Direct response marketing is characterized by two factors:
♦ A “direct response” from a buyer to an advertiser
♦ The response itself is measurable (Who? What? When? Where? How much? etc.)
Infomercials are a high-profile example of direct response marketing.
Infomercials are different from regular TV ads, in that they are specifically asking the viewer to “Buy Now,” often by calling a toll-free phone number. In this way, the response to an infomercial, or any direct response media, is highly quantifiable and readily subject to ongoing testing and refinement to establish the best way to inspire the recipient to purchase a product or service.
In comparison, regular TV ads may simply have a purpose of raising awareness about a particular brand, or encouraging viewers to go to a store to purchase the product. In such a case, the advertiser may be aware that sales went up (or not), after such an advertising campaign, but cannot know for certain exactly how much the ad influenced the purchases.
However, a direct response media campaign will yield an exact number of responses (inquiries, purchases) to the message, for each and every time it is delivered.
Other media, such as direct mail, radio, magazines, newspapers, and e-mail can be used to elicit a direct response, as well.
The primary components of a direct response advertisement include:
- A specific offer
- A presentation about the product that encourages a purchase decision
- An explicit (and often repetitive) call-to-action (“Buy Now”)
- A way to respond, which can include a toll free number, web page, mail order form and/or email
To emphasize the core aspect of direct response marketing, the marketing media delivers an offer to a recipient, and the response is from the recipient back to the advertiser.