What Is Direct Response Advertising?


Quick Answer

Direct response advertising is paid communication with the intent of driving immediate traffic or sales. This strategy contrasts brand building, with the primary difference being a goal of increasing business activity in the short-term as opposed to developing a brand in the long-term.

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Full Answer

A direct response ad has an immediate call to action, often including phrases such as, "Buy now," "Call right away," "Fill out this form," or "Limited time only." A coupon mailer is one tactic for direct response. To use it, a company presents a product or service message along with a coupon that a buyer fills out and mails in. The coupon may include a limited-time promotional gift with a regular purchase. Another common tactic is the inclusion of a 1-800 number and an inducement to buy before a deadline to receive a discount or gift.

In addition to driving immediate sales, companies often like that direct response results are easy to measure. With a coupon, for instance, the business tracks the percentage of coupons redeemed relative to total distribution. Most sales promotion messages are a form of direct response advertising. Direct response may also target a niche group of customers with a special offer based on their unique circumstances or needs.

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