What Really Happens in Direct Marketing and Selling?

direct marketing

An Example of Direct-Action Advertising (Photo Credit to: Sara Karen/Pinterest)

Direct Marketing is a consolidated strategy by which the seller, in effecting the exchange of products and services with the customer, directs efforts to an identified market using one or additional medium like:

 • Direct selling
• Direct mail
• Telemarketing
• Direct-action advertising
• Catalogue selling
• Cable TV selling

The aim is to solicit a reply through telephone or mail and a personal visit by a prospect or customer. In short, the organizations directly contact the target customers in the hopes of sparking interest, generating a response, and completing a transaction.

Sending mail to prospects is easy but could take some time before results are achieved. On the other hand, you could use a 1300 number that customers can call for faster transactions. Of course, if you are getting a 1300 number, you need to choose a set of numbers or pattern that prospects would easily remember. You must also be aware of the rates and benefits of a 1300 number so your business can take advantage of it fully.

Direct selling first began with Yankee vendors selling their goods to the colonies. When business forms developed, peddling declined, and retail outlets opened. However, manufacturers were not satisfied with this retail manner of commerce, so they started direct sales into their sales force to promote their goods. The men involved in direct selling were very organized. They believed they could compete with the retail market because at that time, retail establishments were incapable of providing adequate services and good quality as well. Direct selling took over the retail market based on their product advantages, convenience to the customer, and specialized knowledge about their distributors. Avon Products is an example of a successful direct sales business that began in the late 19th century.


Direct Selling is a type of direct marketing that involves personally presenting, demonstrating, and selling merchandise and services to buyers in their homes. In direct marketing, there are no intermediaries – a product is sold directly to the consumer – whereas personal selling is a one-on-one selling the sales person visiting a prospect and able to close a sale.

Pros and Cons of Direct Marketing

1. Direct mail strategy is found to be very effective to reach target audience.
2. Direct mail gives highest customer response fast.
3. When you advertise on a magazine, it would take a month for your ad to appear, so it takes longer to see the result or response of potential customers. Results of direct mail campaign can be seen in days.
4. In direct mailing, the mailing piece can be personalized with color application, appropriate photos, and use of a different font. This is not allowed in newspaper ads. They have a set of standards. Graphics is crucial in direct mail marketing piece.
5. Existing customers give a better response unlike than addressee who has never heard about the company and its product or service before. The existing customers are the best customers.
6. An offer of something free gets a better response than a discount offer.
7. Direct mail when received by prospects either ends up as follows – opened to find out what’s inside, while some discard them. Direct mail is more popularly known as junk mail.
8. Direct mail is affected by the rising cost of postage and promotional materials. It is also time-consuming writing down addresses or even pasting the labels.

Direct Marketing and Selling: Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. Direct selling is an advantage for a company. It sends a commission-earning salesperson directly to the qualified leads instead of waiting for the client to call or contact the company. A good salesperson, during his home-visit presentation, creates a need for a product and fills the need. Customers feel more in-charge of a transaction if done at home or office than at the store.
  2. One thing that repels customers is the pressure put on them to buy products or avail of services. Customers complain of commission-based salespersons who pressure them into buying, and that certainly leads to dissatisfaction and lost customers. Other offices or exclusive communities do not allow direct selling, resulting in a smaller customer base. Others prefer to prolong decision to buy until after they have done comparison-shopping.
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Use Social Media to Promote your Online Store

If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to promote your website, you’ll want to make use of digital marketing opportunities such as blogging and social media. Creating social media profiles for an online business can help keep your customers excited about what you have to offer, while drawing in new customers at the same time. There are integration tools that can help you link your social media accounts directly to your ecommerce store, saving time and money.

social media

The Benefits of Social Media

There is a multitude of benefits associated with using social media to promote a business. Connecting your business website to social media profiles allows you to access the millions of users on these networks. You can engage with existing customers and reach out to potentially unlimited new ones. Customers trust peer recommendations far more than paid advertising, and this costs no money to your business.

Direct vs. Indirect Marketing

There are two main ways to use social media in a promotional sense. To begin with, you can use it for direct marketing. This includes promoting your products, services, or special events using your Facebook or Twitter account. You can share news about new products, or tell fans about special offers. This helps build an engaged following who will want to share their great deals with friends. For example, an online pet store could let customers know about seasonal discounts on dog coats with Dogs Corner, and provide a special code for customers to pass on to friends. This creates exclusivity, which customers love. Contests and special events are also great examples of direct marketing.Another use of social media is in more indirect marketing. By interacting with your customers, social media provides the chance to build trust and a feeling of loyalty to your brand. Keeping a blog helps you showcase your brand’s personality, and you can respond directly to readers’ comments and concerns directly. This makes your business seem more human, and can boost customer engagement.

How to Make the Most of Social Media

To make the most of social media, you’ll want to integrate it directly to your website. Place buttons on your ecommerce site that go directly to your social media networks, and allow customers to like or share your products. Set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+ to make use of all networking possibilities. Ask customers to share pictures of themselves using your products, and post polls to boost engagement. Using the pet shop example, you could run a contest asking customers to post photos of their dogs sleeping in dog beds from Dogs Corner. The cutest dog photo can be rewarded with special discounts or a free prize. Use multiple forms of media to spark interest, including photos and videos from your office.

Social media integration essentially gives a business free advertising, and allows you to show off how you are different from competitors. It’s considered a vital part of running an online business today, so it’s worth taking some time to put the right systems in place for both direct and indirect marketing opportunities.

Image Credit:
Stuart Miles – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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