Home Marketing Direct Response Marketing Best Direct Response Marketing Guide (2020)

Best Direct Response Marketing Guide (2020)

You’re looking for the best direct response marketing guide in 2020?

You want to learn all there is about direct response marketing?

You are running a small or medium-sized business and you want to increase your sales, now!

We have good news for you!

Direct response marketing may be the solution for you!

In this article, we go over all there is to know about direct response marketing, the whole thing.

Be sure to read the full article as we will give you great insights as to how to increase your effectiveness and ultimately make more money!

This article is divided into the following sections:

Let’s get started…

Direct response marketing definition

What is the direct response marketing definition?

Direct response marketing is a marketing strategy where you are looking to persuade your prospects to take immediate action.

You can do direct response marketing to entice your website visitors to complete a registration page or subscribe to an email list.

Direct response marketing is all about getting a reaction from your customers now!

Your goal may be to make an immediate sale or just to get someone to sign-up for something.

The idea is to put together a marketing message to quickly show how you can solve a problem or provide value, instruct your target to take action and give them a simple process to convert.

Major organizations around the world spend top dollars in creating brand awareness.

By spending money on just brand awareness, the big players are creating trust and constantly staying in the face of their audience.

That’s very difficult to beat by small and medium companies.

But there is a way to compete with the big players!

Direct response marketing.

Direct response marketing is a great strategy to target your audience without having to go head-to-head in brand building with international organizations.

Direct response marketing is not the same thing as “direct mail marketing” even though many confuse the two.

Direct mail marketing is a type of direct response marketing using the traditional mail advertisement channel.

Direct response marketing is actually a style of marketing that you can run in any marketing channel as you like.

Direct mail marketing is a type of direct response marketing.

You can use direct response in your B2B digital marketing or B2C digital marketing and it can work really well.

Characteristics of direct response marketing 

Direct response marketing has some important characteristics.

Successful companies using direct response marketing ensure they design their direct response campaigns in such a way that it respects the essence of these characteristics.

Direct response marketing must:

  1. Target a niche audience
  2. Make an irresistible offer or provide value to your customers
  3. Outline why the prospect should take advantage of your offer now
  4. Give your audience a call-to-action

If the direct response marketing is personalized, the more it will be effective

Getting these components right will make your direct response marketing so powerful in creating conversions and sales.

Examples of direct response marketing

What are some examples of direct response marketing and how can it be used by companies?

There are many ways you can use direct response marketing to your advantage.

You have direct response marketing pretty much all around you.

When you go to your local grocery store, you may have someone standing giving out free samples of different food products.

When you take a sample, many of us will be tempted to buy the product advertised.

In other cases, you walk into a bookstore or a clothing store, someone at the door greets you and immediately tells you that there is a major discount only available today if you make a purchase.

That’s direct response marketing in action right there.

You may also receive an email from a company you dealt with in the past telling you that they have a huge promotion and you can take advantage of and you’ll lose out if you don’t act now.

All you need to do is to click on the link and get your product.

These are examples of direct response marketing that we experience practically on a daily basis.

What are direct response marketing techniques

There are many direct response marketing techniques you can use to successfully implement a marketing campaign.

Putting in place a plan and strategy will help you get great results.

Let’s start with the premise that customers will only buy a product or a service from you if they see a good compelling reason to do so.

Without that, your direct response marketing will not work.

So what techniques should you use to tell your customers about yourself and the value you can bring them?

You should implement the following techniques:

  1. Make the purchase process simple
  2. Give your customer a clear call-to-action
  3. Explain your value proposition
  4. Put a time limit to your offer

Let’s look at each of these techniques.

Make the purchase process simple

The first thing you should do is to think about simplifying the process of converting your customers.

By designing a process that is simple to follow and straightforward, you will more likely convert more customers.

For example, give your customers an easy way to contact you or have them fill out only a few fields to register in your email list.

If you have your customer navigate through many pages or have to enter a lot of information before benefiting from your offer, you will probably lose many of them.

The simpler the process, the more effective your direct response marketing.

Give your customer a clear call-to-action

The next step is to ensure you clearly explain what your customers have to do.

If you want them to register to access your latest report or benefit from a discount, be crystal clear about it.

The more you are clear about what is required from your customers, the more the customer will engage with you.

Without clarity, a customer may not know if it will take them 1 minute or 15 minutes to complete the registration process.

Have one call-to-action and make it clear.

Explain your value proposition

Explaining your value proposition is probably the most important element of the direct response marketing techniques that you should get right.

We cover direct response copywriting later in this article as it is critical to the success of your marketing campaign.

You need to give a compelling reason to your customer to take action.

The reason you propose must make sense to your audience, it must solve a problem of theirs or give them tremendous value.

Be clear about what your clients will get once they take action.

Tell them about what problems they can solve and how they can go quickly get there.

Give them so much incentive to take action that they’ll want to engage with you right away.

Put a time limit on your offer

Another technique is to create a sense of urgency for the customers.

If you are making an offer, put a time limit on your offer.

Make the customer realize that they have an opportunity to take advantage of in the immediate term.

If they don’t take the opportunity to take action now, they may lose what you are offering.

Nobody likes to lose an opportunity or feel they missed out on something.

If there is a time limit, more customers will convert just so they don’t lose what they feel that they have to gain.

What makes a great direct response advertisement

Properly understanding the direct response marketing techniques is half the battle, now you need to create awesome direct response ads.

The advantage of running digital direct response marketing campaigns is that you can easily measure the success of your direct response ad.

Fortunately, there are some proven techniques and best practices you can employ to create a compelling and effective direct response advertisement.

The direct response ads generating the best return on investment for you are the ones you’ll need to double down on.

So how do you make great direct response ads?

Master the art of persuasive writing

Your ads must be extremely persuasive.

This means that you’ll need to use persuasive language in your content.

If you are using email marketing for example, you’ll need to have an attractive headline and persuasive email message compelling your audience to take action.

Know your ideal customer persona

The way you can write persuasive content is by knowing your audience.

You should properly segment your audience and fully understand what motivates them to buy something.

What are they interested in?

What problems do they have?

Are they sensitive to price, do they want quality or are there features that is of interest to them?

Once you know your ideal customer persona, you can write content tailored for that type of audience.

Your ad design matters

Your direct response ad must have a great design.

Great design does not mean that there should be tons of bells and whistles, it can merely be a very simple design.

Your ad design matters.

There are some colours and some layouts that induce people to take action.

If you have a call-to-action button that is hard to find or blended in the background, your design will hurt your campaign.

Make your call-to-action very visible, make it simple and present it in colours that entice people to take action.

What are the most effective direct response marketing channels

You can run your direct response marketing campaign using many marketing channels.

Are there direct response marketing channels that are more effective?

In general, the success of your direct response marketing efforts will depend on how well you know your audience, how well you target them, how easy your conversion process is and the value you offer.

If these characteristics are not found in your direct response marketing, you’ll have little to no success, no matter the channels you use.

To give you an idea, you have here a short list of different channels you can use to run an effective direct response marketing campaign:

  1. Email marketing
  2. Social media advertising 
  3. Search engine advertising 
  4. Direct mail
  5. Webinars
  6. Podcasts

This list is a non-exhaustive list as there are so many channels both online and offline to run direct response marketing campaigns.

If you are running an e-commerce business, you may find it effective to use social media as a platform for direct response marketing.

You can use direct response marketing to target a segment of your audience via email marketing campaigns.

You can use direct response marketing to upsell to your existing customer base.

It really comes down to your own creativity in marketing.

Benefits of direct response marketing

Direct response provides all businesses great benefits as they result in direct sales.

The benefits of direct response marketing are magnified for small to medium-sized businesses as they do not have the marketing budget or power to compete with the big players.

Having said that, you can target a niche audience and proactively get them to buy from you now.

Direct response marketing is beneficial for businesses as they can generate more sales with their targeted audience.

Let’s be clear, the benefits of direct response marketing is not all about money.

As a small business, you leverage direct response marketing to create brand awareness as well as making money.

You can promote yourself as an authority in your domain.

You can provide helpful reports and guides to your audience just so you can build an email list and nurture your audience using drip email campaigns.

With time, you can develop a level of brand awareness that you would not have been able to create using other techniques.

Let’s not discount the fact that you want to create brand awareness ultimately to make money. 

Direct response marketing is a cost-effective way for your company to target, advertise and convert your audience.

Using direct response digital marketing 

Direct response marketing can be used in a variety of marketing channels.

Although direct response marketing sounds like direct mail marketing, direct response marketing can be quite effective in your overall digital marketing strategies.

You can use direct response marketing using the social media marketing channel such as Facebook. 

You make a limited-time offer of an online course, an ebook or perhaps a comprehensive report on a subject provided they register to your email list.

You can host webinars where you make a direct response marketing pitch to your audience, or digital ads, podcasts or any form of digital advertising.

Another effective way of using direct response in digital marketing is to use this strategy through email marketing.

With email marketing, you have the ability to create a personalized message, properly segment your audience and make them a limited-time offer where they just need to click on a link to access your landing page to sign up.

Email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing technique that still works like a charm.

Combined with direct response marketing techniques, email marketing can be quite a powerful channel to drive sales for your business.

Using direct response marketing with traditional marketing

Direct response marketing complements any type of marketing strategy used by your company.

When you leverage direct response marketing, you are presenting something to your audience with a direct and immediate objective of selling to them.

If you don’t have the might and marketing power of Coca-Cola to spend millions in creating brand awareness leading to greater sales, you can compete against a giant if you target your niche market with a well-crafted direct response marketing.

You can not only develop brand awareness but you can generate sales giving your business the cash flow needed to continue growing.

Who benefits from direct response marketing

All businesses can benefit from direct response marketing, no matter the size.

Small to medium-sized businesses can particularly benefit from direct response marketing.

SME’s have typically three priorities as indicated by HubSpot in their 2019 marketing report:

  1. Demand generation
  2. Increasing return on investment
  3. Find the required marketing budget

With direct response marketing, SME’s are able to generate the demand, quickly convert the prospect into a customer, increase their return on investment and get more budget to do what works!

Small and medium businesses can use the power of direct response marketing to inject cash into their operations, quickly.

If you need to get rid of inventory or aggressively penetrate a market segment, direct response marketing may be the way go to.

Direct response marketing vs branding

Direct response marketing is a marketing strategy where you are targeting a niche audience to offer them something of value in the immediate term.

You are crafting a well-tailored message or offer to compel and entice your audience to take a positive action that can lead to sales.

Campaigns that use direct response marketing strategies offer a solution to a problem or provide their audience with an opportunity.

So what’s the difference between direct response marketing and branding?

With branding, you are not targeting a niche market but you are addressing a broad audience.

Your goal is to create brand awareness as opposed to selling a product or a service.

You just want your audience to know you exist and think about you.

Depending on how well your brand is known to your audience or the level of trust you already have in the market, your branding strategy will differ.

If you are a small business looking to improve your brand awareness, you must first capture the attention of your audience by establishing authority and trust.

The better strategy may be to select your niche audience and develop your brand with them.

As you develop trust and authority with your initial target audience, you broaden the scope of your branding and reach out to more audience without necessarily going too broad.

The more you expanded your audience, the more you’ll succeed at creating a brand.

Direct response copywriting

Persuasion is foundational to direct response marketing.

You must pitch your offer and persuade your audience to take action.

This makes direct response copywriting essential to succeeding with this type of advertising.

Your direct response ads must be compelling, persuasive and tailored to your audience.

How can you write the best possible copy for your direct response ads?

Well, you’ll need to know who you are writing for.

Once you know who you are writing to, you will use the proper words and phrases to capture your targeted audience.

You need to quickly present yourself and tell your audience what you are offering.

Your direct response copy must be short and sweet.

Who are you and what is going on.

Focus your copywriting on encouraging and convincing your audience to take action.

Explain quickly how they can take action using the call-to-action technique you’ve deployed.

Once they take the call to action, encourage them to quickly transition into the different phases of your marketing funnel and your buyer’s journey so you can convert them as soon as possible.

Direct response copywriting is an art.

Master it and you’ll see tremendous results.


There you have it folks.

You now know the basics of direct response marketing.

If you implement the strategies and techniques we’ve covered in this article in your direct response marketing campaigns, you will see a great improvement in your overall conversion and sales.

For small and medium businesses, direct response marketing can serve two purposes: brand awareness and sales.

You are hitting two birds with one stone.

Direct response marketing is a strategy you employ to target a niche audience, provide them with an amazing offer, persuade them to take action and ultimately buy your products or services.

We hope that you enjoyed this article where we’ve covered the important aspects of direct response marketing.

Do you have any feedback to share with us?

We would love to hear from you.

Drop us a comment!

Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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