Direct response marketing has emerged as a game-changer for small businesses seeking to connect with their target audience in a meaningful and immediate way. Plumb Marketing dives deep into the world of direct response marketing, unveiling innovative strategies and proven tactics tailored to empower small businesses in eliciting prompt and measurable customer actions.

What is Direct Response Marketing?

Direct response marketing (DRM) refers to marketing campaigns designed to create an immediate response from the prospective customer. This immediate action creates a lead and can include going to a website, submitting a form, or sharing a post.

Marketing tends to fall into two categories, often demonstrated within the metaphor of farming versus hunting. Farming types of marketing include networking events, branding, and event sponsorship. It is seen as planting seeds that take time to grow, or in other words, slow, steady building. It tends to be relationship focused and longer lasting.

Hunting types of marketing includes telemarketing, cold-calling, and submitting proposals. It focuses on immediate results and can build the list for on-going “farming-type” strategies. Direct Response Marketing also falls into this hunting category because it aims straight at the customer to create an action.

Strategies for Success with Direct Response Marketing

Here are some strategies and examples of Direct Response Marketing to learn from or to copy in your own small business.

Analyze Your Customer Base

Look at the needs of your customers because DRM is focused on them, not on you. Highly targeted segments are key. Personalization is also critical in these campaigns.

For example, a pet store gathers names of not just the pet owner, but the pets themselves. This allows them to show a highly specific ad. Imagine seeing an ad that reads: “Your Chihuahua Bruno will love these beefy, mini bones”. Research shows it has an 80% higher expected engagement rate than an ad that reads: “Deals for fish, cats, and dogs inside”.

Use forms and surveys to gather intel on your customers, because the better you know them, the better your Direct Response Marketing campaign will perform.

Meet Your Customer Needs

Remember, DRM targets the needs of the customer, so knowing their pain point and focusing on solving that in a very easy way, is the heart of Direct Response Marketing.

For example, a bridal shop knows that a bride needs her perfect dress. If the wedding store did a good job branding, they may get the business, but once the engagement has been set in motion, it is time for the hunt. The bridal shop can now create a form for to-be-brides to complete that offers a free in-store gift, such as a consultation, box of chocolates, or a style session.

This DRM causes the bride to take action, and builds a true connection beyond brand recognition – she is now a prospect or consumer.

Give a Deadline

A sense of urgency is critical in Direct Response Marketing because it causes quick action. If a consumer believes there is limited supply or a deadline, they act swiftly.

An example of this tactic is to use a countdown clock on digital ads, or provide coupons with an upcoming expiration date. Events can also create a sense of urgency as they are “one time events” with a hard deadline. Requiring prospective customers to enter information to register is another form of DRM.

Direct Mail is Direct Response Marketing

Top brands, including online brands such as Amazon, Doordash and all use direct mail as part of their marketing strategy. While direct mail includes a component of branding, it also drives action by utilizing all the above tools.

Direct mail has existed since 1892, and it has evolved to carve its place in the digital world. When combined with today’s technology, it is a dynamic marketing tool. If fact, direct mail is automated, data-driven, targeted, personalized, engaging and urgent, all by design.

Automated: lists and campaigns are created and set to go out at specific intervals, allowing business owners to set it and forget it. (Or rather, set it and watch the data, rather than fuss over the next month’s drop).

Data-driven: knowing when the mail pieces drop and who is engaging happens now in real time. With state-of-the-art tracking methods, it has never been easier to pivot messaging, targeting and even re-marketing online.

Targeted: use lists of your own customers, lists of residents in your service area, or both. You set the parameters and let technology help create your dynamic list.

Personalized: personalized mail gets opened, especially when it is relevant, such as new mover campaigns, birthday mailers, or other personal messages.

Engaging: the tangible nature of mail causes it to be engaged with. While online ads are easy to scroll past, mail is trustworthy and seen.

Urgent: urgency is created in the design of the piece, especially when deadlines are incorporated.

Tips for Small Business

For a successful direct response marketing campaign, follow these tips:

Focus on Your Customer Needs

Remember what your customers want and need. This can be as simple as a flash sale or as elaborate as an event designed to change their life. Knowing your customers creates a high Return on Investment.

Segment your lists to make them targeted and relevant, and let customers give feedback to create even better results. Letting them opt out of certain offers (such as those designed for homeowners while they are renters), will further focus on their needs.

Make it personal

DRM’s work best when they are so targeted they can and do use personal information about the customer. This can be a birthday postcard inviting them into your restaurant for a 10% discount. It can be an email campaign based on their navigation of your website, or from a form they completed to get more engagement.

Include an urgent call to action

A DRM is not time to talk about your company but rather provide a clear call to action. Contests, chatbots, deadlines, and push notifications can create urgency by causing the consumer to act now.

About Plumb Marketing

Plumb Marketing exists to support businesses with their marketing needs. Our direct mail marketing, technology such as ResponseBuilder which remarkets online, and even product fulfillment solutions are just some of the ways we streamline marketing for busy companies. Plumb Marketing helps with all stages of a Direct Mail Marketing campaign and creates a turnkey program, including tracking, testing, mailing, printing and design. Contact us today to speak to a representative about your specific needs.