Review of the Summit: Direct Response Advertising (Part 2)

I am going to continue to review Andrew Gordon’s presentation from last year’s home improvement summit. If you have not already done so make sure to read the first blog posting on direct response advertising.

The first three elements of direct response success were having an an attention grabbing device, making an emotional connection with the target and tapping on their point of pain, and presenting a key feature, benefit and/or testimonial. Now let’s examine the final three elements.

The fourth essential element is the creation of a compelling offer. When choosing your offer, remember: You have to give something to get something!

If you miss the mark with the first three elements, you can still generate response if you have structured a compelling offer. If possible, give your offer multiple layers.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Financing option(s)
  • Special savings or additional value
  • Education or information
  • The most powerful word is FREE — use it in your offer whenever possible (i.e. FREE: Upgrade, Diagnosis, Trial, etc.)

The fifth element is an effective call to action. With the advent of the web, consumers have come to expect immediate gratification and have acquired advertising A.D.D. – – so if you are running a two step process, be sure to provide a way to obtain your information immediately online.

While only testing can determine the right call to action for your business and market, some media better lends itself to direct appointment conversion such as print.

The final element is a unique response mechanism. All direct response creative should include a unique toll free number and unique URL.

In regard to the toll free number:

  • Use memorable numbers (hundreds, thousand, repeaters)
  • Use memorable pure ‘800’ numbers in all TV and radio

In reference to the unique URL:

  • Use URLs that relate to the campaign (
  • Do not use URLs with your company name and /// (not memorable)
  • Create landing pages that can be customized by media (in one section)
  • Use toll free number (non 800) on landing page to uniquely track web calls
  • Response mechanisms should always be as prominent as possible!

These six essential elements never change. How these elements are executed is what separates a campaign with moderate media performance from a campaign with outstanding media performance.

For more information regarding direct response advertising, visit the Direct Impact Group website or contact Andrew Gordon directly.

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