Marketing: Getting Specific


How direct marketing can specifically benefit nutritional marketing.


In the Marketing column of Nutritional Outlook's July/August issue, Jody Madron discussed why adding direct marketing to your overall strategy provides you with a means of significant, measurable growth. You may, however, be wondering how direct marketing can specifically benefit nutritional marketing.

Get Personal

There’s nothing more personal than one’s health, and by its very nature, successful direct marketing is extremely personal. It speaks one-on-one to your prospective customer, addressing sensitive health issues on both a logical and emotional level. Whether you are discussing the embarrassing effects of prostate problems or sympathizing with living with pain each and every day, you are able to connect with customers on a personal level first-and then position your product as the best solution.

Unlimited Real Estate

You’re virtually unlimited in how much information you’re able to present. This doesn’t mean more is always better, but there are advantages in discussing in detail the features and benefits of your product. Some people need more convincing, evidence, and explanation to feel confident before buying.

Tap into a New Audience

According to Dave Klein, president of direct-marketing list company Macromark Inc., “Nutritional supplements are used by consumers in all age categories and across all income levels. Direct marketing for supplement marketers is significantly more dynamic because of the availability of competitive and personal purchasing histories on certain lists. The market for nutritional supplements through direct marketing is already very strong. There are a lot of lists on the market. The behavioral and purchasing characteristics of a ‘known’ nutritional supplement buyer is the difference between night and day when it comes to your marketing results.”

Establish a Relationship

What may be the most lucrative effect of direct marketing is that you not only make a sale, you acquire a customer-in many cases, a lifelong one. Once you’ve made a direct sale, you now have that customer’s information and can control all subsequent marketing. You essentially become a trusted resource to them when it comes to their pursuit of health and wellness, as they may look to you for opportunities to reorder and purchase other quality products.

Because there are many channels that fall under the umbrella of direct marketing, it may be overwhelming to determine where to start. These three channels have a proven track record of success for those in the nutrition industry and are ideal places to start.

E-mail marketingis an extremely cost-effective method for testing direct marketing without a significant up-front investment. One way is to publish an e-mail newsletter for your customers, dedicated to providing valuable health information. Through this communication and relationship-building strategy, you have the perfect vehicle for presenting your products and even other companies’ complementary health-oriented products and services.

Space (or print) advertisingthrough ads in newspapers and magazines is another option. The key to its success is to garner a direct response from your prospect, often through use of advertorials that invite customers to contact your company. 

Direct mail,although a more expensive investment, is where you will find the biggest bang for your buck. Not only can direct mail generate the greatest number of customers, it hands-down produces the most valuable customers. Direct mail involves targeting those who are most likely to respond to your offer through-you guessed it-good old-fashioned snail mail.

What’s even more exciting is that there are many companies in the nutrition industry who are already successfully using direct marketing to acquire customers. This equates to an established pool of buyers who are primed and ready for prospecting. Plus, it means that there is a known set of health concerns that work well with direct marketing.

If direct marketing seems like a strong fit for your nutrition product, now is an optimal time to find out more. Although more companies are doing it, it’s still early enough to capitalize on this massive opportunity.


* This article is part of a four-part series.

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