Direct Marketing Tips in 2012 to Improve Marketing ROI

By Soo Dawson

You know and I know that direct marketing tactics can really backfire at times. I recently heard of a bakery owner in a small suburb who offered a deal on her Facebook page – order a cake by such and such date and you will get a second cake for free!

She ended up having to fulfill over 2,500 orders and lost $20,000 in labor costs and baking supplies.

What she probably didn’t anticipate was the overwhelming response to her promotion, and it ended up becoming a costly mistake for her. But many marketers fall prey to this type of poor planning from time to time. Here are some direct marketing tips for 2012 to help improve your marketing ROI:

  • importance of public relationsNo matter what you do, don’t cheapen your brand. If something is offered all the time, it loses its value. Instead, focus on providing value to your potential customers and offer discounts sparingly.
  • Stick to your deadline – it will give you more credibility and make people act when you want them to. I have a site I shop at occasionally. They offer coupon deals that are “expiring today” so I better “act now.” However, I find that they don’t stick to deadlines; if I go in tomorrow, the coupon code still works! I’ve found their leniency in deadlines makes me want to shop at their site less because in a way it seems like they can’t stick to their word, even for a little coupon.
  • Command language works – this is especially true when you trigger human emotions like fear, envy or exclusivity. Try this sentence: “Purchase [some limited item – triggers envy/exclusivity] that [group of coveted people like celebrities or athletes – triggers envy/exclusivity] are buzzing about [before it runs out, goes back into the vault, runs out completely, or some other permutation – triggers fear]!” Most purchases are inherently emotional, so if you are able to utilize command language, you will see better results.

What about you? Feel free to share direct marketing failures or successes with us.