Direct Response Marketing is a form of marketing that solicits a response on behalf of the consumer, and offers advertisers the benefit of measurable results.
Direct Response Television In today’s marketplace the most prominent type of direct response marketing is the DRTV commercial. The wide distributive capacities that TV provides make this channel an ideal method for reaching a large volume of consumers, and initiating a response from them. The process is simple: the consumer views an advertisement that contains a phone number that he/she is interested in, and the consumer follows up to the commercial by dialing in.
Direct Response Online The advent of the internet and the popularity of internet search have spawned a number of different marketing possibilities, many of which can be called Direct Response Marketing. Direct Response Online advertising is built around motivating the consumer to request the marketer to contact him/her directly–the same as Direct Response Television. The consumer sees an ad, fills out a form, and submits it directly to the marketer. Advertisers seek to funnel consumers toward these forms or “landing pages” by using a variety of methods, which can be divided into two primary categories: paid search, and organic search.
“SEO” or Search Engine Optimization is practice that advertisers utilize in order to increase organic search rankings. By increasing organic rankings, advertisers gain more visibility, without having to spend on advertising.
In regards to paid online search, most advertisers utilize 2 primary forms of internet advertising: pay-per-click advertising–offered by search engines like by yahoo, google, others–and “banner” ads. The websites that publish ads charge a fee based on two models, the more popular being cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions; impressions being the number of times the ad is displayed in the users internet browser. The second way publishers monetize the use of banner ads is the cost-per-lead model (CPL). When using the CPL model, the advertiser only pays the publisher when the consumer clicks on a banner ad, goes to the subsequent landing page, and fills out a form. The word “lead” refers to consumer information–name, birthday, phone number, e-mail, physical address, etc.
When contrasted to outdoor or print advertising, CPL is light years ahead in terms of providing tangible Return On Investment (ROI) information. The benefits of CPL are further emphasized by the fact that a large amount of risk is removed from the advertising process: advertisers pay for consumer information, not impressions.
Some advertisers have taken to “incentivizing” leads, or enticing consumers to fill out a form by telling them they will receive a prize or a gift. Typically, consumers fill out the form in order to receive the gift, and not to receive information on a product; this decreases the quality of the lead, and makes the follow up process more difficult.
Quality rating (1-10)
Get entry into sweepstakes with submission
Get free sample with submission
Free gift for free trial
Get free gift with product trial (i.e. continuity club) with submission
Get coupon sent in mail or immediately with submission
Get free trial (i.e. magazine) with submission
Get free quote (i.e. mortgage, auto) with submission
Get free information (i.e. tourism guide) with submission
Get periodic newsletters with submission
As seen above, information and newsletter sign-up forms–both content-based incentives–make for the highest quality leads. Lead quality refers to likelihood that the lead will convert into a customer–the higher the likelihood, the better the lead is. By cutting out certain incentives–or all incentives–, marketers can improve lead quality, which makes the follow-up marketing process easier and less expensive. Since Direct Response Marketers follow up with consumers directly, it only makes sense for them to generate the highest quality leads: a lower quality lead results in wasted man-hours, and frustrated consumers.
This is precisely why Direct Response Marketing is so well suited to attracting and retaining prospective students: when tasked with generating college applications, the burden of providing high quality leads, and a comprehensive follow-up process falls on the Direct Response Marketing agency.