Myths About Direct Response Marketing – Online and Off
Skepticism is a part of life and business. People don’t trust you at face value it is completely up to you to earn their trust. I hear it ALL THE TIME. Excuses why it won’t work for them… because their business is “different”. They tried it before and it failed so there is no way it will work now.

“Direct Marketing doesn’t work”

There is really 2 forms of marketing at play… measurable results marketing and non-measurable results marketing.

The kind you cannot directly measure (in terms of dollars generated from a specific campaign or marketing action) is commonly called image or brand marketing. The point behind those kinds of campaigns is to build general awareness of your offering and your message and not about specific results on a day-by-day basis. There have been many multi-million (and billion) dollar empires built exclusively on this form of marketing (firms that have never used direct marketing techniques) Microsoft MCTS Training.

BUT… the average entrepreneur doesn’t have deep enough pockets to sustain imagine only advertising.

They need to know right now what ad is working or sales letter is pulling in clients and which aren’t. Without this knowledge they will quickly go broke.

When they know which ad, placed in which media publication or website, works and makes them money they then have a system they can repeat until it stops working. They can measure exactly what each new lead costs them to generate and how much they need to invest in each real lead to convert them to a paying customer and then how much to convert each one-time customer to a repeat buyer.

This knowledge is pure gold when you know it.

And yes, direct marketing DOES work and can be proven right down to the penny how well it does work. You cannot say that about image or brand awareness campaigns (the exact amount it made for the business can never be measured as they have no way of measuring it).

“No one will read all those words people are different now and don’t read as much”

There is truth in that people are increasingly lazy and illiterate. BUT, and this is a big but, are your clients in that group? If you are trying to sell to a bunch of ADD 13-somethings then long copy sales letters with zero graphics probably won’t work all that well. But, it you are trying to sell to the boomer or senior market they want to know what they are buying and will research what you are selling until their fears are alleviated (that is assuming you kept their attention throughout the copy).

The key is to balance the copy with supporting visuals. And then to match this balance with your exact target market.

Lots of people (including myself) are testing shorter copy websites that have people clicking through to specific things they want to see rather than asking them to scroll down through a 25 page sales letter.

People won’t read all those words if they are boring… or if they are not the right target market… or if the visual appeal is downright hideous… or if the offer makes no sense or the claim sounds ridiculous.

You have to test and find out what the balance should be between words…graphics… message/market match… and the offer.

Only through testing will you know what the right amount of words is.

And assuming you know is the surest way to kill your marketing results. You don’t know what your clients want until you ask them (through marketing tests). They will often tell you they want one thing, but will show different responses when tested Microsoft MCITP Certification.

It is completely up to you to find the perfect match.

“There is a magical percentage conversion rate”

This is quite common. “I need a 2% conversion rate anything below that is unacceptable.” My question to them is “WHY?” Any person familiar with marketing 101 knows that the real money is in the backend products and services you sell to your clients. If you are selling a $25 book you will never get rich without something to sell. You MUST have something else at a much higher price point to sell.

And if you know that 10% of your book buyers will buy your $1,000 backend offer who cares if you lose money or break even on the book sale.

In other words concern yourself less about the conversion rate and start worrying about the PROFIT you make. If you don’t have a system in place to up the profit you make after the initial sale (to a new client) then a 3% conversion rate (which is very good on it’s own) means nothing other than the fact you are going broke fast selling your $25 book.

Do you honestly think that a company selling million dollar, ocean front, and gated community homes is concerned about a 1% response rate to their mailer? They are more concerned with the quality of people they attract and the follow up system they use to make sure the lead buys.

They may only get a 0.1% response rate to their mailer but it makes them a million dollars.

“Hiring a professional marketer or copywriter is guaranteed to make you a million dollars first time you run the promo”

HA! If you were guaranteed to make a million from a simple letter campaign do you think any sane copywriter would price his services below… say…. $500,000 per letter campaign?

Of course not.

The only guarantees you can expect from your copywriter or marketer is that they will find the approach that works best with your clients and your offer. They should be willing to stick with you, and rewrite, until the perfect combination of client offer and media is found.

Also, if there was a “magic” guarantee and formula that worked every time there would only be need for one book or training course on it right?

The guarantee is more about the persistence of your team members to do whatever they need to do to make the promotion work.

Direct marketing is a field few understand and those who don’t understand it like to bash it. Remember, many people use direct marketing in their business and see exceptional results and it can work for you too if you give it a chance and some patience. The perfect combination of message market media and you will have a winner. But to find the combination, it may take time, money and lots of patience.