What is Direct Response Marketing?

Direct response marketing is a type of marketing where businesses attempt to garner a response from potential customers, who may be interested in their products. Similar to direct marketing, it is hinged upon getting products directly in front of customers and prompting them to respond.

How Direct Response Marketing Works

  1. 1. Direct Contact Made

    Utilizing several mediums, businesses get in touch with potential customers (whether that's through direct mail, email, etc.) In that first form of direct contact, the product that the business believes the customer will like is offered up, often with some form of a discount or "one-time offer."

  2. 2. Call to Action

    In this first contact, a call to action is listed, which is often a request for the customer to get in touch with the business within a certain timeframe or through a specific response mechanism.

  3. 3. Present Options

    The manner through which the customer can get in touch with the business is often through several options, such as mailing a reply card with a "Yes/No" checkbox, clicking on a link designed specifically for direct responses, or a toll-free number. Once the customer responds to the call of action through one of the presented options, a sale can then be discussed.

Direct Response Marketing Best Practices

  1. 1. Make It Straightforward

    Direct response marketing is all about making it easy for the customer and the business to connect with one another. Because of this, the call to action should make it clear what the customer must do to respond. If the customer does want to respond, making them jump through hoops is counterproductive.

  2. 2. Emphasize Details

    In the first contact, why should the customer say "yes?" Why do they need the product? How does the product compare to others? These sorts of questions, coupled with statistics and other specific details, will allow the customer to gain a complete picture of what the business is offering.

  3. 3. Establish Limit

    Like all good things, the offer given to the customer should have some form of a time limit -- thus, phrases like "limited time offer." This not only incentivizes the customer to consider the product immediately but also allows the business to gauge the success of their direct response marketing campaign based on how many customers respond within the predetermined time limit.