The 11 Advantages
of Direct Response Marketing
Lets lay the foundation for direct response with these thoughts11 advantages11 reasons why it works.
Direct response is an ACTION medium. It invites response. It encourages it. It almost demands attention. Youre supposed to DO something. Take some action. It is not a passive medium. It is more than general advertising, more than information and education.
More than awareness, position, and image building. You are to call the 800 number. Mail the response card. Visit the trade show. Complete the order form. Direct response is an action, a "do" tool.
Direct response is MEASURABLE. Because it is action oriented, it is measurable. You can count the reply cards and the coupons. The number of inbound 800-number calls received asking for your FREE offer or other information. Or, see a sales rep for a live demonstration.
How many purchase orders came in todays mail? How many checks and credit card orders were received? Unlike other media, which rely on estimated reach and frequency figures, you know exactly what happened. You know where your leads and order came fromand you know the cost.
Direct response is FLEXIBLE. It can serve as a support tool with general advertising and/or public relations. As part of a sales promotion program. Or, it can go alonebeing the only technique used. It can be the channel of distribution, a mail-order medium, or can work to generate leads or to build traffic.
Direct response is VERSATILE. You can do many things with itsend a basic letter/envelope/reply card format, a catalog, a 3-D package. Theres almost no limit to the size, shape, format, content, or design of your direct mail. (There are some post office regulations, which youll do well to become familiar with, but you do have lots of leeway.)
There are few creative bounds to your print/space program or television campaign. Only your imagination limits what you might dream up to accomplish with direct response. And you can vary your message and method of distribution to suit your timing, audience segments, offer, objectives, and budget.
Direct response is a SELECTIVE target medium. Not mass marketing, where the measure is numbers alone. But with direct response, very specific. By selection of the best list for mail and phone marketing. The vertical or special interest magazine, newspaper, newsletter.
Direct response is discriminating. It is not random, but targeted. It allows and encourages response from groups most carefully selected.
Direct response is PERSONAL. The most pleasing sound known to people is the sound of their own name. A name gives identity, a sense of being. Especially direct mail and the telephone, which allow for personal contact with your audiences.
It encourages personalization not available with any other media. You can communicate to each individual in your carefully targeted group and talk to them by name.
Direct response is CONFIDENTIAL. Only you know who you have selected from your telephone or mailing list. Its not easy for your competition to know what youre up to. You can make your message personal, one-on-one to your best prospects and customers. Direct mail and the telephone allow this intimacy.
Direct response is PERSUASIVE. Persuasion is a sales word. Marketing is selling to your audience, so to be effective, direct response must be persuasive. When you use direct response marketing techniques you are putting sales and marketing together, working as a team. To convince your target group that what you have to offer is what they need to fulfill their needs. And prove that now is the time to take action.
Direct response is ECONOMICAL. It is cost-effective because you select and talk to only those most likely to respond, to buy what you are offering. With very little waste because you target, using mail, vertical print, and the telephone. Your message is being received by those most likely to be interested in what you have to say.
Direct response is a TESTING tool. It allows you to test mailing lists against each other. And against offers. It allows you to test offers against each other. And mailing lists.
Offers can also be tested in print or with telemarketing or on television. The response rates from each segment of each test can be statistically measured to aid you in your decision makingin getting to the best bottom line. In determining which audience, which offer, which package will earn you the best results.
Direct response is EFFECTIVE. It is effective because it is a $ales tool! It is designed to get a lead, an order, to build traffic. It either gets a sale itself, as in mail order, or it leads to the sale, as in lead generation.
Mail order business-to-business is big business today. Most business books, tapes, and other training aids are sold using direct response marketing techniques. Office and computer supplies are effectively, efficiently, and profitably sold through direct response.
Direct response techniques are also used effectively for lead generation. For both consumer and business programs. A considerable sum is totalled each year by fund-raisers using direct mail, the press, broadcast, and the telephone. Many with storefronts, small and large companies, local and national, use direct marketing to build traffic through their doors.
Through all direct response there is a common thread, a single denominator, no matter what your product, your service, or the tools you use: A.F.T.O. Asking for the order is what makes it effective. When you use direct mail, print, phone, collateral, sales materials, radio, televisionsolo or in combinationin direct response there is always an A.F.T.O. Which is why it works, why it is effective!