Small businesses can aggressively pursue direct marketing

The most powerful trends in the marketing and advertising world today are all focused on being non-invasive and unobtrusive. Online branding efforts are centered around passively drawing customers to a company website, guerrilla marketing and viral campaigns seek to surround a product or service in intrigue and in-your-face advertisements have gone the way of car phones and floppy disks.

However, from time to time, a company has more to gain by putting its name out there, no matter how it accomplishes this. In most cases, it's a good idea for a business to be subtle and undemanding. When an organization is just starting out or if its customer base is quickly disappearing, a burst of awareness might be just what the doctor ordered to save an ailing small business marketing campaign.

The most common type of direct marketing in this day and age is through e-mail. Though spam-blockers keep a lot of unwanted messages from reaching customers' inboxes, it's also true that even the most basic e-mail services allow users to add addresses to their "do not block" lists. When it seems that sales are lagging and interest has dropped, it may be a good idea to send out e-mail advertisements to customers who have given their addresses in the past. While some consumers might be turned off by it, others might be intrigued and will experience a renewed interest in an organization.

Promotional products are excellent tools to recharge customer awareness of a company. In no way is it unheard of for a customer to receive an item such as a logo USB drive or personalized calendar in the mail, but these items aren't always taken lightly and are often appreciated greatly. That appreciation will translate into tremendous goodwill for an organization that might desperately need it. Knowing who to send promotional products to can be tricky, but a business' best bet is to make them available to past customers and former regular clients.

Though it may be more expensive than in the past, and though fewer and fewer people check circulars, traditional mail may be just the ticket for re-igniting brand awareness. In marketing, every weakness has an equal and opposite strength that's derived from the same attribute and can be exploited. In the case of snail mail – though few people look for deals in the mail nowadays – companies can offer very valuable savings and discounts without fear that every customer will cash in on them. A 50-percent-off promotion that's only good with a mail coupon will get people talking, and by the time they know about the promotion, a company can offer slightly smaller savings by traditional means.  

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