What is Direct Response Marketing?

One of the most effective ways to generate authentic leads from prospects that are actually interested in what you have to offer is through direct response marketing. When a company markets in a way that evokes a direct response from potential customers, it is considered direct response marketing.

Some of the tools that companies use to generate a direct response are:

  • Direct mail (letters, self-mailers, brochures)
  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts
  • Contests and drawings
  • Call to action buttons
  • Commercials

The difference between direct response marketing and direct marketing is that the object of the marketing campaign is to get potential customers to react, or to take some sort of action. Whether it is making a call, filling out a form, downloading a file, or some other action – the point of the technique is to initiate a response from the potential customer.

The “direct response” part is exactly how it sounds. The company invites the potential client to take action, and the potential client does exactly that.

Types of Direct Response Marketing

A perfect example of direct response marketing is when you see a live infomercial that is selling products that you can order by calling in or following a provided link. This is the type of in-your-face marketing that attracts customers in real time. However, the problem with infomercials is that people need to be watching the program in order to participate.

Going door to door and cold calling businesses or residents is a type of direct response marketing as well. The customer is right in front of you where you can talk directly to them and give them an opportunity to sign up for whatever it is you’re selling.

Direct mail campaigns tend to be an effective way to make people aware of an organization. Many of the mailings include invitations to brunches, workshops, fund-raisers, and all types of functions that may seem appealing to certain types of people. Marketers will call on a talented professional printing service to help create attractive, thought-provoking mailers that prompt a quick response.

Email marketing, when it is appropriate and not spam, can be very effective because the email will include call-to-action links and other forms of immediate communication. Whether it is an invitation to reply to the email or to click a provided link, the convenience that an email provides makes the task fairly easy. All the person has to do is click a button and maybe type some words. 

Social media posts are a pretty convenient way to provoke a response from somebody as well. Usually, the way to get people to view social media posts is a two-fold operation that starts with an invitation to follow the account, where the business can post thought-provoking information with direct calls to action for the followers to engage with.

Contests and drawings are a great way to invite people to engage with the company. The key is to offer prizes that attract the type of people that your organization is targeting so that you end up with a list of your target market that is patiently awaiting a response from you to see whether or not they won.

Call to action buttons are what you see when you visit a website, get an email, or see a social media post. They usually are worded with some sort of prompt such as “learn more” or “download our white paper”. Technically anything that requests a response from a user is a call to action, however, proper placement of these prompts is key for success.

The Synergy of a Full Campaign

The best way to get the most out of a direct response marketing campaign is to use as many types of marketing that you possibly can to create an environment that covers all sides of the customer connection.

Instead of simply mailing a brochure to an address, make sure to send them an email with a direct response link, communicate with them on social media, and use whatever else means of communication that you have with them.

Let’s give an example of how this might work:

You acquire a list of potential customers through various means such as responses to a commercial, information left for a contest or drawing, information left via a call to action on your website, and so on. 

What is Direct Response Marketing, Channels, Techniques & Examples | by Jonathan Cronstedt | Medium

This list should provide you with all of the information that you will need to reach out to the potential customer:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Social media profile
  • What the potential customer is interested in

When you have a robust list of qualified leads you can start out with a direct mail campaign with some carefully crafted self-mailers that invite the recipients to call in or visit a link with a special promotion code.

In addition to the physical mail, you wait a few days and send out an interesting email that calls for a response. The email can include a direct response link or a phone number for the recipient to respond to. In addition to the contact information, there should also be a link to the company’s social media accounts.

Some of the more modern types of social media tools can match your contact information with social media accounts that are linked to the people so that you can send out a physical piece of mail, or an email, and also push social media posts from the company to users that see them. This is a very effective way to get the attention of potential customers and keep them engaged.

The marketing industry is equipped with powerful technological tools that can identify and centralize all methods of communication and responses from potential customers, and even track the progress of a campaign. All parts of the campaign work together with a powerful synergy that is designed to get results.

Critical Elements in Direct Response Marketing

As the campaign progresses forward you don’t have to guess whether or not the campaign is being productive. You will know. Some of the most important tools in the marketing world help to create effective strategies and keep tabs on the progress of these strategies.

Some of the main keys are:

  • Strategy development  
  • List acquisition
  • Customer analysis
  • Targeted audience
  • Direct mail 
  • Mail tracking
  • Call tracking
  • Informed delivery
  • Social media match
  • Online follow up
  • Social media follow up
  • Lead matching
  • Measure and reporting

A lot of the potential customers that you have on your list – if you’ve taken the time to get a good list – will be people that want what you have to offer. If not at the moment, at some point. The more you stay connected with them, the better the odds are that they will think of you when it is time for them to make the purchase.

Keeping in touch with potential customers and following up on them is a very effective tactic that not only helps to generate sales, but also provides an opportunity to get to know the customers and understand them so that you can better serve them.

The Outcome of Direct Response Marketing

While there are potential customers that may not appreciate being approached from so many angles, there are the types of people that need gentle reminders. Life goes on, people get busy, things happen and time passes. If your marketing technique is not so offensive that you push people away, the persistence that you put into the campaign may pay off when the customer is ready to move forward.

In the end, the results of this type of campaign can be astounding. Not only do the responses back from the people cultivate dialogue and a conversation between the customer and the company, but it also gives an opportunity to create a relationship with the customers.

Direct response marketing is a lot of work, but the outcome of the campaign can be extremely rewarding. When you market your company in a way that motivates people toward your product you gain valuable customers that love all that you have to offer. When customers love you, they tell their friends and family about you. Suddenly that one customer turns into hundreds…and so on…and so forth…

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