Direct Marketing

Reviewed by Anjaneyulu | Updated on Sep 30, 2020


Direct marketing is a promotional strategy by which knowledge about your business, product, or service is delivered to your target customer without the use of an advertisement middleman. It is a targeted type of marketing that offers potentially useful details to a customer who has been identified to be a likely buyer.

Although other marketing strategies aimed at increasing awareness or educating consumers about the goods or services of a business, the primary purpose of direct marketing is to convince the consumer to take action. Although making a deal is the ultimate objective, some clients aren't going to be able to buy on-the-spot.


Retailers, credit card firms, media firms, technology firms, and non-profit organizations—nearly every company uses some direct marketing number. In 2010, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced that over half of all advertising spends were geared towards direct ads.

Throughout the 19th century, direct marketing began with the mail-order catalogues of Montgomery Ward. With the development of bulk mail rates in 1928, direct mail campaigns grew considerably. More recently, email technology has further expanded direct marketing reach and scope.

Direct Marketing Campaign

Effective direct marketing starts with data. Marketers identify groups of consumers or prospects that they think may be interested in their goods or services and create/acquire contact lists.

Lists can be collected from public or commercial sources. They can show all the people in a specific community, all the people who entered a contest drawing, all the people who opted for a newsletter, a list of customers from another company, etc. These lists should not be used indiscriminately; rather, the data should be used to generate messages and deals likely to be important to certain consumers or prospects.


The common forms of direct marketing include:

  • Brochures
  • Coupons
  • Catalogues
  • Newsletters
  • Fliers
  • Postcards
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Phone calls
  • Targeted online display ads

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