Net Gains: Internet Marketing Is Direct Response1 Jul, 2008 By: Jennifer Norene Response
You say you've heard it all before: direct response dollars are going to the Internet, consumer created content is king, and direct response television, print and direct mail are adjusting to a new position on the media planner's horizon. Well, the change is happening, but getting into the game is not as risky or difficult as you might think. First, allow me to convince you "why," and then I will give you a little "how."
There are three tried-but-true characteristics that make Internet direct response campaigns attractive to media buyers:
Measurability. The weakness of Internet direct response is the amount of immediate data available, not the ability to measure. With the proper tools in place, impressions, clicks, conversions to leads and sales are measurable within hours of a campaign's release and tell a story quickly.
Changeability. The ability to change and re-launch online creative can also be a weakness if it's not done properly. The science here is to be strategic and limited about changes so that you know what is giving you the most impact.
Scalability. Just like in any media, once you find something that works, you can tell all your friends. Replicating something that works is as easy as purchasing a list, buying more ad space on a site or running a set of new ads.
Okay, now you are convinced that you need to at least put your toe in the water. How do you get started?
DR Search Engine Marketing
Not running ads on Google, MSN and Yahoo! is like not being listed in the phone book back in the 1980s. You need to not only be listed, but also listed effectively and with variety and color.
First, get your site structured and loaded to show up in the "free" rankings. But taking only the free listings offered by search engines is similar to being listed with no ad or picture in the phone book. Next, test out your brand and messaging online by launching a test pay-per-click campaign. You won't believe what you can learn from what online prospects are saying about your product or service.
DR Web Sites
When the Internet was booming, so were traditional copywriters, filling pages with fluff fresh off the "Creative Writing 101" bandwagon. The pages looked good, but all that content was not being read nor responded to. Direct response marketers can teach online marketing a thing or two about short, pithy copy that gets results ... and how to use dramatic, catchy imagery that will make that online shopper an online buyer. One second, maybe two if you are lucky, are all you have to catch a consumer's attention online.
E-mail marketing has its bad days. However, right now is a good day. Google's dominance of the pay-per-click search engine advertising world has clients wary of increasing costs and decreasing control. While you have to list on the main search engines, it seems no matter how you play the game, search engines are dictating and sometimes hiding the science of results.
Sound risky and irritating? Enter E-marketing, the perfect outlet for all of the keyword data that pay-per-click marketers are sitting on. Create and boost sales by using that keyword data to author effective E-mail copy.
Virtually any online marketing media type can be used to support your existing direct response television, print or other DR campaign channels. So even if you don't dive to the bottom of the pool, definitely get your feet wet by trying out online media to increase response of your existing campaigns. You won't rust ... but your sales will surely blossom.
Jennifer Norene is president and founder of Generous Marketing, an online marketing agency based in South Texas. She can be reached via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.