What is two-step direct response marketing?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - marketing

Many businesses struggle with their marketing in the initial stages, receiving little return on their investment into advertising and running promotional campaigns. These are almost always focused on the business or its services, serving as little more than brand awareness exercises. What you really want is to illicit engagement and – the Holy Grail – consent to be marketed to. This is why the two-step direct response marketing method is commonly used by successful brands. It attracts consumer buy-in and opens up a channel for two-way communication between the brand and its potential customers. Here’s how the two-step direct response model in executed:

Step 1:

Here marketers need to start by thinking about their industry and what information could make their target audience’s lives a little easier. Customers want convenience – and what’s more convenient than getting free advice on how to solve problems they might be facing?

This information can be shared in multiple formats, like whitepapers and ebooks, and should be made available to potential clients without cost or risk to them. Things like ‘The ultimate 25-point moving house checklist’ or ‘How-to guide to basic HTML coding’ will be attractive to people who might be thinking of relocating or who are interested in learning coding.

Once your free guide is up and ready for download or postage, all of your marketing should promote it in some way. From your PPC ads and social media, to your website and email signatures, there should be links to download your free value pack. Wording should convince the reader to pick up, download, or request the guide. Also, the advertising only needs to promote the report or guide – nothing more. If you’ve done a good-enough job of your free downloadable content, it’ll sell you.

Step 2:

Before the rise of POPI and GDPR, all marketers needed to do after advertising their free resources was to wait for interested parties to click, call, or email – then use their submitted information to start marketing to them like crazy. To remain compliant with data processing regulations, an interested potential customer has to fill in a form (be it online or in real life) to access the free resource, and brands need to inform new clients that they intend to send them similar helpful guides in the future, and that their private information will be collected and securely stored.

It might sound like a doomed exercise – what with all the red tape – and you’re probably thinking about how the regulations aren’t helping marketers at all. However, think about it: every target audience member who is actually okay with you collecting their data and directly marketing to them are the people most likely to trust the brand with their money.

That’s the two-step direct marketing approach. Obtain consent and buy-in using a quality, value-added free resource, then tailor similar content to send to engaged target audiences. Data regulations are there to look after the well-being of your customers, and they will remain loyal if they know you are handling their privacy with the utmost care.

Digital marketing is here to stay – and if you don’t adopt a digitally focused minset to your marketing your business does not have a very good chance of survival.

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DSM Digital School of Marketing - Copywriting and Digital Marketing