If you’re spending money on brand marketing, odds are you’re not getting a high enough return on your investment. Yes, it’s a way to get your brand in the minds of consumers, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to buy anything from you.
Direct response marketing, on the other hand, is a fantastic method of targeting your demographic and driving action. There’s no overcoming that dreaded interest barrier or trying to sell to people who don’t want to be sold to.
With direct response, you’re communicating with a population that knows what you have to offer and wants to learn more. This means faster ROI, better leads and bigger profits.
But unless you know the golden rules of direct response, you’re apt to spin your wheels and not get any real traction.
What are the golden rules? Keep reading…
Don’t Ever Imply an Offer – Make it Loud and Clear
Direct marketing basically means selling through print media. Your goal is to make the most appealing offer that compels your audience to respond. But if you look at a lot of newspaper ads, you’ll see a good many of them end the “conversation” without making any kind of direct offer. This is bad, very bad.
Don’t imply anything in your ads and don’t be vague. It’s not enough to say, “Here’s who we are, here’s what we do, and here’s where we’re located.” Make a strong offer every time.
Make it a No-Brainer for People to Respond
So you’ve got your offer in front of your readers – great. But now comes an equally important rule: you’ve got to give them a compelling reason to respond and do it NOW. The goal of direct response marketing is not to let people know you exist, it’s to get an immediate reaction. Put a clock on your offer and make it a no-brainer for people to respond.
Create a Clear Call-to-Action
It doesn’t matter if you’re placing a newspaper ad, sending a sales letter, or developing a phone script, your company has to be the one calling the shots, so call them. Lead your prospect and tell them exactly what you want them to do, how to do it, when to do it, and what benefits they’ll get by doing it. Never place an ad or send a letter that doesn’t have clear instructions.
Collect that Data
How will you know if your marketing efforts are working unless you track and measure your results? You need to collect that data to determine which campaigns, which channels and which messages are giving you that ROI. Make sure you have the necessary systems to capture that data and analyze it on a continual basis. Getting good results? Great, use the data to make changes so you can get even better results.
Take Every Opportunity to Follow Up
So, you’ve written some highly-effective direct response ads, given your audience a compelling reason to respond, developed a clear call-to-action telling readers exactly what you wanted them to do, and analyzed your campaign data to make some great adjustments. Fantastic, you must be seeing a steady stream of leads come in.
What are you going to do with all of these nice, toasty leads?
You’re going to follow up and nurture the relationship, leading them through your sales funnel until they convert, that’s what. Get all of their contact info and get them on your monthly newsletter schedule and follow up with them regularly.
Clean Out Your Advertising Clutter
Now that you know what your advertising should be doing for you, go through your campaigns and marketing collateral and get rid of any ho-hum messaging that does little else but take up space. Anything you find that breaks the rules we have laid out needs to be overhauled. If need be, work with a professional media planner who can help you develop a strong marketing plan with effective messaging.
In life, there are those people who like to play the part of victim, and then there are those who roll up their sleeves and do whatever needs to be done to fix the problem. The same can be said for businesses. Some will woefully exclaim, “I don’t know, I’m advertising like crazy and yet nothing seems to be happening for me,” while others will simply figure out what needs to be adjusted and adjust accordingly.
If you’ve been advertising like crazy but are not getting anywhere near the ROI you want, chances are you are not using direct marketing tactics, and if you are and are still not getting the ROI you want, chances are you’re breaking one or more of these golden rules.