5 Direct Response Marketing Tips for Better Campaigns
Direct response advertising is the most common and recognizable form of advertising there is. From coupons to billboards, consumers are inundated with ads on a daily basis so it takes more to be able to get them to act on purchasing your product or service. Before launching your next set of ads consider these five tips for creating more effective direct response campaigns and drive more business goals.
Know what you want to accomplish
Many business owners recognize that advertising is necessary to reach new sets of customers, but there are actually a surprising number of businesses that don’t have a marketing plan written down anywhere. If you are considering spending on advertising for the first time or looking to get more out of your existing campaigns, understanding what you are trying to accomplish is critical before making an investment.
Simply saying I want to sell more of my product is not going to cut it. Understand precisely what you are trying to accomplish. Is it to see a 20% increase in traffic to your website? Is it to reduce abandoned shopping carts by 10%? Knowing exactly what you are trying to accomplish makes it possible to draw a road map to get there.
What are the best ways to create these goals? There are several different frameworks you can utilize:
S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)
F.A.S.T. (Frequently Discussed, Ambitious, Specific, Transparent)
C.L.E.A.R. (Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable)
No matter what method you like to use, the most important aspect is going through the process of establishing what you want to get out of a campaign. You won’t know if you are successful if you can’t define what success looks like.
Audience determines channel
How do you determine where you should advertise? You need to first understand who your audience is and where they spend their time. Some business owners first instinct is to think about where they spend their time and advertise there. This can be an expensive mistake because unless you are a member of your target market, what you pay attention to may be very different from your best customers. Understand who your customer is first is paramount to a successful media campaign.
If you already have an existing customer base, ask them media they like to consume and where they spend their time. Running an email or social survey with existing customers can allow you to make a data-driven decision on where to advertise.
Quality creative matters but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune
We have all seen terrible ads (and I’m not talking about ones that are so bad that they are amazing). Ads that are uninspired and barely register for users.
Now consider the fact that there exist influencers with millions of followers who only use their smart device to record their content.
It isn’t just about how much you spend on your creative, but how that creative resonates with your target audience. Consumers on average have an 8-second attention span (down from 12 seconds back in 2000) which means as a brand it isn’t just enough to get your message in front of them. You need to grab and hold that attention from the beginning.
Ads should have an attention-grabbing beginning that is believable to an audience. Make it clear exactly what you are offering and if you can inject an element that they will enjoy (humor works particularly well).
Take as an example the team at Dollar Shave Club that were able to create an ad spot that would usually cost $50,000 for less than $5,000 that was able to garner them 4.75 million views. Great writing can allow you to get away with lower production costs.
A/B Test Everything
Not all messaging is created equal. Some messages are going to better for your target audience. Rather than investing all your resources into one message, start by running several different pieces of creative or messaging to see how your audience responds.
Running a test campaign on platforms like Facebook allows you to narrow in on the values and aspects of your products and services that users respond to most. With this information you can scale this campaign up to other larger platforms with confidence that your creative has been tested to perform.
Campaigns without tracking are like navigating without a compass
If you don’t have a way to track your campaign, how can you know if it is successful? Before you launch make sure that the goals you set can be measured and tracked.
For digital campaigns this means using utm codes or tracking software like Bit.ly to know what users are converting. For traditional forms of advertising like billboards or radio spots, having specific numbers to text or call allows you track which creative is driving them to action. Additionally, if your traffic is large enough, enlisting help from an agency with strong attribution tools can help you track through the noise of different channels to understand where you are getting a brand lift.