Photo by Salvatore Vuono /

Photo by Salvatore Vuono

Direct-response advertising is most effective if you own a small to medium size business. This kind of advertisement solicits a direct and immediate action from you on helping your customers address their issues and concerns as business owners.

Most of the advertisement or promotion we see nowadays is focusing more on “image” and “branding” and less on the products or services being offered. Image building or branding might be necessary for big and multi-national organisations to keep them on top of their game. SMBs, unfortunately, doesn’t have the luxury of spending hard earned money on those kinds of advertising. More importantly, your customers are not concerned of you or your company’s image, your sales revenue, or whether you are on top of your game. Customers are more concerned about what value you can add into their business and how they can benefit from your products or services. Every cent of the promotions budget they spend must count.

That is achieved best by doing the “direct-response” advertising. This kind of advertising centers on the client or prospect, and demonstrates to them how to solve their difficulties with your products or services.

Direct-response advertising is intended to get your clients or prospects to become passionately immersed and to make a certain decision… such as, ask for more detail, submit an enquiry card or make a direct purchase.

Measuring the effectivity of your advertising can be difficult when doing the standard, institutional ads, such as knowing how many customers responded to the ads. Therefore, there is no way of determining the actual cost of the ad which is not good.

Direct-response advertising, on the other hand, compels a person to do a definite action, there is an automatic built-in process of measuring the result, and business owners can measure if is profitable to run that ad repeatedly, or if it needs to be improved or replaced to be more effective.

Direct-response ads can be incorporated with success into the marketing plans of virtually any business, and can take the form of mail order, telemarketing, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio.

All elements of a direct-response ad should be determined and tried independently so it can be known which combination performs best.

Here are three simple guidelines, though not conclusive, that can give you the most benefit from your direct-response ads:
• Make an attention-grabbing, emotionally-engaging, profit-oriented headline.
• Start small and try each element individually. You can increase you ad slowly as you find out which combinations are best.
• Give a reward for responders. Ensure the offer has a great perceived value to the customer. Consider freebies such as free tapes, special reports, introductory seminars, booklets, or free consultations.

Keep in mind that the reason you run an ad… any type of ad, is to arouse an instant and appropriate action from your clients or prospects. You want to get immediate feedback that will allow you to take action whether to continue the ad or to improve or replace the ads. In the end, you wanted to showcase your excellent products and services and increase sales and gain more profits from doing a marketing strategy of direct-response advertising.