Clicks Don't Cut It! (1,214 words)
by Bob Hacker
By April 2000, reality returned to the world of e-business. The dot-com frenzy pooped out overnight and now we all know that shooting gerbils out of a cannon will no longer convince anybody to buy a company's products, services or hyped-up stock. Now, just like the rest of us, the online world is going to have to show Wall Street and Main Street that it can make a profit.
This reality shift should be very good for direct marketing since many companies will have to shift their investment spending away from advertising-centric brand building and toward an experiential branding model—first drive people to the site and get them to buy, then let the site pay off the brand promise with first-hand experience. One of the direct marketing channels many companies should use is direct mail. Here's why:
1. Direct mail prospecting databases are huge. If a program isn't scalable, it shouldn't even be tested.
2. Direct mail targeting is better than any other medium—bar none.
3. Direct mail doesn't need permission. Permission is great, once you have it, but how do you get it in the first place? If you want to get permission from proven buyers, not clickers, direct mail can be a great alternative.
Should you consider direct mail? Use this process to determine whether direct mail makes sense. Then, if it does, we'll tell you some things you should and shouldn't do to make it work.
Step 1. Do thorough research for both direct mail and opt-in e-mail lists.
Can you find the right people and how many can you find? (Here's where you can take advantage of direct mail's 1,000-year head start. We often find 1,000-percent to 2,000-percent more targeted names in direct mail databases than we find in opt-in e-mail databases.)