Martin Wright of Martin Wright Associates, a direct marketing consultancy firm, told MyCustomer.com that there are three integrated approaches to direct marketing.
According to Wright, most companies benefit from a direct marketing plan that mixes tactical and strategic activity. He explained that companies can send a single message, they can send the same or similar messages at different intervals or they can create a plan that delivers different messages over time through various media platforms.
The first approach is single contact, where companies measure the response generated by a campaign. Wright said these approaches overestimate the incremental value of activity, and companies should compare sales by the group contacted to a control group. At first the contact group will have an increase in sales, but then they will fall below the control group. Wright says promotions increase sales when they would have increased anyway.
The approach of repeated contacts involves companies repeating the same campaign month after month, but segmenting the database so contacts only receive the marketing message every other month. The company will experience success with this campaign by using a combination of media types. Wright stated that a follow-up direct mail pack increases responses up to 48 percent, and an email follow-up by 25 percent. But response rates do decline over time, he said.
A coordinated contact program can increase more than sales; it can improve retention or the sales of products with a high barrier to purchase, according to Wright. Companies can use this approach to raise awareness, challenge attitudes and generate responses. Over time this can create a solid consumer base and loyalty to a brand.