Wondering: “How do I improve my advertising?” After 25 years of managing Direct Response advertising campaigns, here are some secret steps to helping you become profitable fast.
Step One: Before you spend a penny, know when you make a dollar.
The heart of direct response is knowing how many responses you need for your investment so the campaign delivers your profit instead of costing you your future retirement. Here are the metrics you need to know:
- How many responses, calls or unique visitors does it take for me to generate a purchase? That is your conversion rate or ratio. If it takes 10 calls for you to generate 1 purchase or sale, then your conversion ratio is 10%.
- Next, how much can I afford to invest to generate these responses? Let’s say your product or service costs the customer $500, and your profit on that sale is $250. If you convert at 10% then your target cost per lead can be no greater than $25 just to break even on your media, or deliver what is called a 1 to 1. Spend a dollar, make a dollar. So any media that delivers a cost per call or response under $25 is a winner.
Step Two: Match your media to your sales system.
Analyze your internal sales system. Do you generate most of your sales from your website? Do you have in-house sales people or a call center answering the phones? When do your best salespeople work? That will guide you to your media mix as to how much Television, Radio, Mobile or Internet you need to be doing.
Step Three: Make sure your creative is really a well-crafted Direct Response piece of advertising.
Direct Response advertising is a totally different animal than branded advertising. There are tried and tested formulas you need to adhere to. Hire a professional Direct Response agency. They will make sure you have the best creative and alert you to any copy that may hurt your response rates.
TV advertisements not working? Here are three simple ways to improve the overall response from your TV campaigns.
1.) Put the call to action up during the entire length of the ad. If it’s “Call now for a free quote” or “Visit our website,” give the viewer the most opportunity to respond to your spots.
2.) Make sure your advertising is benefit-driven and not feature focused. People need to know what’s in it for them right away. If you focus on being the #1 furniture store or car dealer, that does nothing to make the viewer want to respond. However, if you say “We guarantee upfront pricing. Save time. Save money. And rest assured you are getting the best price,” then that speaks to one of the benefits the customer may be looking for.
3.) Don’t pay too much for the spots. Advertising time is a commodity. It’s supply and demand. Many times all you need to do is turn down the first offer from the station. And rates will come down. You can also hire a professional agency that knows the rates that will perform. The can protect you from paying too much.
DX Media Direct
If you want to know the formula for successful Direct Response creative, here you go.
- Identify the problem: “Do you want to get high school skinny?” “Are creditors hounding you for collection?” “Do you need a second income?” Help the target customer know exactly who you are speaking to, and get their attention by grabbing them where they want a change, improvement or need a solution.
- Communicate and demonstrate the solution: “Now you can get high school skinny in 12 days.” “We help stop the creditors from calling.” “You will make more money than you imagined.” The next step is to show and tell what your product or service has to offer in simple, direct terminology.
- Establish credibility: People are smart. And they’ve been burned. So you need to be able to back up your claims. Legitimate testimonials work well. Any accreditations from third-party sources that support the benefits you are offering helps. Let the audience know they can trust you.
- Limit their risk: “Call now for a Free trial.” “You get a 100% money back guarantee plus we cover shipping.” The more you limit the consumers risk the more likely they are to try you out.
- Create a sense of urgency: You have to give your audience a reason to call or act now. That looks like… “Call or click to take advantage of our 48-hour 50% off promotion.” “This is a limited time offer.” “Supplies are limited so act now.” There are reasons you hear these familiar lines in almost every direct response offer: They get the consumer to respond.
- Give a clear call to action: Tell the consumer exactly how you want them to respond and make it easy. Show your phone number and give the website address often or keep it up during the entire length of your TV spot.
Use this formula and your spot will be successful more often. If you need help crafting your next spot and campaign, we would be honored to help.
Written by: Buddy Vaughn
I found most of these on marketingprofs.com. It’s a fantastic site if you want to get the latest marketing trends. I’ve added some tips of my own. But these will get you started in the right direction if you want to improve the performance of your website or landing page.
- A concise headline: This is the #1 most important element of your landing page. It needs to get attention, be benefit-focused and bring your customer in.
- An image or video: To effectively showcase a product, you need to show how to use it. Either demonstrate the product or service in a video, or take a picture of someone using it.
- A core benefit statement: What can your product or service do for the end user? Make them look 10 years younger? Make them have more energy? Give them confidence or sex appeal? Help them save time or money? They need to know up front what’s in it for them.
- Request for contact information: Make it simple. Make it easy. But find a way to reach them and follow up if they are interested in what you have to offer.
- A strong call to action: Give the end user good, solid reasons to act now.
- Build trust: Your landing page should give solid reasons for them to trust you. Testimonials, third-party reviews and associations work here.
- Social sharing devices: Make it easy for them to share your opportunity in one click.
If you want to increase your conversion rates on your web-site then compare your performance to the industry standards. Review the competition. See how you stack up. Visit the top-performing sites and analyze what you could change to perform more like the better performing sites on the web. Here are some categories to compare. From Google’s Top 5 industries (Google Search or Pay Per Click.)
- Finance: Top 5 advertisers = State Farm, Geico, Quicken Loan, Capital One & Bank of America. Avg. cost per click = $3.09. Avg. Conversion Rate for this category = 6.12%
- Travel: Top 5 advertisers = Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Priceline.com & Kayak.com. Avg. cost per click = $.029. Avg. Conversion Rate = 1.45%
- Shopping: Top 5 advertisers = Amazon.com, ebay, JCP, Walmart, Sears. Avg. cost per click= $.025. Avg. Conversion rate = 3.58%
- Jobs & Education: Top 5 advertisers = Univ. of Phoenix, Monster.com, ITT, DeVry, Kaplan University. Avg. cost per click = $1.80. Avg. Conversion rate = 6.09%
So how do you compare? What is your bounce rate? How does your conversion rates look? If you need help increasing the number of visitors to your site or improving your metrics, we would be glad to help.
Written by: Buddy Vaughn