What is a Direct Response Marketing and How to Increase its Results

PESTLEanalysis Team
PESTLEanalysis Team
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Understand what direct response marketing is, why it’s important, and learn two techniques to increase direct response marketing results.

Direct response marketing has one job: to get a consumer to jump into action.

You choose the action.

Like using email pop-ups to ask for customer emails. Or telling readers to comment at the end of a blog post. Or even just sitting in front of a prospect and saying, “Hey, buy my product!”

You want the person to do the thing you’re asking. It’s simple in principle, but difficult to execute.

Why Should You Care About Direct Response Marketing?

Unlike with other types of marketing, such as content marketing, direct response marketing requires little waiting to see results. Marketers can assess performance the moment the marketing campaign begins.

With the results, you can start a plan of action.

If the direct response rate is high, meaning people are following through and doing the action intended, you’re doing well. Now you must make note of what’s working — the words used for the call-to-action, the product advertised and promised, and what platform the customer is using (email/phone number).

But if no one is responding, it’s time to tweak. Tweak the call-to-action method. Tweak where it appears. Change how the customer responds (from phone to email or vice versa).

In fact, there are two techniques you can use so customers clearly see how to respond and why.

Two Techniques to Increase Direct Response Marketing Results

As we can see, we want a high direct response rate. It means people are doing what you want — whether it’s signing up for a product or buying a product directly.

While direct response marketing requires knowing your customer, the product, and experimentation — there are 2 easy things to help readers take the action you want.

1. Keep It Simple (Silly)

The #1 thing any direct response marketer must do is make it easy for the consumer to give the response. This means preventing any barriers that could negatively influence the consumer and the response rate.

Too many businesses forget to write and speak simply. They use big words like “effervescent” over “bubbly”. Or “in order to” rather than just “to”.

Bigger words can reflect importance. But in direct response marketing, it just leads to head scratching.

You need short, simple words to communicate. Make it easy to read and easy to understand for everyone. Make sentences smaller with less complicated words.

And then spell out exactly what you want the consumer to do.

Don’t turn it into a game. Don’t try to be mysterious. Be upfront, direct, and obvious.

A bad example of this is…

Why hello, there.

You’re here because you are debilitated by the inexorable pain that exacerbates your wrists. It must be excruciatingly pain-inducing, don’t you possibly think?

If you surrender your venerated email address, I’ll give you a prescription to joyously leap back into the gorgeous age of youth once more.

Thank you, and great talk!

What the heck does any of that mean?

If you don’t know, your target consumer doesn’t either.

So let’s re-do it:


Your wrists hurt. You can’t write. Open jars. Even wave to friends without pain.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

With your email, I’ll give you expert advice to reduce wrist pain. So you can do those simple tasks without fear. 

Click this box here. Input your email address. We’ll get started today.

Small words. Short sentences. And this version tells the reader exactly what to do. Doing all these things can increase the chance of direct responses.

And it didn’t make your eyes bleed.

Additionally, you want to have all contact information available for higher response rates. That includes a phone number, email address, live-chat, and support ticket links.

Again, to see results from direct response marketing, you need to keep it simple and as easy as humanly possible.

2. Have Sources Ready Right Now

When was the last time you bought a product from a company you’ve no experience with?

Did you look up reviews for the product?

If you’re like me, then yes you did. You want social proof the product is worth your time and money. People look up reviews even when the product is free.

If you want higher direct response ratios, people need to trust your products; your company; and your words.

Which is why you need proof that if they do the action, they’ll get quality products.

Testimonials. Customer success stories. Statistics. Positive reviews. All of these things influence consumer behavior. It’s great to have readily available when looking for responses.

And that’s it!

You now have a better understanding of what direct response marketing is, why it’s important, and a couple techniques to help with response rates. Call to actions are necessary, so use them and move customers down your sales funnel.

Image: Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com

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