A hot state is an example of a thinking trap where high levels of emotion can impact the rational process of making a decision. When consumers encounter promotions while shopping, they are compelled to act on their impulses. In a hot-state, an individual narrows their focus on the immediate goal. For example, when someone is hungry, they will look for something that will alleviate the hunger quickly, with little effort, making that their primary aim.

Use trigger terms

Hot states lead to a reduction in immediate self-control and many marketing campaigns emphasise immediate action with hot phrases like “one day only!”, “sign up today” or “call now”.  Offers that play on the need to buy immediately, such as “buy one get one free!” implies that the product will disappear twice as quickly or offers such as “limited edition”, create a sense of urgency. Alternatively, online hot-state direct marketing can utilise customer information from those who abandon their cart before making a purchase. Retargeting these users can remind them that their items are still available and potentially offer a discount of a percentage deducted from the final cost. This method is more likely to draw customers back in, when they feel like they are receiving a special offer.

Use integrated marketing

To appeal to consumers hot-states, you should be using numerous mediums. For example, you could use multiple platforms combine them such as leaflets and social media or TV advertising with direct mail. Through combining methods, you can ensure that you are appealing to a wide variety of people in a hot-state and that your customers will experience your brand across various touch points, offering constant reminders of the product.

Send a second offer

If a consumer has just purchased an item/service from you, you should seize the opportunity to then distribute an email or direct mail, that thanks them for their business and offering them a special discount on their next purchase. Moreover, to give a sense of immediacy include an expiry date so that the consumer acts sooner and makes them feel as tho they need the product immediately. Secondary offers will make your customer feel valued whilst simultaneously pushing them to make further purchases in the near future, using incentivisation.

Timing is crucial

When it comes to utilising hot-states timing is everything. For example, if you are planning on running email campaigns as an FMCG, then why not consider distributing a deal prior to lunchtime? From around 11 am, most people will be thinking about what they can have for lunch. In the same way a supermarket places their snacks and most appealing instant gratification products, such as sweets, crisps and chocolate at the ends of aisles and at the front of the store, using times of day to distribute offers via email and social media can push users to make impulse purchases, whilst in a hungry ‘state’.


Another important factor in ensuring the effectiveness of hot-state direct marketing is to optimise your placement of content, and with this type of promotion, it’s all about location, location, location! The location you place your offers is key to achieving maximum profitability, combined alongside your visuals and the medium used.

Digital hot-state direct marketing needs to be finely tuned, to ensure it appears at the precise moment that you believe your customer is in the optimum hot-state. As previously mentioned, if your product could be classed as instant ‘food-stuff’ you may wish to choose the core meal times to target your customers. If you have a specialist product, it’s worth distinguishing your customer demographics and considering how these might affect their activities. This could include considering religious holidays, activities or specific days of celebration. Understanding your core customer-base can ensure that you consider the ways in which your customer want to be targeted and the correct medium to do so.


Collecting and utilising data can help you to understand your consumers and your potential customers. Data can help you plan campaigns and ensure you deliver it in the most effective medium. Data leads to a deeper understanding of your customers and the platforms they use most frequently to digest information.

For a younger and more digitally native generation, social media and online offers are often the key way to create a dialogue and target your audience. Then you must consider how you can ensure you target these consumers at the right time of the day, as they may adopt non-traditional eating patterns or sleeping patterns.

For more mature audiences, you might need to consider more traditional methods, including direct mail or tv advertising. With the adoption of streaming services, traditional tv advertising may not be as effective when considering a younger customer, with the Millennial groups often choosing to watch tv after it has aired, due to the ease of access. With this in mind, television advertising is often less tailored to these demographics, and instead, chooses to focus in on the over 35 market.

Absolute DM offer bespoke direct marketing solutions, with over 80 years of combined experience across the UK, EU, and the US. Our campaigns are created with brand values in mind and a core emphasis on ROI for all of our clients. To find out how we can assist you with your direct marketing campaigns, contact us today!