The perfect match: direct marketing and mobile marketing

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As any direct marketer knows, high response rates for campaigns are the ultimate goal. Yet, with growing noise because of the rapid advance in technology and the proliferation of alternative marketing mediums, it's easy for your news and offers to get lost in the shuffle.

Rather than shifting gears completely, it is time to start thinking of how you can begin to diversify your campaign approach in order to take advantage of the new trends consumers are following, especially when it comes to mobile technology.

Serving up rich advertising on mobile devices is still in the early stages. The wide variety of handsets with varying screen sizes, memory and video capabilities mean more complex messages tend to be hard to deliver to the consumer.

Currently, only a handful of mobile Internet services are able to provide messages that are more detailed. That's where direct marketing can really be a boon to savvy marketers who are looking to take advantage of the emerging mobile market. Direct mail, permission marketing and CRM specific campaigns are all excellent candidates for integration into a larger mobile marketing strategy.

Online and direct marketing often mix nicely. The ability of their messages to point to online resources and Web sites give advertisers the ability to track some level of response rates.

However, the 0.2 percent online marketing response rates currently don't hold a candle to the 2-3 percent of mobile marketing's response rates, which direct marketers need to find a way to harness.

One great way to marry the two marketing mediums is to give users a way to opt-in to direct marketing campaigns via their mobile devices. For example, place a short message service or a multimedia message service code in all other marketing campaigns-outdoor, broadcast, print, online and other promotions. Give the option via short code to sign up for newsletters or to request additional information, which can then be delivered directly to a device.

Another option with even greater potential is to use direct marketing to advertise your mobile Web site. Consumers want the option to take their information with them wherever they go and the ability to access that information where it makes the most sense.

Driving people to a mobile Web site through traditional advertising means is a great way to service current customers as well as to introduce offerings to new customers. Developing a mobile Web site is going to become more and more of a priority for companies as the medium grows and using direct marketing to guide people to that Web site can yield much higher response rates in your company's overall campaign mix.

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