According to the recent white paper Direct Marketing Trends for 2010 from The Ballantine Corp., a Wayne, N.J., firm that offers turnkey direct marketing creative and production services, this year could be better than expected for direct marketers that are willing to spread their wings. Here are three areas in particular where improvement, in terms of efficiencies and best practices, is expected, according to the report.
1. Better Quality List Content
List quality can be the No. 1 determining factor in the fate of your direct marketing campaign. Early signs show that list content in the coming year will house more helpful data fields, such as marital status, hobbies, past purchases and ethnic information—perfect for targeting marketing efforts more precisely.
2. More Multichannel Campaigns
While personalized URLs and multichannel campaigns get a lot of business media coverage, The Ballantine Corp. believes they still are in their infancy. This year that could change, with more integration between direct mail and Web-based methods than ever before. Customers are expected to receive many more print marketing products in the mail that feature personalized URLs and corresponding landing pages personalized for them.
Customer loyalty programs are predicted to reap profits from the multichannel approach, as now they will deliver more targeted messages via both mail and e-mail based on the purchasing habits of customers. Meanwhile, companies will attempt to communicate more with customers through social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.
3. Better E-mail Segmenting
Because of its low cost compared to direct mail and excellent ROI, e-mail marketing has become very popular, but it still has room for improvement, especially with segmentation. This year, expect to see better segmentation deployed by companies, which have gathered more detailed information during the downturn and now will be sending messages to more of the right leads (those people more likely to buy). As an example, a company may send three segmented marketing efforts rather than one general marketing effort.