Direct response marketing is a marketing effort aimed at driving immediate action from specific action from the targeted audience. Such action could be an opt-in mail, calling to a provided phone number, clicking a link or buy the suggested product. It differs from mass market which simply reminds prospective customers of the existence of products and services for them to purchase. It runs on the idea that the more times clients see a particular ad, the more they are likely to buy. Direct response marketing on the other hand, targets a particular segment in the market and attempts to move the clients to act immediately.
Characteristics of Direct Response Marketing
- Targets specific niche or audience; Direct response marketing looks for prospects within specific zones, verticals or niche marketing. It is meant to appeal to a narrow segment in the overall market.
- There is a specific offer that is made; There is a specific value added offer that is made. Most of the times, nothing is sold. However, the marketing effort aims at getting the prospect to action, e.g. request for a free sample.
- The results can be tracked. Prospect response from the marketing effort can be tracked. It is easy to tell which of the marketing efforts generated customer action. In contrast, it is not possible to know what ad generated customer action in mass marketing efforts.
- It is possible to measure results; In direct response marketing, it is possible to know how much in terms of sales or response that the marketing effort generated. It becomes easier to drop the marketing effort that does not give the expected response.
- There is a compelling message; There is a strong message that is passed to the prospective clients to elicit interest and action. There is always attention grabbing headlines. However, an ad of this type looks more editorial than a marketing advertisement. This makes it more likely to be read by the target group.
- There is a call for action. There are specific steps that the prospective client is told to take regarding the advertisement. It also provides the marketers with a way to capture prospect information. The response steps provided are very easy to follow. For example, one could be asked to give their phone number or email address in order to get an eBook. With that information, marketers can contact the prospect beyond the initial contact.
- Soft sell tactics are employed. There is always valuable information that is passed to the client in exchange for capturing the prospects details. The information offers a solution to the customer’s problem. In addition, there is an irresistible offer that comes with the action that the marketer needs the prospect to take. Other follow-up strategies via other media such as email and social media are added up. The client is asked to take action within a specified period of time.
- The marketers must target the right market segment. This segment must be willing and able to buy the service that is being offered. Poor targeting ends up with prospects that are either not interested or do not have the capability to pay for the service.
- The offer must also be appealing to the clients. If the client does not see the urgency to act’ now’, then the campaign loses its set goals.
- The timing of direct response marketing efforts must be at a time when the clients are most likely to respond. This depends on whether the solution offered solves an urgent problem or it is able to create the urgency for the prospects to act.
- Marketers must come up with persuasive and creative adverts to create customer attention.
- The direct response marketing effort must be delivered in the right medium or media. The choice of media chosen has a strong impact on the expected response. For example, it is hard to personalize mass media messages but one can send a personalized mail to the targeted prospects.
- There needs to have multiple channels that the prospect can respond to the advert. Marketers could combine phone numbers, email addresses or linking with social media or any other form of response depending on the offer.