Direct marketing to consumer: target your audience for higher sales

The term "direct marketing to consumer" means making a direct link from the advertiser to the individual consumer with an offer that leads them to purchase goods or services directly.

This direct sales route is a detour from the mass media of newspapers, radio or tv and their large audience numbers.

It concentrates on the smaller, but more significant group of core product/service users or potential users.

Today, the buying habits and locations of most consumers can be identified and segmented into small groups by targeting.

The more specific you are, the higher quality prospect you get. So it pays to make the extra effort to "dig deeper."

It's easy to access the thousands upon thousands of e-mail addresses, telephone listings and other mailing lists, that are readily available to find whatever and whomever you want.

Mailing lists have been around for years and years, but with today's computer power, all sorts of specialized lists can be harvested.

And the data on Facebook participants is a fertile area for informed marketers.

(On a larger scale, financial and drug marketers use sophisticated mathematics to obtain and maintain their mailing, phone and e-mail lists. The goal is to keep the lists "clean" of outdated or incorrect information to increase accuracy and response.)

Small businesses can buy these lists quite reasonably right over the internet and download them to your computer for use.

A highly specialized list usually costs more per thousand names than a "non-descript" list of consumer names.

But using a highly-targeted list pays off in the long run because you are sending your message only to the people most likely to respond. Not everyone wants everything!

Naturally, your own small business customer and prospect list is the most productive and valuable to your business.

These are names you have collected or compiled yourself. They need to be interested in your special offerings and geographically targeted as well.

So if you are looking for more customers like the ones you already have, you'll need to profile your list to determine what characteristics exist in terms of consumer demand and behavior.

Then you'll want to contact an e-mail list broker to see what kinds of lists they have available that match the demographics of your direct marketing to consumer profile.

If you are a franchise operation, your headquarters people most likely have plenty of demographic information available to you.

If you seriously look at the buying patterns of your customer, you will be able to profit quite well from direct marketing to a particular consumer focus.

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