What is direct marketing for?

Historically invented to support the dynamics of mail order, direct marketing has since proven to be effective for any type of product or service. In the service of transactional marketing, web-to-store for example, as relational marketing , through the sending of an annual catalog, direct marketing includes the selection of the recipient file, the realization of the support and the sending the message online or by mail. Driven by springs that we think we know well, direct marketing can still surprise us. Well thought out and well executed, the best campaigns manage to move us, to entertain us and to make us act. State of play ...
In this article
  • Direct marketing, definition
  • The revival of direct marketing
  • The fundamentals of a successful direct marketing campaign

Direct marketing, definition

Direct marketing, definition

The "direct" side of direct marketing brings the idea of ​​a relationship without intermediary between the sender and the recipient of the message , contrary for example to a traditional commercial circuit where the distribution plays a role of mediator with the consumers (promoter and logistician too).

According to this meaning, direct marketing refers to a set of techniques made available to a brand or brand, which jointly implement:

  • To identify by name a list of potentially interested recipients (qualified file).
  • To bring to the attention of the target public a commercial offer, by post or by digital means.
  • To include in this offer the means for targeted consumers to respond to the solicitation, for example by using a discount coupon or participating in a contest.
    It is therefore a direct exchange, a short circuit communication in a way.

The revival of direct marketing

The exploitation of the numerous behavioral data collected by the big data brands and the use of artificial intelligence bring the direct marketing into the modernity ! Targeting, message writing and channel selection are gaining in height, to embrace communication strategies more and more closely.

The offer in terms of broadcasting channels has also gained a lot thanks to the digital transformation. Without the traditional vectors, mail and telephone, completely giving way, the digital vectors have proved their effectiveness.
Today, the delivery of a direct marketing campaign can take five main channels:

  • E-mailing , for targeted actions and quickly implemented.
    An e-mailing campaign has the advantage of being able to be part of a multimedia perspective, including for example a video, and to be able to generate an immediate response.
  • Marketing sms , for instant activation actions.
    In support of geolocation, a direct marketing campaign by SMS is a powerful tool for creating traffic.
  • Mailing or direct mail , for relational marketing actions.
    With the possibility of sending a catalog, brochure or sample , the mailing enters the heart of the homes and allows an effective recovery.
  • The couponing . By mail or by mailing, or even by SMS, sending a discount coupon to be validated during a checkout is a recognized activation.
  • The phone . Implemented by professionals of the direct approach, canvassing relies on the quality of interactivity. Most often considered as intrusive, this technique still retains a few followers.

The fundamentals of a successful direct marketing campaign


Regardless of the vector used, the identification and delineation of the target largely determine the success of a direct marketing operation. It should carefully check the reliability of the roster - especially the recent nature of the information and the fact that all necessary details are included.
The Hamon law of March 2014 relative to the rights of the consumers conditions the use of a file to the preliminary collection of the agreement of the people therein to receive a communication of the direct marketing type (opt in).

The message

Contextual marketing context (I develop a long term relationship) or transactional marketing context (I immediately provoke an act of purchase or a trip to the point of sale), the message and the support of the direct marketing campaign are central to induce the expected behavior on the part of the intended audience. Weighing his words, choosing his images with precision, condition the impact.
To renew oneself in the field of direct marketing is not so easy. The use of augmented reality technologies is an innovative creative avenue.

The calendar

The timing and frequency of direct marketing operations clearly depends on the nature of the products or services, the relationship the brand or brand has with the target, and the vector implemented.
However, common sense must prevail avoiding to saturate its target with an avalanche of contacts. The multichannel approach (sms + e-mailing + addressed mail) can be a good way to practice the redundancy of the communication without indisposing its public. And taking into account the feedback that requires a break is imperative.

The exploitation of the countryside

In all humility, the success of a direct marketing campaign relies heavily on the experience accumulated in previous campaigns. Accuracy in target selection, timely choice of communication channel, and adaptation of the proposal feed on previous attempts.
The fourth fundamental of a successful direct marketing campaign, even if it has failed in relation to the stated goal, is to properly decode the message sent back by consumers in a perspective of continuous improvement. Direct marketing is a modality of the relationship with its audience. Success is built over time.


In conclusion, direct marketing has been able to renew itself without losing its DNA of efficiency and simplicity. You now have plenty of choice for channels and keys to get the most out of your campaign.
All you have to do is get started!

Topics: direct marketing

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