Keep Testing to Fortify Responses

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With the cost of infomercials continually increasing, it is harder to decide on and get an acceptable cost per lead or cost per order. What's a marketer to do? Think out of the box.


Here are a few ideas that should be tested to help you increase the results of your marketing efforts.


Say you have a database of existing customers whom you have targeted in the past with an infomercial, direct response commercial, direct mail or print campaign, and you want to make sure they are aware of a new product or service you are introducing.


First, you must do a little database preparation, which merely involves gathering the 10-digit telephone numbers of all your previous customers.


Next, you negotiate a firm commitment for infomercial airtime on a national cable or broadcast network.


Then have your celebrity spokesperson or on-air talent record a message.


The following is an example:


"Hello, this is TV personality [fill in blank] calling to thank you for being a valued customer. I am calling you back as a preferred customer of [fill in blank] to inform you that we have made special arrangements with WXYZ TV network this Saturday the 19th of May at 11 a.m. We will show you an amazing new product or service, which will help you look younger, thinner, healthier, smarter, richer, etc. So please tune in to WXYZ TV Saturday the 19th of May at 11 a.m. For more information, call customer service at 1-800/555-1212. That's 1-800/555-1212. Thank you. See you on Saturday!"


This strategy can work with local broadcast television stations as well. It merely takes a little more database tweaking to source the customers that originated from the local market that you are attempting to target.


When your test works well and you need more customers to call to make aware of another infomercial, you can strike a deal with other direct marketers to call their databases.


Offer your product to their customers, and pay them a share of the revenue in exchange. You will receive the resulting incoming calls for orders and have control over the money.


You also can test sending all your current customers and other infomercial buyers lightweight videotapes of your new infomercial in the mail. Make an advance call in an effort to raise customer awareness and separate your videotape from the junk mail heap.


Another idea is to run short spots in prime time as a lead generator with a promise to send a free videotape and brochure.


Everyone that calls will get the lightweight videotape of your infomercial in the mail for their own private viewing, and each tape will be tagged with a spot encouraging the recipient to share it with a friend.


You also can buy an ad in a national publication to cross-promote your infomercial on a national cable or broadcast network. The same concept can be tested in a local market by running an ad in a newspaper promoting your infomercial on a local broadcast station.


You may be able to reduce your cost in the print publication by offering to tag your infomercial with a spot promoting the publication.


In addition, it is possible to negotiate a better rate with a television station by running the print ad to drive viewers to the station.


Radio can also be used to steer buyers to your infomercial. Even if you are unable to negotiate better media rates, cross-promoting different media is worth testing.


For most infomercials, affordable time may not be available in the best time slots to reach the largest audience. Ask your media buyer to try to negotiate for free or low-cost five- or 10-second promotional spots in the better time slots in an effort to steer prime time viewers/buyers to your program.


Test some of these ideas and see whether they work well for you. In any event, remember to think out of the box to help create new sales.


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