What is Direct Marketing? Complete Guide

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What is Direct Marketing? Complete Guide

As the name suggests the direct marketing is a targeted promotional marketing method that seeks to achieve a specific action in one particular group of customers.

Direct marketing involves communicating a message about a product or service of your company to your target customer directly.

Hence, companies do not use any third-party advertising middleman. It is about communicating your message with the people who have shown interest in your product in the past.

It is also known as Direct response marketing which includes a clear call-to-action (CTA) to increase its conversion rate.

Direct marketing is different from advertising in methods as well as in goals. Advertising targets a broader audience to acquire new customers.


There are so many forms of marketing. Different media has different advantages and disadvantages. So, you can use any of them, some of them, or all of them to reach your potential customers. They are-

  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Catalogs
  • Fliers
  • Brochures
  • Postcards
  • Phone calls
  • Targeted online display ads
  • Coupons
  • Newsletters
Direct marketing


As the name suggests, direct marketing strategies involve focused on communicating a brand message directly to the customers without any middleman. Below are some features that help to separate this marketing from other types of marketing.

1. Targeting:

The most critical point of direct marketing is targeting the right audience with the most relevant message at the right time. So, you should promote your message only to those people who are interested in your product.

If you promote your offer to your entire audience, you waste your money and effort because your entire audience will not be interested in your product offer.

2. Database segmentation:

You should divide your whole customer base into a small group of people based on their age, gender, location, interest, occupation, need, income, desire wants, etc.

Thus, this will help you to launch a more personalized marketing campaign. A more customized marketing campaign always generates a better outcome because your audience will engage at a deeper level.

3. Tracking response:

You launched a personalized direct marketing campaign. Unless you monitor, analyze, and compare the result of this campaign with the previous one, you can’t tell whether this campaign generates better results.


The goal of various types of marketing is to build awareness of your product. Marketing is an umbrella term and is a broader concept. It has multiple types of different techniques to make people educate about your product or company.

But direct marketing is a bit different. The goal of this marketing is to convince people to buy your product. In other words, convert more potential customers into your paying customers. The final goal of this marketing is to increase your sales and revenue.

The conversion from potential customers to paying customers occurs in few steps. They are—

I) A person first visits a website

ii) He became interested in some feature and gave name and email address

iii) The company sends a personalized offer to the customer’s email

iv) The customer became aware of the product

v) Lastly, the person buys the product.

Direct marketing


There are various reasons for which a direct marketing campaign is so effective. Below I will discuss some reasons why this marketing campaign is so effective.

1. In this marketing, you promote your marketing message only to those people who have done specific action. You interact with only those who show interest in a specific product. So, by this marketing, you target a specific audience with personalized content. That is why the conversion rate of marketing is so high. As the conversion rate in this marketing is very high, thus this marketing is very effective.

2. In this marketing, you focus your effort and resources to only relevant or interested people. That is why this marketing campaign requires less money than other marketing strategies to produce the same result.

Let’s check out who can employ this type of marketing


It is the most popular marketing method. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), companies spend more than half of their marketing budget in this marketing. The DMAs report shows that companies earn more than 11 dollars for each dollar spent on this marketing.

A direct marketing campaign is easy to launch, and it is also beneficial. That is why nearly every companies, corporations, organization use this marketing. Not only companies, many non-profit organizations, NGOs, charity firms, but religious and political parties also use this marketing.

Charities, NGOs, and non-profits use thismarketing to get more donations from people. Political parties use this marketing to ask votes from potential voters.

Religious organizations use to invite more people in religious ceremonies.


Everyone who comes in contact with any kind of ads in your company is susceptible to this marketing. The people who are already in your email outreach list are already shown interest in your product in the past. That is why thismarketing is most useful for these kinds of people.

However, practically speaking, nowadays, all media companies, technology companies, retail, non-profits, political parties use this marketing. During internet surfing, a person will interact with different companies’ advertisements.

That is why he will receive hundreds of emails each day. The person must not have enough time and motivation to read all of them. That is why the majority of emails a person received on a daily basis remains unopened. This is known as marketing myopia. To solve the problems, marketers should be mindful of the timing to send an email.

Direct marketing


Creating a direct marketing campaign may sound a bit complex. Below I discussed four simple steps. You can follow them to launch a marketing campaign.

1. Choose the best channel:

Select an appropriate channel or a collection of channels based on your needs and industry types for the most efficiency. 

2. Create a list and collect data:

Effective direct marketing centered around data. The data of customers is most important. Marketers categories their audience into smaller segment according to various parameters.

You can collect the data through public or commercial sources.

3. Launch a campaign:

After building a list, you can send personalized offers to the people on your list. You can make multiple email lists and launch multiple targeted campaigns.

4. Analyze the result:

After launching the marketing campaign, gather the data, analyze it, and measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

Direct marketing


1. Guerilla marketing:

Low-cost, unconventional effective promotional marketing strategy. Small companies with a tighter budget can employ these types of direct marketing strategies.

2. Printed merchandise:

Companies can print marketing massage on clothes and then offer these clothes to employees, customers.

3. Issuing loyalty cards:

Customers having loyalty cards can enjoy price discounts, free delivery of the shipment, free trial. This is a type of defensive marketing strategy.

4. Issuing coupons:

It involves a business giving customers the type of tickets which they can use to get discounts next time. It is an excellent marketing strategy.

Direct marketing


1. Increase your brand loyalty:

Direct engagement with customers builds a sharp image of your brand in the customer’s mind. Thus, direct marketing increases brand loyalty.

2. Personalized communication:

The main advantage of this marketing is that you can reach a specific group of people with customized massage, which helps increase your conversion rate.

3. Trackable campaign:

After launching your campaign, you can quickly analyze, measure, and track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

4. Lower your marketing budget:

As you only reach those people who are interested in your product, so there is less wastage of money you spend on the marketing campaign. Thus, direct marketing is cost-effective.

5. Increase sales:

Personalized offer to a specific group of people increases the chances of an individual making a purchase. Direct marketing increases conversion rates.

6. Create a new business opportunity:

Direct marketing allows you to have relevant data and helps you to respond more effectively in a rapidly changing business environment.


The primary challenge of direct marketing is the email itself. You might become so numb. Let me explain it to you. An average person received hundreds of emails every day. The person will not open every email he received every day. Therefore, it is most likely that the individual never opens your email.

To fight with the problem, you should send the best offer at the right time with a creative touch to increase the chances of your customer to click the email.

Direct marketing


Finally, I must say that though cross-media marketing is a complex marketing strategy, it is handy for building your brand image. In multi-channel marketing, you use multiple marketing platforms to spread your message to your customers. Due to the usage of multiple channels, your customers will interact with your message multiple times, and thus the message will be printed in their subconscious permanently. Their subconscious mind will influence them to buy your products. As you use multiple channels to promote your message, there is a chance that your customers get confused. And if they get confused then most probably they will not buy your product. That’s why you should spread the same message across all channels.


What is the example of direct marketing?

You may receive various emails asking to buy or subscribe to their product. These are an example of direct marketing.

What is the weakness of direct marketing?

Sometimes the message sent by the markets remains unopened.

How effective direct marketing is?

If applied properly, this marketing is one of the best marketing practices to increase your conversion, sales, and, ultimately, your bottom line (sales).

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