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Direct Response Newspaper Advertising

Direct Response Newspaper Advertising

Once you get their attention, your newspaper advertising needs to motivate your customers to respond now. A direct response ad is written to get attention, interest, desire, and action immediately. Think of it this way: Where will that newspaper be in 24 hours? [In the recycle bin.]

Now, think about that huge mountain of inertia you must overcome with your customers to get action. You want them to take a financial risk, clip your ad, get in their car, drive to your store, deal with your staff, buy your products, carry them home, assemble and install, etc. etc. etc. All they want to do is sit in their chair and peacefully read their newspaper. How are you going to get them to respond?

You use direct response newspaper advertising, and you create professional advertisements using professional marketing techniques.

You need to make your customers squirm, or wince, or laugh, or cry. You need them excited, exhilarated, and ready. Make them feel danger. Fear. Heat. Sex. Hunger. Desire. Stoke them up, and then tell them how to get what they want. Fulfill that desire. Quench that thirst. Eliminate that pain. Easy. Fast. Free.

So, can your diaper delivery service do this?

You'd better, or no one will call. Actually, this may be a bad example, because there is a certain built-in motivation to get someone else to clean your dirty diapers. But no matter what your service or product, you need to build real motivation in your customers if you want them to respond to your newspaper advertising.

More Direct Response Newspaper Advertising

Let's see if we can help you to better recognize effective direct response advertising when [or if] your designer shows it to you.

Direct Response Advertising Example

"Hungry? Try Our .99 Double Cheeseburger"

This ad achieves one-on-one communication, and it motivates the reader to recognize a problem [hunger] by asking a stimulating question.

"Hungry?" ["Yes", the reader replies, "That's me."] The ad then offers an immediate, highly desirable solution. "Try Our .99 Double Cheeseburger" [problem, solution, value, desire, satisfaction.]

The ad gets visual attention simply by using special fonts. It gets attention, identifies a problem [stimulates interest], creates desire, and demands immediate action.

Hungry Try Our Double Cheese Burger Ad

Notice that this newspaper advertising does not ask the reader to try the product - it tells the reader to try it. And if the reader is actually hungry, this ad can stimulate a physical reaction in their stomach and in their mouth. Using the right colors in the ad will increase this physical reaction. A full color photo of the product could make your stomach grumble. Get the idea?

This deceptively simple newspaper advertising works. It is written to get a response, and it does.

A Direct Response Advertisement:

  1. Gets attention through design, ad size, placement, and timing.
  2. Stimulates interest by touching on human emotions, desires, and needs.
  3. Creates desire by offering solutions [benefits] to emotions, problems, or needs.
  4. Gets action by making the solution highly desirable yet affordable and easy.

This is professional newspaper advertising. Use it.

A Warning For Professionals: If you are a doctor, an accountant, a lawyer, or any professional, and you are thinking: "I want to be very professional in my newspaper advertising. I just want to put my name out there. I don't want to sell", then your newspaper advertising costs will be exponentially high [$10 x $10 x $10...]. Your newspaper advertising must be classy and professional, but it also must get attention, spark interest, create desire, and ask for action. And ultimately, it must show a return on your investment. That is what professional direct response ads are designed to do.

So Know what is Direct Response Advertising?

Direct response advertising is very popular among retailers and not for profits because when done properly, it is a highly effective form of advertising. Through experience, most small businesses use this form of advertising without even knowing it. So what is DR? well let's break it down. The term "direct" refers to the targeting nature of DR. Response is just that, a response mechanism that allows advertisers to track efficiency of the ad and the medium, in order to optimize campaign performance.

The best example to give you is direct response Print, otherwise known as infomercials. Infomercials proved that you could sell a $20 product like "slap chop" and make a profit. And unlike conventional advertising, the results are instant and measurable. Meanwhile, other industries such as financial and not for profit have since come to rely on direct response as a valuable sales tool.

The key components of direct response can be applied to other forms of advertising under the "direct" umbrella that you can and should be using such as direct mail or direct response TV.

Here are three components which differentiate a DR Advertisement from a conventional brand advertisement:

1. The offer

Everyone likes a good deal. This is most often the sale price, discount or GET A FREE _____ (often in full caps with excessive punctuation) anything you can offer that adds value will help to catch someone's attention and get you that much closer to a sale.

2. The call to action

This is what you want your audience to do. Examples may include Call the number, visit the website, or basically buy right now before you forget how much you need this. The call to action is not always about finalizing sales. It can also be getting people to provide contact information like signing up for a newsletter. The goal here is to be able to say, each advertisement cost me this much, and I made this much in return. If your call to action is to have your audience sign up to your mailing list then you must ask yourself: "how much am I willing to pay per signup?" and aim to achieve that goal.

3. Establish a sense of urgency

This is to assist in that immediate response and what makes DR so trackable. Infomercials are notorious for their repeated announcements that inform you this is a limited time offer; that you must call now, or better yet, if you call in the next 5 minutes we'll throw in this extra gift completely free!! They do this because they know that if people don't call within 5 minutes; chances are they are not calling in at all. Adding the urgency does improve the rate of success and there are ways to add urgency without sounding like Billy Mays. For example using wording like "call now" or "visit the website today", or wording like "limited quantities" will add just a little more urgency on the call to action.

Again, these three key components are part of any good direct response advertisement but they do not need to be applied to just TV or print. You can apply these principles to any form of advertising including online and social media or even one to one sales.

The most important part however is testing and optimizing but what most small businesses don't do because of the complexity and time involved. DR is more of a science in the way good marketers test various media, headlines, designs, demographics to find that perfect storm; The right ad, in the right place, at the right time. It can take a lot of time and money, but when done right, direct response can have a huge payoff, and make it all worth while in the end.

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