When you hear the word “advertising,” what comes to mind? For many, expensive campaigns and big-budget commercials are synonymous with the term. These kinds of ads have stood the test of time, after all, with many people eager to tune into events like the Super Bowl for the commercials alone. While such campaigns are indeed valuable, they’re far from the only kind of successful advertising. As technology evolves, ads are getting smarter, more efficient and more profitable.
Direct response advertising offers businesses the chance to connect with prospective customers in exciting, unique ways. While not exactly a new concept, direct response advertising allows you to target consumers in the most efficient and profitable manner possible. Unlike the average Super Bowl commercial, this approach is all about seizing the moment. The call-to-action and value proposition are rolled into one simple message, saving consumers valuable time and earning profits faster than ever before.
Principles of Direct Response Advertising
To understand the fundamentals of direct response advertising, it helps to consider the ways you’ve been marketed to recently. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve likely been the target of such advertising. Big brands spend billions to send customers targeted messages to drive action. Chances are good that you’ve seen or engaged with direct response advertising since you had your coffee this morning.
Old-fashioned junk mail may spring to mind when you hear the phrase direct response. While this approach does indeed fit the definition of direct response advertising, it’s far from the only kind. Any kind of marketing that asks for a response – be it an email, a landing page, or even an ad on Instagram – is considered direct response.
Direct response advertising allows you to target a specific segment of your customer base. Your call to action drives sales. It’s easy to gauge the effectiveness of a given campaign, as you can directly trace engagement to your sales figures. Should you find your first attempt does not net results, it’s easy to retool the campaign for a different kind of customer. The process has never been easier or more efficient!
For instance, a busy personal injury law firm may want to connect with car accident victims in their area. A direct response advertisement that’s catered to men between the ages of 18 and 32 (the group most likely to be involved in a wreck) can be easily deployed via social media. A targeted Facebook post inviting people to download a free e-book, for example, is a quick, passive, and affordable way to engage with prospective clients.
Targeted Ads and E-Commerce Sales
Social media is the bread and butter of the modern direct response advertising movement. Targeted ads invite specific segments of the population to learn more about a product or to make a purchase right away. A simple photo combined with information about what makes the product special is often enough to entice viewers to the company website.
Once on your site, visitor behavior can be tracked. A first-time buyer may be prompted to sign up for a mailing list or offered a coupon for their next purchase. High-quality images and copy that’s geared towards specific buyer personas allow companies to court consumers in exciting ways.
Direct Response Referral Campaigns
Refer-a-friend programs have been around forever. They’re a win-win for businesses hoping to capture viable leads through networking. Direct response referral campaigns can be even more beneficial than traditional versions because they focus on creating a specific action for customers to take. Invite a friend, these campaigns promise, and you’ll earn free products or credit.
Direct response marketing thrives on personal connections. Since invitations for direct response referral campaigns come from a friend, people are more likely to consider the offer. Most people already rely on recommendations from friends. Why not give a new, personally recommended brand a shot when there’s a freebie sitting in your inbox?
Inevitably, companies will see prospective customers try their product or service when it is free and cancel when a subscription fee kicks in. Successful marketing teams know, however, that you’ve got to spend money to make money. These loss leaders help make brands a household name. Referral trains are the best-case scenario; get just one person to rave about their experience with your company, and it’s easy to set off a chain reaction among their social network.
Upsell with Ease
Pop quiz! Which is more expensive: converting leads or investing in existing client relationships? According to GrooveHQ, the odds of a prospect making a purchase lies between five and 20 percent. Contrast that with the probability that an existing customer will return to shop again – a staggering 70 to 90 percent. It’s no wonder so many successful marketers turn to their existing client base when deploying their direct response advertising strategy.
Allow your confidence in your product, services, and offerings to lead your upselling efforts. The next time you send an email to customers, include a call to action that inspires them to make a purchase right away. By creating a sense of urgency, you encourage customers to pull the trigger on a purchase in the moment. Whether you’re offering discounts, freebies, or coupons, the result is the same: repeat customers who are excited to splurge on a product or service they know they love, or even need.
Engage Your Customers Now
It can take decades to build a brand identity and secure a firm footing in your market. While branding is indeed a smart tool, it shouldn’t be the only strategy you rely upon to turn a profit. In addition to your more traditional branding efforts, consider deploying a direct response advertising approach.
When launching a direct response advertising campaign, it’s crucial to consider how your business is going to handle the influx of phone calls. You’re investing in the advertising, so it makes the most sense to get the best ROI by answering every phone call quickly, professionally, and effectively so no new customers slip through the cracks. Here at MAP Communications, we work with many businesses who are engaged in direct response advertising of their own. They harness our direct response call center service to ensure every caller gets attended to no matter when they dial. This allows advertisers to squeeze the most profit out of every ad dollar.
Ideal for both small and large companies, these strategies drive consumers to take action right away while being positioned to capitalize on every conversion. Whether you prefer to target specific segments of your customer base or appeal to the masses, direct response advertising can drive any goal, from sales to referrals to account creation. Motivating people is no easy feat, but with the right plan in place, you’ll see your profits grow hand over fist.