This week, our client spotlight is showcasing a style of video called Direct Response. When we make direct response videos for clients they need to immediately resonate with their audience and get them to take action.
For Education Evolve, the videos we make are direct response television commercials used to promote their various school groups. They are remarkably different than what we would make for a standard brand video.
What is Direct Response Marketing?
Direct response marketing is a type of sales technique designed to evoke an on-the-spot response and encourage the viewer to take action by opting in the advertiser’s offer. Unlike other marketing types, the direct response requires little or no time waiting to see measurable results.
The goal is to convince the viewer to call a number, visit a website URL, or take another sort of action. Think about all the “made-for-tv” products that appear on late-night television. These are infomercials, with a product pitch. Not all direct response needs to be an infomercial, but the style and sell can be similar.
What makes Direct Response Marketing work?
Well, telling a customer directly to just buy your product isn’t usually the best way to go about it. You want to give the viewer a compelling reason to “pull out their wallets” or “change their life” in the case of selling higher-education.
You really need to know your audience. At CutBoard we have been crafting direct response marketing for higher-education for over 20 years. We know this audience front-to-back and we know what motivates them to make the jump into higher education.
How to create a Direct Response message?
Always keep it simple. Do not make it any harder on the potential customer.
Knowing this tip is a time saver. Give them every possible easy way to order or contact you. Ever wonder why there are so many 1-800 numbers out there … easy to remember and call. But, remember who your audience is, are they more likely to connect with you on your website or social media channel? If so, make sure that is easy to find, and easy to navigate.
Now let’s say that your customer prefers to go to your website and you have a form that they will need to fill out to get more information or your “free” brochure. Make sure you keep your form as short as possible. Only capture the minimum information you need to convert them into a new customer. The more you ask from them upfront the less likely they will finish and fill out the form.
Always give directions when using direct response marketing.
Just like keeping the message simple, you want to make sure there is absolutely no doubt in the customer’s mind about what you want them to do. Make sure the directions are specific.
Do you want them to call a number? Repeat it more than once. You want them to go to your website, make sure it’s easy to remember with no slash this and slash that. And if you have it on the screen, make sure that your voice-over matches. Everything is a reinforcement of what you want them to do.
Direct Response TV or DRTV.
This medium has not become less effective since the internet. People are still watching lots of TV. The most common form of direct response television is the traditional commercial. Typically the length of these ranges from 30-seconds to two minutes. We have had successes with 15-second “bookend” spots that run at the beginning and end of each commercial block.
However, it is important to let you know that television commercials can be expensive. The cost to produce a commercial is typically the cheapest part. Buying the media can add up and stations often will push you into a high-frequency buy that can raid your wallet. But, your media buy can always be tailored to your customer and geographically narrowed so you are not buying more coverage than you need.
Check out this direct response commercial for an example. We crafted this to reach single mothers in the Greater Detroit DMA who may want to go back to school and enter a career helping others.