Amongst all the marketing noise on the internet, getting your advertising message out there is not always easy, especially when you feel you have to compete with some of the big well-known brands. One way through the maze is to engage in direct marketing – also sometimes referred to as direct response marketing, or simply direct response.


As the name suggests, direct marketing is a form of advertising that involves directly communicating with existing or potential customers. It might entail using email messages, online ads (mobile and desktop), SMS messages, fliers, promotional letters, pop-up videos and other methods.

Direct marketing is usually aimed at a specific target market, rather than at the general public as in the case of mass marketing. The target market may be a particular demographic, or people who have displayed a specific set of purchasing behaviours, and so on. This form of marketing is audience-focused – that is, it is aimed at providing a solution to a problem or meeting a need or desire they may have.

One of the main features of direct marketing is the call-to-action. This explains why this type of marketing is sometimes called direct response – its purpose is to elicit a particular responsive action. The ultimate goal of a marketing campaign is to persuade people to buy, but initially the desired action might be to entice people to take that first step – for instance signing up for an e-newsletter, or calling a number, or entering an email address in order to receive more information or a free gift.


For a small-to-medium business, direct marketing has a number of advantages:

  • People’s responses can be tracked, making this form of marketing measurable. This also allows you to determine which methods work best and refine your campaigns.
  • It provides you with a database of existing and potential clients – which can be very useful for future campaigns.
  • It is more economically efficient than mass marketing, which usually requires a big budget and being a well-known brand to be effective.
  • Direct marketing is conducive to desktop and mobile devices. Facebook ads, side ads on sites such as ebay, and e-newsletters with special offers are all forms of digital direct marketing.


  • Make a special offer within a specific timeframe where people can respond by email or phone.
  • Offer a freebie to incite curiosity. This could be a free report or short e-book on a topic, free samples to try, or a free webinar. Add a call-to-action and / or a discount on the usual price with your offer.
  • Send follow-up emails and / or offers, especially for non-respondents who might be still making up their minds. This can also act as a reminder for busy people who may have forgotten to respond.
  • Make sure you use well-written, compelling sales copy that sounds more like useful information than sales spiel.
  • Add graphics or videos to make your campaigns more interesting.
  • Include testimonials from satisfied customers in your campaigns.
  • Make sure to provide an opt-out / unsubscribe option when sending emails.


An eMarketer report revealed that money spent by US companies on digital direct marketing is exceeding that of brand marketing. While both categories are growing, digital direct marketing spending in 2014 makes up 59.1% of the spending share, while branding makes up 40.9%.

The use of digital marketing methods such as social media ads and email campaigns is also on the rise in Australia in organisations of all sizes, but particularly amongst smaller-sized businesses that are likely to have smaller advertising budgets.

Revitalise Direct Mail Marketing with Unconventional Thinking

Do you think marketing is all about the online world these days? Sometimes it certainly seems as if that’s where the bulk of effort is going. However, a clever business owner might think about going against the tide, and using direct mail to create an opportunity to catch the interest of potential clients.


When you see a postcard in the mail, you immediately wonder if it’s from overseas – a mate taking the time to send you a handwritten note, instead of a Facebook update. Before you know it, you’ve turned the eye-catching image over and started reading. This impulse to start reading a postcard straight away can be a great marketing tool for a business, but as with any marketing, there are tricks to making it work.


An eye-catching image not only gets your headline read, it can mean the postcard itself is kept and shown to others, creating more opportunities to sell. We have access to a huge range of images, and one thing we’ve noticed is that a smiling face looking directly at the viewer typically generates a positive response. Use a real photo (perhaps your face or the company contact point) rather than a bland, stock image for maximum impact.


No matter how arresting the image, many people still only get as far as reading the headline, so it has a huge job to do in getting people to read on. Many companies offering graphic design in Melbourne can tell you about the importance of a big, impactful phrase, but not everyone understands what else is vital. Because we offer marketing solutions as well as graphic design, we understand the secret is that even a really catchy slogan doesn’t work as well as a headline that tells the reader what’s in it for them. Which sounds more interesting: ‘75% off your dry cleaning’ or ‘Mark’s dry cleaning’?

This content was originally published on Omnific Design before we rebranded as Uplift 360.