Direct Response Marketing: How it works, Examples, Benefits, and Tips

Direct Response Marketing
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on tumblr
Share on stumbleupon

I love the fact that digital marketing has offered entrepreneurs several powerful marketing strategies that get their products to the doorsteps of interested users.

Today, you have great ways to test the pulse of the potential buyer to see if they have an interest in your product or service so that you don`t waste your time and resources taking your merchandise to persons who aren’t interested in it.

Usually, when you want to display your product to your potential buyers, you may expect either of two outcomes-accepts or reject your product.

 with the new guy on the block called direct responsive marketing, here you send content out and expect just one outcome-acceptance because you have used earlier sent a dove out to test the waters.

Now you are super sure your product will reach an already interested buyer.

Direct response marketing is an approach not everyone can master. It’s not just your regular indirect approach where you write a piece of content about something relevant to the customer, then hope that someone sees it and is impacted by it.

With direct response marketing, you first have your finger on the pulse before sending out content.

With this method of marketing, you have to throw every bit of the secret ingredient you have up your sleeve to check the interest level of those to who you intend to push out a message.

It’s not the conventional boring but informational piece, it’s something that grabs your audience by collars, wrings their entire bodies, and demands a response from them immediately.

In this article, I walk you through the major areas around effective marketing tools.

What is Direct Response Marketing?

Direct Response Marketing is the act of gearing a marketing campaign toward a certain target group in hopes of eliciting a response from them.

For instance, in the real estate industry, an agent may mail out postcards that request interested parties to take a certain desired action.

correspondingly, the agent knows who is interested in what they are offering and who isn’t. In other words, it’s a procedure to weed out mere lookers from potential customers to maximize conversion rates.

What are the key elements of direct response marketing?

#1. Customer Centred

To get consumers to respond to your ad, they need to know that it’s valuable to them. Focusing on the brand will not get consumers to respond to your ads.

Focusing on consumer pain points or on things they care about will produce better results.

This could include offering a white paper on a topic in their industry or stirring them to opt into a newsletter list with beneficial content.

#2. Customization and Targeting

Targeting your ads to defined groups with tailored messages that the customer suitably fits into will generate the best results;

80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a brand that offers personalized content to them.

#3. A Clear CTA

Call to action
Image Credit: Gettyimages

Effective direct response marketing may not aim to sell the prospect a product or service at the moment, but rather, may be trying to encourage the next action, such as: signing up for the newsletter, downloading a white paper, attend an event.

Direct response marketing with high conversion rates needs singular, concise, easily accessible calls to action (CTAs) so that consumers know exactly what action they are called to take.

common examples include:

#1. Use this coupon at the counter;

#2. Follow the link below;

#3. Contact us immediately by calling this number;

#4. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter;

#5. Sign up for a mailing list;

#4. Urgency

A sense of urgncy
Image Credit: iStock

A sense of urgency inspires users to act quickly, thereby increasing conversion rates.

The direct response approach should emphasize urgency by using techniques like scarcity (“while offer lasts”), time limits (“discount code expires by  Friday”), and competition (“whoever gets the highest social shares receives a prize.”)

Benefits of Direct Response Marketing

Entrepreneurs should endeavor to pay close attention to the many “gold mine” opportunities direct response marketing offers.

For there are numerous benefits of direct response marketing that oftentimes are left unexplored.

Here is an outline of important benefits of direct response marketing to consider:

#1. Unrivaled Track-ability

Unrivaled Track-ability
Image Credit: Pixabay

Direct Response Marketing offers you virtually instant access to the results of your campaign.

 It achieves this feat by utilizing dedicated toll-free numbers, and/or unique URLs to provide quantitative data as soon as your ads are published.

This gives businesses instant consequential feedback on creative messaging and media placement.

In contrast, a typical conventional advertising campaign can take months to deliver measurable results, if raw, quantitative data is ever available at all.

One of the biggest usefulness of direct response marketing is that you can view hard numbers on campaign performance, and therefore make decisions based on fact instead assumption.

For example, you will know exactly how many phone calls came in from each station, on each published ad.

Of those calls, you will know specifically how many were answered, and how many calls practically converted into sales.

This insight will show you exactly which media choices were profitable for you and which creative messaging was beneficial as well.

Conversely, you will also learn which media was the least cost-effective and which creative was the least successful.

All in hard,  undeniable numbers. No assumptions, no waiting, and no truly lost money (even if an ad performs poorly, you have learned something valuable about media or messaging and you learned it quite early).

#2. Superior Affordability

Another great benefit of Direct Response Marketing is that it’s very affordable in comparison to the conventional brand marketing approach.

This is because direct response marketing is measurably self-funding,  it funds its activities in a knowable way by asking the customer to take an action that can be quantified in terms of returns and profit.

In contrast, branding campaigns aim to make a long-lasting impression on consumers about a given brand.

The assumption is that the improved awareness that results will boost purchase decisions for the brand.

However, since they aren’t coming out and directly asking for a sale they can’t make decisions to optimize their marketing dollars.

So, money is being spent blindly on creating a brand image, but not necessarily in a way that delivers optimal profitability.

Direct response marketing is conducted in a way that creates a more direct link between advertising dollars spent and returns and profits driven.

#3. Brand Building

Another advantage of direct response marketing that relates to its affordability is the fact that even though you are asking for a sale, you are still getting your brand name and identity out there.

Yes, this means that direct response marketing is also helping you with brand building, so you get the best of both approaches using a single shot.

Direct Response Marketing enables you to practically boost your revenue as you build your brand awareness in a self-fulfilling cycle of improved sales, profits, and brand-building.

Another part of the affordability aspect of this marketing method is that buying media for a direct response marketing campaign is often remarkably less expensive than buying media for a conventional spot.

#4. Greater Profitability

The ability to track insights, and make informed decisions, with direct response marketing, offers businesses the chance to test and optimize creative and media as often as needed to achieve the desired outcome.

With this marketing method, you will never continue to throw money blindly to run a campaign that doesn’t work.

You are forearmed with insights that will help you make informed decisions on when to abort a mission or continue into it because there is a reward to the top.

 An important advantage of direct response marketing is that you can make wise advertising investments guided by verifiable insights.

This is an especially vital benefit for businesses that need their marketing efforts to be beneficial quickly, and don’t have the time or resources to wait for conventional brand-building efforts to improve their bottom line.

#5. Identify Interested Prospects

Consumers who respond to direct response messages have opted in, giving sales teams a list of potential customers who have shown interest in your brand.

This helps sales teams focus on driving interested potential clients through the sales funnel instead of wasting time on cold leads.

#6. You Can Get in Touch With prospects Who Didn’t Convert

You can’t convert everyone, that is a fact. Don’t feel bad. However, you can use direct response marketing to capture insights even from people who don’t convert.

This is made easy enough with email marketing. You will know which of your subscribers responded to the offer and which didn’t and through this, you know who and how to follow them going forward.

Examples of Direct Response Marketing

#1. Referral Marketing Program

Image Credit: iStock

Referrals are an exceedingly powerful direct response strategy that can improve your conversions.

People are happy to talk about their experiences with your brand, but sometimes they need a push.

Plus, customers referred to you by a friend are 37% more likely to stick around your store.

Word of mouth is the most effective influence your online store can have going for it.

A study by Nielsen revealed that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than from paid advertising.

And it does so by firing the enthusiasm of customers to make product suggestions on your company’s behalf.

For instance, when a customer buys something from your eCommerce store, they automatically get a referral code that they can effortlessly share with their friends and family. And when a friend or family of theirs purchases with that referral code, two things occur:

The friend gets a discount on their purchase, and the referrer receives rewards from your online store.

You can choose to reward the customers that refer your business with either cash or coupons.

#2. Drip marketing campaigns

One reason tracking customer behavior is so essential in direct response marketing is that it may take a few actions before the customer is ready to make a purchase.

That is why you don’t need to commit all your time and attention to the bottom of your funnel.

While the direct response is about motivating a particular action with a single CTA, that action can change from one stage of a campaign to the next.

Rather, you can make your chat visitor aware of some of your non-sales content as well. Think of it like having a natural conversation with someone about your business, without pushing the topic toward it.

Marketers depend on drip campaigns to:

#1. Welcome and onboard clients

#2. Keep leads occupied with the brand

#3. Activate the use of ultra-modern solutions

#4. Anchor automation to communicate at scale

Drip campaigns for email are not new. But chatbots bring drip campaigns to crank it up with higher open and engagement rates.

Plus, it’s super simple to do with a free chatbot in MobileMonkey.

And drips are a powerful tool to keep customers engaged and in line as you continue to send them valuable and relevant content.

#3. Text message (SMS) marketing

Text marketing (SMS) is an increasingly popular marketing strategy today. The medium witnesses an average open rate of 98% and is one of the most affordable, easiest ways to reach anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

Here are a few SMS marketing statistics that tend to surprise many online marketers:

#1. SMS has a 98% open rate.

#2. Marketers witness 6-8X the engagement when comparing email VS SMS.

#3. Text messages have a response rate of 45% and an average response time of 90 seconds.

Reaching out proactively and interacting with segments of your audience is effective in moving potential buyers to the bottom of your sales funnel.

And one of the most effective proactive channels is text message marketing.

For instance, after opting-in new SMS subscribers with an SMS Keyword, you can send bulk SMS to that audience with announcements, news, and deals.

Summarily, If you pay attention, you will see examples of direct response marketing all around you because it is everywhere.

Have you ever visited a warehouse store, On weekends, in particular, you will witness that most stores set up booths and tables where employees give away free samples to people.

What’s the point of that? Sales. People get to try the product, and if they like it, they often pick up the product right then or they go and return the product.

You also have direct response marketing in your SMS and mailbox, just check and you will find many of them there.

Effective Direct Response Marketing Channels

#1. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing refers to any marketing campaign that happens via digital devices.

For example, blogging is a form of marketing, but it’s not necessarily an example of direct response marketing.

To use digital marketing for direct response marketing, you need a way to not only reach your target audience with a time-bound offer but also a way to track the outcome in real-time.

For instance, you might leverage social media advertising to promote a limited-time cost for one of your online courses.

A Boosted Facebook post, for instance, is measurable, trackable, and capable of giving a clear CTA.

#2. Email Marketing

for example, that you have just created an online course for a target market. If you have segmented your email list based on buyer personas, you can select a list of people who would be interested in the course you just made.

After carefully sifting the list, you can go ahead and start sending them emails.

#3. Direct Sales

Sometimes, the best marketing happens when you put boots on the ground. If you get out into the streets and meet the people in person, you can generate more sales than you get just connecting with them online.

Direct sales refer to a direct response marketing approach that puts you right in front of your target eyeballs.

Attending conferences, trade shows, and other industry events enables you to meet people face-to-face and get to know their needs.

It doesn’t become direct response marketing until you make your offer and direct the user to the best way to fulfill that offer.

You can do this from a booth at a trade fair or a table at a conference, but shall have more luck if you speak at the event and direct people to meet with you after your address to them to sign up to buy your digital products.


Direct response marketing will continue to resurrect just when a newer marketing approach would think it has murdered and buried the direct response approach.

The Internet has made it easier than ever to connect with your target market and share with them a specific, trackable offer.

To succeed in direct response marketing, you must have a simple procedure that potential customers can follow to take advantage of the promotion.

furthermore, you will need to give clear directions about how to cash in on the offer.

Eugene Agoh

Eugene Agoh

Founder at AdsTargets | Online advertising expert | Search engine optimisation expert | Social media marketing expert.Eugene is a Passionate writer on topics relating to online advertising, branding and generally interested in creating digital marketing content. He is curious about the future of digital advertising.Follow Eugene on LinkedIn @ eugeneagoh

Leave a Reply