Once upon a time a person only needed exposure to an advertisement six times before they made a purchase decision. It was called The Marketing Rule of 6, and it was created in 1859. The theory stated that “The first time a man sees an advertisement, he takes no notice of it; the second time he looks at the name; the third time he looks at the price; the fourth time he reads it; the fifth time he speaks of it to his wife; the sixth time he buys.”

In the 1930s the movie industry increased The Rule of 6 to The Rule of 7. Studio execs found that 7 advertising impressions were required to compel someone to see one of their movies.

Skip ahead to the 1970s, and the average US consumer saw around 500 ads per day, increasing to 5,000 ads per day by 2017. Fast forward to today, and the average person is now estimated to encounter as many as 10,000 ads every single day. Clearly, neither The Rule of 6 or The Rule of 7 is going to make it through the noise of all that advertising. So what is a brand to do? It’s called Direct Response Marketing (DRM), and this is your guide to getting started.

Advertising vs. Direct Response Marketing

You’ve probably seen advertising and marketing loosely interchanged when it comes to promoting a company or product. However, if you dig deeper into what each entails you’ll find that the two are not the same. Marketing involves a wider range of tasks such as research and results tracking. Advertising on the other hand focuses on the execution of promotions. When comparing advertising and direct response marketing, you can distinguish one from the other by the means of execution. Advertising is solely about increasing brand awareness and recall. Consider billboards, magazine ads, and commercials as products of advertising. For comparison, DRM uses principles of persuasion to compel people into an instant course of action. It can be any call to action (CTA) from opting into an email list to making a purchase. DRM can be used in any industry to drive momentum.

How is Direct Response Marketing Unique?

Direct response marketing is different from other types of marketing primarily because the results are immediate and trackable. As an advertiser, you’ll be able to access how your campaign is performing at the time that it is launched. When you compare direct response marketing to traditional advertising, there is a huge difference between them. With traditional advertising, the goal is normally brand awareness and it may take months or years before your brand gains recognition in your target market. That’s a long time to wait for a return on investment (ROI) In DRM campaigns, the expectation for ROI can be immediate. That’s because the target market is being given a CTA that requires immediate action.

What Are The Key Elements of Direct Response Marketing?

If you want an ad with immediate results, DRM is a good strategy to use. Here are the three primary elements of a DRM campaign to get you started. These elements should always be present when marketing a new product or company :

  • Irresistible Offer
    The offer that you present to your target audience should include a combination of the product cost, features, guarantees, incentives, obligations, shipping, and limits. Emphasize the value of your offer along with why your product is much superior to the competition.
  • Clear Information
    The average time that an advertiser has to spark interest is 4 seconds. Make sure that your message is relevant, persuasive and succinct while providing incentive to accept your offer. Keep in mind that if you’re selling a new product, you’ll have to provide a lot of information to spark interest.
  • Strong Call to Action
    As an advertiser, you already know the importance of a good call to action. DRM encourages visitors to do a specific action such as signing up for an email, requesting a sample or making a purchase. Consider providing multiple CTA’s for prospects to respond through. You can also include time limits, expiration dates or deadlines to encourage leads to act fast and convert to customers.

Direct Response Copywriting

Copywriting plays a huge part in DRM because it’s what compels people to take immediate action. During sales interactions, most people have automatic blocks, arguments or objections. It’s in our nature to be skeptical. Therefore, one of the first steps in copywriting for DRM is identifying those blocks and providing legitimate grounds to negate them. The more blocks and concerns you cover, the more you’ll strengthen the desire created in the customer.

  • Triggers

When making buying decisions, most of us start with emotions first and then then follow them up with rational justifications. That’s why it’s important for your copy to offer a trigger for each in your copy. Emotional triggers will usually touch on wants, desire or fears, while rational triggers offer solid reasons that getting your product or service is a good decision.

  • Persuasion

Advertisements work through clever slogans and witty captions, DRM works through to-the-point claims and information grounded on proof. Persuasive copy offers value right from the start. You lead with information and know-how to capture leads and convert them.

  • Testing

The ability to track the results in direct response marketing opens a lot of other options to make it as efficient as possible. That’s where testing and monitoring come in.You can put out as many ads as you want depending on the channel or platform you’re using. But if you’re not testing your copy and visuals for performance, you’re not maximizing the benefits of DRM.


DRM is a strategy that will offer immediate results and allow you to speed up the growth of your business. If you and your brand are ready to take advertising to the next level contact Aces Marketing today. Don’t rely on outdated methods, get results for your product, brand or invention now.