Direct response marketing maximizes the benefits of calls to action (CTAs) to solicit an immediate response from prospects. It’s one of the most powerful ways to generate leads, increase conversions and boost revenue through compelling ads that get quick answers from potential leads and customers.
In this guide, we’ll answer the question “what is direct response marketing,” and why your business should invest in it. We’ll also provide some direct response marketing examples, the elements of an effective direct response ad that brings higher response rates and the best practices for creating effective ads.
What Is Direct Response Marketing?
The standard direct response marketing definition states that it’s a marketing strategy that evokes a quick response from prospects using enticing advertisements.
It involves creating compelling content that is clear, believable, coherent, relatable and relevant to consumers. Further, this marketing strategy uses ad copy to compel prospects to take immediate action, with offers often having limited availability.
In digital marketing, this strategy uses the best Google ads to create offers that high-value prospects will find difficult to pass up. Your team can also use the best banner ads, limited-time offers, exclusive offers and social media ads if those are your preferred channels.
When you analyze the most effective direct response marketing examples, you’ll find ad campaigns soliciting an immediate response from the target market, encouraging them through enticing offers that solve a need or pique their interest. You’ll find many examples using pay-per-click (PPC) ads and social media ads, which can be cost-effective marketing options for smaller businesses.
However, not every company has been successful in using direct response marketing. Working with an experienced PPC marketing agency can help your team formulate compelling content and effective ads that bring results if you’re struggling with paid or social media ads.
Why Should Your Business Use Direct Response Ads?
Direct response ads benefit businesses in crucial ways. An experienced ad copy services provider like Thrive can help you with the following:
1. Impactful Lead Generation and Revenue Growth
This strategy allows you to make the best banner ads, landing pages and marketing campaigns boosting lead-generation efforts.
Use Case Scenario: HVAC and EMS Parts Supplier
A leading direct response marketing agency like Thrive can help you make the most of this strategy. For example, an eCommerce company that provides HVAC and EMS parts needed to boost its sales through its Shopify website. Applying a custom PPC strategy with targeted offers, Thrive’s social media experts were able to provide the following wins:
• 45.1 percent more new users
• 218 percent increase in Year-on-Year (YoY) orders
• 113 percent revenue increase
• 83 percent conversion rate
These results were gained with a limited PPC budget. It’s evident that direct response marketing produces high-quality leads and contributes to your revenue generation.
2. Identify High-Value Prospects
Direct response marketing allows you to identify high-value prospects. You can then adjust the direction of your marketing campaigns to target your ideal audience.
Use Case Scenario: Seismic Audio
Seismic Audio supplies professional audio equipment, and they needed to boost their monthly sales volume on Amazon. So they partnered with Thrive to gain a better footing in the market.
Thrive’s digital marketing experts performed in-depth industry and site audits. Using the data gained from the research, marketing specialists adjusted product listings, descriptions, keywords and images to match the interest of their primary audience. Here are some of the most significant results from the collaboration:
• 99.82 percent of “Deal of the Day” landing page sessions
• 19.18 percent of new email users
• 26 percent increase in sales volume (4,000 monthly unit sales)
3. Highly Traceable Results
Direct response marketing allows businesses to measure the results of different marketing campaigns. It provides insights regarding conversion rates, the most effective channels and the highest-performing ad campaigns.
Use Case Scenario: eCommerce Business
A high-end juicer seller, for instance, wanted to improve its visibility apart from business name searches. After a PPC audit, Thrive’s experts performed cross-channel online marketing, corrected conversion tracking and created new ad copy after analyzing the eCommerce company’s data. This partnership provided the following results:
• 72 percent of Google Shopping conversions
• 138 percent increase in click-through rates (CTR)
• 70 percent more web traffic
• 11 percent increase in conversion rates
• 449 percent increase in search campaigns
• 130 percent increase in organic revenue
Key Features of Immediate Response Ads
From the direct response marketing definition above, we can observe that its key differentiator from other types of marketing is in its approach – driving audiences to take a specific action. Here are the best direct response marketing examples and channels:
• Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
• Direct mail
• Offers from your website
• Facebook ads
• Radio spots
• Printed marketing materials
• TV commercials
We also learn the following from the direct response marketing definition provided earlier:
1. This strategy can make use of both traditional and digital marketing strategies.
2. It focuses more on customer education rather than attempting to sell to customers.
3. The results of this marketing strategy are very measurable.
4. A direct response ad makes full use of compelling content.
5. Ad campaigns are scalable, which is beneficial for smaller businesses.
Direct Response Marketing Best Practices
Here are several crucial elements and best practices to help you formulate effective ads that solicit higher response rates from your target audience:
Key Element #1 – A Customer-Centric Approach
To improve the response rates to your ads, the information you use to educate your audience should be customer-centric. Your company, products, services and offers will take the backstage as it were, and your ad copy will focus on solutions that solve your customer’s problems. According to a CEI Survey, 86 percent of buyers pay attention to vendors who provide a better experience. Therefore, your products and services should be framed in light of their needs, concerns and subjects that matter to them.
Key Element #2 – A Clear Call to Action
After understanding what is direct response marketing, we can observe that a crucial element of effective ads is a clear, singular and straightforward CTA. Your ads demand a quick response from your audience, and your customers should know what you want them to do.
In addition to a clear CTA, your ads should make responding easy. There are several ways you can do that:
• Use a 1-800 number that’s easy to remember.
• Use an SMS short code so prospects can just send one text to say yes to your offer.
• Automate responses with a click or tap of a button.
• Use a simple form that can auto-populate with information gathered from the user’s device.
The easier it is to respond to your offer, the less likely your audience will abandon your ad.
Key Element #3 – Targeted and Personalized
To get the best results using this marketing strategy, you should create ad copy targeting a specific audience, group or niche to personalize your message better. But, again, the goal is to appeal only to a narrow target market.
This approach involves creating a customer persona, the archetype of your ideal customers representing their key traits and market segment. Also known as a buyer persona, this model will be based on actual customer data and web analytics. Surveys show that 80 percent of buyers prefer to do business with a brand that provides personalized experiences.
Key Element #4 – A Sense of Urgency
The most effective ads convey a sense of urgency, inspiring prospects to act immediately. Using this approach improves response and conversion rates and can also boost sales by up to 332 percent (CXL, 2019). Some of the techniques that you can use for this approach include:
• Creating scarcity (offer available while your supplies last).
• Providing time limits (discount available only today).
• Adding a sense of competition (only the first 10 respondents will get the free item).
Key Element #5 – Trackable and Measurable
Some of your ads will outperform others, and you can only find out why that is so when you track and measure your data. Surveys show that 30 percent of small businesses make the most out of web analytics to measure the performance of their ad campaigns (Blue Corona Media, 2019).
A seasoned PPC marketing agency with a track record of outstanding ad copy services can help you use analytics to track user intent and find out which ads got the best results and the ad formats that have the highest response rates from your target audience.
Key Element #6 – Short But Compelling Sales Copy and Headlines
The best Google ads read like editorial pieces rather than your usual advertisement, which is why your audience is three times more likely to read them. Compose headlines like headers for informational and news reporting.
Key Element #7 – Specific Value Offer
As stated earlier, direct response ads don’t try to sell something. To increase conversions, you should create copy to educate, inform and then provide a specific high-value offer relevant to your audience. The offer covers your audience’s frustrations, fears, desires and interests.
This offer is value-packed, meaning your audience will get more for what they’re exchanging it for, such as their email address or phone number.
Social media experts and strategists suggest adding free offers and products to add value to your offer. For example, you can offer a free guide, instructional video, white paper or free samples, which make your ad more enticing.
Key Element #8 – Intentional But Short-Term Follow-Up
There’s more to it than just creating the best banner ads. After soliciting a response from your prospects, the move that seals the deal in this strategy is your follow-up. After using the best Google ads and capturing your audience, you should follow up to ensure they will follow through with their commitment.
Let’s say people agreed to attend your free webinar. You can send a follow-up email or text message the day before the event to confirm their attendance. You can also reward them with a short teaser video to further pique their interest.
For unconverted leads (e.g. those who didn’t agree to your offer but were able to reach your landing page), you can continue to communicate from time to time, providing helpful information that may be valuable to them. If they opt out of your offers, stop sending further communication.
However, remember that these prospects may not need your products or services at the moment, or they may not have the money to take your offer, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested.
Work With a Leading Direct Response Marketing Agency
Collaborating with a leading digital marketing agency allows you to make the most of this marketing strategy. Thrive Internet Marketing Agency has helped businesses of all sizes create ad campaigns since 2005. We equip your business with the tools and techniques to help you target and reach your ideal customers and customize your campaigns to solicit immediate responses and boost conversions.
So work with us today and boost the results of digital marketing campaigns. Get started by reaching out to our experts.