Direct Marketing: 10 Key Strategies from List Vision’s 50 in 50
The best tips often are small actionable ideas that come in large doses. Such was the case at the “50 Direct Marketing Tips in 50 Minutes” session at the recent List Vision conference in New York. What follows is a highlight reel of some of the most applicable tips for catalogers.
1. Segment your search engine marketing (SEM) offers by geographic region. “People from different places often benefit from a different user experience,” said Kevin Lee, founder and executive chairman of search engine marketing firm Didit.com. There are a lot of customer characteristics that correlate with geography, such as income level or psychographics. The temptation in SEM often is to outbid your competition for a small pool of keywords, Lee said. Instead, try offer-segmentation strategies to outmaneuver the competition, rather than outbidding them.
2. If you’re a B-to-B cataloger, don’t use business-to-consumer offers. “While it may work well in the consumer space, free shipping often isn’t a popular offer among B-to-B customers,” said Melissa Rothchild, senior director of marketing communications for CPA2Biz, a B-to-B accounting products catalog. She revealed that free shipping hasn’t worked for her because CPA2Biz’s products aren’t impulse purchases. She has, however, enjoyed good response to percentage savings promotions as well as digital camera and MP3 player raffles.
3. Explore licensing in various ways. “If your brand is strong, you may be able to leverage that strength with a partnership with other non-competing brands,” said Susan Isley, director of marketing for silk flowers and home accessories cataloger Petals. While a famous example is Eddie Bauer’s partnership with the Ford Explorer, Isley suggests looking for partners amongst e-newsletters or magazines relevant to your customers.
4. Regularly test SEM landing pages. “There are a numerous marketers who never change keyword buys or landing pages,” Lee said. “But you need to use the same rigorous testing online as you would offline.” Focus on areas that have the greatest yield with the smallest investment. For instance, Lee recommended testing optimization on the keywords that could be higher in the results if you could afford it. “If you continuously test the most important things, the results could be so good that you’ll never need to focus on smaller, more insignificant things,” he said.