provides you with much more freedom and flexibility, but that it will require much more discipline in order to stay motivated and be productive as well. With that in mind, the following are a few tips on working remotely:
1. Establish A Routine
When you went to work, odds are you had a morning routine before you left as well as an evening routine right when you got back. Such routines are helpful because they allow you to mentally prepare yourself for when to start and stop working. Without clear routines, it can be difficult to get started, which can hurt your productivity. The last thing you want is to keep putting off work to the point where you don’t get started until 3:00 PM and then end up working all night long.
Establish a routine, such as getting up at a certain time, taking a shower, eating breakfast while you watch the news, and then get started by checking your email. Don’t forget to have a routine for when you stop working as well, such as taking your dog for a walk at 6:00 PM.
2. Set Up An Office Space
If you don’t have a dedicated office space, it will be a challenge to stay organized and to get yourself into the right mindset to be productive. Working from your couch in the living room is also not a great idea since you’ll have to fight off various distractions. If you have a spare bedroom, such as a guest room, consider turning it into your office space. If you don’t have an extra room, try to find a quiet space in your home where you can permanently set up — even if it’s just a table in your kitchen or a desk in your bedroom.
3. Maintain A Regular Schedule
A regular schedule is important for your productivity. Otherwise, you may end up working a few hours one day and 12 hours the next, which isn’t going to be great for your work-life balance. Without a regular schedule, it might be difficult to stay productive as well. Not to mention that coworkers, managers, business partners, and clients may find it difficult to reach you if they don’t know when you’re working.
4. Create Home Rules
If you’re not the only person at home, then you need to set some clear rules, whether you have roommates or a family. Let them know when your work schedule is and where you’ll be working so that they do not disturb you.
Enjoy The Article: Creative Marketing Solutions
5. Give Yourself Breaks
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you don’t get to take breaks. Take the same amount of breaks you would take if you were working at the office. Breaks are important as they will help keep you from wearing yourself out working. If you don’t take breaks, your work will begin to suffer.
6. Get Out Of The House
Now that you’re working from home, you’re going to find that you’re always at home. To keep yourself from getting cabin fever, be sure to get out of the house. For example, start your day with a run through the neighborhood, use one of your breaks to go for a brief walk, or end your day with a long walk.
7. Communicate Clearly
Because you’re not in the same space as your coworkers and managers, communication is key. Clearly communicate when you’re working, what you’re working on, what your needs are, and more. Regular communication throughout the day will help keep everybody on the same page. It will also help prevent miscommunication, which is something that does tend to occur when everyone is working remotely.
These are just a few tips that will help people adjust to working at home and allow them to work remotely with greater success. Here at Stevens & Tate, we understand the challenges of working from home and are currently one of the many companies that have transitioned to working remotely. We are still capable of providing all of our services, from digital marketing to media coordination, and we will continue to work closely with our clients via a variety of communication methods, including the use of web conferencing tools and more traditional methods, such as phone and email.
Email marketing was one of the earliest forms of inbound marketing — and it’s continued to be one of the most widely used due to how cost-efficient and effective the strategy is. If you’re implementing an email marketing campaign, then it’s important that you keep track of certain email marketing metrics so that you can judge how your campaign is performing and identify what is and isn’t working so that you can make strategic adjustments as necessary. The following are some of the most important email marketing metrics that you should be following:
Click Through Rate
Click throughs refer to how many recipients are clicking the links in your email. The higher your click-through rate is, the more enticing your content was to your recipients. A poor click-through rate means that you’re not connecting with your readers. A/B tests, which help find new ways to get more clicks in your emails, also make use of CTR’s.
Unique opens refers to how many people open your emails. If you don’t have many unique opens, it means that your subject lines need work — or you may not be timing your emails properly and they’re getting buried in the inboxes of your recipients so that they don’t see them.
Forward rates weigh the percentages of recipients who share your posts. A high forward rate is a good sign that you’re doing something right. It means you’re providing content that recipients believe is helpful and informative. As a result they then forward it to friends, family members, or coworkers.
The bounce rate measures how many subscriber email addresses didn’t receive your email. A soft bounce means that the email address is valid; but the inbox was full or the server was down. A hard bounce means that the email wasn’t valid. To avoid a high bounce rate, periodically update your email list and remove old addresses.
Similar Article:Exploring The Differences Between B2C and B2B Email Marketing
The deliverability rate refers to the percentage of emails that reach your recipients’ inboxes. Factors that may prevent your emails from being sent include email addresses that don’t exist or no longer exist or emails that are spam.
Clicks Per Link
Click-through-rates only refers to how many times your links were clicked. However, Clicks per link is a more detailed metric. It shows which links get more clicks on your campaign; not counting how many times each recipient has clicked on the link .
Your conversion rate, will assess how many people click on the link and then complete a specific action. A low conversion rate means that your content isn’t connecting or your calls-to-action aren’t effective. Similarly, conversion rates give unique insight into your return investment. When you know how much you have spent, and how many subscribers have converted, it easier to determine whether or not the money you put in has paid off.
The higher your unsubscribe rate is, the more likely it is that there’s something wrong with your email campaign. There are two potential causes for this — you may be sending out too many emails to the point where your recipients are unsubscribing because you’re filling up their inbox or the content of your emails isn’t relevant to your recipients.
Once you’ve launched your email campaign, it’s important that you track how it does. You can make adjustments to your email marketing efforts throughout the campaign, after all. If things aren’t working, you won’t want to just let it fail — you’ll want to right the ship. To track how your campaign is going, be sure to keep these email marketing metrics in mind.
You may not realize it, but all marketing efforts can be categorized in one of two ways — direct marketing or indirect marketing. On the surface, direct vs. indirect marketing is relatively easy to understand. Direct marketing involves engaging with leads or customers directly. For example, sending a customer an email that contains a promotional offer. Indirect marketing is a strategy in which you put yourself in a position to be found by leads. Consequently, allowing them to engage with you instead of just directly engaging them. For example, writing a post on your website’s blog. Which leads can find through external links or through a search engine, is a form of indirect marketing.
Both direct marketing and indirect marketing can be effective strategies. However, to make sure that you implement them effectively, it’s important that you not only understand what the advantages of using each are, but also what the potential disadvantages are of direct vs indirect marketing.
Direct marketing includes a number of traditional marketing strategies that everyone is familiar with. For example TV commercials are a form of direct marketing. So are billboards, magazine ads, radio ads, and telemarketing. That’s not to say that digital marketing can’t be direct. For example, email marketing and PPC advertising are also forms of direct marketing. You’re essentially trying to find and address a specific audience — and you’re trying to get them to take action right away. The following are some of the advantages to such a strategy:
- You can identify specific audience segments, thereby allowing you to connect with people who are likely interested in your product or service already. For example, if you run a TV commercial, you can choose a time slot on a channel that you know your audience is watching.
- If you know the audience you’re addressing, then you can personalize your messages, thereby allowing you to nurture leads and build stronger relationships. For example, using the data you have to segment your email list allows you to send more relevant content to your recipients.
- The data you collect from your direct marketing efforts is more measurable. For example, you can track your email response rate to determine how effective your direct marketing strategy is and to make adjustments accordingly.
While there are plenty of advantages to implementing certain direct marketing techniques, there are some potential drawbacks as well. These can include the following:
- If you’re too overzealous, your direct marketing efforts may cross privacy boundaries and may even come off as spam, which will hurt your brand reputation.
- You have to have an understanding of who your audience is and where you can find them. Otherwise, you may be advertising to people who aren’t interested in your brand, which is a waste of time and money.
- Your overall reach won’t be as widespread since direct marketing requires you to focus in on a specific audience to be effective.
Indirect marketing is essentially marketing in which you’re not trying to sell a specific product or service. For example, content creation in the form of a blog of email newsletter are forms of indirect marketing. A lot of social media marketing is indirect as well. For example, if you’re simply engaging in discussions or posting links to informative articles. The idea behind indirect marketing is that you’re nurturing relationships, building brand authority, and generating brand awareness. The following are some of the advantages of indirect marketing:
- You provide value to your customers without coming off as self-serving, which helps to build your brand reputation and increase brand trust.
- Indirect marketing is typically much less expensive than direct marketing.
- Indirect marketing is a long-term strategy, which means that your efforts will continue to have an impact throughout the future. For example, you might write a blog post that someone reads years later.
As beneficial as indirect marketing is, there are a couple of disadvantages when compared to direct marketing. These disadvantages include the following:
- Tracking performance is more difficult. This is because you’re not honing in on specific customers — you’re casting a wider net.
- Indirect marketing efforts may not have instant impact — it may take some time before they begin drawing in new customers. As such, it can be frustrating not to see an immediate impact on sales.
- Because it’s a long-term strategy, indirect marketing requires constant attention. Whereas direct marketing tactics can work on their own, indirect marketing functions as a whole. This means that you need to be constantly working at it. There’s basically no end in sight.
As you can see, when it comes to direct vs indirect marketing, both have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Instead of choosing one over the other, the best course of action is to use a combination of both. This will allow you to see both short-term and long-term results, especially if you’re careful when it comes to avoiding the potential drawbacks that both strategies can present when used improperly.