With direct marketing, you can either try to sell your product or service directly or you can try to make a direct sale. There are pros and cons to both strategies. In this article, we will analyze both options, so you can determine what strategy is best for you.
Direct Sale- going for a direct sale simply means that there is no means of capturing any customer contact information, except for when the prospect purchases from you. All advertising is geared toward selling the product or service.
If you choose to go for a direct sale there are several ways that you can do this.
- You can mail a direct mail package with a sales letter to your prospects and for them to order they can visit a webpage, call a toll free number, fax an order, or mail in an accompanying order form.
- You can have that exact same direct mail sales letter on a webpage and then you can direct prospects to that page, where they can order online.
- Instead of having an actual printed sales letter you can have a video of a sales letter that makes a presentation and then gives the prospect the opportunity to purchase the product or service online.
- Finally, you can send traffic directly to an online catalog page, where the prospect can purchase the product, such as an Amazon product page.
Whichever way you choose to sell your product this can be an effective way of selling your product offline and online.
Some of the disadvantages of trying to go for the direct sale though are:
- If prospects do not purchase from you, then you have lost the opportunity to market to them in the future.
- Advertising can be very expensive and if the prospect does not purchase immediately, than you have wasted advertising money on that individual, and it cannot be recouped.
So one of the solutions for this is to make the sale at least a two step process and generate leads instead of going for the direct sale.
Lead Generation and Lead Magnets
Lead generation is all about growing a list of prequalified prospects that you can build relationships with and market to in the future.
One of the most effective ways of generating leads is to offer a lead magnet in exchange for the contact information. A lead magnet is simply giving something of value in exchange for the person’s contact information. At the minimum you should ask for at least an email address. You can ask for more contact information such their address, phone number, etc. But keep in mind that the more information that you ask for, the lower the number of people that will optin to your list, unless there is a reason for them to give the information to receive the lead magnet.
For instance, if you are offering a free report that you are mailing prospects, then the mailing address would be a necessity for the prospect to receive the information. But if you are asking for full contact information and then delivering the report over email, then the mailing address would not be a necessity, so the number of prospects that optin will be lower.
So remember to ask for only what you need to ensure the greatest number of optins.
What types of items can you offer as lead magnets?
There are some items that are universal that you can offer that have stood the test of time, are inexpensive to create, and can be delivered inexpensively. When creating a lead magnet remember that the lead magnet identifies the problem and then offers solutions to learn more or purchase a product to solve the problem.
Free Reports/Whitepapers – Free reports and whitepapers are classic lead generation items. Both have stood the test of time as far as lead generation offers. One of the best aspects about free reports is that many people do not delete them, once they are downloaded. This means they are sitting on the person’s hard drive to be rediscovered in the future. Plus, reports and whitepapers are similar to magazines in that they have a high pass along rate.
Videos– Videos are the newest form of lead magnet and are the most dynamic and interactive. Lead magnet videos offer can be a variety of different formats from information videos or personal videos of the person delivering the content. This can build the trust factor that few other mediums have the opportunity to create.
MP3s-MP3’s are great for lead generation. They can be in the form of interviews or from a single person perspective and delivering straight content. MP3’s also offer the fastest way to create a lead magnet. You only need a computer and a microphone.
Follow Up Systems
One thing to consider when you are implementing a lead generation strategy is the follow up system. What type of system do you have in place to either make the sale or build a relationship with the prospect? If you are generating leads than there has to be some follow up system in place for you to be able to convert the leads into revenue.
Direct Mail– This is used in all forms of direct marketing advertising from the radio, print, television and on the Internet. It is normally used in conjunction with call this number, visit this website, etc. to claim your free information. Once the information is sent then the company has the contact information of the prospect to follow up with additional direct mail to build a relationship and
Email Delivery– Email delivery is one of the easiest way to deliver a lead magnet to a prospect. Once the person opts in to your list, an email is automatically sent with the promised content. This allows you to follow up with additional emails to make the sale, offer other products and ultimately build trust and relationships with your prospects.
In conclusion, whether you go for a lead or a direct sale, often depends what you are promoting. Personally, being advertising is expensive, I normally, prefer going for the lead initially, although some situations offer a better opportunity to go directly for the sale.