Updated: May 10, 2019

Three things you need to know about direct response.

When consumers reach out to brands, they usually want a response whether that’s on or off social media. Making sure these interactions are done right is important, because it’s part of the critical customer experience (CX). When it comes to direct response, how your brand solves problems, engages and services consumers is being broadcasted to the internet. Don’t you want to do it right?

We’ve listed three basic principles we believe every brand should understand before utilizing direct response in order to improve the CX:


You need to make a connection with your audience. If your consumers feel unheard, they may leave the conversation (aka your brand) and make a connection with a different brand. If you want consumers to stay engaged, be engaging! Things to keep in mind:

  • A "like" is better than nothing.

  • Answer all the questions you find.

  • When it aligns with your brand, have fun! Reply with an emoji, gif, or picture.

And I’m talking about every social channel. Your responses should be consistent over Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform you’re on because each one is just another form of your brand’s customer experience.


KFC handled this response so well on Twitter. To keep their consumers engaged, they had fun with this post and replied with a gif.


Handling negative comments doesn’t have to be so scary. Remember what your parents taught you: an apology can go a long way … well that can work even for a brand. A few things to go by:

  • NEVER delete negative comments. It looks like you have something to hide!

  • Show you care. As a brand, you should anyway.

  • Provide help or fix the problem whenever possible.


Frontier looks unreliable and unconcerned by choosing not to respond to negative comments. However, you feel Alaska Airlines cares about each consumer and his or her experience because they respond with thoughtful solutions to consumer problems. Flights get delayed, it happens. But the way Alaska Airlines addresses the situation is much more approachable than Frontier. It makes consumers more confident in who they choose to fly with.


While replying to a comment within three minutes is impressive, it’s not always effective. Automation in marketing is huge right now, there’s no doubt about it. But maybe not everything needs to be automatic. Think of calling a customer service line … the last thing people want is a robot. They want to talk with a real person. We’re all human, here’s how to show it:

  • Be understanding … Helloooo empathy!

  • Use names if it feels right. It makes the experience more personal.

  • Hone in on your brand’s tone to show personality.


Here’s a brand who’s doing it right: the online retailer of pet-related products,! Their Facebook comments are totally on-brand and they’re conversational, like a real person would be. Can you even imagine what the automatic templated version of that comment would be?


As you can see, CX can be improved through carefully crafted direct response. While implementation has its challenges, understanding direct response’s potential is important if you want loyal consumers. As business leader, Kate Zabriskie stated,

“The customer’s perception is your reality.”

So be engaging, be transparent, but most of all, be human.

After all, you’re talking to people! This is your chance to broadcast how great your brand’s CX is.


Interested in how we connected a brand with their target audience through direct response?

Check out our latest Protein2o work:

Written by:

Jeannie Leary,

Secret Fort Art Director

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