Direct Response Marketing
It isn’t uncommon for people to have heard the phrase ‘direct response marketing’, but most people don’t know what that phrase means. By definition, direct response marketing is when a business practices promotions that allow or ask consumers to immediately respond to an advertisement that has been sent by mail, email, telephone, fax or other form of communication. Everyone with a mailbox or email address has probably received an advertisement that fits the definition of direct response marketing but immediately identifies it as ‘junk’ and throws it into the recycle box or clicks on the delete button. There are very few direct response marketing efforts that actually produce the desired results and set themselves apart from the mass of discarded attempts. These efforts are the result of carefully planned direct response marketing campaigns that most likely followed a basic but important list of guidelines in order to be successful.
Some research is essential before attempting any type of direct marketing campaign. There are a number of ‘experts’ that can guide a direct marketing campaign toward a target audience based on the product that is being sold or the service that is being offered. There is no point in launching a blind direct response marketing campaign and reaching hundreds of uninterested individuals.
No one spends much time glancing at what could eventually be considered junk mail. A direct response marketing message should be short and to the point within the first sentence of any letter. If a letter attempting to evoke a response does not make its point in the first sentence of a letter, it was not worth sending out in the first place. If the letter has made its point, it isn’t necessary to get long winded about the features that come with or may come about as the result of a product or service. People want to know how something will be of benefit to them and nothing else. If a product saves a person time or improves their quality of life in some way, that is the type of thing that should be pointed out in a short and to the point letter.
The more personal a direct response marketing campaign can be the better. If a person feels like a letter is directed specifically at them, they are more likely to take a look at the correspondence than an obvious form letter that was most likely sent out to thousands of other people. Keep in mind that a direct response marketing effort is the first step toward arousing interest in a person. The next step is for the individual to make a phone call or return a response of some kind. Sales are a completely different ball game.
Studies in direct response marketing have uncovered some interesting tips that can improve the way a letter is written to any target audience. People don’t like to be challenged when reading complicated ideas and language in unsolicited communication, so the wording in any letter should be simple and easy to understand. Research has also shown that most people scan a letter and read the postscript at the end before reading the entire letter. This provides an excellent opportunity for direct response marketing writers to reiterate their offer or request and to rouse interest.
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