Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing – What is Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is the selling of a product or service without an advertising middleman such as TV or Radio. It is a targeted message to a specific audience, and typically allows for a higher conversion rate compared to other methods. Some direct marketing concepts:

Targeted: Specifies a one-on-one communication between a marketer and prospect/customer through a predetermined audience.
Types of Media: Direct marketing is not limited to any one media. In fact, direct marketers have realized increased success when using multiple channels to deliver a message such as print, online, social, text, phone call, and more.
Track everything you can: Measurability is paramount in direct marketing. Make sure to give yourself some trackable metrics in your pieces – things like call-tracking phone numbers, campaign URLs for landing pages, and coupon codes for offers.

The 40/40/20 Rule for Direct Marketing Success

40% of success is the list: You must have a highly targeted, clean list.

Mailing lists help marketers target businesses or customers, sell products or services, generate leads, drive traffic, sell subscriptions/memberships or persuade contributors. Having a clean, up-to-date mailing list is critical to the success of any direct marketing campaign.

Through our multiple partnerships with list providers, Ultra Graphics can cultivate and produce a list that is as targeted as your campaign requires, utilizing identifiers such as age, sex, location, household income, and more.

40% of success is the offer: You must give your audience a compelling reason to act.

The offer is the other most important piece of the direct marketing pie, and the most amazing targeted list in the world is not enough to convert anyone if the offer isn’t effective. Choose and tailor your offer to the audience, and make it worth their while – remember – the most pervasive thought in the recipient’s mind will be “what’s in it for me?”

We can help you determine the most effective offer for your audience, balancing the cost of the campaign vs the potential return for your business – whether that be new leads, customers, revenue, or awareness.

20% of success is everything else: “everything else” can be defined as the sales copy and the creative design for most direct marketing pieces.  While a good, clean, enticing design and copy should NOT be understated or ignored, it should never outweigh the list and offer.

Our award-winning design team can create pieces that blend the creative with the copy in ways to help the impact go that much further. Challenge us with an idea!

Direct Marketing – Common Uses

Promoting events

One of the best ways to promote a meeting or event is to use direct mail to reach potential attendees. Often times event planners target individuals who they already have existing relationships with, meaning that quality data is readily available to build a list. Other times, event planners target individuals who they don’t have relationships with, and having the ability to communicate with a very segmented group and speak to them in a relevant manner makes direct marketing a popular option. Direct marketing can be very effective in either of these cases and is often the least expensive way to inform the target audience of an event.

Database building

Data is the key to all direct marketing. Without valuable data, you will be very limited with what you can do in your direct marketing efforts. However, if you or your customer doesn’t have data, don’t worry. Direct marketing can be a great database building tool. As customers respond, make sure that all information is being collected and begin to build a database.

If a database is already available, direct marketing plays a valuable role in cleaning and growing a database. As customers update their information, so should you update your database. With data being king, always be looking for ways to build, grow or clean the database that you are working with.


Direct marketing is an essential component in almost all non-profit organizations’ fundraising plans. No other medium has yet been found that equals direct marketing in its ability to effectively and efficiently drive fundraising efforts.

With a steady mix of direct mail, telemarketing, e-mail marketing and other media, fundraisers are being provided with more touch points to communicate with their current and potential donor base than ever before.

Direct Marketing – Features & Benefits

It’s targeted: Mass advertising (TV, print, radio, etc.) can be expensive and isn’t always an option for small businesses. But direct marketing can focus on a smaller group of individuals who are more likely to respond to your offer, giving you more bang for your buck.

It’s personal: With direct marketing, you can address your customers by name, speak to them individually and appeal to their interests. And when customers feel that you understand their needs, they’re more likely to respond. In fact, 55 percent of consumers “look forward” to discovering the mail they receive.

It’s flexible: From letters to postcards to e-mail, there is a large variety of inexpensive and easy formats you can use to create your direct marketing campaign. You can add impact by including a special offer or free sample with the piece.

It’s tangible: Direct marketing allows you to physically place your message in your customers’ hands and encourage interaction. Along with an engaging message, you can make an unforgettable impression by incorporating elements that actively involve the customer, like stickers and coupons.

It’s measurable: Direct marketing is one of the few media channels that give you the ability to track the success of your campaign. In fact, many of the tools give you and your customer access to custom dashboards for them to view the results in real time. By tracking and analyzing your results, you’ll see what’s working and can make adjustments to future campaigns if needed.

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