Making Dough with Diane: July-August 2014

Five steps to direct marketing
Diane Chiasson
July 17, 2014
By
In terms of advertising, direct marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective and inexpensive methods. It allows you to target a specific group of people to generate a specific response. Your pizza operation should already have a database with the names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of your customers, so you know that you are targeting a group that has already visited your store.

Different forms of direct marketing include direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing or even text-message marketing. The idea is that you contact your potential customers directly.

Direct marketing is also beneficial because it can help you build brand awareness, increase the credibility of your bakery, and help you build customer trust, loyalty and repeat business. Another major benefit of direct marketing is that it lets you track your campaign and see the results firsthand. Unlike a TV, radio or newspaper ad, direct marketing allows you to count how many customers came into your pizza operation because of your direct marketing.

Here are five steps to starting your own successful direct marketing campaign.

1. Choose a promotion for your campaign
Decide what event or promotion you want to run in your pizza operation, how long your promotion will last, and a sales goal you have in mind. Also, decide your budget for running the direct marketing campaign. Ideally, you want to begin sending your direct marketing at least four to six weeks ahead of the date of the start of your promotion.

2. Don’t just send one mailing
A major mistake that many people make with their direct marketing campaigns is that they only send out one mailing. The rule of thumb for direct mail is that you need to send at least four to six mailings for the same promotion before you make a memorable impression on your customers. Be sure to send something different every time, but reference the last mailing so your customers remember you. You can also switch up the way you contact your customers. For example, send a postcard on the first mailing, an email on the second mailing, a letter on the third mailing and a text message on the fourth mailing.

3. Make sure you have a call to action
When you are creating your campaign for your promotion, make sure you make an offer that will force your customers to act immediately. Don’t just send them a brochure of your menu or your specials. Offer a discount or an incentive with a short deadline that will get those customers in your door within a few weeks of receiving your message. If catchy writing is not in your skill set, hire a marketing expert to write your campaigns. The expense is justified, as it will be a waste of money if you send out an ineffective campaign.

4. Personalize your message
People receive piles of junk mail in their mailbox and email inboxes every day. So you need to make sure that they open your message. Always send direct mail to your customers by addressing them with their names. If you are sending a postcard or a letter in an envelope, consider handwriting the name and address. People are more prone to open a handwritten envelope than a printed envelope. For email marketing, it’s a good idea to put the customer’s name right in the subject line.

5. Evaluate the response you get
One of the biggest benefits of running a direct marketing campaign is that you are able to track your results. So make sure you do. This way, you can see which of your customers responded to your messages and how many did not. You can see which method worked the best and which worked the least. The more data you collect and analyze, the more you will learn about your own pizza operation and about the habits of your customers. The more you know, the more successful you will be for your next direct marketing campaign.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. She provides innovative food and retail merchandising programs, interior design, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at1-888-926-6655, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit
www.chiassonconsultants.com .

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