In the days before social media and email marketing, direct response marketing was the most personal type of marketing that existed. And even though technology has removed many of the barriers between businesses and individual customers, the principles of direct response marketing can be found in virtually all aspects of digital marketing. Using those tools wisely can help you to influence people more effectively than ever before.
As the name suggests, the ultimate goal of direct response marketing is to motivate each recipient of your message to take immediate action. But it’s not enough to simply copy a template of a sales letter and send it to your entire mailing list. A successful direct response campaign requires a careful understanding of why direct response marketing works. Here are three common tactics seen in direct response marketing and why they’ll make your next campaign more effective.
Sending the same communication to all of your customers is fine if you’re issuing a catalog or you’re promoting your Black Friday deals. But direct response marketing is about reaching people on a personal level. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to get it done.
A far better approach entails arranging your audience into distinct groups. Demographic splits have long been popular, but more contemporary marketing techniques include segmentation by spending habits and lifestyle traits. Grouping customers in this way helps you to understand each individual group better, enabling you to speak directly to each recipient. This not only increases your chances of getting a response, but it also deepens the connection between business and consumer, thereby netting you a more valuable and loyal shopper.
The “sell me this pen” scene from The Wolf of Wall Street has endless applications to the business world, but its closest ties lie with direct response marketing. How you’d sell a pen to someone depends entirely on their situation, not yours. An older person might prefer something stylish to impress others. A student, meanwhile, just wants something they can use to take notes in class. If you want to sell the pen, you need to know your audience and give them something that gets them to take action.
The same sentiment holds true in direct response marketing. You have to give people a reason to care about what you’re saying and why it’s in their best interest to act upon your offer. The best way to show the value of your product is to determine the pain points of the consumer and identify how your solution remedies those problems. Framing the conversation in terms that your audience understands helps them to visualize your product as the answer to their issues, prompting them to take action.
Time limits have always been a staple of classic direct mail pieces. Would a company refuse your business simply because you responded after the specified deadline? Maybe not, but you wouldn’t want to find out. The time limit creates a sense of urgency, prompting the recipient to take action that they might otherwise put off until a later date.
We see many instances of this type of urgency in modern marketing. “Daily deal” sites and flash sales from online retailers are just two examples of marketers using urgency to create demand where it might not typically exist. Urgency is a valuable tool in the arsenal of any marketer, but like any other marketing technique, urgency should be used wisely. Schedule your flash sales for times during which people have access to email and time to shop, such as lunch time.
Additionally, be sure to use caution when it comes to applying pressure on your customers – the majority of consumers are already overwhelmed by emails advertising these instant promotions. Going to the well too often can do more harm than good.
Marketing can take on many different forms, but direct response marketing is perhaps the purest form of marketing. By providing the right approach and implementing the right sense of urgency, you can turn a passive observer into an active customer in no time. To learn more about how you can use direct response marketing to your advantage, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help.