Ad Cracker

Creative Direct Response

Direct marketing generally, and direct response advertising specifically, is the fastest way for most 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.

Let's start with the basics

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, but by far the the most important is the offer.

There are two main characteristics that influence the effectiveness of a direct response offer, strength and relevance.


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


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: Get your offer up front, in the headline, subhead, lead or opening.

Direct response

Here are two of the most effective 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.


There are many things you can offer for free. Free shipping clicks with web shoppers. There's the popular free product sample. And free information, which is a great way to get sales leads, to build a database of prospects.

Free info is at the core of SEO and content marketing. Plus, you can offer that free info is a variety of ways:

- YouTube video, DVD or Flash drive.

- Brochure or .PDF download.

- Workshop or seminar, online or in-person.

- Blog or social media post.

Direct Response

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 500 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 that, GM offered a 60 day "TRY IT. LOVE IT. OR RETURN IT" guarantee. Now that's a compelling offer.