Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

What Is Direct Marketing? Benefits, Steps, and Examples

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By Laia Cardona, on 14 March 2023

Direct marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on communicating directly with customers or clients to promote products or services. The method of communication by the advertiser or marketer can come in many formats, like email, social ads, or even direct mail. One of the most useful methods is direct email marketing.

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An essential part of direct marketing is the measurable response from the consumer. For example, if you offer a discount for an online store, you should include a cookie or pixel to let you know if the recipient has used the code you sent.

What is Direct Marketing Benefits Steps and Examples


Difference Between Direct and Indirect Marketing

While direct marketing is all about getting a customer to buy your product or service, indirect marketing takes more of a backseat approach. The goal of indirect marketing is to build brand awareness and establish a loyal following that will continue to buy from you over time.

Primary Mediums of Direct Marketing

Here are some of the primary methods of direct marketing within the digital environment.

1. Email Marketing

Direct email marketing allows you to send offers, advertisements, reminders, and other messages to a person whose data has already been saved in a database (either your database or a third party's).

2. Catalogue Marketing

This method has been used for many years but with the rise of the Internet, physical catalogues have migrated to the Internet where they have become completely digitized.

3. Digital Marketing

Marketing on the internet has been growing nonstop in recent years. According to eMarketer, investments in online advertising beat those on TV in 2017. Furthermore, one very popular direct marketing method is the use of Social Ads by way of Custom Audiences. This allows you to upload your database(s) to your social networks in order to create personalized campaigns.

4. Social Media

Social media has changed the face of direct marketing. On social platforms, the dialogue between customers and a company is carried out publicly, which helps ensure the communication between both parties is monitored and promoted content or offers are truly interesting to the consumer.

5. Banners

This type of online advertising is one of the oldest out there. It tries to spark the interest of users by promoting interaction. The majority of banners are clickable.

Benefits of Direct Marketing for Your Product

Direct marketing allows you to promote your product or service directly to your target audience and measure the results quickly, but let's look at some of the benefits in more detail.

  1. High segmentation and targeting: you can reach your specific audience segments with personalized messages. To be successful, invest time in researching and identifying the consumers who are most likely to convert.

  2. Optimize your marketing budget: targeting online direct marketing to a specific audience allows you to set realistic goals and improve sales on a tight budget. If you properly optimize your direct marketing campaign, you will achieve results at a small percentage of the cost of traditional advertising.

  3. Increase your sales with current and former clients: direct marketing lets you communicate with your current customers and maintain the relationship while continuing to bring value. It also allows you to get back in touch with old customers and generate new sales opportunities.

  4. Upgrade your loyalty strategies: direct contact with your customers allows you to customize your promotions and email content to their needs. To maximize results, you can combine your direct marketing methods with a loyalty program.

  5. Create new business opportunities: direct marketing allows you to adapt to market demands at all times and respond more effectively when you discover new opportunities.

  6. Tests and analyzes results: direct marketing campaigns give you the opportunity to measure your results and make decisions in real-time.

4 Examples of Direct Marketing in Companies

The most powerful and innovative direct marketing strategies elicit a reaction from the target audience with content delivered directly to the consumer, either physically and through email marketing. A very striking graphic design, a surprising product, or a video that touches viewer can elicit a big response from the consumer. Below we'll review four great examples of direct marketing!

1. Toyota Corolla

Direct marketing is a great opportunity for businesses if used in the right way. It is also a good way for agencies to flex their muscles. If they put all their creativity into the strategy and use attention grabbing advertising techniques, the campaign will long be remembered by the public and attract potential customers. A great example of this is Toyota.

2. Touch Branding

This is a branding agency based in Prague with over 15 years of experience in global campaigns. They created a direct marketing campaign with the tagline "We'll give our blood for good branding" and created a graphic that supported the message. This really is one of the best examples of direct marketing that we've ever seen!

For direct mail, they attached a "blood bag" (don't worry - it was fake) with the letters. They supported the direct mail campaign with matching email campaigns and banners on their website. What a way to "hook" potential companies to be customers!

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3. Canva

The beauty of Canva's emails is the simplicity. When they create a new design concept, they advertise it to all of their subscribers and send them an email so that they know about it and can start using it in their presentations and infographics. At Cyberclick, we love this online marketing tool and believe that their emails are great examples of effective direct marketing.

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4. Instacart

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that allows customers to order online and then receive their groceries the same day.

This company came up with a direct marketing campaign to increase awareness of their brand and of the service that they provide. Along with online advertising like Google ads and social ads, they made videos ads, like the one below

In this ad, Instacart uses emotion and humor to convey their message and promote their product directly to the viewer.

Steps to Fire Up Your Direct Email Marketing Campaign

As mentioned, email marketing is a very successful way to directly connect with your customers. Ready to start? Here's your step-by-step guide on how to launch a direct marketing email campaign.

  1. Develop your contact list: the first step in developing a direct email marketing campaign is knowing who you're going to target. You can find many email lists by sector from third-party providers, but you need to take your segmentation further and find users who are genuinely interested in your product or service. To get leads, you can try an inbound marketing campaign based on content (such as downloads of an ebook) or lead generation ads on social platforms. Whatever you do, do not forget to segment your contacts, for example, by how often they visit your site or products that interest them.

  2. Create the ideal email: think subject lines, text, icons, and CTAs. Nothing in your email marketing campaign should be random. Align your creativity with precise segmentation.

  3. Enter a code or identification pixel: as mentioned above, one of the keys to direct marketing is the ability to precisely measure all the results. To do this, you need to include a pixel code in your emails that identifies users who have come to your site through this particular campaign.

  4. Test the campaign: run A/B testing and discover what really works with your audience. Remember that the key to A/B testing is to only isolate and tweak one variant so that you can attribute the results to a specific element of your campaign.

  5. Launch your campaign at an optimal time: first, send a test email to make sure everything runs smoothly, and then launch your campaign. But beware! As is the case with social networks and other digital advertising tools, you must send out your campaign on an ideal day and at the optimal time.

  6. Measure consumer responses: now, you just have to wait to see the reactions. Let your campaign run for a while before drawing conclusions since not everyone looks at their email instantly.

  7. Analyze the results: finally, you have to measure how your campaign has performed. How many people have opened the mail, clicked, or converted? If you've tried several versions, what has worked best and why? Use these conclusions for the next campaign!

How We Work with Direct Marketing

At Cyberclick, we understand that internet-based direct marketing has two primary objectives:

  • Generating clients. We can use either our own contact lists or access lists from third party databases. We do this because we know these databases contain potential clients who fit your buyer persona but we must convert these qualified leads into actual clients. A well-executed online direct marketing campaign (which contains the right message and is posted on the right channel) will yield high conversion rates with a relatively low budget. From here, we move on to the second stage: retaining new clients and building customer loyalty.
  • Promoting the loyalty of our current customers. Customer loyalty can be centered around the continued purchase of one specific product or service or simply returning to purchase something different each time. Either way, it is something every brand wants to cultivate.

Remember, good planning and preparation are the keys to success for digital marketers. Good luck with your direct marketing campaigns!

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Laia Cardona