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Direct-Response Marketing is a type of marketing designed to generate an immediate response from consumers, where each consumer response (and purchase) can be measured, and attributed to individual advertisements. This form of marketing is differentiated from other marketing approaches, primarily because there are no intermediaries such as retailers between the buyer and seller, and therefore the buyer must contact the seller directly to purchase products or services. Direct-response marketing is delivered through a wide variety of media, including DRTV, radio, mail, print advertising, telemarketing, catalogues, and the Internet.
Forms of direct response marketing on television include standard short form television commercials, infomercials and home shopping networks. Short-form direct-response commercials have time lengths ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Long form infomercials are typically 30 minutes long. An offshoot of the infomercial is the home shopping industry. In this medium, items can potentially be offered with reduced overhead_.
Mail order describes a form of direct-response marketing in which customers respond by mailing a completed order form to the marketer. Mail order direct response has become more successful in recent years due to internet exposure.
Other media, such as magazines, newspapers, radio, social media, search engine marketing and e-mail can be used to elicit the response. A survey of large corporations found e-mail to be one of the most effective forms of direct response.
Principles and techniques
Direct-response ads like infomercials can be contrasted with normal television commercials because traditional commercials normally do not solicit a direct immediate response from the viewer, but instead try to brand their product in the market place.
The principals of DR Marketing are such that there is a direct offer to purchase direct from the manufacture, no middle man or broker. The theory is that because there is no middle men there will be lower pricing. For example it is a common practice for a retail store to double the price they paid for a product before selling it to the public. Also chances are the retailer did not buy the product from a manufacturer but rather from a broker who also had a mark-up on the product. Direct Response usually works directly with manufacturers.
Improving the appeal and uniqueness of an offer is a first step for improving response. An offer must be targeted such that its appeal is relevant to the wants or needs of the audience, so the choice of media or list carries similar importance as the perceived value of the offer. In case of an unsuccessful DRTV campaign, it is easy to adjust parameters such as price point or sales pitches to improve sales. It is assumed that only one in every ten infomercial actually makes money for the DRTV company.
There are many other best practices and techniques used to achieve results such as the use of urgency, clear and compelling copy, graphics and design which aim to reinforce the message. Lately, the viral potential of funny, hilarious or upbeat infomercials uploaded to YouTube for example has proven to be an important contributor to infomercial success. Apt individuals re-dubbing or ridiculing known infomercial hosts amplify the reach of this alternative (deliberate or involuntary) marketing channel and help to spread the word of the product, service or brand.
- "Direct Response Advertising Glossary"; February 8, 2011
- Dickler, Jessica. "Home Shopping Networks Go High End". CNN Money. Retrieved 3 Oct 2012.
- Huff, Priscilla. "Why the Internet is Causing Mail Order to Boom". Home Business Magazine. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- Miller, Steve. "Study: E-Mail is The Most Effective Form of Direct Response". Adweek. Retrieved 3 Oct 2012.