Direct Response Advertising – Print, Online, Remarketing

Direct Response Advertising – Print, Online, Remarketing

Direct response advertising provides advertisers with the opportunity to generate leads from their advertising and the same time, precisely measure the effectiveness of various media outlets.

Direct Response Advertising
Print Advertising

Print advertising is seen as “old school” but many younger marketers, but the fact is print still works.  People still read newspapers, magazines and trade journals – and they still see the ads in those publications.  To be sure, many people are now getting their information online today, but it’s not everyone.

Online Advertising

Online advertising involves any advertising that appears on websites, news sites, blogs, email newsletters or other online properties.  Some advertising is purchased through networks (like the Google Display Network), while other advertising is purchased directly from a specific web property.  For example, most print publishers offer an online platform where you can place your advertising.

Many online campaigns charge on a pay-per-click basis, but some on a cost-per-impression or a monthly fee basis


Remarketing is a very specialized form of online advertising in which your ad is placed in front of people who had previously your website.  Ads are automatically placed on websites your visitors see after they leave your website.    Remarketing campaigns are typically charged on a pay-per-click basis.

Brand-building with a focus on response

For many, if not most, advertisers, the primary goal of their advertising is to build their brand awareness – to get people to know them and remember them.  While this is a worthwhile goal, it falls far short of what we expect with direct response advertising.

With direct response, our primary goal is to generate a measurable response – in the form of inquiries, sales leads, or, in some cases, actual orders.  By tracking response from each ad placement, we can begin to see which media channel and which ads are most productive

In our view, response is the priority and branding is a bonus.

Where most advertisers (and their agencies) go wrong

We’re all familiar with the advertising process to some extent.  A company decides it’s time for a new advertising campaign.  And so they invite an ad agency to come in and present some new advertising concepts.

But here’s the problem with this approach:

The agencies are coming in with entirely new and fresh ideas with no connection to what has been in done in the past.  These advertisers have already invested millions of dollars in their brand, but none of that investment – or knowledge gained from that investment – will be reflected in this new campaign.

Advertisers become so focused on a new campaign, they forget that some of the elements of their earlier campaigns were working and should remain in place.

In our view, advertisers should stop creating new campaigns and instead focus their time and energy on improving the campaigns they already have.

Key element in generating a response

As with direct mail, email or any direct response media channels, direct response advertising starts with the offer.

People don’t respond to clever, funny or entertaining advertising.  They respond to offers.

The response you generate from your advertising will depend almost entirely on the appeal of your offer and the ease by which you make it available.

Ads that focus entirely on the offer typically generate more response than ads that only refer to the offer in the call to action.


Measure against costs

In the end, you will have responses you can count and leads you can follow up.  But just knowing how many leads you generated isn’t enough.

You also need to calculate those totals against the cost of each media channel.  So if an ad costs $1000 and you generated 50 leads, your cost per lead will be $20 ($1000 divided by 50 leads = $20 per lead).

This analysis should be applied to all of your advertising as well as other marketing activities.


Take the next step

To learn more or request an estimate, contact Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643 or