Guest Blog

Direct Marketing Tips – Right Message, Right Person, Right Time

Steve Clayton
After a successful 25-year career in banking and finance, Steve joined his wife Joanne in their family-run business Data Bubble Consultancy Limited. Their ethos is “Honesty and quality” and have become renowned as one of the country’s leading independent marketing list suppliers. Outside of marketing lists, they share a love of football and F1, and walking their 4 Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.

This week, I have received two pieces of direct mail that have, if nothing else, inspired this blog.

Most of you know how passionate I am about this industry. I love nothing more than to give direct marketing tips to my readers and this week, I have what I consider to be probably the most important tip of all. A successful direct marketing campaign is one that delivers the right message to the right audience at the right time.

The first piece of direct mail that I received was from a credit card company. It was a typical piece of direct mail in that it offered a “preferential rate” on a pre-approved basis. Furthermore, it offered several months’ worth of 0% finance for all balance transfers from other credit cards. All I had to do to get this card was call them before the 1st of March 2022! How easy that might have been, had I not received the offer on the 8th of March, a week too late!!!!!

The second mailshot was from The Caravan Club. Many of you will know that I’m a keen caravanner and that I’m a member of The Caravan Club. The direct mail piece in question included a lovely A4 sized glossy brochure, highlighting some of its all year round caravan sites and suggesting now might be a great time to arrange my Christmas / New Year break. Now, had I not already booked my Christmas holiday through The Caravan Club at one of their sites, this may very well have prompted me to do so.

In sending me these direct mailings, these two companies have made themselves look a little silly, not to mention the costs they have thrown down the pan. I dare say that I’m not the only person they’ve mailed, so how many more mailshots have they wasted and how much more money have they thrown away?

So, what these two examples highlight are that it’s not enough to have a great message, it’s not enough to know your audience AND it’s not enough to get your timing right. Unless all three are bang on, then your direct marketing is wasted. Don’t think that this relates to direct mailing alone either, as direct email marketing can be similarly wasted and whilst this might not suffer the same wasted costs, the outcome is the same.

So, I repeat – A successful direct marketing campaign is one that delivers the right message to the right audience at the right time.


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