Direct marketing: definition, objectives and examples

There are many ways to communicate with your target. Direct marketing is a strategy in which the company will communicate directly, without intermediaries, with its potential customers. It’s a way to establish closeness and a feeling of transparency with your audience. What is direct marketing? What are the advantages of such a strategy? What are the different techniques to use for direct marketing? How to do this strategy? Find out in this article everything you need to know about direct marketing strategies, to apply it in your business.

What is direct marketing? Definition

As the name suggests, direct marketing is a method of communicating with potential customers, which aims at remove any intermediary between the company and the customer. The goal is to address the customer directly, in a personalized way, and obtain quick and easily measurable results.

You can use this method as part of a quote, an appointment, or even directly for a purchase or trial period, for example.

Why do direct marketing? Targets

1 – Improve the relationship with the customer

The first goal of direct marketing is to create a strong customer experience, with a direct relationship. This applies to potential customers, but also to people who have already made a purchase with your company.

Acquire new customers

First of all, it’s an effective way to get new customers for your business. Direct interaction will inevitably be create interest and reaction. Of course, this has limitations, you shouldn’t just randomly contact everyone. Either way, the person is bound to have a reaction, positive or negative. It is therefore a way to establish itself as a solution in the minds of potential customers.

Customer loyalty and experience

For those who are already customers and are convinced that you are a solution, there are other interests. By contacting them directly, this is an opportunity for them shows that they are important to you. The task is all the easier since you already have a lot of information about people who are already customers. You can then propose a communication that adheres even more to the person, and have a better chance of being able to make a purchase.

2 – Increase sales with a more effective method

Logically, the goal is to increase the number of sales, with customers and prospects. This method is effective as you will be directly targeting targeted people who are potentially interested in what you offer.

Efficiency is good superior to Outbound Marketing methods for example, where you will target a wide range of people, not necessarily interested. the the cost will be lower furthermore, you will not neglect your means.

Increase sales with direct marketing

The personalization of communication, which is found in direct marketing, greatly affects its effectiveness as well. It is necessary to acquire contacts first before taking action (cf. Hamon law of 2014), but the results will be more positive. For example, you can customize messages based on their age, job, name, or any other information you have about them.

3 – An easily measurable strategy

Finally, the last objective relates to measuring the success of operations. A direct marketing campaign produces a lot of data, very important for judging the turnover it will produce. Whether it’s a call, an email, an SMS or something else, these levers allow you to accurately follow the resulting actions using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

What are the techniques and tools of direct marketing? 5 examples

marketing automation

Marketing automation is a powerful direct marketing lever. Specifically, the goal is toautomate marketing actions in which the human being has little added value. For example, this marketing automation software allows you to schedule sending personalized emails when prospects follow a certain scenario. If we combine this with a Lead Scoring feature, we can easily imagine sending an email to request a quote when the prospect is “mature” enough to be contacted.

In other words, this medium, which applies to email, SMS and more, can automate some of the direct marketing. Obviously the level of personalization will be lower than a handwritten email, but it remains an effective lever to use your contact card directly.


Email communication is a very economical way to communicate directly with customers or prospects. Also, it is relatively easy to get an email address.

Use email for direct marketing


You won’t find a more direct means of communication than texting. Mobile marketing allows you to have a higher engagement rate, but you have to be careful not to become intrusive. If we compare to e-mails, the SMS is almost certainly open, but it can be badly perceived by the recipient, because it is a “private” communication network.

The mail

This method may seem outdated when you see all digital media, but it can be relevant depending on the audience you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting seniors, who are far less present on digital tools, you might be using mail for your direct marketing campaign. However, mail is significantly more expensive than email marketing.

Other techniques

Here are some other examples of tools you could use in your direct marketing campaign:

  • Phone call
  • Chatbot
  • Personalized retargeting campaign

How to do direct marketing? 4 tips

Define your goals well

the first and most important thing to do is to define who the goals are. In marketing, this is the element that will influence all your decisions. And, as in direct marketing, the personalization of the message plays a fundamental role, the targets are all the more important.

The right thing to do facilitating this phase means creating people. In concrete terms, these are fictional characters whose purpose is to represent different types of targets. The ideal, when you initiate a direct marketing action, would be prepare the content as if you were sending it to this person. Whether it’s an email or a phone call, the operation is the same.

Choosing the right targets with direct marketing

People will allow you to do some initial personalization work, which can be completed on a case-by-case basis with the different information you have in your database.

Having a solid database

Another essential aspect of a successful direct marketing campaign is the database you have. The more it is provided, the more you will be able to push the personalization of your communication.

To build a solid database, it will take some time. As a reminder, you cannot contact someone for commercial purposes without their consent by the Hamon law in 2014. It is therefore necessary to go through means to attract leads and retrieve their contact information. You could for example implement an inbound marketing strategy where you would offer high value-added content on your website in exchange for the email. Either way, it’s a long-term job, but it’s worth it.

Personalize the message as much as possible

To maximize the chances of positive results, it’s best personalize your messages. This is a must-do step to score points at the heart of your goals. Thanks to all the data that you will have at your disposal in your database, the work will be easier. Regardless of the distribution channels used, this should not be overlooked.

Choose the most relevant tool

Finally, you must also use the good communication technique to contact your target. First you address a first restriction on this point: the data you have. If this information leaves you the choice between different means of communication, you will have to choose the more relevant to the type of target, but also in relation to the maturity of the prospectus.

For example, someone who has already had repeated contact with your company will answer a phone call or text message better than someone who is just discovering your brand, as these are “intimate” channels. On the other hand, email will be effective in almost any situation. We can also take the example of seniors, who don’t necessarily have a digital presence. You will need to contact them by email or phone.

Now you know the essential information to remember to create a direct marketing strategy. If you have any other tips for doing this method, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below.

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