DSC Tech Library
Telemarketing Related Information
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The following is an article relating to the telemarketing industry including products and services in our business areas.
Elements to Consider in Developing a Direct Marketing Plan
Wednesday December 31st, 2003
What is the best way to reach my customers directly?
The four elements to consider in developing a direct marketing plan are goals, target customers, strategy of the offer, testing of the program and measuring success.
Generally speaking, a direct marketing program is used to secure sales directly from the producer of product or provider of service to the intended customer. A response rate of 2 percent is considered successful. This does not imply that 98% of the program was unsuccessful; just that those targeted customers were not ready to purchase at that particular time. The targeted customers certainly became more aware of the product or service and will be given the opportunity to buy again at a later date.
Other goals for a direct marketing approach can be assisting the sales process by identifying prospective customers or educating the targeted customers. Be clear about the goals of the program so that you can measure the programís success.
Crucial to the success of any direct marketing program is the target market. The more qualified the customer, the more likely the sale. Qualifying issues can be age, gender, income, education level, geographic location, previous mail-order purchases, etc. For most start-up businesses, targeted customer lists can be obtained through groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, professional trade associations, etc.
Lists are available for sale with either some minimum dollar value or minimum number of prospects. Purchasing a list is a good way to supplement your target customer database, but external lists can have duplicate names, incomplete data, etc., so testing purchased lists is always a good idea.
Strategy of the Offer
It is necessary to develop an effective offer strategy that meets the target customerís needs. Included for consideration are the product or service, the offer (reason to buy at this time), the medium and the distribution method.
Choose the product or service that is the most attractive to the targeted customers and create an offer that will move the customer to purchase. For example, if your business is carpet cleaning, your offer might be targeted for spring cleaning and include a discount of two rooms cleaned for the price of one. The more convenient and attractive the offer, the better results will be obtained.
Choice of medium is also important. Oversized postcards can be very effective, since there is no envelope to open and the offer can be stated boldly so the potential customer doesnít miss the message. If your choice is included in an envelope, be sure something eye-catching is printed on the outside of the envelope; preferably printed in color. A telemarketing campaign might also be a good choice, depending on your budget and ability to launch an effective campaign. Telemarketers need a good script, practice and training to be successful. One advantage of a telemarketing campaign is the ability to obtain information about your product or service, whether or not the potential customer purchases the item offered.
Testing the Program
Each element of the program should be tested. Was the choice of product or service the appropriate item? Was the offer attractive enough? Was it offered to the right customer? Was the medium the best choice for reaching the customer? Follow up is necessary to determine that each element was the appropriate choice, and follow up should be directed to both customers who purchased the product or service and those who did not.
Success of direct marketing programs can be measured in two ways: the tangible results of dollars spent versus revenues produced and the intangible results of information obtained about the market and customers.