What Is Direct Marketing?

One of the reasons that direct marketing remains so successful is that it reaches out to your target audience directly, as the name implies. Rather than depending on a middleman, which often automatically creates a degree of separation and, therefore, an impersonal message, direct marketing puts your company’s message directly in front of your audience — and that audience can be as targeted and specific as you want.

Because direct marketing has the ability to be so niche, it is not only effective in terms of conversion, but it’s also often more affordable. Why? Because when you’re advertising to a smaller, more specific audience, it costs less to get in front of them. And, because conversion rates are better, the cost per ad is likely to be dramatically reduced.

There are a lot of different ways you can create a direct marketing campaign, but the most popular types include things like:

  • Post Cards
  • Emails
  • Brochures
  • Phone Calls + Text Messages
  • Fliers
  • Newsletters (either online or in print)
  • Coupons
  • Online Ads

Whichever format you choose for your direct marketing campaign, the ultimate goal is to get your company’s product or service in front of people who care. Sometimes direct marketing campaigns are all about branding, which is more of a long-term play because the results aren’t as fast as they would be if you had a specific offer. Other businesses choose to use direct marketing to quickly boost sales, which means that their communication includes both an offer and a compelling call-to-action (CTA).

If your direct marketing goal is specific, such as getting more visits to your website, having customers sign up for a free estimate, or closing a sale, then focusing on your CTA is incredibly important. If your direct marketing campaign does not include an effective CTA, then chances are that you will dramatically reduce the success of your ads. While many companies feel like a CTA should immediately lead to a purchase (which, in some cases, is effective), it’s important to remember that CTAs don’t need to take customers directly from A to Z. Sometimes the most effective CTAs just ask a potential customer to make a call to learn more or to sign up for email communication.

Still not sure if direct marketing is the right choice for your business? Here are a handful of reasons why (and how) it works that might help you better make your decision.

  1. Direct marketing allows for more personal and niche messaging, which means the person who receives your ad or promotion is likely to feel special, like you’re talking just to them.
  2. Direct marketing is usually much more cost effective in terms of advertising spend because you’re directly targeting an audience that has already been recognized as ready to buy (or at least move to the next step).
  3. Direct marketing has a much higher ROI (or return on investment) since the conversion rates for niche advertising are so much higher than traditional, broad-scope ads.
  4. Direct marketing is easier to measure than other forms of advertising, which means that you’ll receive better data about how effective your campaign is, giving you the ability to modify and change as needed down the road.

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