Direct Digital Marketing

Direct digital marketing, also known as "DDM," is a type of marketing that is done exclusively through digital means. It may be used to supplement or even replace traditional physical marketing strategies. The primary channels of direct digital marketing include e-mail and the Web.

While most of us still receive an abundance of physical marketing materials in our mailboxes each week, many of these mailings have been replaced by e-mail. By using e-mail marketing, companies can drastically reduce their mailing costs, since the cost of sending e-mail messages is essentially free. Compare this to mailing physical brochures that may cost $0.50 per recipient. If a company sends out one million mailings, using e-mail could save the company $500,000 in mailing costs.

While e-mail marketing is great asset for many businesses, it can also be abused. Since it doesn't cost anything to send e-mail messages, it is possible to distribute unsolicited messages to large lists of recipients at little to no cost. This kind of unwanted electronic junk mail has become widely known as "spam." Fortunately, junk mail filters have helped reduce the impact of these messages for most users. Many companies and organizations also offer an "unsubscribe" option in their mailings, which allow users to remove themselves from the mailing lists.

The Web is another popular medium for direct digital marketing. Many companies now advertise on websites through banner ads, text links, and other types of advertisements. By using Web marketing, companies can drive visitors directly to their website with a single click. This provides a tangible benefit over print and television advertising, which may fully not capture a viewer's interest. Additionally, companies can target their ads on pages with relevant content using contextual ad placement services, such as Google AdSense. This allows businesses to attract people who are the most likely to be interested in the products or services they offer.

In the past few years, DDM has revolutionized the marketing industry. By using digital communications, businesses can advertise in several new ways that were not possible before. While e-mail and the Web remain the most popular mediums for DDM, digital marketing continues to expand into other areas as well. Mobile phones and video games are already being used for DDM and you can expect many other mediums to follow.

Updated October 29, 2009

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