Anybody can write a letter promoting one product or another. They can put a stamp on it and drop it off to some mailbox but their message may fall on deaf ears. Or worse, people could start calling up and yelling about how they don't need the product or how they want to be taken off the mailing list in general.

Before starting a direct mail campaign and risking a marketing blunder, you need to go back to the basics of strategy. In fact, much of the success of your marketing campaign relies on how well you choose your audience and select the best channels.

Getting In Front Of the Right People

Many businesses believe in their products so much that they are convinced that everybody will want them. However, just because everyone could want it, doesn't mean that they will. Organizations can become narrow-minded and unrealistically optimistic if they don't take their egos out of the equation. Marketing guru Seth Godin reminds us that being blindsided by optimism is a surefire way to be disappointed by your campaign's results.

"You're not in charge," he said on his blog, "and your prospects don't care about you."

Although his words may sound harsh, he's making a valid point. But he is not entirely correct. In fact, if you select the right audience, then you won't be wasting money on those who aren't interested and instead can zero in on those who do. Therefore, one of the key questions to ask whenever starting a direct marketing campaign is, "Who is your target market?"

To arrive at the correct answer, you should start by looking at your offering from your prospective consumer's shoes, and then narrowing it down until it is a viable solution. It helps to ask questions in three different categories:

1. Demographics: What are the key characteristics of your most valuable prospects?
2. Geography: What areas or locations make the most sense to target so that you see the largest profit?
3. Budget: What can you reasonably achieve (marketing-wise) with the allocated budget?

By obtaining answers to such questions, you will be able to more successfully narrow down your audience to a population that will more likely deliver returns. When you think about your return on investment, the price of obtaining a list of individuals better suited for your product pales in comparison to the cost of designing, processing, printing and sending out materials that will go unread or unanswered. The success of a campaign is therefore rooted in how well you pick out potential consumers.

Finding the Best Way To Contact Them

Once you know exactly who your target audience is, the second most important question comes into play: "What channels should you use to contact them?"

Marketing campaigns will use one or more channels to achieve better results and warm up prospects. From traditional postal mail and phone to email, SMS services and other digital channels, this decision ultimately depends on three factors:

1. What are you selling?
2. What outcomes do you want to achieve?
3. What data is available?

Obviously, the main objective is to sell your product, but consider the stepping stones before the sale is completed. If you want to lure people toward your products with a free item – such as a report or book to catch people's interest – then an email channel would likely be effective and appropriate. that said, one channel doesn't fit all.

If you're selling a product worth approximately $5,000 or $10,000, then you might want to send a nice piece of mail before following up with a phone call or email. You may hope that the first piece of direct mail that prospects receive will immediately lead to sales. But it's very unlikely – you might gain some interest, but the sale most likely won't come until later.

You will probably have to send potential consumers more than one piece of marketing material.You will probably have to send potential consumers more than one piece of marketing material.

It's also unlikely that someone is going to reply to an email they receive from someone who they have no prior relationship with. Depending on how educated and aware your prospective consumers are, a multichannel, multistep approach could really help.  As Seth Godin says: "Build a relationship first, then make the sale."

Take the marketing guru's advice and don't rush into it! Instead, take the appropriate steps to weed out consumers who likely won't be interested, build a robust database and create stronger and more trusting relationships with prospects.

Making Sure the Right Targets and Channels Are Chosen

Making the strategic link between the audience and channel is not always easy, especially without much experience with SMS marketing. But this is where a quality SMS service provider like Swift SMS can help.

Utilizing text messaging services for your marketing campaign is inexpensive and convenient for your potential consumers. Plus, in today's world of short attention spans, a text message is an awfully convenient way to receive marketing material. In the U.S., about 81 percent of individuals keep their smart phones near them nearly the entire time they are awake, according to Gallup. Plus, 52 percent of people said they check their phone multiple times every hour. Instead of letting a marketing email go unnoticed and unread in a spam folder, send your marketing material to a place that you know individuals will check – their cellphones.

For more information or advice, get in touch with the team of professionals from Swift SMS today.