What Is Direct Response Marketing & Why It Works?


There are many different types and styles of marketing. Different styles and methods of marketing are designed to achieve different goals. Email newsletter ads are a type of marketing, but they do not serve the same intention as direct response 0marketing. Direct response marketing is one of the marketing styles that get results or responses the fastest. The name ‘direct response’ gives away the key goal with this marketing method. Direct response materials are meant to evoke an instant reaction from the customer. If this instant reaction triggers an action in a customer, the ad has succeeded. The makeup of a direct response ad is what creates this speedy result. How direct response marketing works is also why it works. One of the oldest marketing styles is still powerful, even in this digital world. Here is everything you need to know about direct response marketing and why it is still effective today.

What And Where

marketing strategy

Chances are, everyone has seen a direct response ad at some point. You can find direct response marketing ads on TV, online, in print, and everywhere in between. Social media posts tend to only work within social media platforms because of platform-specific connotations, but direct response marketing is nearly universal. The critical point of a direct response ad is the call to action. If a direct response ad does not evoke action in a customer, the ad has failed. A direct response ad is any ad in any medium that intends for the customer to act instantly because of the tempting offer. Direct response ads are supposed to give the advertiser an instant market of people that are at least interested in what they are selling. Even if a direct response ad doesn’t result in a sale, if the customer visited the site, made an account, or shared their information, then the ad achieved something of value for the business.

Advantages Over other Styles

Direct response has two main advantages over other marketing styles; direct response gives the fastest response or results, and these ads can fit on almost any digital platform or mold to fit within any medium. Other marketing campaigns aim to raise brand awareness or affect brand image, but that process takes time. A brand can measure from the moment a direct response ad goes live to see the impact; there is no warm-up or waiting period with direct response. The nearly instant results also help data tracking so you can learn more about your audience through how they interact with one direct response ad. The more you learn about your audience, the more targeted you can be with your ads. Once you know a specific group that responds well to certain ads, you can keep sending those ads for a reliable result.

The Ingredients And Why They Work

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There are only three ingredients in a direct response ad: an offer, information, and a call to action with a means of responding right away. The simplicity of these three ingredients also contributes towards its success. The offer is the hook telling customers why they should pay attention, the information tells the customer how the offer will fix their current problem or pain point, and the call to action at the end tells the customer how to claim the offer right away.

There is nothing for a customer to get confused about or hung up on; they are presented with an offer and how to claim it. There are no barriers to entry with direct response marketing as all the customer has to do is call the number or go to the website to complete what the ad was asking for. Limited time offers, combined with the simplicity of direct response marketing, trigger a customer’s fear of missing out and urge to buy.

Direct response presents an attractive offer and a way to immediately capitalize on that offer, which is also a psychological trick that uses impulse control and customer fears, but the strategy proves very useful. That is not to say customers will always buy or click when something is put in front of them, but the ingredients in direct response make it more likely. If you can tie your direct response offer into a customer’s fear, frustration, or pain point, they are more likely to click through and take you up on your offer. Direct response marketing also offers an instant fix to whatever fear, frustration, or pain point the customer wants to eliminate, making the click even more appealing because of the immediacy. Direct response is one of the most popular types of marketing for a few reasons. The ad instantly goes out and reports data back to the company. Even direct response ads that don’t garner clicks or calls still give the company information about its audience and targets for future ads. Direct response ads work quickly, and if they succeed, they succeed quickly too. A company could publish an online direct response ad and see customer reactions within the hour; speeds once thought to be impossible with other types of marketing. Direct response ads work on any platform and medium, making them a nearly universal tool. The simplicity of direct response also helps the ploy work. Direct response ads are and will remain an excellent low-cost but high return option for marketing.