Measurable Growth

With more than 150 million people in the United States alone regularly taking nutritional supplements, there's no question that the supplement industry is thriving. But the market, as you've no doubt noticed, has become a bit crowded over the past few years. Finding that next great breakthrough or "superstar" product line has become increasingly difficult. There is a way, however, to transform your supplement business and experience significant, measurable growth within the next 12 months--through direct marketing.

With more than 150 million people in the United States alone regularly taking nutritional supplements, there's no question that the supplement industry is thriving. But the market, as you've no doubt noticed, has become a bit crowded over the past few years. Finding that next great breakthrough or "superstar" product line has become increasingly difficult. There is a way, however, to transform your supplement business and experience significant, measurable growth within the next 12 months-through direct marketing.

Direct marketing allows you to reach your customers directly, with a specific call to action. It has grown to include direct-response television, e-mail marketing, and many other cost-effective channels. And it is an efficient way to grow your supplement business for one very simple reason: You can measure your success almost instantly.

When you take advantage of direct marketing, you'll know exactly what return you're getting for each marketing dollar spent. This detailed-and immediate-return-on-investment feedback allows you to build an efficient marketing "machine."

A well-run direct-marketing program will give you several powerful advantages that can help substantially grow your supplement business:

  • Reach a broader market: Your successful direct-marketing campaign will allow you to expand your customer base far beyond your local retail store, and perhaps even globally. Because direct marketing allows you to track expenses and return on investment, dollar for dollar, your rate of growth is entirely up to you.

  • Build a valuable asset: Not only will your list of direct-marketing consumers become exceptionally valuable to you for repeat orders, you'll also find that other direct marketers are willing to pay a premium for the opportunity to market to your list. Of course, how much or how little you rent your customer list is entirely your decision.

  • Enjoy the benefits of repeat business: An overwhelming number of nutritional supplement direct-marketing buyers are repeat purchasers, and they are highly likely to purchase other products you introduce to them. Established direct marketers in the supplement industry can see as much as 80% of their revenue come from selling to their existing customer list.

  • Become more cost-effective: With direct marketing, you control the amount you're willing to spend per acquisition, which means you can keep costs low. Plus, the acquisition costs with direct marketing are typically lower than other marketing vehicles.

  • Target your prospective customers: With direct marketing, you can identify and communicate with a well-defined target market. You'll be able to reach customers according to your own schedule, rather than relying on driving traffic to your retail site. You'll also enjoy a much greater level of success-and higher conversions-than you would by broadcasting your message to the mass market. Plus, direct marketing costs far less than mass-market advertising.

Getting started with direct marketing is actually quite simple. It's a matter of selecting a product to sell, crafting a strong sales message, and selecting the right customers to receive that message. And while direct marketing used to mean a minimum high-five-figure investment in order to get started, e-mail and internet marketing have now significantly lowered those up-front costs for supplement marketers.

* This article is part of a four-part series on direct marketing.

Jody Madron is president of Madron Marketing, a direct-marketing consulting and copywriting firm specializing in nutritional supplement marketing. He is the cofounder of Marketing with the Masters, a comprehensive direct-marketing education program for supplement marketers. He can be reached at jody@madronmarketing.com.