In 1989 I met Larry Sivitz who had at that time had been running his own direct response marketing firm, focused on Credit Unions. Larry had a very successful career working for J Walter Thompson, Disney and finally Strategic Direct in Seattle before going out on his own.
Our agency, MMI, was very young and I knew very little about the direct marketing industry. So meeting Larry was a blessing and I am forever grateful to him for the words of wisdom and knowledge that he shared with us.
Later that year, after meeting Larry Sivitz, our agency ran a very successful direct marketing campaign for a client and the results were quite remarkable. And when I say remarkable, our results using direct mail to a targeted audience drew a response rate of over 60%.
Needless to say the client was happy and I still use the collateral to show what kind of results can be had with targeted direct response marketing.
I first heard about direct marketing a year earlier while studying David Ogilvy’s books, Confessions of an Advertising Man and Ogilvy On Advertising. As a new advertising agency looking to make our mark, Ogilvy seemed like just the guy to study and we needed every bit of help we could find. During this time I also studied the likes of Jay Conrad Levinson and learned all about what he referred to as Guerilla Marketing Strategies and Tactics.
Between these two I can honestly say that many of the strategies and tactics I’ve used since the MMI days of the late 1980’s have revolved around direct response marketing and networking. I’ve tested a lot, both offline and online using direct response and traditional ads along plus networking and some ‘out of the box’ tactics too.
As a small business owner or self employed professional, one of things you can do is utilize direct response marketing both online and offline to develop new business and increase revenues.
As I’ve heard Ken McCarthy say- the Internet is the greatest direct marketing platform the world has ever known. And he should know since he’s been around the web since the early 1990’s and has tons of success to show for it.
The one thing I love about direct response marketing is the simple fact that you as a small business owner, manager or professional can test just about everything. And I mean it – from headlines and URL’s to phone numbers and bullet points, one can test, measure, survey and find out what works best and brings the most results.
Online you can test very fast using pay per click text ads, banner ads, social posts, landing pages, blog posts and the list goes on and on. Maybe you have a brand new offer for a product or service and you want to know what set of keywords works best. Or maybe you want to test headlines to see which one pulls the most.
The online world allows you to focus in and directly market to your target market.
Now this is possible offline and but it takes more time and usually costs more money. But there is a way to combine the two, especially if you have an existing offline list to mail to. Yes, you can direct market using offline print, radio and TV, thus driving traffic (eyeballs) to specific online pages and this allows you to really see what offers will be worth marketing on a larger scale.
And with today’s technology and the QR code, you can really narrow your focus and directly market all kinds of offers to businesses and organizations that are looking for what you have. So do the research, find out what your market wants and utilize current technology to help you get the work done to increase sales and revenues.
To your direct marketing success,
PS – The SmallBiz Mechanic has a tool belt loaded with direct marketing tactics for the web and even some offline channels. So if you are looking for reliable, quality information, give him a ring or email. 🙂