The Internet as a Small Business Direct Marketing Medium

Today, you have a number of serious advantages over previous generations. With
the Internet, it is easier to generate business than at any other time in history. More
people are doing more online than ever before. And it is cheaper and quicker to reach
them than ever before.

The Internet is also the world’s most powerful direct response marketing medium.

Direct response marketing was created in the late nineteenth century, when people
started marketing directly to householders using mailed product lists. Customers
could choose and order what they wanted, which could be delivered directly to them
using the railroads and the new U.S. Postal Service.

Direct response introduced two crucial factors entirely new to marketing:
-The marketer communicates directly to the consumer.
-The consumer orders direct from the marketer.

Aside from cutting out the distributors and traditional retailers, the reason direct
response was so successful is that it allowed marketers to do something they could
never do before: measure the results of every communication.

Unlike branding and advertising, which deliver fuzzy feedback at best, now marketers
could change the product lines, prices, or descriptions they offered from one week to
the next—or even at the same time—and learn first-hand how their customers would
respond.


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