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Direct Response Marketing

The Impact of Sir Issac Newton on DRTV

7 May, 2010 By: Dick Wechsler Response

Configuration and Positioning Weigh In

While offer seems to be the one variable that can have the single greatest impact on a campaign’s performance, product configuration and positioning made a huge difference for BJ Global Direct’s Kymaro New Body Shaper. “We first introduced the show as Shape-N-Slim,” recalls Romy Alahmari, creative director for the Irvine, Calif.-based marketing company. “We offered a nude top for $39.95 and gave away the bottom as a bonus. The consumer had no choice of size for the bottom.”

In other words, a consumer who ordered a medium top received a medium bottom. Alahmari explains that results for Shape-N-Slim were acceptable, but not outstanding. Returns were an issue because not all women wanted the same size bottom as top. BJ Global redid the show and renamed the product. The Kymaro New Body Shaper was an instant hit.

“We saw a 250-percent improvement in MER,” says Alahmari. “The biggest difference was focusing on two pieces rather than one. Different women have differently shaped bodies. They needed differently sized tops than bottoms, but they wanted the slenderizing benefits of the Body Shaper for both”

BJ Global offered the Body Shaper in the consumer’s choice of sizes for $39.95 plus $9.95 processing. They also offered it in nude or black. Average revenue per order rose to nearly $80, and the show became a major hit. Now, the Kymaro brand includes other products, and the Body Shaper is rolling out successfully in retail.

Don’t Forget the Web

Allstar Marketing’s Garden Groom and BJ Global’s Kymaro New Body Shaper enjoyed major improvements. Incremental lifts, however, can be achieved by retooling Web sites, as well. Today, 30-50 percent or more of a DRTV campaign’s orders can come from the Internet. And the way a Web site is designed can have significant impact on the rate at which visitors convert to buyers and on the average revenue per order.

EcoCanteen is an environmentally safe water bottle. More than 70 percent of its orders were captured on the Web. The company’s original static HTML landing page generated average revenue per visitor of $1.59. In August 2009, Flash creative with animation was tested. Revenue per visitor jumped 32 percent — to $2.10. The TV allowable was raised and profitable TV spending increased, driving even more EcoCanteen buyers to the Web.

Bob Greenstone, president and founder of San Diego-based Permission Interactive, reports that the move from HTML to Flash belied everything he learned in a decade of Web marketing experience.

“In the olden days of single landing page microsites — 1995 to 2006 — all of our Web sites were built in static HTML,” says Greenstone. “We used Flash to run the videos, but otherwise HTML was king. From 2003 to 2006, a lot of A/B split testing was done to optimize our HTML single-page landing pages, and we had the process nailed. Flash as part of the creative? No way. Too distracting.”

Greenstone continues, “In early 2007, Andy Khubani approached us about making a Flash ‘storyboard-style’ Web site for his Clever Clasp magnetic jewelry clasp. I tried to talk him out of it because I never believed that a Flash site would beat a tried-and-true HTML site. But Andy insisted, and we built our first primitive version of our now standard Flash site.”

Based on an A/B split test of 8,000 orders, the HTML version converted at 19.9 percent and had revenue per unique visitor of $7.29. The Flash version had a conversion rate of 27.4 percent and revenue per unique visitor of $9.85.

“Frankly, I was in a state of denial,” Greenstone admits. “I believed it was a fluke. But we applied the same process to five other leading products, and the results were similar. A major shift occurred for our clients because MERs were better than those achieved on HTML sites.”

Tweaking and testing inbound telemarketing scripts can also improve a campaign’s revenue per order. Response rates can be improved by testing alternative product demonstrations, testimonials or offers in a commercial. While the likelihood of turning a loser into a winner is remote, the chance of incrementally improving a solid campaign’s performance is great. The key, as Pine says, is to “think like a scientist and test, test, test.”


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