“Direct response marketing is any advertising activity which creates and exploits a direct relationship between you and your prospect or customer as an individual.”
~ Drayton Bird
Direct Response Marketing Serves Both Long and Short Term Business Goals
It fascinates me when I talk to business owners about their long-term goals and I hear about their plans for growth and expansion, but then discover that all their activities are focused on the next few months, or possibly the next year. I understand the challenge of paying the bills and keeping the door open, but there are many businesses who have moved past that stage, but are still acting as though that is the only way to act.
Last year I attended a business growth conference which was an excellent mix of theory, strategic thinking time, motivation, and planning including developing a long-term vision. However, when it came to the planning and sketching out what needed to be done, the approach was extremely linear and one-dimensional. The linear approach is easier to explain and to inspire with (which is probably why so many business growth methodologies focus on it), but it doesn’t reflect the multi-layered activity that needs to occur to build for the long-term.
Direct response marketing focuses on assets and relationships. In the short term, that results in (profitable) sales that help you keep your doors open, and in the long term it also creates the assets and relationships that enable to grow, scale, and ultimately transfer or sell your business to a new generation. That’s why all your marketing decisions should look at both short term deliverables and long-term returns as well.
Even if you are only thinking about building a business to serve your needs and provide for your family in the short term, direct response marketing has value, because it will enable you to do so more effectively and with less effort than any other lead generation or sales activity.
Direct Response Marketing Focuses on Relationships
The greatest asset any business has is its relationships with customers and suppliers.
So, what are you doing each day to build those relationships?
Dan Kennedy, one of my mentors, challenged me with the following task:
- Every working day do at least one thing to create an opportunity by connecting with a customer, supplier, or prospect and building your relationship.
That one thing might be:
- Send a thank you note or gift;
- Write an email or letter (it’s amazing how much a letter increases response, especially these days when they are rare);
- Create a sales letter, email, or campaign;
- Reach out to people on social media;
- Make a phone call or catch up for coffee;
- Share a business idea, marketing suggestion or other valuable suggestion;
Any of these ideas (and this list is far from exhaustive) cements your relationships, helps you stay top-of-mind, and can potentially open up new opportunities for sales, partnerships, and promotions.
It is strategic activity, but it’s not necessarily just about the next step to a sales conversation like some connection requests you may receive on LinkedIn or at many networking events where you connect and the next thing is they want to ‘share how they can add value to your business’. This is about starting a genuine conversation with people who have shown interest in what you are offering. As an introvert, one of the things I love about direct response marketing is that I don’t need to force myself on new connections, I can wait for them to respond to an offer that they find appealing… or not.
Direct Response Marketing and Sales
I still meet a lot of people who find ‘selling’ objectionable and who run a mile from any hint of sales. I understand where they’re coming from, but am fascinated by the lengths they go to ‘sell’ their perspective, skills, ideas, and personality.
We all have sales conversations every day with:
- Family members (especially our children)
- Retail assistants, and so on.
As a result of those conversations, we either take some action or we don’t. Sometimes, when those conversations are face-to-face we end up feeling pressured into taking actions we’d prefer to avoid.
Direct response marketing takes the pressure out of many of those sales conversations by setting up buying conversations instead. The people you are talking to are already prepared to buy even though they may need some answers to questions first.
Direct Response Marketing and Profitability
One problem with aggressive marketing activity is that it can leave profitability out of the equation. When you urgently need more cash to pay the bills and keep your doors open for another week or month, you are tempted to discount below the cost of delivery and that’s a dangerous position to be in.
Effective marketing takes all aspects of your business into account and direct response marketing does this systematically and measurably. You need to know some key metrics including first-time customer value and average customer value over a variety of media so that you can calculate accurately how much you can afford to spend on attracting customers on various platforms.
Copywriting Matters If You Want to Grow
Dynamic Direct Response Copywriting is the essential link to direct response marketing. This book provides an insight into how to research and write powerful advertising copy that irresistibly attracts your ideal prospect and pre-disposes them to work with you.
Purchase your copy today HERE