Direct Marketing Basics
Q: I manufacture children’s clothing and have built a great website. I know children’s fashion but not direct marketing. How do I get people to view my website and learn more about my great products?
A: Congratulations on building that great website. Now you’ve got a place for folks to find you and learn more about what you offer — so this is a great first step.
Now, how to get people there so that they can buy them from you? Depending upon your direct marketing budget, here are a few ideas to create awareness and drive folks to your website:
1) Direct Mail Campaign: We’re assuming that your target market is parents of fashion-conscious children. If you are targeting a certain geography, a compiled consumer list may be the best place to start. Think about who your target customer is . . . we know they are parents, but how much do they make (are your clothes higher-end)? Perhaps you want to target households with a certain income or only those who own their homes. Do you make clothes for newborn infants? If so, you may want to purchase data from a specialty list owner who has lists of expecting parents. With demographic data, the sky’s the limit. You can get targeted data on just about any population to make your direct mail campaigns more targeted and responsive. Create a colorful mail piece and direct your prospects to your website for more information.
2) Consider e-mail as an option. You may want to contact an e-marketing services provider. When you are conducting prospecting e-mail campaigns, these services providers have databases of consumers who have opted in to getting e-mails from them. They have the ability to target by age, income, and other demographics to target the campaign as much as possible. Then, for those who respond to the campaign, they return the name to you to add into your database for future marketing programs/customer correspondences. You can design landing pages on your website for those prospects to land on that make sense to your e-mail message. Try to capture as much information from each visitor as possible so that you are learning more about who your potential customers are. This will give you the intelligence to further refine your marketing efforts as time goes on. Make sure that you have a strong offer on your message so that they’ll be sure to click over. Once they get to your website, you’ve got their interest!
3) Social Media: As blog aficionados, we are big believers in building a community around what you offer (sort of like this Q&A blog!). We have seen a lot of parenting blogs out there. Parents are naturally communicative and very helpful to each other. Everyone is stretched for time and on the lookout for good ideas on how best to raise their children and manage their family/work lives. You may want to search to see what’s out there and what is being discussed, then create a blog that covers some missing subject matter. This way, you are establishing yourself as an “expert” in the area and you get a conversation started on topics that you are passionate about — and your blog visitors become passionate about, too. Perhaps you could start a blog on children’s fashion ideas for the busy Mom and Dad. Or, what your children should wear for certain events — see where I’m going?
We hope these three ideas have given you some food for thought. Think about how you like to be communicated with on products and services that you buy. Emulate those things that work for you. Basically, if it works for you, it probably works for many. And, keep us posted on how you do. We’d love to hear about your success!