The 10 Laws of Direct Response Marketing

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New to the direct response marketing game? If you are, first, take a look at one of our recent blogs on direct response marketing and why it works. Don’t forget to come right back here! 

Simply put, direct response marketing is a pretty straightforward strategy. True to its name, it encourages a direct and immediate response from your clients. You want to attract your customers, generate interest, and have them follow your call to action to encourage them in decision-making. In your favor, of course, whether that be buying your product, signing up for your newsletter, or being part of your mailing list. 

If done correctly, direct response marketing is an excellent tool for boosting your conversion rates and increasing great results. Especially when starting out, wouldn’t it be great to have some sort of rulebook to guide you? We don’t have a rule book just yet, but we’ve compiled 10 great rules you can abide by to make direct response marketing work for you. 

Here are the Ten Laws of Direct Response Marketing.

You should create a well-crafted and complete offer

What’s marketing without an offer? You should always make an offer, not just that, but a complete and well-crafted one. After all, why would anyone shell out actual dollars if they don’t know precisely what they’re getting? Ask yourself these questions. 

What are you offering your customers? 

What value is it going to give them? 

Is it going to improve some aspect of their lives? 

Write your answers to these questions on a piece of paper. Voila! You have the makings of a great offer. A value proposition, if you will. Knowing what they will get will increase their likelihood of responding to your offer.

You should create a sense of urgency

You’re probably tired of seeing this from virtually all marketing literature out there. But cliches are cliches for a reason. It’s a matter of human psychology. Let’s face it, the idea that something is scarce or that we might not get another chance to have it is one of the greatest motivators for us to practically scramble to get it. So, creating a sense of urgency is a must. Try putting countdown timers, a deadline, or have limited stock. If played well, this strategy will help you see improved results faster.

You should tell customers what they need to do

Sometimes, consumers need to be told exactly what they do. This is also known as a call-to-action.. We’ve likened CTAs to pointing to a specific person to call the ambulance before. And that still stands true. People are more likely to do something if they’re specifically told to do it. If a particular ad has caught a client’s attention, and made them very interested, wouldn’t it be a shame if they don’t know what to do next? Tell them what to do exactly; shop now, add to cart now, sign up now, and others, depending on what you want from that ad. The customer journey should be as frictionless as possible, and if it takes telling them what to do every step of the way by spelling it out, then do it. 

You should write strong copy

Your ad copy needs to be short but impactful. It needs to pack a punch, which is especially true for direct response marketing. Imagine having a limited amount of words and seconds to get the potential customers’ attention. It has to move them in some way. As Brad Lloyd puts it, make them feel the pain of whatever problem you are trying to solve, then provide the salve to soothe them. Emotional, deeply visceral triggers are probably one of your best tools. Manipulative? It could be. But really, it’s you treating your potential customers as human beings, which they are, and relating to them more deeply, which you should. 

You should create a brand identity

You’ll most likely end up with this one, even if you don’t consciously plan for it. How your audience will see and recognize your brand will eventually build up from the very first ad you put out to the packaging of your products and even what your website looks like. Truthfully, you don’t need to focus too much on creating a brand identity in the beginning; at least not a priority over audience response and sales. However, remember that brand identity can be a very powerful tool to attract new customers and boost customer loyalty. Just look at Apple; they’re a significantly recognizable brand and have stayed in people’s consciousness in recent years. Their launches are anticipated, and the brand has since become an icon of class and sleekness.

You should mimic mail-order advertising

This next law might throw you off a bit. While we’re a long way off the period of mail-orders through catalogs and the like, the copywriting and marketing strategy used in those ads are probably the most “direct response” you can get. These types of ads typically have very clear calls to action and have very well-constructed value propositions. Read this article for 55 examples of direct mail marketing examples

You should always follow up

How are you generating your leads? If you’re doing email or SMS marketing, you need to make sure to follow up, especially those with high potential to close. For example, if a very good customer had referred someone close to them, it’s probably going to be a strong lead. After all, the customer has had experience with your products and brand, and obviously, they know this friend they’re referring you to, so they must have had a reason for the referral. Even with leads that are not as strong, you can’t just advertise once and leave it be. No! You need to try again. Keep at it. 

You should track and measure your progress

Having stuck to a clear plan for a period, you also need to remember to track and measure your progress. Gather all the relevant data points there are to gather. It’s the only way you are able to evaluate your campaign and in turn, make intelligent and informed business decisions. While only reading about it may make it seem more lighthearted than it actually is, marketing is serious business! Companies spend millions of dollars on their marketing strategies. Personal feelings and opinions have no place in the evaluation process; at the heart of all this is the audience’s response. After all, marketing is designed to elicit responses from them. The only way to know is by tracking and measuring your progress.

You should follow what the results show

While marketing requires creativity and art, marketing is also undoubtedly a science. Ultimately, you want to make business decisions that are objective and data-driven. For example, if you have an ad targeted to your cold traffic and it converts them to warm traffic, then the ad must work. You can use this ad to target an audience similar to the previous audience. This decision is wise and is based on the fact that it has worked for a similar audience. Business decisions based on results are glaringly obvious when doing split or A/B testing. The results say A performed better, so you scrap B or revise and retest.

However, most people would probably think of results as sales or profit. And don’t get us wrong, of course, sales are a very important “result,” arguably THE most important. But different ad campaigns can have different purposes. If a certain campaign is for lead generation, then the results you might want to focus on are web traffic or an increase in the number of people who signed up for your mailing list. But, no matter the purpose, RESULTS RULE, and that’s that. 

You should stick to a clear direct response marketing strategy for at least six months

As the popular saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Likewise, in marketing, you need to give your campaign some time. Given that you’ve done all your research, meticulously planned your strategy, were thorough with all your visuals, and were scrupulous in your ad copywriting, you need to trust the process. Let it do its job. At least for six months, that is. You need to stick to a clear direct response marketing strategy for at least that period to evaluate whether it’s effective or not. 

Following these 10 rules will definitely help you in launching a successful direct response marketing campaign. But, if you are ever in doubt, you can always turn to Strikepoint Media! We offer a free strategy session for anything digital marketing. Our blog is also a very helpful resource on similar topics.

Now that you have the Ten Laws of Direct Response Marketing, go out there and get to work!


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