What Is Direct Response Advertising? A Comprehensive Overview

Hands down, Direct Response Advertising is the most powerful type of growth strategy for any kind of business.

And yes – that includes YOUR business too!
This form of marketing involves gaining a response from consumers who have seen or heard your advertisement.
This means you can measure both the ads reach and ROI.
Direct Response Advertising allows advertisers to know how many people they are reaching, the number of customers generated, and the immediate ROI which makes DR valuable for any company.
In this article, join me as we will explore what direct response advertising is and why you should care about it for your business.

Why Should I Care About DR Advertising?

We deal with this same conundrum every day: most companies don’t know how to reach their customers.
And to make things worse: They don’t know how to get freshly-generated leads to convert into sales.
The truth is most companies are wasting time, money, and resources on bad strategies.
Aimless branding campaigns… Poorly devised influencer strategies… Traffic campaigns leading to no ‘next-logical-step’… SEO Campaigns?!! (Let’s save this beef for another day)…
See, DR advertising is the best way to create a well-defined plan for your business growth. With DR, you are tracking every aspect of your campaign so you can see exactly what works and what doesn’t work.
And that means everything: Creative angles, call-to-action-buttons, landing page designs, colour schemes, video versus graphic creatives, headlines…
…and the list goes on!
If you’re not great with platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads – you could always get in touch with us to help you.
A DR Campaign will give you market-verified data about your target audience which helps you make better decisions in the future.

Do All Digital Marketing Agencies Offer Direct Response Advertising?

When people ask our team this question, we are often pushed into an uncomfortable position.
See, finding an agency that practices DR is kinda like asking whether you have sex or not.
See, we all do. But there’s only a handful that does it well.
Across the board, it’s hard to find a digital marketing agency that has mastered direct response advertising.
Most digital agencies we’ve seen over the years still are focusing on branding and awareness campaigns.
But, if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur needing an immediate lift in your business, branding or awareness campaigns are simply not effective at generating leads or customers for your business.
Direct Response Advertising, on the other hand, is.
At Owendenny Digital, our team of experts can help you create direct response advertisements that will rapidly generate new customers for your business. When we are engaged by you, we work scrupulously to create an ad campaign that fits into your existing budget and aligns with the goals of your company.

How To Roll Out A Direct Response Advertising Campaign In 7 Simple Steps


Step 1: Know Your Customer: Define your target market

Defining your target market is the most important step in creating your DR campaign.
A great way to define your target market is by using a simple segmentation matrix.
Recognise exactly what customer your product and service are designed for, and then try to pinpoint exactly what’s keeping that customer up at night.
Once you recognise your customer’s dreams, desires, fears, insecurities, and goals – the rest *almost* falls into place pretty quickly.

Step 2: Know Your Product: Define How Your Product Changes Lives

Let’s cut right to the chase: you must treat your product as the bridge between where your dream customer is today and where they’d like to be tomorrow.
So, on a document of any sort, have all your product’s features and benefits ready to craft the perfect advertisement.
And just remember, people only listen to ONE station: WII FM – What’s In It For Me. So, ensure all your benefits are engineered to transition your customer’s current situation into their new ideal.

Step 3: Know Your Customer Journey: Define How The Deal Will Be Done

Once you have a handle on your customer and your product, the next thing you must do is map out your Customer Journey to see how your DR Campaign will work with your business.
For me, the thing I love most about Customer Journey Maps is seeing how customers experience different aspects of your product, whether it’s a website or app. It reminds me to think about user experience in everything we do.

Here are 3 things you may want to consider when mapping out your customer journey:

1. Create an end-to-end outline of your customer’s journey 2. Brainstorm all the touchpoints along the journey and prioritise them according to their importance 3. Follow up with a plan for how you will optimise each touchpoint
Just remember this: We’re talking about EVERYTHING in your customer journey. The Facebook Ads, the Google Ads, the Lead Magnet, the Landing Page, the Calendar, the Copy (I could go on for hours). Every single asset needs to be considered to ensure your campaign delivers.
Look. I’d be dreaming if I said I could tell you everything about engineering a sound customer journey in a simple blog post like this one. Get in touch with us today and let’s see if we can help you unleash your new levels of business growth today.
…but in the meantime, let’s get back to the process for rolling out a crackin’ Direct Response Advertising Campaign.
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Step 4: Write A Handful Of Compelling Advertisements With Your Media In Mind

When you write an advertisement, it should be unique, creative and tap into the mass desire of your market. Using all the pre-work you’ve done in the prior steps, have a bit of fun and write a handful of advertisements with your media in mind.
For example, if you’re planning on running an Advertorial campaign, understand your customer is looking for news-worthy value before you transition into a soft-sell. If you’re wanting to roll out a Google Ads campaign, lead with the offer or main benefit and drive the traffic aggressively to your landing page.
The main reason why we want to test a handful of different ads of the same medium is to see what responds best to your customer. Certain headlines will out pull others, and certain media will die a fast death.
By having advertising options up your sleeve, you’ll be at ready to rapidly determine what’s going to push the needle in your business – fast.

Step 5: Choose The Right Media Outlet To Reach Your Audience

If you know your customer well enough and how they like to interact with your business online, it’s pretty simple to know where you’ll be heading to buy your advertising.
But, here are 3 additional things you may want to consider when choosing the right platform to run your ads on:
1. See what each platform offers, such as targeting options, pricing structures, and integrations with other tools 2. Research each platform by reading reviews from customers and experts in the field 3. Evaluate how well each platform meets your needs based on factors like features offered or pricing

Step 6: Set up a tracking system and follow-up process for leads generated by the campaign

Assuming you’re going to run online ads, you now need to do is put in place website-based tracking for your advertising campaign.
Despite the media buying platform having its reporting system, you *always* want a 2nd source of truth to accurately determine the correct attribution for your campaigns.
Here’s a 6-step outline for rolling out Google Analytics to get the data you need for your direct response advertising campaign:
1. Set up Google Analytics by creating an account 2. Define your goals and objectives 3. Create a conversion goal in Google Analytics 4. Choose the type of conversion you want to track (purchase, lead) 5. Name your goal and set it up with an event label for each step in the conversion funnel (e.g., “added item to cart”) 6. Add tracking code to all pages on your website that you want to be tracked by Google Analytics
On top of this, it’s crucial that you also use a CRM system to track your leads.
Lead tools like Hubspot or Infusionsoft are great options. But if you’re budget-constrained, there are heaps of great options that will do the job.

Step 7: Measure Your Campaign’s Success

The simplest way to measure your success is through a combination of responses, spend, orders and revenue generated.
Don’t overcomplicate things here.
It’s as simple as this:
I spent $1000 on a Facebook Advertising campaign, I generated 20 leads at $50 per lead, and I converted 10 leads on a $1000 product. Hence, I made $10,000 revenue from a $1000 investment!


As you can see, direct response advertising is a strategy that solely focuses on the customer. It’s aimed at driving an immediate purchase from the customer and can include anything from getting them to buy something, or take some other action that will help the company.
If this all sounds like it belongs in your company, feel free to get in touch with me (dean.denny@owendenny.com) and let’s see if we can help you take your business to the next level today!

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