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Direct Online Marketing - Direct Online Marketing: Paving The Way to Increased Sales

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Direct online marketing is not spam. There, it’s been said. It’s out in the open where it needs to be because for many people there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between direct online marketing and spam. However, as this article will soon detail, although there are similarities between the two they are actually different in many ways. The primary difference is that a focused direct online marketing campaign can have a great increase in sales while a spam campaign can have little positive result.

So if direct online marketing is not spam, then what is it? To answer that question, a definition and then a little history lesson might help. Direct marketing itself is simply the marketing of a product service or event directly to people who might be interested in it as opposed to marketing to large groups of people over traditional marketing avenues such as radio, television or newspapers. Started in the 1800’s through the mail and mail-order catalogs, direct marketing wasn’t actually given its name until the late 1960’s. Since then it has increased in use and in the process gathered about itself a fairly unsavory reputation as junk mail and spam.

This is unfortunate as direct online marketing is in many ways a very successful marketing tool for the small to mid-size business with a small advertising budget or little brand-name recognition. While traditional forms of advertising and marketing target their product to all members of society, for example everyone landing on a major web portal or popular website, direct marketing takes a different approach. Instead of paying the high advertising fees associated with these two examples, direct online marketers will target a smaller group of people who are much more inclined to buy the advertised product or service than the general public.

By seeking out and targeting advertising directly to a group of people who are already interested in the product or service being offered, the conversion rate goes through the roof. Direct online marketing and direct marketing in general often talk about conversion rates which is the rate at which people who see the advertisement either purchase it or perform some sort of specified action, such as clicking a link or signing up to receive emails about upcoming products or services. Essentially, a higher conversion rate means more sales and much more effective advertising which results in less wasted advertising dollars.

But how can a company utilize direct online marketing effectively? The first step is to really determine who the target audience is for a particular service or product. Marketing a product to the wrong group will result in a much lower conversion rate than if the product was marketed to the general public. By seeking out smaller niches and groups of people on the internet who would be interested in specific service or product and then advertising directly to them the expected sales should go up dramatically.

After determining who the target audience is the next step is marketing directly to them. The big question in many people’s mind is how to go about doing this. Direct online marketing often takes place in about 3 methods. The first is setting up a small or niche website. Many people will go to one of the big three search engines in order to find what they are looking for. By having a small, medium or even large sized website that ranks well for search terms associated with the product or service being offered there will be a resultant increase in both traffic to the website and in sales.

One thing to remember is that a website does not necessarily have to be a store. There are many different kinds of website that are effective for direct online marketing. One popular kind of website is an informational website that offers a large amount of information about the service being provided and asks the visitor to submit their email address for even more information or to be added to a mailing list. While many marketers have misused this type of website and it is commonly associated with spam it doesn’t have to be. Many industries, such as the travel industry and various professional industries, use this model in order to provide pricing and other proprietary information that simply cannot be advertised in the open on the internet.

Another model is for the business offering a product or service to set up an online forum that people can join and discuss not only the particular offering of the business but also related products. This allows the business to get real-time feedback about their products as well as grow their customer base for little more than the time it takes to monitor and minimally advertise their new online forum.

Direct online marketing, like its direct mail marketing cousin, has been much maligned in the press and society over the years. However small to medium sized business without a major marketing budget would be remiss if they passed up the very real benefits offered by direct online marketing.

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