These days, it’s little secret that direct response marketing is one of the most important and powerful ways for small businesses to grow.
Every time a business asks their clients to “like” a Facebook page, join a newsletter, or “follow” them on Twitter is prompting their customers to respond.
In terms of web design, various statistics state that great non-direct response websites convert 2-5% of their visitors to a purchase. That means that 95% of the traffic that you may be getting – that you’re probably paying for, in times of money, time or labor – is going to waste!
However… AVERAGE websites that offer consumers free information in exchange for contact details convert at least 15-20%, by most estimates. Employing direct response marketing directly multiplies sales!
The critical component here is that you maintain contact with clients and prospects after they walk out the door. Every potential customer or client that you may have:
1. Is at a different stage in the sales process. Some may be ready to buy today, and are in dire need of your services, and some may be ready to buy tomorrow. Some may not be ready to buy at all but by building a relationship with them they can come to like your company and your services and become important sources for referrals.
2. Already has a set number in mind as far as how much they are willing to spend on your type of product or service. This is important to keep in mind. Your product is worth what customers are willing to pay, and your product or service only exists because your customers want it to exist.
Why does this correlate to direct response? Because, through the process of continuing your relationship with your leads, even if they reject your initial product offering, you can employ the rejection-then-retreat and offer them downsells, because you have their contact information. Or, if they do make a purchase, you can offer them upsells and cross-sells, because you still have contact with them through your direct marketing channels.
Here’s the real magic of direct response: once someone makes a decision, and owns responsibility for their decision, they will align future decisions to support their initial decision. This is due to the influence weapon of “Commitment and Consistency:” commitment, in the right setting, produces inner change.
Once a visitor takes action on your website, they move further along into the sales process: they convert from a visitor to a lead. Once a lead divulges their payment information, they become a first-time, or front-end customer. If you continue to sell them products and services, they become the most profitable type of customer you can have: a back-end customer. Back-end customers know you, like you, and trust you, and customers who fall into this category of your sales funnel are the most profitable customers for your business.
Visitor –> Lead –> Front-End Customer –> Back-End Customer
The most successful businesses offer a giveaway or a small-ticket item, in order to start visitors down the path to becoming a customer. One of the best examples I can see of this in the real world is with Yoga studios. Yoga studios employing direct response tactics are growing like rabbits. Usually, they’ll offer a week’s worth of free yoga in exchange for a visitor’s email address.
Once they have their email info, they continue to draw their prospects deeper and deeper into their sales funnel. Successful yoga studios understand that direct response marketing and a proper sales funnel is critical to customer-getting.
Unsolicited offers work just as well. Once you determine what your prospects are concerned about, you can offer them a free gift that assists them or provides help with their concern, such as a free guide. Then, once you follow-up with prospects, you’re no longer cold-calling them as a solicitor, because you’ve positioned yourself as a benefactor through the principle of reciprocation.
So why is it that most businesses refuse to employ direct response in their marketing?
For one, they don’t really understand the process. Most people are educated by professors, not by money-makers. Very few people receive an education in response marketing unless they were at some point directly in the employ of a direct marketing agency.
Second, whenever a marketer broaches the topic with a client, direct response marketing seems like a lot of work. Most people think that a good ad simply entails “getting your name out there,” but when it comes to advertising, this is really the least one can do, and when compared to direct response marketing, pales in effectiveness.
So, when presented with the argument that direct marketing seems like too much work, there are two distinctions to be made: are you arguing with the logic, or the logistics? Because you can’t argue with the logic, and the logistics you can get handled through the toolset of a seasoned direct response marketer.