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How To Do Direct Response Marketing That Works

How To Do Direct Response Marketing That Works

Direct response marketing is a type of marketing used in advertising where the sales or response from the customer is tracked immediately after the ad is seen or heard. The advertiser pays the marketing agency to create an ad with a specific goal, such as gaining new customers or increasing purchases.

Most people think of direct response marketing as being all about TV advertising. Still, there are plenty of ways to reach potential customers via online platforms such as eCommerce sites and blogs.

The fact is that you can use direct response marketing to build brand awareness and generate sales. By creating a clear call to action at the end of each email, you can get your audience to take specific steps. This post will teach you how to use direct response marketing to sell your products or services online.

I've been helping businesses generate massive sales, build audiences, and create enormous profits for over ten years. I'm the go-to guy for digital and online marketing for businesses like yours.

My approach is simple: I help you build your audience, make them love you and make money.

But if you've been doing all these things wrong, it's time to try something different. Something better. Something that works.

Today, I will show you exactly how to do direct response marketing that works.

You'll learn everything you need to know to build a massive list of clients, start selling immediately and make money.

So, are you ready?

What Is Direct Response Marketing?

What Is Direct Response Marketing
Source: SendPulse

We live in a world driven by the pursuit of instant gratification and the ability to get whatever we want as soon as possible.

The more time we spend online, the more often we become aware of how fast the internet and the world are changing. The internet has made available an infinite number of products and services. Still, the pace of change in the marketplace can sometimes leave us feeling overwhelmed and unprepared to take full advantage of the products and services offered.

It can be challenging to keep up with all the trends and fads that seem to come and go every day. It can be hard to sort through the hype and misinformation to figure out what works and what doesn't. The truth is that some marketing strategies work faster than others.

Two marketing types require a consumer's immediate response. Direct response marketing is precisely what it sounds like — targeting individuals interested in a particular product or service. Direct response marketing allows you to reach someone in real-time.

The second type of marketing is called broadcast marketing. Broadcast marketing is aimed at a broad audience and involves using TV, radio, or newspapers, typically reaching an entire population quickly.

What Does This Mean For You?

Direct response marketing is any marketing that delivers an immediate response from a consumer. It can be anything from a single-product sale to a multi-product sale and everything in between.

Direct response marketing may seem overwhelming, but the good news is that the most effective direct response marketing strategies are also the most cost-effective. Some of your current direct response marketing strategies have been ineffective because they are not working fast enough.

To succeed in direct response marketing, you must figure out what works and does not. For example, email is one of the most common direct response marketing methods, but it's also the least effective. You may have heard that email is the preferred form of direct response marketing, but you should learn that it can be a double-edged sword.

One of the main reasons email is so successful is because the email is sent to a recipient who is already thinking about the company. If you send an email that says, “I need your credit card information,” the recipient is more likely to respond because he is thinking about buying your product or service. But if you send an email saying, “Here's my credit card number,” the recipient is less likely to respond because the email may come across as spam.

Instead of emailing directly to a customer, consider using a tool like Drip, where you can set up a drip campaign that automatically sends a message to your customers based on specific triggers.

For example, you could set up a drip campaign that sends an email to your existing customers every time you introduce a new product or service. Or you could set up a drip campaign that emails a link to your homepage when someone searches for a specific keyword related to your business.

With direct response marketing, you send a message to a potential customer, and the recipient is more likely to engage with your product or service in real-time.

Critical Components of Direct Response Marketing

1 – A Personalised Offer

Personalised Marketing Email Example

You have to consider that today's customer is a savvy consumer who knows how many choices they have. Most people buy the things they want without necessarily asking themselves what they need. And yet, the more options they have, the harder it is for them to make any choice.

You have to stand out from the crowd to get to the consumer. This is where personalisation comes into play.

When you put together a personalised offer, you are talking directly to your target audience. This direct and personal approach will allow you to know your audience's wants and needs.

You can take advantage of their buying behaviour, preferences, and needs to build an offer that is perfect for them.

How Does it Work?

A personalised offer is a perfect tool for reaching a prospect and connecting with them through a proposal that will solve their problem. For example, if a potential buyer is researching how to buy a car and sees that you offer the same product, you will be able to reach them and connect with them more personally.

Your offer will speak directly to them, making them more receptive to what you say. It will provide a solution to their problem and allow them to click on your offer, thus allowing you to capture their attention and convert them into a lead or a sale.

Three things make a personalised offer stand out.


What makes your offer relevant to your prospect?

For example, if you offer the same product to everyone, no matter what they want or need, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Your prospect is unique, and it is your job to find out what they want and need so that you can present them with the right offer.


To make your offer more personal to your prospect, you must find out what they want and need. This will require research on your part.

You will have to understand your prospect's behaviour and preferences. By doing this, you can determine what they want and need.


As mentioned above, timing is another essential factor that makes a personalised offer stand out.

You cannot make a personal offer at a time that is not right for your prospect. For example, if you send a personalised request at a time when they are busy, your message will never get seen.

This is why you must determine your prospect's buying behaviour and needs. You can only make a personalised offer that fits the situation and stands out from the crowd.

2 – Clear and Compelling Content

If you are having trouble selling anything, there are several reasons why it could be happening. And one of them is the content you create. So first, ensure that the content you write is engaging and compelling. Next, make sure that it addresses your audience's needs and issues. And finally, make sure that your content is optimised for the search engines.

As an Internet marketer, you must know that search engines are constantly changing. You must also update your content with new information as the search engines change. In other words, your content needs to be evergreen.

For example, it would be wise to update your content often if you sell a product. Make sure that it includes new reviews, testimonials, images, videos, and anything new. This ensures that the information the search engines find is the most current and relevant.

In addition, you need to ensure that the content you create is optimised for the search engines. Your content must include keywords that the search engines are looking for. But it also means that the content you make must be concise and to the point so that it only takes up a little space on your website.

3 – A Sense of Urgency

Create Urgency In Marketing

The most successful direct response marketers recognise that they have a short window of opportunity to capture their prospect's attention. Then they have only a limited amount of time to persuade the option to take action.

The marketing funnel drives this urgency, the method most direct response marketers use to reach prospects. In this method, candidates move through several stages before getting an offer they are willing to make.

The typical direct response marketer wants to reach as many prospects as possible at the top of the funnel, where the most motivated, interested prospects are. But getting chances at this stage is challenging since prospects are inundated with advertising messages from everywhere. This means the marketer has to stand out from the crowd or risk losing their chance to capture a prospect's attention.

Urgency is the main reason marketers try to catch the attention of their prospects quickly and drive them down the funnel as fast as possible. The candidate will eventually get tired of being sold to and look for another option, so the quicker the marketer can get them to the bottom of the funnel, the more likely they are to purchase.

Most direct response marketers know that they have only a limited amount of time to reach prospects and persuade them to take action, but most do not have a specific time frame. How do they know whether they are getting opportunities too slowly or not fast enough?

According to research, a sense of urgency positively impacts a prospect's decision to take action. In other words, when candidates feel they need to act quickly, they are more likely to purchase than if they have time to wait.

A study in which consumers were asked to rate the urgency of a request or an offer on a scale of 0 to 10 found that:

  • A higher rating of urgency led to a higher likelihood of an action.
  • A higher urgency rating led to a greater likelihood of responding to the offer.
  • People were more likely to respond to an offer if it was urgent and the prospect had been given a deadline to make a decision.
  • The higher the perceived urgency, the greater the likelihood of responding to an offer.

Therefore, urgency is a critical factor driving people to take action.

4 – An Irresistible CTA

In the same way that a great deal can get your attention, a call to action (CTA) can help you stand out in a sea of messages.

Your visitors are likely to click on a call to action button because it's easy to understand, and want to take the next step. When visitors click on a button, you get the opportunity to follow up with them and send them to another page where they'll fill out a form or order a product.

The best call-to-action buttons are clearly labelled and easy to find. These are usually large, easy to recognise, and can appear in any part of your site.

You should also have a call to action button at the end of every page on your site. That way, visitors who still need to find what they're looking for can still take advantage of your offers.

Best Way to Convert Traffic to Sales

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a strategic approach that increases the number of people who complete an online transaction. It's a critical aspect of the direct response marketing process, as it ensures your message is being read and understood correctly and that you're sending the right message at the right time.

According to Wordstream, the best-performing websites convert 5% of their traffic into sales. However, that number drops to zero for the worst-performing sites.

The key to achieving this conversion level is ensuring your visitors complete the desired action — that's where a well-designed, well-written and compelling call to action comes in.

This is the most crucial element of the entire direct response marketing process. It's not only essential for maximising your conversions, but it's the foundation of a strong relationship with your customers.

The Right Call to Action Button

CTAs should be designed with your target audience in mind. For example, the following is a call to action that works well for a real estate website:

You're also positioned to choose a compelling call to action button if you know exactly what you want your visitors to do.

For example, you might want your visitors to:

  • Subscribe to your email list
  • Download an e-book
  • Request a webinar
  • Complete a survey
  • Use a product
  • Sign up for your newsletter
  • Buy a product
  • Make a purchase

These actions can be straightforward for your audience to perform, and it's crucial to design your call to action to encourage them to do so.

Choosing a Call to Action Button Colour

Optimise Call To Action Button

The colour is one of the most important aspects of any call to action button. Your choice of colour is often the first thing visitors notice on your website, so it's essential to stand out and represent your business.

Dark colours like black, dark blue, grey, or maroon are less potent than brighter colours like green, yellow, or red. Bold colours are easier to read and fundamental if your call to action button is placed on a small display or in a crowded location.

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Another important consideration is whether your call to action button is a link or a button.

A link is a more powerful way of driving traffic to your website, as the visitor is taken directly to another site page. But links can look tacky, especially when placed in the same spot on your site as your logo or other brand elements.

Instead, choose a button that looks like a standard button from any other website. If it's a button already on your site, make sure it's big and obvious, as it will draw the attention of your visitors and make them more likely to click on it.

10 Examples of Excellent Direct Response Marketing

1 – Referral Program

What Is A Referral Program

The referral program is a great way to introduce people to your business and get feedback. According to a study by The Marketing Research Group, 71% of consumers said they would be more likely to purchase a company's product if someone they know recommended it.

The study also found that consumers are more likely to purchase a product that someone in their peer group recommends. So by creating a referral program, you're allowing people to connect with your brand while building trust and loyalty.

Are there any downsides to a Referral Program?

The biggest downside is that if your referrals don't convert into sales, it can be difficult to earn back the cost of the incentive. Keeping your referral program focused on the highest-quality customers is essential.

The referral program is a great way to give your brand a personal touch and encourage positive word-of-mouth, but it's essential to be careful how you implement the strategy. Otherwise, it can turn into a costly exercise without any actual results.

2 – Upselling

It's a simple concept: you provide information on your products and services to potential customers, and they respond. If they are interested in your product, they purchase it from you.

However, your response to the customer's interest makes the difference. By upselling, you increase the likelihood that the customer will purchase. In other words, upselling helps you make more sales from each customer.

What Types of Upselling Techniques Can You Use?

Upselling can take many forms. For example, it can occur when customers ask questions about your products, show interest, or express a desire to purchase your product.

With each upsell, you provide a different value to the customer. This helps them understand how much they'll benefit from the sale, which can encourage them to purchase.

There are many ways to upsell effectively and many more opportunities for you to do so. A few include:

  • Offering more information about the product or giving the customer a reason to choose your product over others
  • Providing gifts or coupons that may increase the customer's satisfaction
  • Reminding the customer of how valuable their purchase will be
  • Asking about a need that your product fills
  • Giving a gift with a specific message
  • Providing a sample of your product or showing them how they can use it

Upselling can be done without a high-pressure approach or a pushy salesperson. It can be done with subtlety and a sense of empathy, helping customers to see the value in your products and services and encouraging them to make a purchase.

Best Upselling And Cross-Selling Strategies

3 – Social Media Ads

With the increasing use of digital devices and mobile phones, it's become increasingly difficult to reach the audience. With the advent of new technologies, traditional advertising methods are not effective anymore. To contact the audience effectively, companies need to utilise the latest digital technologies to create ads that are more relevant, useful and engaging to target audiences.

There are two types of social media ads – paid and organic. Paid ads are displayed as sponsored posts and are generally more visible than organic posts. The organic posts are usually published by the users and are typically related to the topic or interest area of the advertiser. Organic posts are considered free from any paywalls, whereas the paid positions are usually blocked from users who are not interested in the promoted products.

The purpose of paid ads is to reach the audience more efficiently and effectively, typically used by companies looking to promote products or services. The target audience for the ad is based on the demographics and interests of the customers.

Here are the basic features and functions of the paid ads:

  • Creates the ad
  • Targets the audience
  • Manages the ad
  • Measures the performance
  • Reports the performance

SMM is a multi-channel marketing strategy that integrates paid and organic posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. SMM is a form of digital marketing that effectively reaches the target audiences through social media channels.

4 – Contests or Giveaways

When doing direct response marketing, one of the main ways you can drive traffic to your website or landing page is by running a giveaway or contest. A giveaway is a contest that provides free products to the winner(s) to get more exposure for your brand or company. It's straightforward to do this with a website. Once you've set up your site and uploaded your prize, you need to choose where you want your contest to be listed. This could be on a blog, in an email, on a forum, etc. Then, you enter the contest rules. When you're ready, you can set up your giveaway or contest. You can include as many prizes as you want.

This way, people will see your contest on multiple websites. Even though your contest might be listed on a bunch of websites, that doesn't mean you'll necessarily get a ton of traffic. But it does mean that your chances of winning the contest are higher.

To increase your odds of winning, you can ask for feedback before you go live. For example, if you're going to run a free sweepstake or giveaway, why not ask people what they think? If you give away a free t-shirt, ask people what kind of shirt they would like. Do people like hoodies, tank tops, short-sleeve shirts, or long-sleeve shirts?

Contests or giveaways are beneficial because they are quick and cheap to set up, so you can use them often. You can win a contest or giveaway at no cost if you promote your products and services.

5 – Text Messages

Direct Message Personal Marketing Instagram

Text messaging is an excellent medium for direct marketing. This is because it is easy to send and receive messages and is a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. Text messages are an excellent medium for lead generation because they are more personal than an email or social media.

Text messages are effective because they are less expensive and more immediate than phone calls. Plus, they are a great tool to drive traffic to your website. This is because the average person spends more time reading and responding to text messages than answering the phone.

There are many ways to get people to respond to a text message. You can use the same techniques as you would with a standard email.

Include your company name, logo, and a link to your website. Add a phone number or email address to make it easier for people to get in touch with you. Add a short paragraph about your business.

Make sure to include a way for the recipient to contact you. You can do this via a phone number, email address, or clickable link.

Send several text messages to your list and see which ones are most effective. Then adjust your strategy to match the results.

You can even use text messages to keep up with the latest news about your business. You can post links to your latest articles, news, and announcements if you have a blog.

6 – Chatbots

Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) software that simulates human conversation. Chatbots are helpful for automated email support, customer service, marketing automation, and sales, among other uses.

Chatbots have been around for decades, but their popularity has skyrocketed over the past few years. Why? Because they offer a cost-effective, high-quality solution for customer service, email support, and marketing.

Chatbots are ideal for B2B direct response marketing, as you can use them to promote, market, and educate customers while answering their questions.

Chatbots are very easy to use. They are programmed to communicate with a person on a topic of interest. Then, they are ready to speak. They are conversational so you can engage them in a friendly manner.

For example, if you want to sell a product, a chatbot can answer your questions, such as, “What does my credit card statement look like?” “What is the product's price?” and “Do I qualify for a rebate?”

Chatbots are also cost-effective and reliable. They are fast, convenient, and user-friendly. They also offer excellent customer service, allowing you to respond quickly and efficiently.

Since they are conversational and allow you to engage the audience directly.

Chatbots are also scalable. You can easily add or remove the bots from your website or app to meet demand.

You can also integrate the chatbot into your social media accounts, allowing you to speak to your customers wherever they are.

7 – Google Ads

Facebook Marketing Vs Google Ads

There are two ways that Google Ads can help you to achieve your goals.

1. Using keywords and search terms

Search engine traffic is the lifeblood of the internet. Many people search for products and services on the internet. And they do so through a search engine like Google or Bing.

It would help if you were listed in the organic search results to reach these potential customers.

However, bots and algorithms often filter out organic search traffic, meaning you can't get high volumes of organic traffic.

You can get around this problem by running Google Ads and targeting the exact keywords and search terms people use to find what you sell.

Your ads will appear when someone types in your keyword or search term. And they'll be displayed on the first page of the search engine.

Ads that appear on the first page receive the most clicks and conversions. This is because people will know which pages appear on the first page when they click the search button.

Ads are displayed on the first page because Google thinks paying for a spot is worth your money.

This is an excellent strategy for getting the most customers.

2. Using Google Display Network

The second way that Google Ads can help you in direct response marketing is by using the Google Display Network.

With the Google Display Network, you can target the ads to specific websites or blog posts.

This means you can reach people browsing your website or your blog. They can click to purchase if they find what they're looking for.

8 – Social Media Mentions

Social media is a powerful tool for marketing. The number of users accessing social networks is increasing. People spend more time on the web and using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Social media marketing is one of the fastest ways to spread your message and reach a wide range of people. It can be an effective and efficient way to build awareness of your business.

Direct response campaigns are a way to get to know your target audience. This can include a blog post, email, video or even social media posts. The great thing about social media is that it allows you to interact directly with your customers and prospects. So why not use social media to tell them about your business?

9 – Use Pop-Ups to Generate Leads

Pop-ups are effective because they prompt people to take action. They are similar to the pop-up ads on your computer screen or mobile device, except that pop-ups appear on a separate window or screen instead of interrupting your work or web browser.

Ads on other sites may not make sense to you, so they are ignored. However, with pop-ups, you have to take a second to see what the ad is and how it relates to your needs. Pop-ups are sometimes more effective than ads on other websites because they can appear only after the viewer clicks on a link or image.

They are also less common in email marketing than in direct mail and phone call marketing. For instance, if your business sells weight loss products, pop-ups can be an excellent way to encourage customers to order a free product trial or sample.

One study shows that visitors to a website are likely to click on a pop-up advert if it is relevant to their interests and if it gives them an immediate benefit.

10 – Direct Mail Still Works (avoid Junk Mail)

Direct Mail New Customers Marketing

Direct mail is a powerful and effective marketing channel. Here are a few of the ways it helps in Direct Response Marketing Campaigns:

  • It is cost-effective: Direct mail is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels available. For only pennies per piece, you can get a ton of reach. If you compare your mailer to other digital and social media campaigns, you'll notice that you'll spend thousands of dollars per hour on each social media post or click on your Facebook ad, and you won't see any results.
  • It's easy to target: Direct mail makes it easy to reach specific demographic groups. For example, direct mail is the perfect tool to get people who love sports and outdoor activities. You can send a direct mail piece to your mailing list or a specific person in your database based on specific criteria.
  • It's fast: That's why you need to be quick on direct mail – you're reaching people immediately, and you can take advantage of the short response times to your business.


It all comes down to what your ideal customers will get real value from. For example, if your audience wants to learn to make money online or lose weight, some products can help.

However, as I mentioned earlier, there are also a lot of poorly conceived and maintained products in the marketplace. I highly recommend doing your diligence before signing up to promote anything in direct response marketing campaigns.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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