Dosh was keen to get a retail presence but they were fighting for space on the shelves at stores, such as PC World. They quickly realised that direct marketing would be a quicker and easier way to establish the brand.
As a new company, explained Tony Trevillion, general manager, Dosh has to cut the cloth finely and any expenses have to be justified. That is why direct marketing had so much appeal. Dosh could mail to discreet groups, targeting the recipients and honing in on their customer base of accountants and bookkeepers.
One of their first promotions was through an accountancy publication. Dosh placed an advertisement in the publication, which is distributed to 70,000 readers. In addition, they refined that list and placed a further 10,000 trial copies of their software on the cover of the publication but only to be received by smaller accountancy firms.
The results of each campaign are tracked and within just one or two weeks, the company will know how successful that mailing will be. Each is followed by telephone calls, both to customers that responded as well as those that did not.
However, Dosh has learnt from some bad experiences and all of its marketing is costed against the expected return. “If you buy a cold list, you will be lucky to get a return of half a per cent,” said Trevillion.
Now that the group has been running for over two years and has built up its own database, they are learning that this is the best list of all. “It is always easier to sell to someone that you have sold to before,” said Trevillion. This has meant an investment in database technology to help Dosh keep up to date and accurate listings, but it was money well spent, according to Trevillion.
No opportunity is lost and Dosh use every invoice mailing to existing customers to make full use of the postal charges. As well as an invoice, customers could receive additional information about the company or questionnaires regarding customer service, all within the weight limit allowed for second class mail.
“The nice thing about direct marketing, as an accountant, is that you can measure the success. You know all the costs – the creative costs, the mail, the time involved, the envelopes – it is a very accurate cost,” said van der Borgh.