Balancing your budget, visibility, and messages can be difficult for you and your business. And when it comes to the digital world, your voice is competing to be heard with a wide range of other inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

However, “old school” Direct Marketing is one place where you can rise above the crowds and scale your marketing messages with reduced competition. This post will outline five major strategies that could help you conquer the most common direct marketing challenges faced by each and every sector of business today, particularly if your product or service is targeted toward consumers.

Are you measuring ROI for all marketing activities?

One of the biggest challenges marketers struggle with today is how to measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of their marketing activities. After all, this is one of the vital ways for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each and every particular marketing campaign, piece of content etc.

Proving the ROI of your efforts to the leadership within your organization can really help you prioritize what does and does not work better. But first, it is important to put focused effort on improving how you track ROI. Then you have an easy system to understand success and failure. When it comes time to set future-forward strategies, ROI can play a major role in driving your decision process regarding budget and time allocation for supporting those efforts.

Have you built strong customer profiles?

You should know who your marketing audience is, and especially who your ideal clients are. Concentrating on your biggest buyers can be a good starting point.

Once you know who your marketing audience is, take time to ensure that your message matches with whatever that target segment needs and desires.

Do you have the right channel for marketing to that audience?

While marketing your products and services, you need to make sure to align the messages you are trying to deliver with the delivery medium or channel.

While most companies focus on email campaigns as their top marketing method, you can still drive positive ROI with direct mail in many sectors of the market.

What do we mean by direct mail? For the purposes of this post, we are talking about sending information in a traditional envelope or delivering on a telephone call or message.

Print mailers generally take more time and effort, but some audiences prefer the tactile nature of holding and reading a postcard or brochure. Some companies have started to use telephone calls as direct marketing vehicles, and that has been received with mixed reactions. It pays to test what works and adjust based on metrics.

Are you connecting with your customers?

Studies have suggested that you need to connect with your prospects at least six-to-11 times in a day. The idea is that the more you connect with your customers, the more likely they are to keep you top of mind when they need your product or service.

Frequency helps you create a very valuable asset – top of mind awareness. Try to embrace variety and frequency in every direct mail marketing campaign to keep it fresh, and to keep them engaged.

How old is your database?

How many times has your list been changed? How many individuals from your database may have moved or changed their jobs?

One inescapable reality of direct marketing is that lists get “tired” (i.e. some of the data goes stale or obsolete on a monthly basis). Check your customer database regularly to ensure that the list is accurate.

It would be undesirable to find yourself spending time, energy and money on names that are no longer accurate or active within your list or database. Try to review the entire list after each send, then update or removing entries that are no longer valid.

How easy it is for your prospects to respond?

What’s the call to action on your direct marketing campaign?

What are the steps you want your prospects to take after reading that call to action?

For example do they have to visit your website?

Can they reach out easily on the smart phone? Is the website or landing page mobile friendly?

Do they need to fill out a form online or do they need to make a phone call to a live person?

Make it easy enough for all your prospects to take action on your piece. And whenever possible, try to track all of their actions so you can update your database with additional profile information based on their behavior. There is a lot you can do once your metrics are in order.


Direct marketing today is still considered to be one of the most powerful ways of building your business. Follow the steps on this checklist, and you will find yourself moving things along nicely. Do you still use direct marketing and direct mail in your business? How do you integrate it with internet marketing programs to maximize the value of both?

Featured Image Credit: Flickr user, Josh McDonald. CC 0; Public Domain.