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Direct response marketing is a particular branch of marketing that gives small businesses a cut through and a competitive edge on a small budget. It’s designed to ensure you get a return on investment that is measurable.
It’s focused on the specific problem of the prospect and aims to solve these problems with education and specific solutions. It is also the only real way for a small business to affordably reach the consciousness of a prospect.
Direct response marketing is designed to evoke an immediate response and compel prospects to take some specific action, such as opting into your email list, picking up the phone and calling for more information, placing an order or being directed to a web page.
It’s trackable. That is when someone responds, you know which ad and which media was responsible for generating the response.
It’s measurable. Since you know which ads are being responded to and how many sales you’ve received from each one, you can measure exactly how effective each ad is. You then drop or change ads that are not giving you a return on investment.
It uses compelling headlines and sales copy. Direct response marketing has a compelling message of strong interest to your chosen prospects. It uses attention-grabbing headlines with strong sales copy that is “salesmanship in print”.
It targets a specific audience or niche. Prospects within specific verticals, geographic zones or niche markets are targeted.
It makes a specific offer. Usually, the ad makes a specific value-packed offer. Often the aim is not necessarily to sell anything from the ad but to simply get the prospect to take the next action, such as requesting a free report.
It demands a response. Direct response advertising has a “call to action,” compelling the prospect to do something specific.
It includes multi-step, short-term follow-up. In exchange for capturing the prospect’s details, valuable education and information on the prospect’s problem are offered. The information should carry with it a second “irresistible offer” – tied to whatever next step you want to prospect to take, such as calling to schedule an appointment or coming into the showroom or store.
It incorporates maintenance follow-up of unconverted leads. People who don’t respond within the short-term follow-up period may have many reasons for not “maturing” into buyers immediately.
The Three Phases of the Marketing Journey
Before >> Status: Prospect >> Goal: Get them to know you and indicate interest
The successful completion of this phase results in the prospect knowing who you are and indicating interest.
During >> Status: Lead >> Goal: Get them to like you and buy from you for the first time
The successful completion of this phase results in the prospect buying from you for the first time.
After >> Status: Customer >> Goal: Get them to trust you, buy from you regularly and refer new business to you
We label people in this phase as customers. The after phase never actually ends and, when executed correctly, results in a virtuous cycle where the customer buys from you repeatedly and is such a fan of your products or services that they consistently recommend you and introduce you to new prospects.
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