5 Super Effective Direct Marketing Examples For Business Scalability

We have curated a list of 5 distinct direct marketing examples that companies used for scalability. No. 2 is our all time favorite. Find out why!

Direct marketing has been part of the marketing hierarchy over a long time now. Especially when we talk about the old days, one of the basic strategies of direct marketing was postal mail. People used to receive physical sales copies, cold calls or visits from salesmen.

Although such practices were effective initially, they grew to be mundane as time went by.

As of today, all thanks to the advancement in technology over the internet, advertisers are connected to prospects through other direct marketing strategies. Some of these strategies are aligned to email marketing campaigns, while others pertain to converting customers through online sales pages, ads and vice versa.

In this post, we’ll highlight some of the best direct marketing examples. The reason for doing so is that we wanted to shed insight on the relevant strategies, and the companies that used them to scale their customer base by at least 10x.

But, before we double down on direct marketing examples, let’s take a quick look at what direct marketing is.

What Is Direct Marketing?

As the name insinuates, direct marketing is the most “direct” form of impacting the audience through a strategy that converts prospects into paying customers. So, if you are thinking about selling a product or a service through a free downloadable eBook, affiliate marketing or getting paid against product sales through influencer network, that is not direct marketing. We’ll call it indirect marketing.

Direct marketing is a process that involves creation of different campaigns spread through digital media to help businesses market themselves to potential customers. There are no 3rd parties involved; any ads that customers see are meant to get people to convert through a sign up process, a direct sale or something similar.

Businesses directly market their products to potential customers through on-site CTAs, advertisements, emails and vice versa. The point is, you are marketing a product, instead of a brand. We will talk about latter in a future reiteration of this post, but let’s take a look at some of the best direct marketing examples for now.

5 Best Direct Marketing Examples That Companies Used In The Past

The following direct marketing examples are a mix of direct mail marketing (*otherwise known as traditional postal mail marketing), SMS text messaging, email marketing and landing page strategies.

When combined, all of these direct marketing examples garner exceptional results.

The key is to analyze your business model against the niche market, and then handpick only those direct marketing examples from this post that are relevant to your business. If you were to go and apply all these examples at the same time, the results won’t be as good as expected.

1. Instacart

Founded in 2012, Instacart has overseen massive growth in the online grocery & food delivery industry. The business was quick to adapt the quick commerce model, which is one of the main reasons behind their record delivery times.

If you were to place an order for grocery delivery through Instacart, you can expect the package to arrive within an hour or less. As of right now, Instacart is valued over $7.9 Billion.

How They Did It?

Instacart scaled through a combination of direct vs indirect marketing strategies. They relied on word of mouth marketing, and also through a massive network of people wearing the brand’s T-shirt.

The latter strategy reportedly piqued people’s interest over time. Although, wearing t-shirts and putting the company’s name on display wasn’t the main takeaway from Instacart’s success story, it did fare well in the long run.

By banking on word of mouth marketing, Instacart was able to place people wearing the brand’s t-shirt in highly trafficked areas. The effect created a buzz, and garnered amazing results, when combined with various other forms of modern-day marketing strategies.

2. Casper Co.

Nope, this one doesn’t have to do anything with ‘Casper: The Friendly Ghost.’ If you haven’t heard about Casper, it’s the memory foam mattress company with a generous 100 day refund policy.

This policy, alone, eliminates the hesitation factor from Casper, but where does all the confidence in creating flawless mattresses come from?

How They Did It?

The mattress mogul’s approach to direct marketing examples is simple. Casper is known for handing out bright colored envelopes with high quality paper claiming that customers can get by with a flexible 100-day return policy, while being able to enjoy all that the high-quality mattresses have to offer in comfort and style.

One might argue that postal mail ads don’t work as well, Casper’s customers like the nostalgic vibe. They believe that seeing a piece of paper with the company’s name on it, creates a sense of connection which is unlike any conventional online ad copy, or an email that’s bound to get lost in the consumer’s inbox.

3. Hollar | The Best Virtual Dollar Store That’s No More!

Hollar rhymes with ‘Dollar’, and there’s reason for naming the business that way.

The company is known for its virtual dollar store, a dated concept that got revamped through internet and technology. Last year, Hollar secured a series C financing to the tune of $35 Million. Under the supervision of David Yeom, CEO of Hollar, the company has used a combination of different direct marketing example of the last few years.

How They Did It?

Since it’s a virtual dollar store, Hollar relied heavily on direct marketing examples through Pinterest boards. They connected with their audience through visually aesthetic images, strong UX design and infographics.

Needless to say, Hollar’s Pinterest boards effortlessly navigated customers to the company’s website, where they could browse through hundreds of products all day long. Part of Hollar’s direct marketing examples’ success was creating a very intelligent target audience profile.

They relied on past data-driven metrics and focused their direct marketing efforts on acquiring new clients through laser precision direct marketing examples.

Update: As of 2020, Hollar was acquired by a new company. The business is now operating under the brand name: Five Below. You can find out additional information about Hollar’s acquisition here.

4. Harry’s

Up next on our direct marketing examples list, we’ve got Harry’s. They are known for selling a wide variety of men’s grooming kit through e-com platforms. The business is similar to many others out there, but Harry’s managed to crack the nut on direct vs indirect marketing campaigns.

Since its inception in 2013, the brand has gone to great lengths to ensure that its direct-to-consumer (DTC) product is a success. From buying a razor factory in Germany to running countless successful direct marketing campaigns, Harry’s has built a brand worth $1.4B.

Also, they promote subscription based products, where guys have to sign up for a plan, and Harry’s sends them grooming kits at the end of each month, or on bi-weekly basis. Subscriptions eliminate the requirement from users’ end to shop for the same products each month. This way, Harry’s takes control of the men’s grooming and personal hygiene requirements to save time on buyers’ part.

How They Did It?

First, they focused on their most immediate network. These leads were practically guaranteed to have a high ROI because they personally knew the employees who reached out to them. From there, they were able to continue forwarding the message to other people in their own network.

Next, they set up a dedicated landing page through a traceable referral link. Then, they made their landing page simple, yet mysterious — offering only a space to input your email and a message about what Harry’s does. Finally, the cherry on top was their incredible giveaway offer: Anyone who shares the landing page on social media receives free products.

5. Allbirds

Allbirds has cornered the market on footwear that’s environmentally friendly and extremely comfortable. Their simple designs and quality materials (including wool and even sugar cane) are a hit among shoe fans who want an easy, lightweight sneaker.

The privately held international brand was founded in 2014 and has since moved from strictly digital sales to brick and mortar test stores. Currently valued at roughly $1.4B, Allbirds uses a variety of strategies in their direct marketing campaigns. And according to an analysis of their growth marketing strategy, 40% of Allbirds’ website traffic comes from direct marketing.

How They Did It?

When reaching out to potential leads with their Kickstarter campaign, they kept their message simple — a great product (wool running shoes) with two key benefits that were unique and practical. It’s a simple campaign for a simple solution in a market with increasingly complex products.

At The End of The Day

If you’re a brand-new startup owner, mastering direct vs indirect marketing techniques might come as a challenge to you.

The best advice that we can give you is to start your business, and monitor back end analytics to get a hang of the demand vs. supply curve. Later on, whenever you’re inspired enough to apply a number of direct marketing examples from this post, you can do so confidently.

Oh, and one more thing. At the end of the day, your business is unique. Even though, it could be part of something common that hundreds of competitors are already doing right now, there’s always that USP factor in there. Therefore, feel free to learn from the direct marketing examples, improvise and apply them as you see fit!

Other than that, feel free to consult a professional digital marketing services company to avoid making any mistakes that other have made in the past.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences about direct marketing campaigns in the comments section below.

Good luck!

Our blog

Related blogs

Tools and strategies modern teams need to help their companies grow.