Direct marketing strategies are responsible for building many of the greatest fortunes in the world. Today you see direct marketing (also known as direct response advertising) at work in the world of mail-order, TV infomercials, etc., as well as in ‘ordinary’ businesses, such as retail stores, fitness facilities, and restaurants.
Direct response advertising by definition:
1) Directly asks for a particular, specific, and (almost always) immediate or by a date certain response.
2) It offers a specific reason; usually incentive for that response – i.e. Makes an offer.
If not explicitly doing those two things, it is NOT Direct-Response Advertising.
For example, an ad with a picture of a Buick and a website is not a direct-response ad. It did not present an explicit reason to go to the site nor any incentive to go to it. It made no explicit offer.
For it to be a Direct-Response Ad, it would have to say something like this: “Go to www.Buick.com and take the 17-minute Test Drive with NASCAR’s dana Patrick as your driving coach by june 22 and you’ll be automatically entered in a drawing with a top prize of 2 tickets to the NASCAR Awards dinner at Dana’s table.”
Direct Marketing by definition DIRECTLY connects to the consumer and directly connects the consumer to the marketer, including the capture of the consumer’s contact information, putting the consumer into an organized, step-by-step process culminating with a (yes/no) purchase decision or through such steps into an appointment with a salesperson and/or a physical sales location and event.
If you’re doing something other than this or doing this in a mix of other things simultaneously, giving behavioral options to the consumer, you are NOT doing direct marketing.
If, for example, you are depositing people into a website with multiple paths and freedom to roam about and look at this or that or something else, you do not have a direct marketing website.
1. Nothing can be done or evaluated without calculating the costs of invested time.
2. We are not in the entertainment or information giving business.
We are in the business of selling things, not entertaining, informing, educating in advance of and in hopes of eventually, someday selling something.
We have a great story to tell, reputation in place to leverage, proven results for customers, etc., therefore, we do not have to give away everything for free.
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3. We are doing “pull’ (not ‘push’) marketing.
This means direct-response marketing, not brand building.
Direct-response marketing is engineered to demand and get immediate response, and to be held accountable for that result.
Whatever brand identity building gets done, it will be the side benefit of selling.
However, we will maintain a level of Foundational Communication with all customers and unconverted leads. It will include constancy, frequency, and lead generation/lead regeneration. But nothing we put out will be pure “push,” telling people who we are, what we do, how great we are, etc., without “pull” (asking for an action).
4. We will tag and track every lead by source.
This will be done to accurately monitor differential conversion rates, transaction sizes, and value over months, constantly adjusting our investment accordingly. Guess less and strive to know more and more.
5. We will never abandon a direct-response method until a better replacement has been proven and perfected.
You must continue to focus on the marketing method that brings the greatest ROI. Avoid chasing shiny new objects.
Spend at least as much time and energy leveraging and improving what works as you do on new experiments.
Don’t cast aside proven methods that are working and have worked for you in the past. Stay true to the methods you can measure.
6. Move prospects into the bestselling situation.
This might be going from online to offline marketing (sending direct mail) or getting people from email to in-person selling situations (one-to-one, group closing, or seminars).
7. Do not be swayed by popular ideas, methods, or fads without proof.
You can’t be close-minded, but there’s no reason to be an early adopter. Stick to what works and what you are doing well… and what you can measure.
You do not need to do or use everything that is available to you, especially if many of these available things have not been proven effective.
Focus on marketing that leads directly to a sale. That is the Holy Grail.