In my last post, I outlined what direct marketing or direct response advertising is about.

Primarily, it is concerned with generating a response or an action from the readers or viewers via the chosen delivery medium of your message.

That medium could be a newspaper or magazine advertisement, an email, a postcard, a webinar or one of those promotional films you see on shopping channels.

So you can see straight away that direct response promotions are different from conventional advertising.

They are not trying to build or project a corporate theme or image, they have a harder, more direct edge.

For this post, I’m going to focus on some standard digital tools that could be used as part of a direct response campaign.

Email marketing 

Email is probably the most common form of direct response marketing that we both use and receive.

And despite so many emails being sent, it’s still one of the most effective means of getting prospective buyers to get in touch with your business.

The most crucial element of email marketing is not the copy or the creative, it’s the list the message is sent to.

When direct mail was much more popular as a means of promotion, in the days when postage rates made this an attractive form of advertising, much more time and money was invested in list maintenance and development.

That was because the evidence of an out of date mailing list could be seen clearly in all of the “return to sender” items that would appear in the sender’s office son after a mailing was sent.

In the digital world, high bounce rates are not so tangible, and that must be a big reason why the focus on list development has slipped.

Landing pages

The ideal email is one that generates an order or an appointment for a sales call. A direct response and a result of some kind have been achieved.

However, for sales emails to work effectively, you will usually need to create a landing page within your website.

The landing page is the place that you take interested recipients of your emails to the next stage in the sales process.

Why is this important? Because most people will not buy directly from the first email they receive.

That email might pique their interest, it might create a feeling of wanting to learn more, and so, your landing page provides the information they need for that next step.

Landing pages are a vital part of direct response advertising and sales.

They are often the sales clinching element in an email campaign.

Alternatively, they form the next part of the sales process chain. For instance, when you offer someone the chance to download a free whitepaper or a guide to a particular subject.

Either way, the landing page must be designed around delivering a direct response result.

An order. A sign-up to your list. A download. A call to your sales team. Booking for your webinar or some other measurable result.

Lead magnets

Marketers use lead magnets to help businesses and offers stand out in the crowded digital space.

As the name suggests, they are designed to perform a specific task, and that is to generate leads.

You may use them already. Webinars and whitepapers, for instance, are used as lead magnets.

A lead magnet is an item that someone wants because it offers them value.

That value is usually knowledge of some sort, and by providing that knowledge, your business is seen in the eyes of prospective clients, to have expertise in the subject.

The trade-off for the person wanting your knowledge offering is that they provide their contact details in exchange for the content within your lead magnet.

Guess where they access that content? Usually, from a landing page.

Hopefully, you see how emails, landing pages and lead magnets all link together.

And the core element to all of this good stuff happening is your list. 

Online advertising

 Advertising online with Google Adwords, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, LinkedIn and others, is big business.

In this case, you don’t need to worry about a list as these social medium platforms provide the audience for you.

In fact, you can use online advertising as a list building device as well as a sales tool.

The critical element of online advertising is targeting.

It’s a vast world out there, and you need to be clear on who you want to read and click on your ad.

You also need to be clear on how much you are willing to spend to attract clicks as this form of online advertising is based on bidding or put simply on a cost per click basis.

It’s a big subject, and it could generate an article all of its own, but the principle is simple.

You identify your target group, and you think of the subjects and headlines that they are likely to respond too.

Next, you find out the cost of using that headline and ad copy relative to other companies targeting the same group.

As you can imagine, the more valuable the group or subject that you target the higher the cost per click is going to be.

The headline and copy of your online advertisements play a huge part in the number of clicks you receive as does the frequency of your ads. That’s where the bidding on a price per click basis comes in.

The landing page that people arrive on once they have clicked your message is critical. This is your conversion tool.

The copy and the call to action on this page must be clear. The content of the page should closely align with the message in your advertisement. If it doesn’t, buyers will quickly leave your landing page.

If you would like help with creating any of the elements described in this post, email or call me via the contact details shown below.

 David O’Beirne
The Exhibition Agency Ltd
63 Vera Avenue, London N21 1RJ  
T. 0203 633 4665
M. 07858 374 051

Exhibitors Only

The views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ESSA, its members, board or staff. Our members represent a broad range of views within the event industry, and we have provided this section of the website for their opinions to be openly heard and discussed.

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