There are three elements to a direct response piece and if any of the three are missing then the direct response piece is likely to fail. These three elements are:
- An offer
- Information to support the offer
- A mechanism by which the customer can make a response
Direct response marketing sells directly to the person buying. It’s usually aimed at selling products immediately or generating inquiries for follow-up. The sales-copy triggers the buying decision. That’s why it’s called direct response. It must trigger a response directly or it fails.
To trigger a direct response, first, you’ll need an offer that is enticing enough to make people act immediately.
Second, you’ll need information to help people to make a decision about your offer. If they can’t make their mind up they won’t respond. The amount of information you’ll need will depend on what you’re selling and the price you’re asking for it. It’s resobale to expect that you can sell low value products with something like a simple discount offer, but most products and services will require more explanation.
In general, the less familiar people are with the product category or the product itself, the more information you’re going to need to provide them to make a decision. It’s better to give too much information as long as it’s well-presented. At least then people will be able to get the information they want and ignore the rest. Surely an argument for the long copy sales later.
The third element is to create an easy response mechanism. If you’ve made an enticing offer and provided the information people need to make a decision, you only have one more step. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to respond. The easier, the more response you’ll get and the better your conversion’s will be.
These words could have been written about direct response but are just as true of internet marketing and it helps if you think of it as a direct response medium.