Direct marketing services involve reaching out to customers via firsthand methods like direct mail, telemarketing , email marketing and so on than opting to traditional advertising channels like radio, television and newspapers. With direct marketing it is possible to receive immediate feedback from customers. Additionally, it saves time and money compared to advertising on visual media. Furthermore, direct marketing enables generation of more accurate statistics as sellers can interact with potential buyers one-to-one.
Direct Marketing Agency (DMA) is the authoritative body in the United States, which manages, moderates and controls all direct marketing services in practice with in the United States. DMA is responsible for creating awareness, endorsing direct marketing agencies, offering assistance, references and other required resources to those who make use of direct marketing services.
One of the most dominant direct marketing services used by almost every agency is direct mail. These agencies gather email and postal addresses categorized under different groups, in order to post communiques about products and services. Some of these groups are, home owners, new movers, and professionals (doctors, lawyers, nurses, technicians etc.) According to the direct marketing report in 2010 issued by Experian Inc. direct mail has been regarded the most effective to acquire new customers and keep track of live old customer leads. Many direct marketing agencies provide preset databases of customer postal and email addresses for a nominal fee. This has propelled direct mail in to greater heights in direct marketing services field.
Two similar forms of direct marketing services is telemarketing and email marketing. In telemarketing salesmen place calls directly to potential customers. However, in US certain telephone numbers belong to no-call-lists. Therefore it has to be made sure that the client list is free of these numbers before services can be initiated. Although not as effective as telemarketing, email marketing is an inexpensive method of reaching into a wider audience. The downside of email marketing is that there is a greater chance of messages not being able to reach the customer due to problems like spam filters, barring at ISPs etc. Voicemail marketing is another variation of email marketing, where voice messages are left at customers’ voice mail boxes and voice messaging systems.
Although, television is not generally accepted as a media for direct marketing, direct-response television marketing is an effective way of obtaining direct marketing services. The two variations of direct-response television marketing are, long term and short term. Long term direct-response marketing makes use of a television advertisement which is usually 30 or 45 minutes long. Short term advertisements are 30 or 60 seconds. During the advertisement is being telecast screen prompts of telephone numbers are given for viewers to call, so that they can purchase the item/service being advertised.