Direct Response Ad Agency – Simple Basics of Direct Response Advertising

What is the difference between a direct response ad agency and a “normal ad agency”? A direct response ad agency can provide you advertising campaigns that will generate an actual trackable “direct response” from the given advertisement. Typically, it requires a “media impression” to the client, which can be some of the following:

DRTV Spots, short form which is a 120 second TV commercial or a long form with is a 30 minute TV Commerical
PPC Ads or Pay Per Click Advertisements on Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Bing
Direct Mail Postcards or Direct Mail Letters
Display Ads or Online Banner Advertisements
Social Media Direct Response Content
And much more…..

The direct response ad agency will provide the creative concept so that the ads that are created because the user will do something like pick up the phone and call, fill out a form, click a banner or reply to a direct mail offer. The idea with direct response advertising is to “offer” the user or prospect to take some sort of an “action” and move them closer to the goal of actually making a purchase.

The first step is to get in front of the user in the most cost effective way possible. The second step is to build “trust”, which is the biggest single converting factor bar none. The third step is to present the offer with the supporting back up of features and benefits of why they should move forward with the next step, which might be a purchase. It might also be a prospect qualification process and information gathering process or it might just be a simple click to the next web page.

These steps are something we can call “goals”. There are many ways to track “goals”, like in Google Analytics or CDR’s call detail reports. For example, if we are running a PPC Advertisement the goal is to get the user to click on the ad. Or in a direct mail piece we might ask them to mail back a BRE or a business reply card. At SpeechRep Media, Inc., we also produce personalized URL’s or PURL’s, which we can place on postcards. We can create a custom or personalized URL or PURL and see if the user actually visits on the personalized link we send to them. If they do we can call them or send them a follow up postcard with a different offer. Or in a DRTV Ad, we can easily track the incoming phone calls by each campaign, as well as each geographic market or the different networks we are advertising with.

The real beauty of direct response marketing is we can test and track everything. Not all of the media that we test might generate the same results for each media. We will be able to determine what works and make the necessary adjustments to each direct response advertisement ad campaign. For example, if we see that we are getting too many clicks in a PPC Ad (which can cost a lot of money), we might want to put a “filter” on the front of the ad that has either a geo-target or a price on it to limit the amount of clicks.

This can sometimes can come at a cost however, we like to keep refining the most optimal response rates with the predefined budget so we can either generate the most leads or orders for the budget. We have to get to a cost per lead and a cost per order if we don’t already have them.

Any good direct response ad agency can help you quickly define a budget that will help you get to a place where your Media Efficiency Ratio (MER) will give you the biggest bang for your buck. MER is simple a way for measuring ROI, if you spend $1,000 in direct response ads and you generate $10,000 in revenue you are looking at a 10:1 MER. On new projects or products our goal is to either break even or generate a 2:1 MER, so we can keep testing and tracking all the while pushing for a greater MER.

While this whole direct response advertising business is a moving target, experienced professionals can help set expectations and guide you through the process. If you want some ideas or want to learn more about what direct response marketing is, call Jim Peake at SpeechRep Media, Inc. at 781-990-8844 or click on the button below.