Direct Marketing

You may or may not have heard about “direct marketing”. Although you might know a bit or a lot about marketing in general – what exactly does it mean when the word “direct” is placed in front of it? How can it be used? What results can it give you? And most importantly – how can it specifically help your shop? Direct marketing is a form of marketing that goes directly to the buyer. No steps along the way or promotion to other business – just messaging that’s straight to the viewer. Today, we’re talking about this commonly used buzzword phrase, and how you can use it effectively.

What is Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is just like traditional marketing — it involves creating, sharing, and promoting campaigns to get your customer to do what you’d like them to do, whether that’s buying, endorsing, subscribing, and so on. And these campaigns and messages are spread across multiple channels within print and digital, depending on your brand. But direct marketing’s key differentiator is that it isn’t about businesses marketing to other businesses. It’s always marketing straight to the buyer – hence the term, “direct”.

Direct Marketing Examples

You’re probably already using at least one or two direct marketing tactics. Here are just a few examples:

Digital marketing: Social media, email newsletters, and landing pages.

Telemarketing: Sales outreach through calls to cold or warm leads.

SMS text messaging: Usually an opt-in form of communication. Can be used as a specified campaign or as part of rewards program communication.

Direct mail: Letters, postcards, dimensional mail, and flyers.

Where to Start

Before engaging your customers with any type of marketing, and more specifically direct marketing, you’ll need to understand them. Who are they? What are their wants? Their needs? Their problems? You’ll need to do this research, on your own or partnered with experts, before finding yourself in a good place to get started on your mailing list.

Not only do you want to know who your audience is, but also where they are, and when. You can also conduct this research and compile data with the help of an experienced partner company.

After your list is compiled, you’ll create a mailing piece and its direct message. Avoid mailing out just anything that comes to mind. You want your message to be catered to this list of people, and to be something with purpose and a strong, enticing offering. Additionally, make sure it includes a strong CTA (Call to Action). The key to establishing a good CTA is to ask yourself what you want the recipient to do. Mail something back? Call your phone #? Bring in an offer code to your shop? Be clever and clear, but don’t be too pushy. The goal is to get attention. To learn more about CTAs, check out our CTA-focused blog, here. And, to get your creativity flowing, click here.

To get a clearer picture of the importance of strong research and a good message…

  • 40% of a piece’s impact comes from sending it to the right list in the first place.
  • 40% comes from the value of the offer.
  • 20% comes from the design or writing of the piece.

Lastly, enhance your piece with additional touches like digital ads, follow-up emails, targeted social posts, text campaigns, and more. The more touches along the way, the stronger your message will be.


Direct marketing is used by many marketers because it supplies concrete results – whether positive or otherwise. For example, if a marketer sends out 1,000 direct mail pieces and 100 respond to the promotion, the marketer can say, with confidence, that the campaign led to a 10% conversion.

Direct marketing is also popular because it can build strong, long-lasting relationships with customers. It’s targeted and is sent to specified audiences (such as new movers) to build upon and nurture their brand awareness and connection.

Direct marketing is also a great avenue for promotion. Pair your targeted, relevant message with an attractive offer, sent over an appropriate medium, and you have a very effective cost of acquisition. To learn more benefits of direct marketing, read on here.

Next Steps

Interested in direct marketing? Be sure to research first. You’ll likely want to partner with an experienced company that can provide results, testing, and monitoring, to ensure your campaign(s) runs effectively and smoothly – and gives you the results you desire. Need more information on choosing the right partner? Click here.

If you find that direct mail marketing is what your shop needs and what your customers will respond best to, we’re real people looking to help real shops bring in the right customers. Our easy-to-use online platform is marketing and design experience-free. Contact the ZaHub team to get started.