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Direct advertising is a type of advertising and marketing strategy that can be used effectively to reach consumers and allow them the opportunity to respond when and as they like. Strategies like direct mail campaigns, infomercials online, radio, and television, and even email advertising campaigns all fall into this broad category. There are several factors that affect the amount of direct advertising response companies can reasonably expect from any campaign, including how well the campaign is targeted to certain sectors of the consumer market, the content of the advertising itself, and the quality of the products offered for sale.
As with any type of marketing effort, targeting the right group or groups of consumers will have an impact on direct advertising response. Demographics such as age, gender, economic class, and location will all play a role in maximizing the potential for sales. For example, a publisher who is promoting a new woman’s magazine will likely not generate much in the way of sales if the direct mail campaign uses a mailing list that is primarily composed of contact information for single men. For this reason, qualifying the contact list before actually initiating the campaign will go a long way toward increasing the chances of a higher return.
Even when the contact list is qualified, there is still a need to attract the attention of consumers long enough to excite them about the product. Here, the structure and content of the advertising copy itself will be crucial to the amount of direct advertising response that is generated. Copy that speaks to the needs and wants of the recipients, and does so without a bunch of words or images that just get in the way, will often generate more of a response and lead to increased sales. One school of thought holds that certain groups of consumers will respond in higher numbers to direct mail postcards than pieces sent in envelopes, simply because the sales message is shorter and there is no need to open an envelope to read the message.
Direct advertising response is also heavily impacted by the quality of the products offered for sale. If the products do not live up to the expectations generated by the sales copy, there will be no repeat business, and there is a good chance the disgruntled consumer will encourage others to not respond to the advertising, no matter how attractive it may seem. For this reason, never make promises or claims that cannot be honored once the product is in the hands of the customer. By using a qualified and targeted contact list, being very clear about the nature of the product, and offering goods and services that meet the customer’s expectations, companies will see the level of direct advertising response grow significantly and generate additional revenue for the business.