Direct marketing is a type of promotion that entails communicating information on a product, service, or company directly to the customers. All promotional information is relayed without intermediaries and any third parties.

Emails, online adverts, flyers, database marketing, promotional letters, newspapers, outdoor advertising, phone text messaging, magazine adverts, coupons, phone calls, postcards, websites, and catalog distribution are some examples of direct marketing strategies. Now, while other advertising methods aim to educate prospects about a brand’s services or products, direct marketing solely intends to persuade the recipient to take specific action. This strategy achieves this by providing calls to action (CTAs) that prompt the customer to act.

Examples of CTAs used in direct marketing include:

  • Visit our website or store.
  • Call us to get more info on our products or services.
  • Subscribe with your email address.
  • Purchase from us.

The success of direct marketing strategies is measured by tracking the achievement of the goal. Note that when targeted lists of prospects are used, direct marketing is more effective. Also, picking the appropriate communication channel for a specific business is necessary for success.

Today, many companies that do direct marketing practice permission marketing to eliminate any friction with leads and customers. Moreover, many businesses are turning to services such as SendPulse to boost their direct marketing campaigns. With this service, a brand can effectively promote its products via SMS marketing, email marketing, and web push notifications.

Why is direct marketing important?

Direct marketing is essential to a company or business for several reasons. The most prominent ones are discussed below.

It helps marketers reach customers fast

A direct marketing campaign is sure to reach the potential customer quickly. For instance, a marketer can create an email marketing campaign now and merely two hours later, it will be in the recipients’ inbox.

It is an efficient promotion strategy

Unlike other strategies, direct marketing allows companies to create targeted campaigns that reach audiences that are genuinely interested in their products or services. This focused nature of these campaigns ensures maximum efficiency when sending out promotional messages. With direct marketing, marketers are saved from sending advertising content to regular lists that are not refined in any way.

Direct marketing can be customized

Direct marketing allows businesses to create personalized messages using customer data. For example, a company can access useful information such as age, income range, reading and browsing habits, etc. and then use this data to create tailored marketing content for their prospects and existing customers.

Direct marketing allows to measure its efficiency

Companies and businesses that implement direct marketing techniques can track the success of their campaigns by analyzing things such as the number of customers who have responded to their ads, the revenue earned, and the overall return on investment. Moreover, direct marketing enables marketers to learn how much their prospects are willing to spend on particular products or services.

Advantages of direct marketing

Direct marketing comes with an array of useful benefits for both businesses and companies. Here are the most useful ones.

Targeted advertising

Direct advertising allows marketers to target particular groups of customers with customized promotional messages. In turn, businesses are likely to achieve high conversions since they focus their messages on people who are most likely to need their products or services.

Budget marketing

Direct marketing that focuses on a particular demographic can help businesses set plausible sales goals and also improve sales results when on a tight marketing budget. With direct marketing, companies can run effective and enterprising marketing campaigns at a small fraction of the cost of mainstream broadcast promotions.

Boosts sales to existing and lapsed customers

Customers are often ready to welcome businesses that show that they understand users’ needs and also those that are keen on building personal relationships. Direct marketing allows to increase sales to existing customers by maintaining their customer records and selecting simple, thought-out marketing techniques for their audience.

Direct marketing also shines when it comes to re-establishing relationships with all customers who have not returned to a company in a while. It helps businesses understand why customers chose to move on and what can rekindle these lapsed relationships. When a business learns what they need to do to improve sales from previous customers, it can keep accurate records to ensure that returned customers get to stay.

Improves customer loyalty

Direct marketing is excellent for building and maintaining relationships with customers and prospects. It allows marketers to personalize both advertising messages and offers to create solid links with customers and also strengthen existing personal connections.

It is good practice to combine direct marketing techniques with customer loyalty programs to increase the bond. Examples of customer loyalty strategies include giving discount offers, sending birthday cards, and inviting customers to upcoming sales events.

Helps in pushing new business

Direct marketing gives business owners an excellent launching pad for their companies. It enables them to effectively communicate with their target market, thus bringing their businesses more sales. Moreover, when marketers implement effective direct marketing techniques for customer acquisition, they can generate genuine fans of their brand and thus grow sales. This strategy also helps new businesses to adapt and respond to market demands.
New businesses can also use direct marketing to:

  • Improve sales of specific products.
  • Clear discontinued stock.
  • Renew sales.
  • Increase customer retention and loyalty
  • Follow up on promotional offers.

Allows to measure product performance

Direct marketing is an excellent way of evaluating the appetite customers have for particular products and services. Moreover, this strategy enables marketers to try out new markets, evaluate sales results, and gauge the effectiveness of their sales and promotion tactics. In turn, marketers can easily tweak their campaigns to ensure success. Each time marketers run advertising campaigns, they should monitor and analyze their results so that they can use this information to improve subsequent campaigns.

Direct marketing vs Indirect marketing

While direct marketing involves exactly communicating with customers and prospects in a one-on-one manner, indirect marketing entails all marketing techniques that are broadcast to audiences randomly.

How do these marketing strategies compare? With direct marketing, businesses can reap the returns way faster. Moreover, the gains can be measured easily, particularly so if the marketing campaign was thought-out and received well by the audience.

On the other hand, indirect marketing techniques require much time before a business notices gains. For instance, it takes a lot of time to grow a brand on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And it takes a while too to get used to things such as Search Engine Optimization and hashtags. Thus, a business should be ready to wait for a long time to see any returns with indirect marketing.

Which is better? Well, there is no telling here. However, a combination of both approaches proves to be more effective than either of the methods on their own.

Types of direct marketing

Let’s discuss some of the most popular direct marketing techniques implemented by businesses today.


Email is a simple, affordable, and measurable method of communicating with customers. Promotional emails, ads in business emails, newsletters, transactional emails are examples of email marketing strategies that work.

Direct email campaign


This form of direct marketing involves sending promotional material to users on their mobile devices. Marketers launch mobile marketing to tell about the best deals and sales and to inform about the order status.

Direct SMS campaign


Web push notifications are messages that appear in small rectangular sections at the corner of a mobile or computer screen via the browser a person is using. Web push notifications enable marketers to establish one-on-one communication with subscribers without the need for an address or any other consumer data. Subscribers are simply identified from the information stored in the browsers they use.

Direct push campaign

Messenger Marketing

This type of direct marketing approach entails sending promotional messages to prospects and customers via messaging apps like Facebook Messenger.

Facebook campaign

Other forms of direct marketing

The list of direct marketing forms does not end there. Some of the other marketing types businesses can use include:

  • Social media. Businesses promote and grow their audiences via social media. Social media also helps customers get feedback regarding their products in the form of comments.
  • Telemarketing. This approach involves reaching out to potential customers over the phone in a bid to sell specific services or products. It is an excellent tool for finding prospects and following up on marketing campaigns.
  • Direct selling. It entails posting mail that promotes brands, products, and services. Direct mail includes catalogs, envelope mailers, and postcards.

Direct marketing tools

SendPulse has a variety of useful direct marketing tools that help in promoting businesses, various products, and services. These are:

Email marketing

Marketers can implement a successful direct marketing campaign using SendPulse email service. It offers a convenient drag-and-drop editor to create a professional email template without knowing HTML. With Automation 360, marketers can also set up event-based campaigns. You can start direct marketing with the SendPulse email service for free after the registration.

SMS marketing

SendPulse SMS service allows marketers to send promotional SMS that sell their products or services to 800 mobile networks across the globe. Some of the benefits of working with SendPulse when sending SMS campaigns include:

  • Fast delivery of SMS globally.
  • Easy-to-implement automation.
  • Marketers can send personalized SMS by adding customers’ personal info.

Web push marketing

With SendPulse web push notifications, businesses and companies can promote their products and services even if they do not have consumer addresses. Marketers can personalize, segment, and quickly set up their notifications.

Facebook messenger marketing

SendPulse also provides marketers with an easy way of creating Facebook Messenger chatbots. Then, businesses can register users via the Facebook Messenger widget at company websites.

Direct marketing strategies

  • Issuing loyalty cards. It entails giving loyal customers membership cards. Customers can then use these cards to access price discounts, free trials, and other offers.
  • Guerilla marketing. Small businesses with tight budgets often implement this approach. It involves adopting unconventional low-cost promotional strategies that yield maximum results, for example, outdoor installations, stickers, contextual marketing, etc.
  • Branding of clothes. Companies can make customized clothes with marketing messages. These clothes can then be gifted to prospects, customers, or staff members.
  • Issuing coupons. It involves a business giving documents and tickets to targeted customers. These cards are then redeemed for discounts or at times rebates when purchasing a product or service.
  • Promotional gadgets. In this strategy, a business sets out to market its products by giving specific devices to customers. By doing so, the company provides its customers with an opportunity to test out their products and get an idea of how they work, their benefits, and so forth.

How to start with direct marketing?

  1. Register in SendPulse. To start direct marketing at SendPulse, sign up.
  2. Choose the best channel or mix them. Select an appropriate marketing channel or pick a combination that is best for your particular business.
  3. Create a mailing list or collect contacts via a subscription form or a script for push notifications. Input prospects’ emails or upload a file containing them. Alternatively, create subscription forms and use them to collect email addresses.
  4. Send a campaign. Once you’ve checked all the details, roll out your campaign.
  5. Analyze your results with the help of reports. Check out SendPulse reports to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Direct marketing examples

Below is an example of a marketing email from Chewy.

Direct email

And here is a marketing SMS from Starbucks.

Direct marketing SMS

Finally, a push notification from Wanelo on a mobile device.

Direct push campaign

Direct marketing tips and best practices

Check out some best practices for direct marketing:

  • Personalize and segment your marketing content
  • Consider lead nurturing programs
  • Write effective CTAs, relevant both for prospects and loyal clients
  • Always update your data
  • Integrate various marketing techniques for better performance

Launch your direct marketing campaign with SendPulse to promote your business, services, and products to the right customers effectively!

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