Direct Response Marketing:
What Is It? What Can It Do?
As mentioned earlier, direct marketing is NOT the adult phrase for direct mail. Yes, direct mail is still the mainstay of many direct response programs. But the two phrasesdirect marketing and direct mailare not equal.
Direct marketing is the umbrella word for all that happens in direct response. Direct marketing makes use of most of the media available to other disciplines. These include both commercial and cable television, radio, magazines of every descriptionbusiness and consumer, farm and general, vertical special interestnewspapers, the telephone, and direct mail. There are others, but these are the most frequent tools of direct marketing.
Bottom-up marketing is what direct response marketing is all about. It is the opposite of mass marketing. It is reaching for specific audiences and specific segments of those audiences and making them a specific direct offer.
Direct response marketing gets people to act . . . now! Not everyone, just the people you want to separate from the mass market, the people who are your best prospects. Direct marketing is a carefully planned, precise tool, which allows you to determine which approach, which offer, which format is best, and by how much.
Direct response marketing creates an immediate response on the part of the prospect, where they take action to inquire about or to acquire the product or service you are offering.
Prospects may respond to a mailing piece, a television commercial (with an 800 number and/or address), a coupon or pop-up in a magazine, a newspaper advertisement or insert, even an offer on a matchbook.
Direct response marketing can increase your profits in a number of different ways. It can help identify and segment your market. Make profitable use of your current customer names to market. Make profitable use of your current customer names to build new sales in old markets and open up new markets for you.
For example, approximately 33% of all contributions to fund-raising organizations come because of direct response. And 70% of all magazine subscriptions are sold through direct marketing techniques. More books are sold through direct response than in all the bookstores combined. More business-to-business leads are generated by direct response than by any other means.