How to Generate a Direct Response
October 10.2013
Archived under: Marketing,  Branding 

A growing number of folks despise fast food commercials for the fact that they promote a product that could lead to obesity and other issues. But to be clear, it's not the commercial that is bad. The product may not be the best for your health, but the ad? Well, that's top notch. 

Let me clarify. When you're sitting in front of the television and you see a larger-than-life juicy burger oozing with cheese and loaded up with bacon, you know exactly what the advertiser wants you to do. You may even want to do it. That's the basic idea behind direct response advertising.

Not every brand has the luxury of being a household name, though. When you see a Burger King commercial, the ad doesn't have to tell you where to go or who to call; chances are, you know where there's a restaurant nearby. So, sometimes, direct response advertisements have to be a little more literal, and this applies to ads whether they appear on television, online or in print.

Some basic rules of direct response advertising:

1. Make an Offer. Offers with deadlines tend to work best because they create a sense of urgency. Act now or it'll be gone forever. Your offer should explain why customers will want to buy your product or subscribe to your service. Focus on “what's in it for them” instead of how awesome you think your brand may be. What's in it for folks watching the burger commercials? Instant, albeit sinfully indulgent, satisfaction.

2. Use strong language. Fortune favors the bold, and so do consumers. You only have a few seconds to grab your audience's attention, so don't mince words.

3. Give clear instructions. If you execute the offer perfectly, but don't tell people how to redeem it, you've lost them. Want them to click a link? Pick up the phone? Visit your website? Spell it out.

4. Measure and react. Don't get attached to any one idea. If you put something out there that doesn't seem to be working (low click-through rate or lead generation), make some changes. It could be something as simple as one word that is throwing people off. Never stop testing.

Now, check out this Burger King commercial and tell me you aren't craving a burger.

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