What is Direct Response Advertising and Marketing?

Direct Response Marketing Definition:

Direct response marketing is designed to create a immediate response and drive customer prospects to take a specific action like calling a number or visiting a website.Brand advertising is the promotion of products and services provided by a brand. It's use is to create focus for a specific person, product or service and what consumers may identify with them.

Brand Response Marketing Definition:

Brand advertising is the promotion of products and services provided by a brand. It's use is to create focus for a specific person, product or service and what consumers may identify with them.

Both models work for brands and business’, although they have different realities to your business and two different elements to how you market your business.

One can do direct response without building your brand, because everything done via direct response is essentially branding.


Both models go hand in hand, and help support each other to raise awareness and visibility.

Between the two it comes down to picking the right formula. When it comes to direct response, – you have to constantly do it – keep up with the advertising and marketing because the leads will stop – one must be sending it out there helping to establish the brand as the opportunities will come constantly.

For short term, direct response can generate massive amount of leads and sales.
Although for long term, branding wins over direct response.

Direct response advertising and marketing is synonymous with DRTV , as ‘direct response television’ is formatted programming which primary objective is to increase brand exposure via orders placed during the playing advertisement along with a toll-free number or web address sale.. 

Is your business objective to build relationships with your audience, or to develop these relationship further – if so, what’s the best way to accomplish these goals?

Between your brand, are there connected brands/clients/customers interested in your content? Looking at your email list, the next blog update, newsletter, or product – is your customer looking forward to the next release to any of these?

Give away before you ask – give good content, something of value, take your best strategy and give it away; prove to the people your stuff is better – help em out – as they start to like you, direct response marketing examples may include establishing social sites and and beginning in blog engagement. 

Creating authority presence for your business:

  • Provide good value, content is key to getting your brand of the ground – do you have what it takes?
  • How can you help the customer? Are you the right fit?
  • Do not do a sales pitches, just put out great content.

Business deal with people, not the company – if there is no person associated with a company, people do not feel guilty to switch back and forth between different companies.

Your salesman are your brand, clients hire people, not brands –  attach prominent faces to your brand, build loyal following, and start interacting with individuals.

Are you focusing on building your brand around a face, or just the brand image, or both?

Determine what is your company about, take hold of it – the message that you want to cast.

Branding can be cost-less, a perception made out to the world but there must be a personality out there to share, that is how people can relate and connect with you.

Does your brand stand for something, does it do something differently? Go against the grain, stay true to yourself and personality.

Examples of Direct Response Advertising

Is visibility or credibility more important (in direct response advertising)?
Visibility is a chance to grab attention, get on their radar – credibility comes second – if there is no visibility there is no place to establish credibility – focus on the visibility and credibility will follow. 

Direct-response advertising has been an ever-growing industry for over half a century and it’s success has relied on a set group of key principles:

  • The money lies with the right customer
  • Titles and catch-phraes matter
  • Advertise to sell
  • Proper visibility nets sales
  • Market to a focused demographic
  • A succesful call to action makes all the difference
  • Your offer is the prize
  • Test what works, and discard what does not

Direct response advertisers should be focused on building prospects. If your followers are not customers, you will not sell.

Customer awareness, brand recognition with the help of social media can help increase sales, but many times marketers do not have a clear strategy to use these tools to generate additional income. Direct response can be applied to television, radio and retail via media buying services and agencies and other traditional forms of advertising as well.

If your a brand or business that does not know how to make use of a marketing technique – it’s best not to dabble in it and waste time. Generally agencies are called in to help reinforce additional venues of advertising and marketing to help push awareness with the expertise – a direct respose agency can help produce and create long-form and short-form spots for television known as an infomercial and commercial. If your offer is interesting to the people engaged with your brand, they will devote time to continue to pay attention to it.

With the prospect of your customers engaged with your brands product or service, a clear call to action (CTA) is necessary, as your response rate will generally increase.

The aspect of ‘direct response’ is what makes it different from brand response in advertising.

Your asking your engaged customers to take an action – for them to response to an offer. This may or may not lead to sales, but it is important to establish that offering free samples, mail offers or additional information to your customers is good enough – as long as a response is made, that can be tracked and analyzed.

Calls to action can be very short, the CTA can just be a buttons or a links. Longer copies benefit with a summery to rationalize the response, as well as including a clear and simple way to follow that CTA.

Aggressive Call to Action Examples: Easy Call to Action Examples:
  • Get it started
  • Join today
  • Apply now
  • Apply online
  • Add to shopping cart
  • Add to basket
  • Order now
  • Subscribe now
  • Buy now
  • Shop now
  • Sign up today!
  • Sign me up now
  • Signup
  • View plans and sign up
  • Download now
  • Purchase now
  • Book tickets now
  • Become a member
  • Create your account
  • Find out more
  • Learn more
  • Learn how
  • Watch now
  • Visit now
  • Go now
  • Visit site
  • Get email alerts
  • Start creating
  • Take the next step
  • How to get started
  • Take the quiz
  • Let’s get started
  • Start here
  • Check it out
  • Experience now
  • How it works
  • Join the fun
  • Go

Your customer prospect needs to understand your offer(s) and you need to be offering something they want.

This translates to realigning your language to them, not restructuring your business model if your marketing is not working. 

Look at these two offers, which one will perform better?

  1. If you buy two products, we’ll give them both to you at half the price
  2. If you buy one product, we’ll give you another one for free

There is no difference between the two offers, although the simpler wording allows a much broader audience and easier to understand wording for your prospects.

People love these two things: free, and low risk.

Guarantees and premiums help make a positive impact on the response rates – the way you word the offer will make the difference for your response rate, and sales.

Testing needs to be part of your conversion process. Every list of customers, service and product is different, and it is important to test as many ways of promotion as possible to achieve maximum results.

In direct-response advertising, testing requires many weeks to gather purposeful results – and testing can be expensive. Testing headlines requires separate emailing and/or mailing lists – that have different headlines and copies – than response rates need to be measured.

Marketers can benefit from the key principles that have made direct-response advertising such a successful industry.