Blog Direct response marketing explained

Direct response marketing explained

While flashy branding campaigns often get most of the limelight, the bread and butter of most marketers’ campaign-calendars is made up of direct response marketing (DRM) campaigns, designed to convert consumers or acquire leads. It is therefore vital that marketers understand how to influence their target audience into making desired actions, as well as how to build their brand identity— if they want to hit their targets and drive growth.

What is direct response marketing?

Direct response marketing is a type of marketing strategy where the goal is to encourage an immediate response from consumers in order to quickly generate new leads. The response can be any action such as visiting a website, making a purchase or even just sharing a post on social media. Direct response marketing contrasts with marketing activities that have long-term goals such as building a brand identity or raising awareness, and are instead designed to elicit a specific desired action. Because of this it is much easier to track the return on investment (ROI) of direct response marketing campaigns.

4 essential tips for building direct response marketing campaigns

When building your direct response marketing campaigns, it is important to build your strategy around your specific goals and KPIs. Whether you want your users to click on a link, subscribe to a newsletter or make a purchase, you’ll need to consider the following factors for all your DRM campaigns, if you want to successfully direct your target audience to perform a specific action:

  1. Design the campaign around your customers’ needs

    For DRM campaigns, the focus should not be on your brand identity but on your target audience. In order to elicit the desired response, it is important to highlight how the offer in question is beneficial to them, whether your latest product solves a common customer problem or you’re simply promoting a sale. In order to build a successful DRM campaign you need to concentrate on creating a compelling case that can convince your target audience to carry out the campaign’s desired action.

  2. Personalize your campaign or target specific segments

    While branding campaigns are often promoted to reach as many people as possible with the same message, DRM campaigns work best when they are highly personalized and targeted at specific segments of your audience. By doing this, you can ensure that your campaign’s offer closely fits the needs of every user who interacts with it. With 80 percent of consumers more likely to make a purchase from a brand that offers personalized campaigns, this is a vital step in improving the ROI of your DRM campaign.

  3. Use clear calls to action

    For Direct Marketing Campaigns, the call to action (CTA) is the most crucial part of an advertisement, since this is where you direct your users to perform a specific action. For mobile marketers this can be complicated by where or when your message is displayed. For some mediums like rewarded-video, you only have the user’s attention for a limited period of time, making it even more important that you ensure your CTA is clear and bold, so that those interested in your campaign message know exactly what to do next.

  4. Create a sense of urgency

    DRM campaigns that successfully create a sense of urgency around their offer can encourage their target audience to act immediately, increasing the campaign’s conversion rate. In order to create urgency, your campaign creative should highlight elements such as offer deadlines, limited stock supplies or simply outline why your proposition is important right here and now.


Direct Response Marketing Examples

Just as any marketing channel can be used for branding campaigns, so too can marketers employ any channel for their direct response marketing campaigns. This includes social media, digital, email, radio, print, TV and even influencer marketing. The only requirement of a direct response marketing campaign is that consumers are presented with a call to action that directs them toward your campaign goals.

Social media advertising

Nearly a third of internet users say they use social media to find out about new products, which makes social media platforms an essential channel for marketers to find and engage with their target audience. When it comes to direct response marketing campaigns, the key benefit of social media advertising is that it offers lots of possibilities when it comes to audience segmentation, allowing you to build more personalised advertisements. In 2020 over 3.6 billion people around the world used social media, and apps like Facebook and TikTok (which boasts 1 billion MAU) offer a myriad of ways to advertise to them.

Referral programs

Worm of mouth marketing (WOMM) can be a vital part of a brand’s growth strategy, as consumers overwhelmingly trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other source. While some of your customers may independently promote your brand within their social-circle, you can also encourage your customers to become advocates of your brand with a referral program. A direct response marketing campaign aimed at promoting such a program could take the form of an email or ‘thank you’ page following on from a purchase, including a gift or discount to incentivize your users into referring a friend or family member.

Contests & giveaways

Direct response marketing campaigns don’t always have to be sales focused but can also be used to encourage your users to simply engage with your brand. Contests and giveaways are a great example of these types of DRM campaigns, which can be delivered through email, on social media or even through out-of-home (OOH) campaigns. For both, consumers have a strong incentive to engage, and your campaign creative simply needs to give clear directions on how they can participate. Contests can also be a great way of generating user-generated content that can be employed in future DRM campaigns, while giveaways can help spread the word about a new product or service.

Chatbots & push notifications

Sometimes the best tactic for a DRM campaign is to deliver your campaign message while your target audience is already engaging with your brand. Whether they’re in your app or on your website, a chatbot can be used to direct your users to desired outcomes. You can find out more about using chatbots in marketing campaigns in our article on the topic.

Push notifications on the other hand are a great tool for re-engaging your users who may have installed your app but haven’t opened it for a while. Push notifications can simply prompt users to engage again, like those on the language learning app Duolingo, or offer incentives such as in-app tokens or bonuses for jumping back into the app.

If you found this article useful, you may also be interested in our blog on user generated content. We also have resources for finding the best strategies to reach your target audience and explore the latest from the mobile industry in our Global App Trends Report 2021.


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