Even in this age of digital media, Offline marketing techniques can outperform everything else
Effective offline marketing, the kind that produces inquiries about your offer, adds customers and increases your profits, is not just a matter of placing a couple of ads in the newspaper or sending out some mailings. And it’s not creating a beautiful brochure that describes the company, the CEO or manager and the products and services offered by your business.
The best results-producing offline marketing techniques are direct-response techniques, designed to evoke an immediate response and compel people to take specific action, such as picking up the phone and contacting you for more information or to place an order.
Unfortunately 95% off all offline marketing is expensive and inefficient.
A recent survey of companies’ marketing costs found that traditional offline ‘Outbound’ marketing like newspaper and television advertising costs an average of $373 per inquiry. The cost per sale of course, is much more. Most Australian businesses would not consider this a good return on their marketing investment.
This is because most businesses use what’s known as ‘Image’ advertising. But here’s a hard and cold fact: People, your customers or clients… couldn’t care less about you or your image, your company or its image, your sales quotas, or whether or not you’ll be in business this time next month. Not, at least, until you show them how your product or service can benefit them.
Image advertising may be okay for very large organisations that just want to create or maintain name recognition in the marketplace, but if you own a small or mid-size business, you most likely can’t afford that luxury. You have to make every dollar you spend on promotions count.
The offline, game-changing marketing strategy
The results are very different with “direct-response” advertising. This kind of advertising focuses on the customer or prospect, and shows them how to solve their problems with your products or services.
And this is where the game changes completely. Properly designed direct mail gets a response rate of over 100 times that of email marketing and over 6 times better than PPC online advertising.
The fact is people are much more likely to respond to well written, direct response material that finds its way into their hands than they are to anything on the internet. The secret is to get it into their hands and get them to read it.
Most people sort their mail next to a rubbish bin, and everything that looks like advertising material goes straight into the bin. What’s left are plain envelopes that could be an important notice, a bill or a letter from a friend or relative.
By avoiding any advertising copy or logos on the outside of the envelope, you can get your direct response advertising into the ‘A’ pile and it at least is opened and read. How people respond from there depends on how well the copy is written, how compelling the headline is and how irresistible your offer is.
How to get people to read your direct mail
Good copywriting is the most important element in direct response advertising and it is essential to have a good copywriter on your team who understands this type of advertising.
At Streetsmart for example, we hire four times the number of copywriters than people with any other skill-set and we invest more time training them in our proven techniques.
They are essential to the success of any offline or online marketing strategy for our clients.
Over the years, we’ve also developed a number of innovative ways to effectively get our client’s message into the hands of prospects, including what’s known as ‘lumpy mail’.
Lumpy mail is direct mail which contains some kind of small item, relevant to the advertiser’s message. It creates curiosity and is more likely to be open and read by the recipient.
Other direct-response marketing techniques
A good example of an effective offline direct-response marketing strategy is Our Shock and Awe pack – a lethal combination of different offline direct-response techniques. It’s a perception-influencing and educational multimedia marketing package that creates Shock and Awe in the marketplace.
The Shock and Awe pack immediately builds trust, authority and credibility because it is so much more than the prospect expects to receive.
The beautiful thing about offline marketing is that the more people dump it and rush blindly to online marketing, the cheaper it will become. Printers around the country are in financial trouble, Share prices in newspapers and magazines continue to plummet. Businesses wanting to use offline advertising have never been in a better position to strike a bargain.
What Makes an Ad a Direct Response Ad?
Direct response ads have several distinguishable characteristics that make them unique compared to image ads.
- They’re trackable. When someone contacts you for information or to place an order, you are able to determine exactly which ad in which media they responded to.
- They’re measurable. Since you know which ads are being responded to and how many contacts you receive from each one, you can measure which ads are the most effective, and which ads need to be changed or dropped.
- They are accountable. Your ads are very similar to your sales staff. In fact, advertising can really be considered “salesmanship in print” (or voice, depending on the media used). Your sales people and staff member are accountable to you for what they do and how they produce. Likewise, your advertising should also be accountable. If an ad or marketing campaign isn’t producing, you want to know so you can make intelligent decisions as to whether to continue running the ad as is, making changes to it, or discontinuing it altogether.
- They give you immediate feedback. Your ads have a built-in response mechanism so you can determine very quickly how effective they are.
Want to know more?
One of the 4 Essential Pillars of any good Marketing Plan is to make all your advertising direct-response advertising. This report goes into more detail on this form of advertising as well as giving you 3 other Essential pillars to ensure your marketing strategy is successful.
This is essential reading for anybody who is determined to make their marketing effective and increase sales and market share!