Direct Response

Direct marketing generally, and direct response advertising specifically, is the fastest way for companies to get clicks, calls and customers.

Which means you should be pitching direct response campaigns to clients.

And using direct techniques to build your business.

The objective of a direct response ad is to trigger an action that leads to a sale. There are many direct response techniques to accomplish that objective, and the most important is the offer.

There are two characteristics that influence the effectiveness of your direct response offer, one is strength and the other is relevance.

Strength:
"25% off" is stronger than "10% off." "Win a new Toyota 4 Runner" is stronger than "Win a digital camera."

Relevance:
A free brochure offering "10 Ways to preserve the resale value of your new car" is more relevant to people shopping for automobile financing than, "10 ways to protect your good credit."

Creative tip: Be sure to get your offer up front - in the headline or subhead. Put it at the top of the mailer or email. And support it with photos and visuals.

Repeat the call to action several times in your direct response TV commercial or radio spot. Use color and typography to emphasize your 800 toll-free order number. Give readers multiple ways to respond: phone, fax, email, mail or www.

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Here two of the most effective types of direct response offers:

Save money
This offer works well all around the world, in Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. And it can be expressed in some interesting ways:

- Pay half now, nothing later.
- 50% off.
- Two for the price of one sale.

Free
There are all sorts of things you can give for free. Free shipping is almost required for web orders. There's the popular free consultation. Free sample product. Or free information, which is a great way to get sales leads, to build a database of prospects. Free info can be packaged as:

- DVD, VHS or CD.
- Brochure or .PDF download.
- Workshop or seminar, online or in-person.

Creative tip: Spend time, lots of time, brainstorming offers.

There are always new and effective offers to be found, even in seemingly tired product categories.

Capital One invented the balance transfer offer in credit cards, which helped propel them to Fortune 200 status.

General Motors invented the "employee discount for everyone" offer, which was so successful that it was copied by all the other major car makers. And after slipping into bankruptcy, GM offered a 60 day "TRY IT. LOVE IT. OR RETURN IT" guarantee. Now that's a compelling offer.

Creative tip: Different people respond to different offers. In other words, one offer does not sell everyone in your target audience, your database.

And besides testing new offers, be sure to test new ways to express old offers:

- Half off.
- Save 50%
- Instant $14 rebate at check out.

For more on direct response advertising, click here now:

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