Direct Response Marketing

What Does Direct Response Marketing Mean?

Direct response marketing is a type of marketing that elicits a specific, measured response resulting from a consumer’s direct response to a marketer. Direct response marketing facilitates the delivery of a call to action and outcome via direct or online interaction for immediate feedback and response.


Direct response marketing differs from direct marketing, where an advertiser directly contacts potential buyers.

Techopedia Explains Direct Response Marketing

Direct response marketing allows marketers to understand the performance of their products or services without undergoing a waiting period, as marketer-consumer interaction is nearly instantaneous.

Direct response marketing involves the following key elements:

  • A proposal
  • Ample information needed for customer consideration
  • A clear call to action
  • Options for response via methods like a toll free number, email or Web page

An infomercial or direct response TV commercial is an example of direct response marketing. Short forms of direct response TV commercials have set time periods ranging from 30 seconds to two minutes. Long infomercial formats are typically 30 minutes. Infomercials are geared toward gaining direct responses via the home-shopping industry, where a home-shopping expert or host presents an item to a TV audience to motivate quick product purchases. If interested, viewers respond via phone or Internet.

Traditional media, including newspapers, magazines and radio, are often used to generate direct responses and are less likely to receive strong response rates when compared to more interactive mediums.

Successful online direct-response marketing requires clear goal statements that achieve anticipated sales. Delivery, tracking and analytics software and techniques are used throughout the process of direct response marketing to garner solid and accurate results.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…