There are more options
today to sell your product direct to the consumer
public than ever before. So many options that it can
be overwhelming. Different approaches … but all focused
on the same goals: how to achieve best return on investment
ROI, grow your market and expand your business.
Direct response marketing
is a highly specialized arena with great rewards for
success and great risk of failure. It is:
Very fast paced
Needs daily monitoring
Requires on-going sales analysis
Calls for quick changes in direction
And is, in essence, your storefront*
*We'll talk about getting
the most from your website in our next article.
After 20 years of strategic marketing
in broad client categories and media buying in all
formats, we’ll share some of our most successful DR
techniques. Marketing tips and advice for a business
entering the market or a new product launch using
direct response. Our best advice:
There are many cost elements you must
cover: Product cost, production expenses, marketing
costs, media vehicles, call center fees, order fulfillment,
etc. All factors should be measured and weighed, optimizing
your marketing efforts in order to maximize profit.
Test Price Point and Offer:
Do you know your market ... really know your market?
Who is your best prospect? (age, income, gender, geography)
Who is your competition?
What is the sales potential?
What price point needed to reach break-even?
When do you make a profit?
What is the sales potential?
Is your product subject to seasonality?
What price will the market respond to and call?
These type of questions should be worked
out in your Business Plan and Marketing Plan before
you begin. Internet research can supply invaluable
information to answer many of these issues. Do the
research in the early stages or hire a professional
consultant in your field to help you navigate through
Even with expert guidance, testing is
still key. If you talk with a direct marketing consultant
and they don't recommend testing .. re-think your
choice of marketing professionals. Testing provides
a roadmap with many of the variables worked out. Yes,
you’re eager. You know you have a winning product.
Slow down. Testing can save you time, frustration
and a lot of money. Serious money.
Testing in a smaller
area gives you an opportunity to work out all the
bugs while you are risking less money. Test different
aspects of the offer to see which produces the greatest
results. If sales are good in a small area, they will
only be better on a larger scale. If your product
isn't selling in the small area at the rate you need
to be efficient .. go back and change different elements
of the offer until it does pay-out. Then expand into
larger areas or add other media vehicles.
Don't let anyone sell you on advice
to put a large percentage of your budget into production.
Keep production costs down to allow more money for
media placement. Yes, you want good quality .. but
you can achieve both within a reasonable budget.
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determine the direct response vehicles that fit your
product, budget and goals best:
Niche marketing special-interest Magazines
Targeted Radio Promotions
Direct Mail Offers and Telephone Follow-Up
Direct Response Television DR TV
Interactive media and combo-buys
Article: How to Buy DR Television Media Time
Don't leave out the internet when selling
Product Websites with Secure Shopping Carts
Highly visible E-Zines and Newsletters
On-line stores (selling through E-Bay, Amazon)
Product auctions, new product showcases
Opt-in E-Mail campaigns
Publicity through special interest Forums
Pay-Per-Click Advertising campaigns
Choose media vehicles that provide
the best combination of Reach (how
many people will hear/see your message) and Frequency
(how many times they will see/hear it). You need a
balance for a successful campaign which often requires
a combination of media.
Test Media with smaller
Test in a controlled test market environment to determine
closing ratios and rates of CPL (cost per lead or
inquiry) versus CPA (cost per sale).
Whether it's print .. radio .. TV (cable, spot, snydication),
start small and cost-efficient.
Test the Offer Response
Direct response marketing campaigns always
have an immediate “call to action.” The offer invites
prospects to call to order, visit your website, redeem
this coupon, return a postcard for more information
… directing you to take some form of action. They
offer a convenient way to buy and have a sense of
urgency to Act Now!
So, you've got your media selected,
but do you have a Website? Do
it .. now. Your website needs to be
a core part of your direct response marketing campaign.
Other forms of media should always cross-promote your
A well-thought out
and optimized website
provides the perfect companion to media testing of
your offer. Results to change are so immediate and
testing is less expensive. Once you have good traffic
flow to your site, you can change your offer in seconds
and evaluate the results in days. Tweak different
aspects of your product offer until you have the right
Remember that in addition to pricing and shipping
offers, web site layout
with user friendly navigation, professional-quality
graphics and ease of ordering will all affect your
on-line closing ratio. Lay the foundation for your
new product success. Make sure that all
the pieces fit.
Beyond Media … Test Systems:
Before you buy media in larger areas or roll-out to
network advertising, make sure all your systems are
in place and working properly. Are your fulfillment
operations handling progressively increasing order
size effectively? Is your Call
Center top notch and closing ratios reasonable?
They’re usually getting paid per call – you’re only
getting paid per sale.
article: Getting the Most from Call Center Testing
Beyond testing …
You’ve done your homework. You’ve tested. You’ve worked
out the details. You’re set. Or are you? If something
is not working, fix it now. There are many elements
that you can test to fine-tune your marketing efforts.
With … a smaller audience … less risk of budget dollars,
and …the best chance for success on a larger scale.
There is no question that Direct Marketing
can introduce products to the consumer marketplace
fast and more efficiently than traditional forms of
With great rewards and many risks, give yourself every
competitive advantage for success in Direct Response
Have a new product?
about new product launch from a new product introduction