Marketing Strategy That Sells – Direct Response

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.

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Marketing Strategy That Sells – Build Your Database


Do you have a database of your past, current and prospective customers? Are you recording, monitoring and analysing your customer database? Building a database and studying and reviewing your customers’ records and business relationship with you is one marketing strategy that is not well-utilised.

Do you know who your customers are? Do you have a record of what products or services they regularly purchase? When was their last purchase? What are the purchases they made?  What is the frequency of their purchase? Can you tell whether you’re dealing with a current or past customer? 

Answering the questions above can give you vital information that can boost your business to heights never dreamt of. 

Consider your prospective customers. Have you thought about developing a customer profile that captures your best customers? Know who to target and market your products or services and direct your marketing efforts that way. List them down and plan out a strategy on reaching out to them on a regular basis. 

Know your customers from the past, your current customer and your prospective customer in the future. By knowing exactly whom you have dealt with in the past, who you currently deal with, and who you would like to deal with in the future can dramatically change your business, your profits and your bottom line. 

If you’re not currently using a database to keep track of these and other information of your customers, it’s not too late to start building one. This database can be the gateway to your exponential profits! 

Targeting your marketing efforts to the right people can make or break your entire advertising or marketing campaign. And if you’re a small business, you can’t afford to have that happen too many times. It’ll drive you right out of business! 

Make sure to stay in touch with your past, current and prospective customers, this is one of the best marketing strategies you can do. Do some simple getting-in-touch acts such as:

  • Sending greeting cards on special occasions or holidays
  • Sending a note long time customers
  • Sending a questionnaire or survey
  • Inviting customers to launches and promos
  • Getting customer feedbacks and letting them know their opinion counts
  • Sending newsletters and updates

Do more than the usual to make your customers feel important. Make your current customers feel special, make your past customers feel missed, and make your prospective customers feel wanted.

Build your database and use it to improve customer relationship and increase your sales.

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Marketing Strategy That Sells – Testimonials

Marketing-strategy-that-sells-testimonialsTestimonials are one of the most under-utilised marketing strategies a business owner can have. Imagine yourself buying a product and you want to tell everyone how happy you are with that purchase. That is amazing free advertising for that product.

Testimonials can be used on any type of advertising or promotional media. Your website, your social media channels, television, radio, newspaper – all of these can make use of testimonials. 

Often, public personalities or celebrities are engaged to promote certain products. This is oftentimes not necessary when you know how to utilise your testimonials

Your own clients are one of the best sources of endorsement you could possibly want. They can be your best endorser, especially to the community or environment where they have a reputation. Neighbours in their city or town, colleagues in their companies or organisations, classmates in their colleges or universities, the list is endless

Here are 3 reasons people don’t buy. 

1. They don’t need your product or service.

2. They can’t afford your product or service.

3. They don’t trust you or your product or service. 

You cannot do much about number 1 & 2, but there is a lot you can do to wipe out a prospect’s distrust. Hearing someone they trust talk positively about your product or service can help remove the skepticism they have about you or your product or service.

People don’t want to part with their hard-earned money if they are unsure about the product or service. They would like to ‘hear’ about it from someone credible before they can even consider it.

Testimonials are easy to get. Some of the effective ways to get good testimonials are to send out questionnaires about your product or service to ask for review or feedback. The benefit of this is two-fold. You can get testimonials, at the same time use it for improvements for your product or service. The questions should be “open-ended” and ask your customers to write about their experience with your product or service; it should not just be a “yes” or “no” answers. 

You can also call your clients to discuss their experience with your product or service. With permission, you can record these conversations and transcribe to testimonials. Doing this exercise will also increase your credibility and build your relationship with your client.

Using testimonials is undisputedly one of the most effective ways to get more clients, remove skepticism, build trust and gain more inquiries on sales and promotions. For your marketing strategies, don’t leave out this very important and powerful tool!

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Marketing Strategy That Sells – Do What You Do Best

Marketing-strategy-that-sells-do-what-you-do-bestWalt Disney said, “Do what you do so well, that when others see you do it, they want to see you do it again, and will bring others to see you do it.” This was the strategy Disney used in marketing Disneyland and look where Disney has taken Disneyland. Disneyland is the world’s most popular theme park.

What is your business? Are you an expert in your line of business? Or if not, do you have someone that is an expert in your line of business?

Doing what you do best in your business means offering the best quality that you can offer, whether it’s a product or a service. You might wonder how doing your best in your business can be one of your best marketing strategies… here’s how it works: when people (or customers) experience the ‘best’ of what you have to offer, they will be satisfied enough to do the following:

  • Customers will come back for more. This is called customer retention or repeat customer. This is where you will build your business relationship to the next level to keep loyal customers.
  • Customers will not consider going to your competition. This is your captured market. There will be businesses out there like yours but these customers make a conscious decision to keep on going to you for your business.
  • Customers will talk about how satisfied they are with you. This is free advertising for you. Isn’t this great? Your customer will do the talking for you, about how excellent your product or service is.
  • Customers will endorse you to others who are also interested in your business. When asked about a product or service like your business, your customers will have you top of mind, and they will endorse or recommend you outright.
  • And it goes on and on… the cycle is endless…

Having said that, now take a hard look at your business and see how you are at doing… Here are a some questions you might want to ask yourself to see where you are:

  • Do I have the best quality product or service in what I offer?
  • Do I continuously look for opportunities to improve it?
  • Are my customers getting the best benefit from my products or services?
  • Am I communicating well to my customers? Do I understand their needs – Am I giving value-added service to my customers, beyond what I am already offering them?
  • Do my customers look to me for advice and trust my suggestions?
  • If I were not the owner, would I buy my products or services? Would I recommend it to friends & relatives?

If you pass this self-examination with flying colors, then you are on your way to exercising one of your best marketing strategies – doing what you do best.

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