Welcome to our top ten marketing tips, designed to get your Direct Debit sign up campaigns off to the best possible start – and to see them through to the most productive possible conclusion! We’ve kept them practical and to the point, and we’ve included useful advice on the best marketing tools to use in each circumstance.
Top ten marketing tips
1. Know your audience
Data is king. Take the time to gather relevant data, to get a thorough understanding of the type of customer you’re going to be talking to. Profile them – do they fall into subsections of identifiable groups or are they all similar? Our targeting tool will help here.
Understand the behaviour of your audience and you will be able to shape your messages appropriately. Find out more about the four groups we have profiled through on going research, customer profiles.
2. Decide on a single message
Define your objective then decide on the single most powerful message (proposition) to use to convince your audience. Remember not to clutter your communication with too many details – less is more if you want someone to remember something important. Again, customer profiles our will help.
3. Use a multi-channel approach
Don’t forget to use the full range of marketing channels you have at your disposal - advertising, online, direct marketing (print and digital), promotions and public relations (PR). An integrated approach using a mix of them all gives your message the best chance of getting through. And keep at it. Target the same audience repeatedly through multiple channels to maximise exposure and drive the message home.
4. Test, refine, test again
Experiment with different messages or channels so you know which work best for each part of your business, and which ones particular audiences respond to. Measurement is vital – gather as much response data as possible to inform your campaign. Online is brilliant for measurement. The ability to track click throughs, email open rates and to test everything from responses to subject lines gives you great ammunition for next time.
5. Make your news work for you
Anything positive that happens to your organisation has the potential to provide you with a good news PR story. A new product development, a new offering or a new success can be used for good publicity. The secret is to forge good links with your local media and keep the stories coming!
6. Strike up a dialogue with your customers
Build as many one on one relationships with as many customers as you can. Keep in touch with them through direct marketing (conventional or digital) and tailor your communications to make sure they receive an appropriate and persuasive message. And make it easy for them – offer a dedicated helpline or web address to allow them to set up Direct Debits easily.
7. Stand out from the crowd
Distinguish yourself from your competitors with a strong, contemporary, relevant brand identity. And always make sure your Direct Debit communications look professional, reflecting your corporate profile and where including the Direct Debit logo and a Direct Debit Instruction that they comply with the guidelines and rules. Visit Direct Debit logo and Producing a DDI to make sure. A key tip is consistency, in both visual style and tone of voice.
Being paid by Direct Debit means you’re paid on time and your cashflow benefits. Can you pass this advantage on to your customers by offering a discount for paying by Direct Debit? How about using a sales promotion tactic offering an incentive for supplying additional information which would help with your future targeting, or for responding within a given timeframe? It works!
9. Know your market
This one really speaks for itself, but it’s always worth keeping top of mind. Always keep a close eye on your competitors. Always know your strengths and play to them. And always stay up to date with trends in marketing and your industry in general.
10. Be clear about what you want people to do
Always conclude your marketing communication with a strong, clear call to action. Keep it simple and straightforward. You don’t want to confuse people, you want them to respond! Offer plenty of help – telephone or email support, for example – to reduce barriers to sign up.
Advertising Standards Authority
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Committee of Advertising Practice
Data Protection Act
Direct Marketing Association UK
Internet Advertising Bureau
Institute of Customer Service
Institute of Direct Marketing
Institute of Practitioners of Advertising
Institute of Sales Promotion
Market Research Society
Mailing Preference Service
Telephone Preference Service
Data protection guide (Information Commissioner's Office)
Newcomers guide to Market Research (MRS)
Sales and marketing guides - s4profit