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Direct Response Marketing

Putting Online Response Off the Chart

1 Oct, 2009 By: Doug McPherson Response

Who's Driving ... Results?

Nevertheless, people still click, and Garnett's overriding message to the DR industry is clear: "We need to develop ways to attribute Web results to the media that drove those results. It's likely that not all media drives equally to the Web and it would be important to know that," he says. "But, we can't do that thoroughly yet."

i4Marketers are certainly getting plenty of chances to learn as they go. When Broadcast Communications Media Inc., a DR media agency in Santa Monica, Calif., tapped DR radio for a colon cleansing product and launched sales into millions of dollars, not surprisingly, the product's Web site began drawing traffic from the radio campaign.

So Broadcast Communications Media measured the daily offline media spend and tracked the online sales every day as a percentage of total revenue. "We definitely saw a direct correlation of online sales as a specific percentage of overall product sales. As the offline budget increased, the online sales increased directly from the increases," says Doug Frankel, Broadcast Communications Media's president.

Frankel says to measure response in an online campaign, look at all metrics to see what kind of traffic is going to the Web site from the advertising, and, ultimately, how much sales revenue comes directly from the campaign.

Broadcast Communications Media also tested and adjusted the online offer to boost sales, especially when the offline media spend continued to grow.

"DR marketers should know that offline media may drive traffic to a Web site, and the offline message can always be tested and adjusted to keep both off- and online sales strong," he says. "The bottom line of the overall success of a campaign is the combination of all sales, whether offline or online, and these numbers have to generate a profitable return on investment to the advertised product."

Still, when multiple online and offline campaigns are running simultaneously, it's tough for marketers, says Spyro Kourtis, president and CEO of Hacker Group, a direct marketing company in Seattle, Wash. "That's when it's impossible to give a single tactic credit for a site visit, search query or sale," Kourtis says.

i5He adds unique URLs and toll-free response numbers for each medium, along with tests for each version within each medium. "Your DRTV spots should have different URLs from the radio URLs," Kourtis says. "Then measure traffic to those URLs, just as you'd count the number of calls to the various phone numbers."

Plus, he suggests using a control group to gauge the effectiveness of online advertising by measuring the lift in response. "Most marketers do this by serving up a not-for-profit ad, such as the Red Cross, instead of their own creative — and then measuring the lift in performance over this group," he says.

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About the Author: Doug McPherson

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