Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

What Is Direct Marketing? Benefits, Steps, and Examples

By Berta Campos, on 13 April 2021

What exactly is direct marketing, and how can you build your strategy? Direct marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods and it has many benefits, like clearly measurable results.

Turning marketing into a science is a passion of ours, so in this article I'll explain the benefits of digital direct marketing, show a few examples, and walk through the steps for a successful campaign.

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What Is Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is a type of advertising campaign that seeks to achieve a specific action in a selected group of consumers (such as an order, store or website visit, or a request for information) in response a communication action done by the marketer. This communication can take many different formats, such as postal mail, telemarketing, point of sale, etc. One of the most interesting methods is direct email marketing.

An essential aspect of direct marketing is that the consumer response is measurablefor example, if you offer a discount for an online store, you should include some kind of cookie or pixel to let you know if the user has used of the code.

What is Direct Marketing? Benefits, Steps and Examples


Benefits of Direct Marketing

Direct marketing allows you to promote your product or service directly to your target audience and measure results quickly, but the benefits don't stop there. Here are 6 benefits of digital direct marketing:

  1. High segmentation and targeting. One of the great advantages of this type of marketing is that you can reach your specific audience segments with personalized messages. If you want to succeed, you should invest time to research and identify the consumers most likely to convert and thus direct your efforts to actions that really work.

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

  3. Increase your sales with current and former clients. Digital direct marketing lets you communicate with your current customers to keep the relationship alive 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, emails, and offers to create an instant bond. To maximize results, you can combine your direct marketing methods with your loyalty program.

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

  6. Tests and analyzes the results. Direct response campaigns give you the opportunity to directly measure your results. Take the opportunity to squeeze the most of your tests and make decisions in real time. 


3 Examples of Direct Marketing

The most powerful and innovative direct marketing strategies want to elicit a reaction in the target audience using content delivered directly to the consumer, both physically and through the email marketing. A very striking graphic design, a surprising product, or a video that touches the heartstrings of the listener, can elicit a direct response from the consumer. Below we'll review three great examples of direct marketing

Toyota Corolla

Direct marketing is a great opportunity for businesses, if used in the right way, but it is also a good way for agencies to show off their chops. If they put all their creativity to the strategy and use really shocking advertising techniques, the campaign will be long remembered by the public (and attract potential customers). A great example of this is the below video from Toyota

Touch Branding

This is a branding agency that maximizes the potential of their brands. They are in Prague and have over 15 years of experience in global campaigns. They devised a plan for direct marketing with an impactful copy "We'll give our blood for good branding" and a graphic design that really was up to the message. This really is one of the greatest examples of direct marketing that we've ever seen!

For direct mail they attached with letters a "blood bag" (don't worry - it was fake). The design of the email they sent was in the same line, and the cover photo on their website was a picture with two doctors who carried the blood bag with copy below. Actually, they matched all season long in Touch Branding and it was a way to "hook" potential companies to be customers.

 What is Direct Marketing? Benefits, Steps and Examples


The beauty of Canva's emails is in its 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 and can start applying the new template in their presentations and infographics. At Cyberclick we are great lovers of this online marketing tool (so we might be a little biased) and believe that their emails are great examples of direct marketing.

What is Direct Marketing? Benefits, Steps and Examples


Fire Up Your Direct Email Marketing Campaign

Ready to start? We will explain step by step how to launch a direct mail campaign: 

  • Develop your contact list. The first step in developing a direct email marketing campaign is knowing who you're going to target. In the market you can find many email lists by sector, but you need to take your customization further and find users who are genuinely interested in your product. To get leads, you can try an inbound marketing campaign based on content (such as downloads of an eBook) or lead generation ads on Twitter. Whatever you do, do not forget that everything you need to segment your list of contacts, for example, how often they visit your site or products that interest them. 

  • Create the ideal mail. Subject, text, icons, and call to action ... Nothing in your email marketing campaign should be random. Align creativity and segmentation. 

  • 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.

  • Test the campaign. Take advantage of your email campaigns to test A / B test and discover what really works with your audience. Subject, images, button, time sent ... try all the possible variants.

  • Put an ongoing campaign. Send a test email to make sure everything runs smoothly and launch your campaign. But beware! As with social networks and other tools of digital advertising, you must send it at an ideal time and day to avoid idle time if you do not want to fall into oblivion.

  • Consumer responses. Ready! Now you just have to wait to see the reactions of your target. Leave a window of reasonable time before drawing conclusions, since not everyone looks at their email instantly.

  • Analyze the results of the campaign. Finally, you have to measure how your campaign has worked. 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 and see how quickly you will launch a really effective direct marketing campaign. 

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


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Berta Campos

Expert in Digital Advertising & Digital Marketing.