Key Direct Marketing skills are in high demand in Digital Marketing.  That’s because smart marketers realize that Offer creation and managing Lead Generation programs, Analytics and Testing — all critical for effective Digital Marketing — are all Direct Marketing skills.

Direct Marketing:  Offers, Lead Management, CRM, Testing, and Analytics

Direct Marketers are the ones usually responsible for (and experienced in) generating measurable, trackable:

1.  Leads:  including lead generation, lead qualification, and lead conversion

2.  Traffic:  retail traffic, web traffic, phone traffic

3.  Direct sales

In addition, it’s a Direct Marketer who’s usually charged with creating profitable customers through:

4.  Cross-sell and up-sell efforts and Offers

5.  Loyalty programs

6.  Reactivation programs

It’s the Direct Marketer who will try to create more “best” customers and increase Lifetime Value.  And it all starts with the Offer.

It’s the OFFER that Drives the Right Audience to the Right Action

 Among the key skills that define great Direct Marketers is the skill of Offer Creation.  (It was the Direct Marketers who were doing “Content Marketing” decades before the Internet even existed.)

Direct Marketers start with the specific objective we’re trying to achieve.  Then we craft an Offer to motivate our specific target audience to take a specific action.  (I’ve been in meetings where staff says, “gee, what should we offer this month?” — rather than starting with a plan.)

I received a call a while ago from the agency working with a local store that is part of a nationwide retail chain. The account manager was working on Offers (to drive sales) to include in the next postcard mailing.

“What do you think about offering 20% off your entire purchase versus 20% off a single item versus 10% off a $100 purchase and 20% off a $200 purchase?” she asked.  I re-focused her on thinking about the end result of each offer.

Once we identified the objectives her promotion was trying to achieve, we were then able to select the right Offer.

Creating and Managing a Lead Generation Program

A key skill that smart Direct Marketers usually possess is knowing how to create and manage a lead generation program.

For a Direct Marketer, creating effective Lead Management programs may involve:

  • Lead generation — using every possible medium that makes sense for the audience, budget, and specific ROI goals
  • Managing Lead “quality” versus Lead quantity — through the commitment level of the Offer and other elements
  • Attracting A, B, and C leads — and identifying A leads for Sales follow-up
  • Lead nurturing — typically through email marketing
  • Lead conversion — typically through email marketing that drives traffic to a website landing page

Marketers at all levels struggle to put together an on-going lead generation SYSTEM.  Perhaps it’s because so many marketers never learned key Direct Marketing skills.

CRM:  Creating More Profitable Customers

Great Direct Marketers are the ones who are typically charged with managing customer profitability. It’s our job to analyze the customer file, and create steady streams of communications to maximize the value of our customers over time.

It’s a smart Direct Marketer who’s responsible for:

  • On-going education of customers (and prospects, through lead nurturing)
  • Up-sell efforts
  • Cross-sell efforts
  • Making each sale more profitable by boosting average order size
  • Increasing purchase frequency

That’s because all of these efforts involve smart crafting of targeted Content and Offers.  The Direct Marketer strategically analyzes the customer file and creates messages and offers to achieve specific objectives.   And those messages and offers are usually delivered by email . . .

Email marketing has supplemented (and in many cases, replaced) direct mail to:

  • Convert leads
  • Sell more to existing customers

But the same skills required to craft effective Direct Mail programs are those needed for effective Email programs.

(Next — Part 2:  Testing, Analytics, and Direct Marketing done on the Web.)