Direct Response Marketing: 6 Strategies for Chatbots

Stefan van der VlagAutomating Sales, General, Qualifying Leads


Every business can use direct response marketing as a sales strategy. But, this can be a challenge as getting ROI becomes more and more difficult each day. Yet, most businesses nowadays understand how to do this… and have been successful in this kind of marketing. Their secret is targeting a specified audience, e.g., women with specific hair types… Or men that want to maintain their beards. Basically, targeting a particular segment. Direct response marketing usually has a strong CTA to help people sign up fast.

You can do it too. It’s not hard to emulate these techniques and understand how to get ROI from direct response. And, it’s not news that small and medium-sized businesses warier of doing this if they see no immediate ROI. They are scared of putting money on something they deem non-profitable. But, for global companies, every risk is worth taking. They are willing to part ways with huge budgets for their branding promotions to attract more customers.

A lot of us smaller businesses like taking the risk, but don’t like taking that high a risk as big businesses do. That’s why every business needs the right approach…. an approach that will generate more interests and drive sales fast enough. Few are willing to spend on brand-building marketing. And even if they want to, they can’t compete with these big companies that are already spending a fortune.

Well, in this case, your businesses still have direct response marketing as an ally. You need to acquire more customers and grow more sales amidst high competition. The good news is that your business doesn’t have to go head-on with the big names in the market. Nope… Not when they choose to use a direct response marketing strategy.

So, how do you do that? In this article, we outline 6 strategies of direct response marketing. Each having a different approach that you can apply to your business.

So, What is Direct Response Marketing?

Before moving to the 6 strategies, let’s first talk about direct response marketing. Especially about how it works in this highly competitive business world. 

So, in simple terms… direct response marketing is a method businesses use to get (acquire) more customers. How’s it done? Well, by sending direct response marketing messages to prospects that drive specific actions. 

These “Direct Response Actions” can include:

  • Buying a product
  • Joining the newsletter
  • Subscribing to a service
  • Reading a blog
  • Referring to a friend

And, of course, there are many other goals business plans to achieve with the action. This type of marketing works for both small, medium, and large businesses.

Direct response marketing demands quick action from prospects. This immediate action, again, depends on the goals of the business. Now, if these actions are measurable, traceable… it makes it easy for a business to see results as compared to other marketing types. 

This marketing technique works for many companies, thanks to its speed. You can easily see your ROI using this method. And so, planning and budgeting for marketing campaigns is easier for companies with limited budgets.

Digital Marketing Channels That Work for Direct Response Messaging

Since direct marketing involves getting people to take the required actions. It needs a more effective digital marketing channel to achieve this goal. You need to get to your target prospects and convince them to take action. Whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an app, or any other action, your business needs… It can be quite a challenge. Trust me, getting deals, landing sales, or amping up downloads is not easy. Customers are not easily swayed, and you need to use the best channels to leave alone the best strategies. You also need the right channels to get the ROI. 

Here are a few channels you can experiment with:


Facebook messenger has become a useful marketing tool. And you can use it to boost your conversation rates drastically! This channel boasts up to 80% open rates, with up to 56% CTR on average.

SMS, or Short Messaging Service

SMS is another effective marketing channel. Especially for the marketers preferring the text method to put messages out there. This is also one the cheapest, easiest to use with up to 98% open rate.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the most common direct response marketing channel. It provides one of the best returns for every dollar your business spends on it. It works very well in conjunction with Facebook messenger and SMS. The combination can ensure your business achieves the best direct response.

Direct Mail

While direct mail can be a very slow channel… I mean it’s not as fast as a Facebook or Messenger Ad. It still works well for local businesses compared to digital channels. It sees a higher open rate of up to 10 and 30X on average.

Paid Media

You can attach those Facebook ads to a Messenger bot flow and easily get leads for your business. This really is an easy method of building the necessary contact list. And, from there, persuading and convincing your customers to take action.

Experiential Marketing

There are also many ways of connecting with your audience. These include events, roadshows, street marketing, or exhibition stalls… Obviously, there are more, and this is just from the top of the head. But, this channel is more direct as you see your customer face to face… and you can convince them to take immediate action.

The above channels are not the only ones available for direct response marketing. But, these channels are by far the most effective and easiest to use! You only need to identify which channels will work best in nurturing the leads for your business.

6 Direct Response Marketing Techniques:

1. A Clear Call to Action

You already know the purpose of direct response marketing, which is to get customers to take the necessary action. To do this, you not only need a strong CTA but a clear one. You need to encourage your customers to take action in a simple and very understandable way. Your message must appeal to the target market. Examples include “Register Today,” “Click Here to Invite a Friend,” “Subscribe to Get your Copy,” etc… These are all clear and simple messages. These messages invite your prospects to take the necessary action.

Be careful not to get too wordy with your CTA because customers have a minimal attention span. You should also avoid multiple action messages as your customers will easily ignore them. Break up the text blocks if you’re working with long-form content. Make it clear and straight to the point, so your customers know straight away what they are getting when they click. Don’t be afraid to experiment before you find out one that works for your business.

A good example is Netflix:

Image Credit: Netflix

2. Direct Response Ads

Running direct response ads is another strategy that has worked for many businesses and is going to work for you. If you ask around, you’re going to get the same answer that Facebook ads are the most effective way of getting those e-commerce sales. Up to 97% of social marketers agree that they run ads on Facebook for their direct response marketing. 70% of them say that this has been the best way they have ever employed to achieve their business goals.

Digital Marketer uses this with Click-to-Messenger Ads:

DigitalMarketer using Click-to-Messenger Ads

Image Credit: DigitalMarketer

Direct response ads are obvious and blunt. Examples of such ads are “Shop Now,” “Buy Here,” etc… It displays the offer and, in a concise sentence, explains what makes it unique. Examples are “Free Shipping and Returns,” “Pioneer a Movement,” “Impeccable Handbags,” etc… Your ad must provide content that encourages people to click on the CTA.

3. Messenger Ads for Segmenting and Targeting

For effective direct response marketing, you need to use segmentation. And using these segments with a targeted approach to reach them. This method can get a quick and actionable response from customers… Because you can personalize it more! And this way, it gives you an excellent opportunity to make sales. Obviously, you can use the 4 significant segments: 1.) demography, 2.) geography, 3.) behavioral segmentation, and 4.) buyer journey to segment your audience.

If you own a brick and mortar, targeting your local area with special offers is the best strategy you can use. Send your target messages to warm audiences. These are previous customers or those that have opted-in to the subscriber list in your messenger. 

By this, you must already understand that messenger ad is not just directed to cold audiences. You can keep track of your subscribers in your Messenger marketing platform. A sexy platform such as Clepher gives you clear insight into your audience. Once you have the information you need, you can then use it to send targeted ads.

The platform also enables you to assess your target audience further using lead scoring. This way, you can quickly figure out the leads with more promise and send ads with higher chances of getting clicks and necessary actions.

4. Go the Old School Way with Direct Mail

While marketers are embracing the digital way of doing things. They should never forget the old school techniques that used to work well… And may I add, are still working perfectly to drive engagement. While direct mail may not be directly accessible to you. Or is not as cheap as FB Ads… there are still a lot of things you can gain using this direct response marketing technique.

You can use a Post Card campaign with MailChimp:

Postcard Campaign with MailChimp

Image Credit: MailChimp

This is a method that marketers come across more often as they grow… Like sending out a welcome box to new customers. They can include flyers, shirts, catalogs, and postcards… The guys we hire to do our SEO is called the Hoth, and they send us Hot Sauce… Genius! And I guess that helped as we’re talking about them now. 

Now, According to Neil Patel, in is blog research, direct mail has proven to be an effective medium for ROI. The method boasts of a higher ROI than paid search and is a strong competitor for social media marketing. This method can work flawlessly with other channels. Especially if you want to get ahead of the competition by taking an authoritative position.

5. Incentivize Referrals

Referrals are also an easy and effective way your business can use to boost CTR. Referrals mainly refer to people that have seen your brand before… and are very happy about their experiences. Customers you get referred by a friend are 37% more likely to stick to your business. While customers will not be willing to give feedback or refer a friend most of the time unless you push them to it… Solution? Incentivize! How about you boost this by giving out some credits for anybody that refers a friend to the business? Customers need to benefit also from helping your business make sales. If you give gifts in return, you will be better positioned to drive action.

6. Giveaway Campaigns

This strategy is one of the best when it comes to rewarding customers. Especially if you want to get, them to respond to your marketing message. Find out a product that your new or existing customers love and offer a giveaway. This can be in the form of a free sample or a buy one get one promo. Giveaways provide you with one of the best ways to encourage a 1-to-1 relationship… with your customer to achieve your business goal.

Direct Response Marketing FAQ’s

What are the common examples of direct response marketing?

They include:

  • Messenger marketing
  • Promotion letters
  • SMS
  • Emails
  • Messenger ads
  • Long-form content
  • Ads, like; Online ads, magazine ads, newspapers ads, 
  • And other methods, like; postcards, coupons, flyers, and phone calls.

What is a direct response ad?

This is a promotional strategy where a customer is expected to respond directly to an ad. This can happen through the same device given for the ad.

What are the different types of direct marketing?

The most known types of direct response marketing include:

  • Search ads
  • Text message marketing
  • Direct response ads
  • Messenger marketing through social media, or via the company’s website
  • Direct mail
  • Direct marketing.

What is the difference between direct and indirect marketing

Direct response marketing involves the use of a more straight to the point approach. Or encouraging the target customer to take immediate action on an offer. Indirect marketing consists of a marketing method focused on building a relationship with prospects. This happens through education and information… then convincing them to come to your business without appearing too salesy. Just like we’re doing with our Blog post here 😉

Time to Take Action

Direct response marketing is an effective way to engage with your target customers. It helps to encourage them to take immediate action. This method does not wait for the customer to get motivated enough so that they can make their own moves. While direct response marketing works significantly in improving sales… you still may want to consider building a trustworthy brand; because you cannot rely on this alone. As your business continues to grow… it’s a must to use other different strategies that focus on building your brand.

Why not try Direct Response Marketing with Clepher. Connect your bot to a Facebook Ad, and qualify leads via an automated conversation.

Click Here to Discover Direct Response Marketing with Chatbots


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