Home Marketing Direct Marketing Types of Direct Marketing (15 Concrete Examples)

Types of Direct Marketing (15 Concrete Examples)

Wondering what types of direct marketing channels are out there?

What are the different examples of direct marketing?

In this article, we’ll go over the types of direct marketing in detail! 

We will look at what is direct marketing, the forms of direct marketing and give you 15 direct marketing campaign examples.

We have divided this article into the following sections for your ease of navigation:

Let’s dive right in.

What is direct marketing

Direct marketing is when you market your products and services directly to your target audience.

Your target audience may be a business or a consumer.

Depending on your audience, your direct marketing campaigns will take the form of a B2B direct marketing or B2C direct marketing campaigns.

Considering that direct marketing represents a marketing activity targeting directly your end customers, any business and in any industry is able to run a profitable direct marketing campaign.

Some companies may even exclusively favour direct marketing as their only approach to selling their products and services.

As such, they will prepare their marketing assets and campaigns with the ultimate objective to be directly selling to their prospects.

What are different forms of direct marketing

Broadly speaking, there are essentially two forms of direct marketing:

  1. Online direct marketing
  2. Traditional direct marketing

Within each of these two forms of direct marketing, you’ll have different types of direct marketing channels to consider using.

Depending on the nature of your business and the type of product or service you are selling, one type of direct marketing strategy may be more effective than another.

With direct marketing, you are responsible to properly find your target audience, deliver your marketing message to them and give them all the information they need to convert them into customers.

Let’s look at both the online direct marketing and traditional direct marketing. 

Online direct marketing 

Online direct marketing is any form of marketing where you use digital and online channels to target your audience.

Here are some online direct marketing examples: 

  1. Website marketing
  2. Email marketing
  3. Content marketing
  4. Social media marketing
  5. Webinars 
  6. Display ads
  7. Podcasts 
  8. Video marketing 

The advantage of online direct marketing is that your marketing campaigns are fully measurable.

You’ll know with precision which campaign is producing the best results and which one will require tweaking or should even be discontinued.

Traditional direct marketing 

Traditional direct marketing examples are all marketing channels where you target your end customer through print advertisement, phone or in person. 

Here we have different types of direct marketing examples traditionally used:

  1. Face-to-face selling 
  2. Telemarketing
  3. Seminars
  4. Trade shows
  5. Catalog marketing 
  6. Print ads 
  7. Direct mail marketing

Some traditional means worked great in the past and continue to work great even today such as face-to-face selling or trade shows. 

Others however, have significantly declined.

For example, if you consider direct mail marketing, this used to be a type of direct marketing that produced good results.

However, with more advertisers doing marketing over the Internet, direct mail marketing has declined dramatically over the years and does not produce nearly the same good results as digital advertising.

Who uses direct marketing

Nearly any organization or business can use direct marketing to directly sell its products and services to its customers.

Direct marketing exists for a long time, since the beginning of the 19th century to be exact.

According to the Direct Marketing Association or DMA, for every $1 spent on direct marketing, organizations get a return of $11.73.

Direct marketing originally started as catalog marketing, then expanded into direct mail and now primarily move to email marketing. 

15 direct marketing campaign examples

Website marketing

Your website is your first direct marketing asset that you’ll develop.

It’s through your website that you will deploy conversion strategies to convert a website visitor into a qualified lead and into a customer.

Your website is a highly powerful tool in your direct marketing.

Companies that use blogs as direct website marketing get 55% more traffic and can generate more direct sales.

The more traffic to your website, the more you can sell!

In your overall marketing efforts, you’ll use different types of direct marketing channels to direct online traffic to your website so you can convert your visitors into customers.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the oldest online marketing channels and one of the most effective types of direct marketing channels you can use.

Most of us have an email address and we all check our emails every day.

On average, email marketing used for direct marketing offers a 4,400% return on investment!! 

That’s a staggering number!

Email marketing is used to nurture leads, run marketing campaigns such as direct response campaigns and to build a relationship with your audience. 

Content marketing

Content marketing is a type of digital advertising that works really well when you’re targeting your audience directly.

Content marketing is a great direct marketing tool.

In fact, 72% of marketers say that content marketing creates more customer engagement.

With content marketing, you attract your audience providing them with really useful information, helpful content and material giving them value.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing can be used as another form of direct marketing providing really amazing results. 

The effectiveness of social media marketing comes from the fact that not only you can develop a community around your brand but you can also target your audience with precision based on their interests, demographics and other variables available to you through the social media platform.

Social media marketing is a big business in direct marketing.

According to HootSuite statistics on social media marketing, 27% of internet users say they found a new product through paid social ads and 53% of online brand discovery happens in public social feeds.

Social media marketing is an effective channel for direct marketing as you are able to directly engage with your audience, evoke emotions in them and create a personal relationship with them.


Webinars another form of direct marketing strategy particularly useful in B2B direct marketing campaigns.

Typically, business customers need a lot of information, data, facts reports and statistics to base their decision on.

With an effective webinar, you can convey a lot of key data points to your audience providing them with what they need to make a purchasing decision.

Webinars are great to directly engage with your prospects as 28% of people who watch webinars sign up to do so after the webinar was over.

Display ads

Display ads are a common form of digital advertising used by companies and businesses to directly target their audience.

If you are able to create a display ad able to quickly generate a click to your website, your display ad direct marketing will be a success.]

Retargeted display ads led to 1,046% increase in branded search after four weeks of retargeted ad exposure.

You can use display ads to stay in the mind of your customers so they come back.


With podcasts, you can establish yourself as an authority in your domain and gain the trust and credibility you need for customers to buy from you.

The popularity of podcasts is rising.

In fact, 32% of Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis

Just like with webinars, you can convey key information and data points to your audience and explain concepts to them in simple terms.

Video marketing 

After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

The reason why YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world is that we love watching videos.

We watch videos to learn something new, to get entertained or to compare and review products.

51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of marketing content with the best ROI.

Video direct marketing is highly effective as you can not only promote your product but create a personal connection with your audience.

Face-to-face selling 

Face-to-face selling is a traditional way of selling your products and services.

Face-to-face selling is when you promote your products and services directly to your audience in a one-on-one setting or with a small group of people.

The conversion rate for in-person meetings is 40% making face-to-face selling as a powerful as a direct marketing strategy.

This type of direct marketing strategy uses persuasive speaking and marketing to get your audience to make a quick purchase decision.


Telemarketing is a form of direct marketing where you contact your prospects over the phone and deliver a message creating a hook for them to stay on the line and purchase your product.

With telemarketing, you’ll need a good calling list and a well-crafted script designed to get the desired response from your audience.

Telemarketing is also a form of outbound marketing.

Businesses will use outbound marketing to drive their direct sales.

In fact, 80% of sales will require 5 follow-up calls after a meeting making the outbound and telemarketing techniques important to drive direct sales.


Seminars are part of what’s typically called experiential marketing which is a marketing activity that your audience will actively participate in.

In seminars, you are essentially training your audience on a subject matter.

Seminars are great to present yourself as an authority in your domain and create brand awareness and loyalty.

Event marketers are planning to invest more money in live events for direct marketing.

Trade shows

Trade shows are events or exhibitions held to bring together members of an industry to display and present their products and services. 

You could have major trade shows or local ones.

This is a form of direct marketing where you can directly market to your audience if the members of your audience attend the trade show.

You can benefit from trade shows as 82% of trade show attendees have the authority to buy making trade shows a powerful type of direct marketing.

Catalog marketing 

Catalogs are great to present your company’s products and services.

Catalog marketing became popular in the beginning of the ninetieth century and continues to be a good means of direct marketing although it has declined in volume.

In 2016, 9.8 million catalogs were sent to consumers according to Data & Marketing Association.

Your company can directly provide a comprehensive and full view of all the products and services you have to offer in a neatly arranged and easy to understand manner.

Print ads 

Print ads are another form of traditional direct marketing strategy where companies wll present ads to their audience in newspapers, magazines or billboards.

Although many businesses are now focusing on online advertisements, print ads can be quite effective.

55% of all consumers trust print marketing more than any other advertisement methods.

If you sell a niche product or a service, you can find great value in presenting print ads into specialized magazines or journals.

Direct mail marketing

Direct mail marketing is a traditional type of direct marketing where you target your audience based on their address.

You may send flyers, coupons, brochures, letters or other written communication to your prospects to either create brand awareness or to have them take an action.

Direct mail marketing has declined in popularity over the years, particularly with all the possibilities offered by digital marketing, but it still can produce interesting results depending on the nature of your business. 

In fact, 56% of direct mail is read by its recipients.

If you devise a good direct mail strategy, you may see good returns on your investment.


Direct marketing is a profitable type of marketing strategy.

Some businesses use direct marketing as their only type of marketing channel and generate great results.

There are two forms of direct marketing, online and traditional.

The online form of direct marketing has dramatically increased in popularity and scope over the past couple of decades.

In fact, companies can target their customers in a strategic and effective way and deliver a direct marketing message that produces results.

The results are tracked and measured for ROI.

The traditional type of direct marketing is also quite interesting if you take advantage of it the right way.

Face-to-face meetings, trade shows, seminars, conventions, direct mail are all different types of traditional direct marketing strategies that continue to work today.

To get results, make sure you do your research, plan your direct marketing strategy and use a type of direct marketing channel that will give you the best results.

We hope that this article gave you a better view of the different types of direct marketing avenues possible.

Do you have any comments or 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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