Action Device

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 138

Definition: Action Device

Action Device also called as involvement device, as the name suggests elicits an action or response from the recipient. Action device is piece of direct-mail package that “involves” the reader in receiving the marketing message. Action devices were created to increase response rates of direct mail programs, scratch-cards, mobile messages etc.


It is an industry wide belief that increasing a reader’s involvement helps increase response rates. In today’s scenario with the advent of modern marketing techniques, action devices can be also incorporated in e-mails, phone messages that incite the respondent to either click a link or directs to a page where the respondent has to scratch a card or turn a wheel that later drives to promotional messages. Making a comparison between a conventional magazine ad stating discounts and another scratch card along with the magazine that shows discounts only after the reader scratches. Here in this case the clear distinction can be analysed on the level of involvement that the reader had.

Action Device


Importance of Action Devices

As John Wanamaker (1838-1922) coined the phrase “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half”, it is still a dilemma that every marketer faces. But the ability to pinpoint the promotions that lead to sales is engrossed in the mode of marketing communication that any company uses. With Action Devices, the business doesn’t just send scratch cards or order forms to all the prospects, but to the known amount of customers who have already made purchases from them and hold the ability to influence others too. The response rate, which is a key attribute of action devices is an indicator in itself for the success of the direct marketing promotion.

On the other hand, action devices present an inexpensive form of marketing promotion that can be used by new businesses and it can also help incorporate digital mediums for communication like e-mail and messages. The certainty that action devices bring to the table for marketers is commendable and the message is very direct and seeks a response which in majority of cases leads to sales. The use of action devices also is in tandem with privacy issues these days, as the customers who are interested are only receiving the message and the niche that the business has created is treated well.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Action Devices

Some of the advantages of action devices are:

1. Caters to the niche market of customers that the business has and targets.

2. Inexpensive mode of direct marketing promotion

3. Targets only the customers who are willing to be contacted i.e. maintains privacy

4. Proven metrics such as response rate for future strategy formulation and implementation

5. Easy to execute provided database is properly maintained.

6. Applicable for both goods and services.


Certain disadvantages of action devices are:

1. Constant requirement to update the database

2. Technologically backward in terms of digital marketing

3. Doesn’t help in improving customer base


Examples of Action Devices

A few examples of action devices are:

1. Scratch Cards: This is one of the most widely used forms of action devices. Its simplistic design and the way it incites an action is commendable. It preys on the curiosity of the customer who received the same to take action and thus leading to sales.

2. Mobile Messages: This is a form of action device; it may seem similar to click to action but the instruction in itself derived from action devices for direct marketing campaigns.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Action Device along with its overview.

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