Direct Marketing, is one of the aspects of Marketing that is often misunderstood. From a practical sense I think the best way to explain what Direct Marketing is by providing examples of some of the activities that make up Direct Marketing. Like to know more? Then keep reading!

Direct Mail

Direct mail remains, in my opinion, the most common and recognisable form of direct marketing. Direct mail is all forms of paper mail (catalogues, fliers, applications, sample products, etc.) which is mailed out (or couriered) to a list or group of possible or current consumers/clients.

There are many types and examples of direct mail activity, however, it largely comes down to the type of business that is sending the mail and the target audience or end user that is receiving the item. No point sending a nappy sample via the mail to someone who has no children, for example.

Many hospitality businesses thrive on sending out vouchers that are redeemable during a certain period. By way of example, Domino’s Pizza often uses their database of previous customers to send out bulk vouchers to encourage repeat customers. Myer do so to members of the Myer One program.

It can be a very cost effective way to connect with new clients.

Door-to-Door Leaflet Marketing

This activity is very similar to direct mail, however, the main difference is that consumers are targeted by geographic area and contractors are used to hand deliver leaflets into mail boxes rather than targeting specific people and addresses on a mailing list/database.

In some cases, door-to-door leaflet marketing may actually be cheaper than direct mail as it doesn’t require purchasing stamps, establishing a database, printing of mailing labels for envelopes, etc. It is commonly known as junk mail. I know that there are catalogues that I look out for each week, and I am sure that many companies who use this method of marketing agree.


Telemarketing requires a business to employ or contract staff to cold call a list of phone numbers and attempt to make over-the-phone deals, sales, or appointments via the phone. This activity can work in both B2C and B2B environments.

Home improvement companies in industries such as carpet cleaning or pest control often use this method to reach their potential customers. I should note though that in Australia the government has now created a do not call list for private individuals who don’t wish to be contacted in this way.

Therefore, from a B2C perspective, the total pool of people who can be contacted is less. However, I don’t believe the do not call register is a bad thing. People who don’t want to receive calls aren’t called and businesses don’t spend money on making calls to those individuals.

Email Marketing

Although SPAM legislation and email filtering programs have made email marketing less lucrative as it was a few years ago, this direct marketing method still remains a great way to reach consumers if you have a legitimate list of people who have opted-in to receive your emails.

Many companies with club cards, such as Dymocks Booklovers Club, include a section on their application forms for email addresses. Anyone who signs up for this club or purchases a book online is then added to the address list for email marketing. This is a great way to hone in on your marketing and get the most out of your database.

Broadcast Faxing

Broadcast faxing has become less common than other forms of direct marketing due to the demise of the use of fax machines as more and more businesses are using mail and email for their correspondence. For example, the Next Marketing business does not have a fax line.

In essence, broadcast faxing is where companies send out bulk faxes with offers or deals. It is still a popular marketing strategy for office supplies-type companies who sell generic low risk type goods. Do you use this strategy?