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The ONLY Type of Marketing Scientifically Proven to Skyrocket Sales

Have you ever found yourself awake at 2 a.m. in front of the television, mesmerized by late night infomercials? You can’t quite remember why you were watching them or how you got there — perhaps it was insomnia, or maybe you simply fell asleep on the couch by accident with the TV still on. Either way, if you know what I’m talking about, odds are you found yourself inexplicably tempted to call the number on your screen to take advantage of their one-time exclusive offer. Yeah, it could have been the sleep deprivation, but maybe it was something else compelling you to buy...

Reading this now, you may be thinking, okay, there’s no way this kind of marketing actually works. But not only is this form of advertising still around, it’s thriving. So many companies have been swept up in the hype of brand awareness advertising that they’ve neglected one of the only forms of advertising that is scientifically proven to generate sales: Direct Response Advertising.

In this article, I’ll mainly be applying these concepts to the art of copywriting. Not only because I am a copywriter myself, but because direct response is most effective when the vehicle presenting it is copy (particularly long-form copy). So let’s jump in!

What is Direct Response Advertising?

In short, Direct Response Advertising requires the person reading the ad to respond directly to the advertisement in order to take advantage of what is being offered. For example, infomercials encourage you to “call this number RIGHT NOW to get this limited time offer.” Not only does this compel the person to buy right away, but the number they call to make their purchase is associated directly with that ad, so each sale made through that specific number can be tracked.

This is in contrast with what a lot of brands are doing now, which is “Brand Awareness Advertising.” This form of advertising can be television commercials, social media, billboards, etc. Essentially, anything that causes you to acknowledge the brand, perhaps influence your opinion of it in some way, but ultimately doesn’t make a direct request of you. A McDonalds commercial may say “Stop in to take advantage of our Buy One, Get One for $1 offer.” Cool, you may decide to go in on your lunch break a few days later, or perhaps not at all. McDonalds will never really know if that specific ad was successful or not, because there’s no way of tracking which customers came in to take advantage of the offer after viewing the ad.

On the flip side, if McDonalds were to say “Enter this code in the McDonald’s app to take advantage of our Buy One, Get One for $1 offer,” they would be able to track how many customers downloaded the offer, how many used the offer, and more. Not only that, but the customer would have to get the app and enter the code (or at least write it down) in that moment in order to get the offer. This is why Direct Response is so powerful.

So then what is Direct Response Copywriting?

Well, it’s pretty much the same thing as described above — written ads or copy of any kind that compels a person to take a direct action. Direct response copywriting techniques can be utilized in email marketing, paid media, landing pages, and more. However, where direct response copywriting really shines will surprise you: long-form sales letters.

Yes, sales letters are still a thing. Not only are they still a thing, but they’re one of the best vehicles for advertising because of three simple facts:

  1. Consumers want more info. When someone is genuinely interested in a subject, they want to read more about it, not less. If you’re trying to sell something to someone, it’s your job to provide them with all of the information they could ever want or need — otherwise, they’ll look elsewhere.

  2. Greater perceived value. The more information you offer the reader and the longer the copy, the greater the perceived value of the item you’re selling.

  3. Time. As much as your boss or clients want you to be able to cram a hundred different details into a pitch that wins over customers in 50 words or less, the truth is winning someone over takes time. Those “snappy” one-liners are great headline material, but where does a customer go once you’ve hooked them? If your headline has done its job, they’ll be seeking out more information. If you don’t give it to them, you’ve likely lost the sale.

In order to convince another person to do anything, you first have to grab their attention, address their problems or desires, overcome their objections, and establish credibility. Consumers will come up with tons of excuses and reasons not to take the action you want them to take, so trust me when I say you will need to pull out all the stops to assuage their hesitations.

Why is Direct Response Copywriting one of the best advertising tactics out there?

Copywriters work smarter, not harder

Simply put, with direct response copywriting, you get way more bang for your buck. A single sales letter can do the work of multiple salespeople. The same letter, or variations of that letter, can be sent out to an indefinite number of people. And as long as a handful of those people bite (around 2%), the campaign can be considered successful.

See an immediate return on investment

With direct response, you see a direct and immediate benefit to your business. And we’re not talking arbitrary metrics like engagement, clicks, etc — we’re talking cold. Hard. Sales. This is income you need to keep your business up and running.

The results of the campaigns are highly trackable

Like I mentioned before, each campaign will have a designated link, number, address, or something associated with it that people have to use in order to take advantage of the offer. Because of this, all sales made through that specific campaign are highly trackable and will provide a wealth of data that you can use to inform future campaigns.

Direct response campaigns are scalable

Because you’re able to collect such quality and precise data from direct response campaigns, you can pinpoint what aspects of your campaign are working and determine what can be changed moving forward to get the numbers even better.

Not only make $, but SAVE thousands in marketing costs

If you’re a small business, a simple direct response ad is literally all you need to see a huge positive net gain. Not every business can or wants to be Nike, Apple, or Amazon. At the end of the day, most businesses rely on sales and sales alone. More likes on your social media page or clicks to your website are ultimately meaningless when it comes time to pay the bills.

At the end of the day, your business is only as good as its sales numbers. You can have the highest engagement or most ad clicks of all of your competitors, but if you don’t have the sales to match, your business is on a fast track to failure. Copywriters can help businesses do smarter, more efficient, and more profitable advertising that can also be tracked and scaled. If you’re a small business wanting to get more out of a limited budget, or even a big company wanting to see an increase in sales, I highly recommend investing in a direct response copywriting expert to help you reach your goals.

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