How To Debug Your Direct Response Marketing Campaigns

Virtually all marketing problems can be found in one of three critical places. As you read through this, think of how you can use this model to analyze your advertising and marketing campaigns.

This is the holy trinity of marketing…


Do you REALLY understand your market? Do you know who they are so well you could create an image of your ideal customer for me? Do you know what they want, crave, or have a burning desire for?

Summary: Did you do your homework and RESEARCH your market?

Common problem: Starting with these fateful words “I have a great idea for a product” (or service/seminar/training/etc.) which is you offering what you like or want, instead of finding out what the market is hungry for, and giving it to them. This is one of the most common and most expensive mistakes made in the business world.

Historical Examples: The Edsel, New Coke, Dollar Coins in the USA,


Did you create your message with your market in mind? Did you make sure to list the benefits and address their objections, fears, and skepticism? Did you craft an attention grabbing headline to ATTRACT your ideal client or customer?

Is your message crystal clear, or does it cause confusion? (A confused prospect never buys). Did you enter into the conversation already in their mind?

Summary: Did you write the copy with your ideal prospect in mind?

Common Problem: Using BORING ‘corporate speak’. Writing about what WE or I do and listing the features of your product or service. The result is not writing in a relaxed conversational style with the word YOU, listing the benefits and how it will make an impact on the reader’s life.

3. The MEDIA

Did you use media that reaches your ideal prospect? If you put ads in the paper, do you know the demographics of the audience that reads the paper and does it match the people you want to ATTRACT?

If you sent direct mail, did the list have the ‘selects’ that match the people you want to ATTRACT? How are you measuring the response to be sure?

Summary: Did you use media your ideal prospects actually look at?

Common Problem: Let’s use X because it’s cheap!

The cost of the media is only a factor when you measure the ROI (Return On Investment) for your marketing.

You need to know that average cost to acquire a new lead, average cost to convert to a new client/customer, and the average lifetime value of a new client/customer. Then you can determine if the media is cost effective or not. Media should be chosen because it gets your message effectively delivered to your ideal prospect, not because of price.

Example: I have a friend who works with CEOs in Silicon Valley. When he wants to get the attention of new CEOs he will use Fed Ex to deliver his lead generation package (a personalized letter, a copy of his books, and an offer for a lunch meeting at an exclusive restaurant).

It costs $7 – $15 dollars just for the Fed Ex, but all gatekeepers (secretaries, personal assistants, etc.) know that a fed ex gets to the boss IMMEDIATELY! So the CEO gets the package. And every business person knows Fed Ex means IMPORTANT so they open it and read it IMMEDIATELY.

It’s very rare that a marketing problem can’t be resolved by looking at these three areas. And most common is #1. Never assume you know what the market wants, ask them first. You will be amazed at the insights you discover.

Notice how all three of things things work together, if you get all three correct, you’ll get a great response and a marketing system you can use over and over again.

Before You Invest in Home Based Internet Business – The 10 Biggest Direct Sales Mistakes

If you are like me and many people are. You know what it is like to fail at MLM, network marketing and the like. I had finally written off the entire industry. I remember the day that I made up my mind. I had joined an MLM company, I worked very hard to sign up 3 people, and earned a whopping 120.00.

The best part about it is that if all 3 of those people stayed active I was going to make an additional 3.17 per month.

Those results were in my first month alone. Now, I only needed to have about 2000 more months just like this one and I would be on easy street. Does this sound crazy and familiar at the same time? Hold on; add to this tale the fact that it took 90 days to receive my 120.00 check and I never did receive the $3.17.

Well it seemed like a good idea at the time but in the end it was just another business opportunity to add to my “now you know list”.

Yes, now I do know. I made my biggest mistake in choosing this company and I and I want you to avoid the same mistake. In fact there are several mistakes that people make everyday when choosing an opportunity and you can learn them and avoid them by continuing.

Before you review the list of biggest mistakes, get clear on a few basics.

- Direct sales has historically paid more people more money than MLM.

- Direct sales and MLM are not at all the same thing.

The information in this article will give you some navigational tools as you choose a direct sales model. Read this now and avoid some costly mistakes.

The 10 Biggest Mistakes That Direct Sales People Make

1. Choosing an opportunity with a bad or limited product line

2. Choosing an opportunity with a weak pay plan (you should make several hundred dollars on every sale and with residuals to match)

3. Believing that the company, your sponsor or anyone else will do the work for you

4. Paying more for leads and traffic than your payout can afford to cover

5. Failing to make follow up calls and emails to your prospects

6. Insulting or condescending attitudes (the MLM approach of “are you in or out” does not work in direct sales)

7. Failing to talk to enough people

8. Not using your sponsor or company training to become proficient in your new business

9. Joining a company that has week or no support

10. Underestimating just how lucrative this type of business can be. You can actually make several thousands of dollars right out of the gate.

I have already told you about my bad experience with a home based business. Now here is my positive story about joining a direct sales internet business.

First, I was not prepared for the lifestyle changes that accompany making $4,000.00 to $10,000.00 extra dollars per month. Direct sales delivered what MLM had only promised. The hope of making millions, the promise of more free time, and the idea of working at home is real and direct sales is a viable vehicle.

Anyone can use direct sales to reach success as long as you avoid the 10 biggest mistakes.

Marc Golden is a leading National Business Trainer. He helps people from all over the country start businesses. His primary areas of focus are Internet Businesses and Marketing.

B2B Versus B2C Direct Marketing

In direct marketing there are very different challenges for the marketing manager, depending on whether they wish to approach the general public (“Business to Consumer” or “B2C”) or to communicate with other businesses (“Business to Business” or “B2B”).

One of the key differences is in market segmentation. It is of course true that some of the ways of slicing up data are common to both business and consumer markets. For example, recency/frequency/value of past sales is one way of segmenting a data list that can be applied to both B2B and B2C data.

However, beyond this the B2C data can be cut in a myriad of ways to provide the marketing manager with an almost infinite number of ways to ‘slice the cake’ and find common attributes, behaviours and values between markets to build better quality direct marketing campaigns.

Lifestyle and demographic segmentation

For example, some people have been known to segment according to political persuasion. Others may slice according to religious belief or what brand of beer the prospect prefers. Such ‘lifestyle data’ questions are of course meaningless when applied to a B2B setting. However when B2C lists are segmented according to such apparently random factors, the results can yield lists of amazing value to the marketing executive.

Consumer modelling and analytics methodologies can determine common lifestyle and demographic elements among customers. A model of a typical current customer can be used to find ‘look-alike’ prospects with similar lifestyles and demographics. One of the best know models in B2C data is the ACORN classification, which describes the typical behaviours of people living in a neighbourhood that a postcode has been matched to. For example, people living in Richmond upon Thames and St Albans (both ACORN group 19) are more likely to take holidays in Canada than people living in Harrow (ACORN group 31). This very specific piece of B2C data would prove of real value to those working in the travel industry who might wish to promote their latest deals on flights to Canada or similar destinations.

Buyer behaviour

Another way of slicing B2C data is to look at purchase information to build a picture of buyer behaviour. This insight can be used to plan how best to influence purchases for greatest profit. Timing a promotion to coincide with when a customer is more likely to make a purchase of a certain type.

Intelligent use of B2C data reaps huge reward for the smart business.

Greater profit through enhanced understanding of customers

Segmentation allows businesses to create special offers, products, and deals for groups of customers with similar needs that solves their particular problem or want. Ultimately the aim is to generate greater sales due to a better understanding of what a customer wants, when they want it and at what price.

Customer loyalty

Knowing how consumers change over time is also important. Keeping track of say when they may change jobs through promotion could indicate a higher disposable income and therefore a new desire by them for status goods. Or if they start a family a whole new set of selling communication and selling opportunities presents itself. This B2C data is invaluable in maintaining relevant and constant communication to maintain customer loyalty.

8 Powerful Direct Marketing Offers That Nearly Always Raise Your Response Rate

Offers are the heart of all direct response advertising. An offer is not just a statement of your price, it’s the deal you’re making. It’s the total of what the customer gets plus what the customer has to do or pay to get it. By making an offer, you’re saying, “You do this for me, and I’ll do this for you.”

Naturally, the better your offer is, the better your response will be. Raising response is not your only concern, of course. For example, it may be more profitable to get a lower response from a more loyal group of buyers. Or perhaps you want orders to come in faster. Or you may need to lower your cost per sale.

In most cases, though, it’s best to start by getting your response rate high, then adjusting your offer over time to maximize your profits. Every offer you make has different characteristics. So, it pays to test.

Here are eight offers that have proven themselves over the years. They almost always raise your response rate:

Free Trial. This may be the best offer ever devised. A customer can try out your product free and without obligation for 10 days, 15 days, 30 days, or more. The time frame should fit the product. This offer removes risk for the prospect, overcomes inertia, and works with just about any product.

Money-Back Guarantee. This is perhaps the second best offer. A customer pays upfront but, if dissatisfied, can return the item for a full refund. Like the free trial, this offer removes risk but allows you to use customer inertia to your benefit since few people will take the trouble to return something.

Free Gift. When you offer a freebie your customer wants, your offer will usually outpull a discount offer of similar value. That’s because a gift is a more tangible benefit. This also has the advantage of not devaluing your product with a price reduction.

Limited Time. An offer with a time limit gets more response than an offer without one. You can display an exact date or suggest a response time frame, such as 14 days or 30 days. This forces a decision. And the faster you can force a decision, the more likely it will be in your favor.

Yes/No. You ask your prospect to respond positively or negatively, usually by affixing a “yes” stamp or a “no” stamp or by checking one of two boxes. This offer is involving and usually pulls more response than an offer that does not offer a “no” option. It works because it clarifies the need for a decision right away.

Negative Option. This pulls better than positive option offers. You offer a free trial or a special deal on a product then automatically ship future merchandise unless the customer specifically takes an action to refuse. Just make sure this arrangement is clear. People become very unhappy when you start shipping and billing for items they didn’t know they were ordering.

Credit Card Payment. Nothing is easier than paying with plastic. These days, there’s no reason not to accept payment this way by phone, mail, fax, or the Internet. In fact, this has moved beyond an offer and has become an expectation.

Sweepstakes. This increases your order volume if you’re selling easy-to-understand impulse items. However, these customers aren’t loyal, and you may find yourself forever trapped in an endless cycle of contests.

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