Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a marketing strategy that is based on direct sales communication with potential or existing customers through a variety of channels. It’s called direct because it works without any intermediaries.

The goal of direct marketing is to make your potential customer perform a sales-related action (buy, visit, download, etc.).

How Does Direct Marketing Work?

For instance, you are a cheese business owner in California. You receive a newsletter about the local event for wine and cheese lovers. If you have products you want to present, you can apply for participation. This is direct marketing, rather than just a lucky coincidence.

Cheese business owners in Kentucky didn’t receive an email like this, just like your colleagues from the meat industry. CTA is clear too, if you are in the cheese or wine business, apply to become a participant and present your products there.

Main Types of Direct Marketing

1) Email marketing
Email marketing is a way of reaching out to existing or potential customers via email. It allows you to segment your contacts by certain criteria, personalize your message, and it is cost-effective. The advantage of email marketing is the data it provides. Metrics like open rate, bounce rate, response rate, etc., provide a room for improvement of your marketing efforts.

2) Telemarketing
Telemarketing uses phone as a source of communication with people. The effectiveness of a telemarketing campaign depends on highly targeted contact lists and carefully crafted call scripts that match your ICP and buyer persona. Businesses that use telemarketing usually use their own sales staff or outsource a specialized call center. One of the well-known types of telemarketing is cold calling.

3) Direct selling
Direct selling, also known as door-to-door selling, is used mostly by independent salespeople as a way of selling directly to clients, often at the customer’s home or workplace. It allows to reduce advertising costs, yet it is more time-consuming.

4) Social media marketing
Social media marketing is a way of reaching out to existing or potential customers via social media. It can be used as a powerful marketing tool for connecting with a broad spectrum of people, raising brand awareness, and sharing relevant product information. It is fast, personal, and mostly free.

5) Direct mail
Direct mail is a way of delivering product or sales information through printed materials (catalogs, envelope mailers, postcards, etc.). Usually sent to all the customers in the area or on the marketing list.

6) Digital marketing
Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, uses the internet to reach new sales. It gives your product an opportunity to be seen all over the world. LearningHub classifies this type of direct marketing as an inexpensive and wide-reaching way to communicate with your target market.

Features of Direct Marketing

  • Data-driven
    No matter which type of direct marketing you use, you should base it on data. A database of your contacts packed with information helps build targeted contact lists and create personalized messages, various metrics will keep you updated on the issues that must be resolved. Data makes your direct marketing campaigns more efficient.

Read More About Data-Driven Marketing

  • Clear CTA
    Direct marketing’s aim is to make you take action. Call, buy, take part, visit, anything at all. CTA must be clearly linked to the path of completing the action. If you want a client to call you, you should provide a phone number for it. If you want a customer to buy from you, make sure to include a link to your shop or an address of the shop where it can be done.
  • Personalized
    This is a very important point in direct marketing. By segmenting recipients into groups, you get the chance of addressing your potential or existing customers with a personalized message. It gives your customers the feeling that you are really invested in what you do.

Advantages of Direct Marketing

  • It’s efficient

    No matter what channel is used for direct marketing, it’s still much cheaper than other approaches. It allows segmenting your contacts and reaching out to the ones that are most likely to make a purchase. It saves up your resources, by targeting smaller amounts of people. It can be seen clearly if compared to mass marketing.
Difference between Mass Marketing and Direct Marketing
  • It allows you to personalize

    Direct marketing reaches out to a certain group of people and makes it easier to personalize. For instance, if you target cheese-makers from California specifically, you can make your message feel personally crafted via addressing these two characteristics. Check out why personalization is important and what tools can you use for crafting a personalized email.

  • It’s not so intrusive

    The content we haven’t asked for is common in modern advertising. Pop-up ads, mass send-outs, and spam make the average recipient annoyed. Direct marketing targets people that can be interested in a product of yours, therefore doesn’t create such strong feelings.


Direct marketing is a marketing strategy that is based on direct communication with customers without any intermediaries. It can be performed via emails, calls, printed materials, social media, web resources, etc.

Compared to mass marketing, it segments the market into groups and targets them accordingly. It’s cost-effective, more personalized, and action-oriented. Direct marketing’s goal is to make a potential customer perform a sales-related action.

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