The secrets of Direct Response Ad Copy revealed ...
"Almost any marketing question can be answered, cheaply, quickly and finally, by a test campaign. And that's the way to answer them - not by arguments around a table."
Claude Hopkins, Direct Response Marketing Pioneer
"Committees can criticize advertisements, but they should never be allowed to create them."
David Ogilvy, "The Father of Advertising"
Claude Hopkins and David Ogilvy were right in the last century and they'll still be right in the next.
They understood that the consequences of faulty data, wonky forecasts, ill-conceived opinions, loose predictions, and incorrect assumptions can wreak havoc on your bottom line.
Because opinions aren't facts ... opinions aren't data ... and opinions haven't been tested in the real world. So why stake the success of your marketing on hot air?
But hasn't marketing gotten so complex that no one person can figure it out?
It's true that the means of delivering your message continue to change.
But human beings still buy products and services for the same psychological, emotional, and physical reasons they have since the first caveman traded his extra club for a new loin cloth.
So the best thing you can do is hire someone with the experience and complimentary professional resources needed to sell your product or service effectively.
Shouldn't I be worried about my "Brand"?
Most businesses just don't have the budget to mass-market effectively (or hire the staff to prove it was effective). You can't possibly buy enough media to gain top-of-mind awareness unless you have millions of dollars to spend on media buys alone.
You should be concentrating at least 80 to 90 percent of your total advertising resources on generating sales.
Direct response advertising incorporates visible branding like images and colors anyway, so worry about provable advertising ROI (i.e., revenue!). Not fluff.
If branding is good for big companies, why shouldn't I be concerned about branding, too?
Today, even the big dogs who spend a lot of money on branding are turning to direct response, data-driven marketing to bolster their bottom line.
Capital One reports running 80,000 tests on everything from marketing copy to price points.
Amazon reports running 200+ tests at any given moment with data-driven optimization on every aspect of the business from merchandising to promotions to warehousing and logistics.
Lesson: If the big players are using more direct response marketing, so should you.
Should I cut my marketing budget in a bad economy?
Your competitors that keep advertising will bury you, steal your existing customers, and undo all the marketing you've already done.
Proctor and Gamble did not reduce their advertising budget during the Great Depression. When their competitors were swinging the budget axe, P&G increased their ad spending, acquiring greater market share and turning a profit when competitors were struggling to stay alive.
Lesson: If large companies don't cut their marketing budgets in a bad economy, you shouldn't either.
What's the difference between Marketing and Advertising?
Sean D'Souza has a great answer to that question:
"People often confuse marketing for advertising. Marketing is all the hard work you do before you communicate. All the tactics, the positioning, the branding and determining your target audience.
Advertising is simply getting that message out to the public in the most efficient, memorable way possible.
A thorough use of both marketing and advertising, can take your product or service to places it has never been before."
Copy really is King ...
The only advertising creative proven to consistently drive sales is well-researched, well-written, well-executed (and properly tested) direct response copy.
You see, professional copywriters make a living doing target audience research, psychological profiling, crafting your message in your prospects voice, choosing the most effective channels to deliver your message, and testing and proving every element of your campaign.
In short, we practice the art and craft of "salesmanship in print" every day.
And no matter what happens technologically, there is always one constant in creating effective advertising:
Persuasive copy - thoroughly tested and re-tested - will always beat fancy gimmickry or pretty pictures at the cash register.
It doesn't matter whether it's delivered via website, mobile device, TV, radio, direct mail, print media, or whatever trendy new gadget comes along next.
Copy sells. Pictures and graphics support the copy. Period.
Copy sells because copy is the only way to provide your prospects with the reasons and compelling arguments they need to decide they should buy and buy now.
Copy is the only way for you to build a meaningful relationship with your reader ... which is essential if you're going to have any chance of closing a sale!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it ...
... is to find a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant with the skills and know-how to strategize, write and execute a solid ad campaign. One that properly tests results and adapts your advertising creative as the marketplace reacts to your messaging.
Because advertising can't stay static. A good test campaign will (at the very least) test two messages against each other. As results come in, your ad should change to reflect the success or failure of each ad. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
So if you don't know if your advertising's making you money ... if you don't test your ads (or know how to test your ads) ... if you're still marketing by "opinion" ...
Let Internet Marketing & Creative take the uncertainty and wishful thinking out of your marketing ... and get your profits rolling in today!
With over a billion websites competing for your prospects attention, your website must rank well for search and deliver the "Is this what I want?" and "How do I get it?" quickly and effectively over a wide variety of devices.
And if your message and call to action looks great on a PC but can't be found quickly and easily on a handheld device, you'll lose leads - and sales! - to your competitors.
If you're responsible for generating positive ROI at a business or non-profit, you can't afford to miss your prospects when they're looking or when they're ready to make the purchase decision.
Today's consumers use their PC's to find you. Then they use their mobile devices to buy from you.
Well ... maybe not always. But things are trending this way.
In fact, some people under 30 may not ever use a laptop, much less a desktop computer.
According to a report from Fleishman-Hillard, 89 percent of consumers turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases - many times on their office or home PC or laptop. The larger screen size makes it easier for some people to see the product and navigate around the web when researching products.
But, a Mobile Path-to-Purchase study conducted by The Nielsen Company for xAd and Telmetrics found that, "... 85 percent of mobile restaurant searchers, 51 percent of mobile auto searchers, and 46 percent of mobile travel searchers ultimately make a purchase."
This means as customers move through their internal buying process, they may be away from home or office when they're actually ready to buy from you.
Then they look up your business from a hand-held device. And if they're already out shopping, or have reached "critical-purchasing-mass", their buying intent is at its strongest point in their purchase process.
So your website should make it easy for buyers to find what they're looking for on a hand-held device as well as maintain your branding across platforms.
Enter Responsive Design
The key to making sure your website looks and loads correctly across a wide variety of devices is to use either a responsive design, which adjusts to fit the device it’s being viewed on, or a mobile-optimized site, which is a version of your site that loads according to the user’s device.
But the cost of maintaining multiple websites is prohibitive for most businesses. So responsive design is a much better choice for most websites.
Responsive design enables web designers to use one stylesheet to target multiple devices using the same website. And a redesign for mobile is much more cost-effective than starting from scratch for - at minimum - 5 different screen sizes.
Email should be included in your website design process as well.
Many more people are using their smartphones and tablets as their primary email reader.
Just on Dec. 25, 2012 alone, 17.4 million new smartphones and tablets were activated, a 32 percent increase over activations covering December 1 – 20, and a 156 percent increase from 2011, according to Flurry Analytics.
The shift to mobile reading of emails is too big to ignore. Integrating your website design into your emails is a must for maintaining your branding and ease of use for your customers.
Internet Marketing & Creative will make sure your website and your email makes your product or service easy to find and buy, no matter what device your customer is using or where they are in their buying process.
Online audiences watched video ads at an astounding rate of more than 150 per second in 2012! In fact, audiences watched video ads 4.6 billion times in 2012.
With billions of videos flooding the web-scape, the competition for views is fierce.
But a well-done, properly targeted video - working in concert with the rest of your multi-channel campaign - can help your business see significant gains in profits.
You see, the Web is used mostly as a learning tool. So your content strategy should include producing informative video. Recent testing data shows 46% of Web users want a question answered and 28% are looking for education on a topic.
So you don't have to make the Ad Age Viral Video Chart (it takes at least 1.5 million views) to boost profits with video.
You also don't have to spend half your life promoting your video on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
In fact, in the 2012 Presidential campaign, only 4.7 million of the 115 million total campaign ad views came from Facebook - just 3.8% of overall video performance for presidential ad campaigns.
There are myriad ways you can use video to help your business or non-profit:
Product launch presentations can create buzz and encourage shares - especially in conjunction with an email campaign to create excitement about the launch.
Video educational content, i.e., "How-to video's" on how to use your product, are a great way to generate interest in your product and encourage repeat business.
Video Testimonials are a compelling way to build trust in people just becoming acquainted with your company and give existing customers a chance to be proactively involved with using your product or service.
MOS (Man-On-The-Street) Interviews are great for grabbing instant feedback from customers and building buzz around coming events.
Product Reviews. Third-party product revues are the most trusted on the internet. Ask actual users of your product for a review to use on your website or product page.
Email Video. Email is the #1 way to convert contacts into sales. Testing shows open rates can double if video is included in your email marketing. With the emergence of HTML5, video in email is becoming more prevalent. In fact, in 2012, Avon, Bloomingdale’s, Walgreens, and Brookstone all tried HTML5 video. Expect to see many more brands experimenting with HTML5 video in their email campaigns in the coming year. Your video content should be helpful and end with a specific call to action; such as requesting a free chapter, demo, or free quote, etc.
Video News Releases (VNR). The standard media news release is now being supplemented with video and b-roll to tell a more engaging story. Video is a great value-add for news organizations that want to run stories on their website in addition to the print newspaper. Online press releases are more attractive to busy assignment editors, too. Consider creating a VNR the next time you want to create a press release!
As part of a properly planned and executed multi-channel marketing campaign, video can really boost your company's bottom line.
Internet Marketing & Creative - in partnership with North Iowa Video Productions - provides video scriptwriting, video production and video deployment services for corporate and non-profit clients.
How can your business profit from the help of a professional direct response copywriter and marketing consultant?
With the help of my fellow professional marketing experts from across the country - from direct response designers that helped launch major soft drink products to major corporate copy proofers, coders, printers and world-class web hosting providers - Michael Fiala and Internet Marketing & Creative will help you ...
» Optimize response ...
» Improve sales ...
» Land bigger donations ...
» Boost your profits ...
» Maximize return on investment, and ...
» Acquire more loyal customers or donors for life that add value to your bottom line over a longer period of time.
And that's what it's really all about. Because anyone responsible for running a profitable business or successful non-profit knows ...
When your advertising dollars are on the line, results matter.
If you're serious about tangible results, measurable profits for each dollar spent, and multiplying your sales and profits quickly, please contact me for a free consultation today.