What is direct response marketing?

Direct response marketing is marketing that focuses solely on delivering measurable results.

It instills disciplinemeasurement and accountability to an area of a business that often lacks all three of those things!

A lot of advertising is fairly forgettable and bland, which seems crazy when you think the advertising industry is meant to be a creative one. Most advertising nowadays:

  • lacks clarity
  • doesn't ask for the sale
  • is generic
  • doesn't give clear instructions of what to do now
  • is easy to forget
  • focuses on brand building rather than product selling

Direct response marketing asks for a response of some kind from the client.

The response may be to fill out a form, to place an order, to sign up for a webinar or something else, but there is always some kind of response asked for.

'Direct response' doesn't mean 'cheap and annoying'. If you hear the words 'direct response' and immediately think of a cheesy TV late-night infomercial, please stop! While effective infomercials do use the proven concepts of direct response marketing, it does not mean that your marketing has to be cheesy and 'salesy'.

Direct response marketing + clear layout = higher response

Direct response marketing forces you to focus on results

If you find it hard to reconcile the amount you're spending on marketing with the results you're getting, the chances are high that you are not running a direct response campaign. 

You may have realised by now that I am a fan of direct response marketing (I not exactly subtle with my views).

As a business owner who has personally spent thousands upon thousands of pounds on marketing and advertising, I know I much prefer to pay for marketing that is measurable and results-driven.

(As an aside, that's why I am so sceptical of the claims made about online advertising. It is hard to measure real metrics when you're being bombarded with information about 'views' or 'engagement'. The key question for any business should be "how much money is this activity/advert/sales letter etc. bringing in?")  

If you're interested in learning more about direct response marketing, I recommend reading and studying the following two books. They are not new, but they are as relevant now as they were when they were originally written.

The problem with direct response marketing is that once you're aware of it, it can often make other forms of marketing seem like a waste of money (which they mostly are!).

My advice is to take a look at the marketing you are currently doing:

  • Where and how are you advertising? 
  • How are you marketing your business?
  • What is currently your best way of bringing in new business?

Then have a look at the costs involved:

  • how much money are you spending on each advert?
  • can you accurately say how much money each advert is bringing in to your business?
  • what is the cost of bringing in a new client per advert/sales letter etc.?

If you can answer those questions, it will give you a clear idea of how effective your current marketing is, as well as showing you where there's room for improvement.