An Insider's Look Into Direct Response

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An Insider's Look Into Direct Response

The onset of technology like social media gave any average person the world's platform for marketing themselves. Words like "marketing and branding" became popular with the appearance of sites like MySpace and Facebook. The typical person was put into the fundamental world of marketing and have gone with it since.

But marketing and branding are often all we hear when it comes to promoting a business. Few people know about the power and responsiveness of direct response. Even less know of it by name. Direct response it a type of marketing that takes into account what people actually do in "response" to media or an advertisement.

This is what this post speaks about. In this branch of marketing, the marketer's objective is to set up a campaign where overall response rates can be tracked. The reason this is possible is through what's called a "call to action." A call to action is a point within an ad or other media where viewers are asked to do something.

The specific action is important but not as important as is the basic equation it creates. All call to actions enable a population to be analyzed based on how many people responded versus how many people didn't. This is why it's called direct response, and why it's one of the most powerful ways to advertise anywhere.

Tracking Response

We've covered the basics of tracking response and how it occurs. A marketer first starts off with a set population. That population can be 300 people who give them email addresses at a convention. It can also be a population of 30,000 who signed up for a newsletter and gave their emails in exchange for it.

No matter what type of media used for a direct response campaign, a central population must be taken into account. The next step for that population, when undergoing the process of direct response, is to see a call to action. From there you have all the fundamentals needed in strategizing for direct response.

Technology has taken this ability of the direct response marketer and enhanced it tenfold. It's done with analytics. Think of things 20 years ago when the primary source of reading was in print media. Other than the sale of print material, tracking the reader's interest, level of passion, demographic or location couldn't be done.

Analytics closes that gap among many other things. Marketers can now find out how a person ended up with their media and even their level of engagement with a certain piece of media. The power in the direct response marketer is increased and taken to higher levels than ever before with analytics. The same can happen for you.


Persuasion almost becomes a cliché when unqualified professionals suggest it's necessary to convert sales online. But in direct response, persuasion is the result of great sums of information being used to develop strategy. Many marketers confuse persuasion with slick talk and witty words. But that's not persuasion at heart.

When taking the approach that persuasion is anything but strategy, you often get exaggerations, a lot of hype and outrageous promises that become impossible to follow through on. The only way to avoid this as a direct response marketer is to base your persuasive tactics on in-depth strategy.

In others words, using strategy lets you become as persuasive as possible and on the basis of real psychology. This enables emotions to peak, interests to build and for any argument to be logically supported. Strategy lets the online direct response marketer think ten steps ahead of their prospects instead of toying with them.

Strategy allows persuasion to avoid making prospects feel like they were taken advantage of or sold poor goods. It creates a stronger rapport and allows consumers to reach their peaked states of desires that ultimately lead them to buy. This only happens effectively when using strategy as the basis of your persuasion.

Targeting An Audience

Direct response marketers are notorious for being able to find exactly who the right person for a product or service is. The process of doing so is called targeting. Targeting is the simple steps of narrowing down the ideal type of person who would buy and the type of circumstances they face daily.

Gathering this information is pivotal for an effective direct response campaign. Before these kinds of marketers begin creating advertisements or strategizing concepts, they first try to understand their ideal audience as much as possible.

The questions these marketers ask include the pain their prospects have, the transformation they must undergo, what their lives are like and even how the specific target may speak to friends and family. Every bit of information to collect is important. Once the target audience is identified, then the major task begins.

The first step after targeting the right audience is to then adapt a strategy. This step is accomplished with more ease as the marketer can now identify who they're speaking to and what makes them tick. This allows a technical person to speak to untechnical people if he understands that to be whom they are. Targeting is the key.

Managing Cost When Running Ads

Managing costs is the main reason behind why direct response marketers track the response they get. The equation is simple. For every letter, email or blog post sent to a population, there are costs involved. It costs money to send out stamps, to run email automation and to host ads online. The work of the marketer is then clear.

The task is to reduce the costs needed to operate active ads. There's only one way the direct response marketer knows how to do this. It's done with a process called testing. Testing happens when a small number of ads are sent out and in order to gauge how effective certain advertisements are.

A bad response tells the professional marketer to keep working and to hone their strategy. A great response tells the marketer that they've done something right, and that the ad will cover its own cost with sells.

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