The main thing that gets people interested in direct marketing is its value as a means of acquiring new customers or clients. With the increased and ever increasing costs of doing business it is critically important for the owner of the small company and for the sales person to be cost-effective in marketing.
That means that good control is exercised over the cost of getting a new customer. Many businesses grow their gross at the expense of their net. At least partially through uncontrolled new customer acquisition cost. They can literally grow themselves right out of business.
I’ve found that the best way to develop methods that work consistently, predictably and cost-effectively in acquiring new customers is through direct mail marketing. When you develop a successful cost-effective direct mail program you’ve got an extremely valuable asset. You’ve got a system that you can use over and over again for a long time with predictable results.
To use direct mail to effectively acquire new customers or clients you have to deal with demographics. Demographics are the statistical information about people that marketers use to select and target their prospective customers and clients.
Today computers have added a huge extra measure of sophistication to the collection and organization of demographics. So that it is literally true that if you can describe it you can get it. This makes it critically important to know as much as possible about your present customers and your desirable customers. The more information you have about the commonalities in your customer base the more efficiently you can select prospects.
Here’s a partial list of demographic information you might compile about your consumer customers – age, sex, marital status, home ownership, car ownership, major purchase behavior, credit card possession, income level, occupations, response to mail order offers, magazines subscribed to, cable TV subscription.
By collecting and analyzing data about your customers you might find, for example, that a significant majority of your best customers are between 30-35 years of age, male, married, own their own homes, have bought a new car within the last three years, have bought a flat screen or television set in the last two years, have an American Express card, earn between $50,000-$80,000 a year, are engineers or middle managers, are known mail order purchasers, subscribe to Playboy and have cable television.