Straight Talk on Direct Response Marketing

People use all sorts of tricks to increase the response rates of their marketing pieces. In fact, the question I am asked most often is what type of response rate one can expect from using hand-addressed envelopes and other personalization techniques. What those who ask this question don’t realize is that there are so many moving parts to any marketing piece, that you must evaluate every part from the eyes of the person who will receive it. That’s why the response I typically give to this question is, “It depends on your offer.” Your job as a marketer is to get your message clearly understood by those to whom you are marketing. If your message is clearly understood, and the person has a need for what it is you are offering, then a response is generated and a sale is made. The problem with direct response marketing is that most messages are dead on arrival. You try to get cute with your envelope, while simultaneously trying to save a buck, and the recipient never even sees your message or comes close to trying to understand it. So before you can even evaluate your response rate, you must evaluate your method of delivery. Test your marketing piece by placing it in a pile of mail that someone would typically receive. Does your piece look like all the other garbage they receive? If so, it will be treated as such, joining the other pieces on a quick trip to the garbage can. However, once you can construct your piece in such a way that the customer will actually give it an honest look-over, then your message finally has a chance.

Giving your message the fair chance it deserves has everything to do with how it is delivered. If you are sending a message in a hand-addressed envelope, the recipient will obviously be intrigued enough to open it without any preconceived notions. Once you are able to pass this test of delivery, then it is up to your offer to do the rest of the work. The minute someone opens your envelope and pulls out your piece, they will be evaluating your message and deciding whether or not to respond. So, you must make sure that your message is real, understandable and valuable to those who see it. When constructing your important offer, first realize that your customers aren’t ignorant. Every so often, I receive notifications from a particular company that I just won a free trip to Florida. While you would think this offer is strong, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is something untrue and suspicious about the offer. Free went the way of the disco, so stop with the free offers. Even if you are truly giving something away for free, the chance that your customers will believe you is slim to none. So, when constructing your offer, stay honest, stay true, and stay believable. The easiest way to develop your offer is to start by developing your message. If you met a prospective customer at a cocktail party, and could only tell them one thing about what you do, what would it be? Don’t know?

Then this is the place you need to start before developing any marketing piece. So, how are you supposed to know what message will truly connect best with your prospects? Ask the customers who love you. Talk to those who have done business with you and ask them what they would tell someone else about your company. Chances are they will have great things to say you haven’t even thought of. For instance, let’s say you host free seminars about something most people wouldn’t leave their house to hear more about. I guarantee that those who have attended these seminars learned a great deal. What was it they learned? What words would they use if they were telling a friend or a neighbor about your seminar? Their words are pure marketing gold for you to help develop a real message to use in your marketing piece. Using real life examples like this is the quickest and easiest way to communicate a message to a prospective customer. Instead of resorting to hype and false promises, you can keep it short and sweet – a real message for a real response. When you combine a nice, clean message with a personal delivery method for your marketing piece, true understanding merges. By letting customers see and understand your offer, you will undoubtedly maximize your response rates.

Future Marketing Trends

These are just a few observations I’ve made from a lot of research, reading and taking an objective standpoint regarding issues that will directly affect marketing trends in the future.

Originality and creativity will provide the key to success:

- Digital marketing is becoming more prominent within the industry and is becoming more heavily relied on by marketers and web designers to achieve their online objectives and make their campaign strategies successful.

- Creating empathy using the creativity of design and the implementation of this creativity to emphasise with behavioural patterns of consumer will be vital to enable the five impulses that are associated with sales.

Keyword orientated marketing will continue to flourish:

- Providing a clear path to increase the return of investment for customers will be vital, illustrating exactly what you have achieved and the potential benefits to the customers business will be key to separating your services from another. As competition within the market continues to increase so will the demand for the keywords with the highest search volumes. Naturally this rise in demand will have an impact on the cost of each search lead therefore the need for providers to illustrate precisely which links the customers are coming from will be further emphasised.

- Juniper Research juniperresearch.com concludes that cost per click inflation will fluctuate to 20% across all markets for 2009. This figure will steadily remain constant throughout 2010 due to the shift in behavioural trends by business owners gradually accepting the need to focus their remaining spending power on online marketing resources.

- The fact that such qualified leads can now be pre determined before you pay for your ad by power advertisers such as Google and Facebook has created a competitive market for business to compete for certain demographics on Facebook and Key Phrases on Google. As long as it suits your product or target market I cannot emphasise enough the necessity to have a clear marketing strategy for both of the providers if you are seriously looking for the best return of investment online.

Optimising conversion figures will be the route to marketer’s success:

- For the online marketer these days the hard parts over. The business owners and clients are starting to knock on our doors as they seek see the massive growth potential from the implementation of strategic campaigns online. However the hard part is reaching an understanding with your provider as to what your actual goal is and setting reasonable objectives in respect to your investment. People are spending online and this is increasing at rapid rates for every industry year in year out and this is one trend that will inevitably continue for the foreseeable future. If you are paying for and receiving traffic from advertising and your figures are not resulting in the sales figures that you forecast, then something is wrong. It could be time for a review of your design, your content, Ease of site use or simply concentrating on strengthening your brand credentials. Point being there’s always numerous tactics you could be applying or applying more successfully if you take advice from a skilled online marketer.

- It is vital for you as a customer or even a provider to evaluate, analyse and measure all of your results and document them in way that is easily accessible to your cause. You must then illustrate the value to the consumer of the changes that have been made to solidify your position as a worthwhile spending output for the business in order to encourage repeat purchases or continued use of the services that you provide.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) will become more competitively negotiated:

-The biggest companies in the world are focusing in excess of 70% of their entire marketing budgets on CPA Media. This impressive increase has been supported by the constant influx of small businesses focusing their marketing efforts online. The shift in demand has forced the whole CPA model to become more widely negotiated, especially as there are plenty of alternative services to any particular solution chosen by a business online.

- Another aspect of this shift has been encouraged by the worldwide economic slump. This has forced an emphasis on the importance of direct response rather than the development of brand management. This is one of the principal reasons why more and more advertisers are focusing on this model.

Security and Privacy issues will continue to be of vital importance:

- In the UK particularly they have been a number of breaches of security issue recently and online fraud and deception remains a constant issue for marketers online. Therefore the need to focus on offering a secure platform to conduct business is vital. In addition to this maintaining all privacy of data will obviously be of paramount importance.

- Many overlook these issues and simply lose customers who eliminate you from their buying possibilities solely on the payment processor that you use or the method of conducting business that you have chose. Getting this correct in respect to your market is key. Those who get this wrong can witness a negativity aspect on your brand and there are other consequences for those that get this wrong.

There will be more emphasis on Qualative Analytics:

- Having the knowledge of understanding what users are doing on your site is a luxury but actually understanding and analysing the behavioural patterns of your traffic will become crucial to moving the business forward, thus helping ensure better decision making based on the findings of your results. Have a look at Facebooks analytic tools and another great example is Google analytics google.com/analytics which offers a number of options to help you understand the basics to the nature of this theory. Once you’re familiar with those give me a shout if you want to really take this to the next level.

- A few more basic platforms to provide you with some initial respect with this concept will be including:

..User surveys, email questionnaire, internal search analysis, user compatibility, customers service forums, FAQ’s, feedback options. A to B multivariate testing, eye tracking and click density analysis.

- All this and more will become essential tasks however seemingly menial as they will establish the information needed to understand your qualative data that will optimise your ROI. It’s all about reviewing your strategy and making informed decisions based on your analytical findings; this is what will ensure you maintain consistent growth in results.

Mobile Advertising will flourish:

- Mobile companies have been concentrating greatly on their efforts to create a more sustainable advertising platform from their handheld devices as a way to extract more cash from their customers. As mobile technology continues to improve the advertising capabilities will get better and their place in the advertising world will become clearer and more apparent to business owners and consumers.

- We will also see a rise in the phenomenon that is Bluetooth marketing and again we will have to see what direction the mobile companies choose to orientate themselves towards regarding this. However early signs are indicating great potential for this services especially for small business with low spending power.

- Google and Facebook and other browsers are working hard to ensure they are fully compatible for this in the future. If the fact that they are taking the venture so seriously doesn’t convict you to start taking this into consideration for the future of your company, then I don’t know what will.

Localised search services importance will explode:

- The main reason why this will happen is due to the fact that search engine and browsers will need this conceptual process to improve. This is due to three main reasons: 1) Improves the relevance of results 2) Advertising can be more accurately targeted 3) It allows search engines to focus on local businesses as well as maintaining their stranglehold on national businesses.

- Browsers like Mozilla, Yahoo and Google are continuing to offer searches based on demographic analytics and searches focusing on IP locators. This is simply to offer searches to help gear advertising in terms of the specifics of the consumer demand.

- RSS newsfeeds will continue to gain importance through the mainstream:

- Really Simple Syndication or better known as the acronym RSS is simply good for communications involved with online marketing. It provides marketers with 100% deliverability and ensures a qualified audience from the results. All RSS capabilities will compatible for the changes that will emerge from the launch of the Internet Explorer 8 browser so it’s interest and growth is likely to continue.

- Advantages of RSS: 1) Users will only receive contact from those that they personally subscribe to, so it decreases the prospect of receiving any spam, if spam does occur then simply relieve your subscription. 2) Users can develop specific segmentations of newsfeeds so that you will only obtain information on the topics chosen that relate to your objectives. 3) There are many platforms you can obtain newsfeeds from: mobile, email, your browsers, desktop. This puts the user into pole position so the user is in control and therefore a more qualified prospect than email.

The Google Algorithm will continue to apply user behaviour metrics:

- Search results are affected directly by click through rates and bounce rates are also relevant. In the process of time websites that perform badly in respect to Google’s algorithm will be downgraded in the search results whilst well performing websites will be pushed up in the results. With a billion search results everyday coming from Google, there is no comparison in terms for importance for everyone. However niches can be found for certain markets in relevantly targeted markets

Notebooks will impact Net Design:

- The fact is that notebooks are increasing in sales and prominence within the laptop market. In 2009 they are looking to account for over 10% of the laptop market. This trend looks set to continue throughout 2010/11, so designers will be compelled to accommodate for the capacity of the screens. A more accomplished designed will de demanded and the ‘screen estate’ must be used more economically in order to alleviate this issue.

User Generated Content is vital for future consideration:

Studies imply that people are more likely to trust recommendations in comparison to trusting a website or an advertisement. That is why trustatrader.com and ratedpeople.com and other similar alternatives are gaining more momentum in terms of marketing for businesses. It is suggested that up to 80% trust recommendations rather than adverts so it’s time to seriously consider getting some testimonials and feedback forums implemented into your site. What’s more, don’t just put them there, you need to promote them and encourage people to generate their own user content, with incentives and other ventures.

Why Direct Response Advertising Is Less Effective In Your Home Business!

If you are still using direct response advertising in growing your home
business, you may not go far in terms of being successful because there are
more proven and powerful methods of building your home business.

Direct response advertising are the advertising that comes directly to the
consumers of a product with a hyped up sales pitch for the prospects to buy.

The medium that these methods of marketing is used can be seen in the TV
infomercials, Google AdWords, and Ezine advertising.

I want you to know that these methods are proven means to sell any products
of your choice. It worked at the inception of the internet. It is still
working in our day. However, presently the effectiveness of using this method has plummeted considerably.

For instance, if you try using Google AdWords to sell a product, you
will find out that most times you find it difficult to break even on your
campaign, besides dumping thousands of dollars in PPC fees each month.

This is because even though you use highly focused and targeted keywords to
drive the right prospects to your website, these prospects do not buy because they have an array of choices to make, and do not truly know a reliable and
genuine company that may have the quality of products that will actually
solve their problems.

So they simply take a look at your website, click on the back button and
proceed to the next similar product.

Granted, sometimes you have people buying your products, however statistics
have shown that it is becoming more difficult to get 1 out of every 100
targeted people to buy your products using PPC.

I’m honestly in no way condemning the use of PPC to advertise your home
products, what I’m only doing is trying to show you the true picture and also let you know that there is a way you can use PPC profitably instead of
using direct response advertising to get buyers for any products you may be
selling.