Direct Response Advertising -

Direct Response Advertising Copy

First coined as early as the 1800s, Direct Response Advertising is as relevant today as it was back then. Why? Because it's based on immutable psychological principles, which haven't changed and never will change.

Sure, the way we deliver our message has evolved. But the underlying messaging strategies that were developed, tested and proven in decades gone by are as effective as ever in today's market.

You're already a direct response marketer.

If you own a website, then you're already doing direct response marketing.

The web is a completely interactive platform. It empowers your website visitors to instantly take action... or click off and forget you forever.

Your website, social media accounts, emails, advertising and more. They are all tools that can be used generate response from your audience.

Now that the web has brought direct response out of the caves of direct mail and into the mainstream, the few who have direct response skills have the home court advantage.

Direct response advertisers have been testing, measuring and optimising their advertising for decades and decades. And they know a secret to advertising that David Ogilvy very clearly expressed back in the 60s:

Insight: you can only manage what you measure

After obsessively studying the most successful direct response copywriters in history (mentors include John Caples, Gary Bencivenga, Gary Halbert, and others), I incorporate their proven direct response strategies to craft winning copy for my clients today.

Here are my 3 of my favourite copy secrets for better direct response results:

  • 1. Be of service: prospects don't care about you, they care about their problems. Being of service means being genuinely customer-focused by helping them solve their problem. It's the quickest way to win attention.
  • 2. Pile on proof: the more you prove your claims and promises, the more your prospect can buy into them and take action. Believability is everything!
  • 3. Reduce risk: in our hyperactive over-saturated world, one thing that's hard to come by is trust. Instead of demanding your prospects have blind faith and jump into bed with you right away, do everything you can to remove their risk of doing business with you.

For more effective advertising principles, check out my copy credo.

PPC / Banner Ads

Some of my professional experience includes:

  • Search marketing (PPC Account Manager and Search Strategist for some of the UK’s biggest spending brands - Pokerstars, Samsung, Orange and others)
  • Display advertising (Digital Strategist at one of Australia’s leading digital publishers)

I’ve been fortunate to gain extensive experience writing and split testing copy for PPC and banner ads in the fields of Finance, Property, Retail, Utilities, Government, Gambling, Beauty and more.

What did I learn from these 6 years of experience? Success in PPC advertising comes down to one important idea:


To create a relevant (and high ROI) PPC campaign you need to do three things:

  • Develop the right message
  • Deliver the right message to the right person
  • At the right time when they can take action

Let me help you create a PPC advertising campaign that targets the right audience, using copy that gets you clicks, on a channel that will get you results.

Video Sales Letters

Statistics are showing that in many markets video sales letters are out-converting text based sales pages by 2x to 3x.

So if you want to squeeze more profit out of your sales pages, now is the perfect time to TEST a VSL.

Persuasive advantages of Video Sales Letters:

  • 1. Visual - you can include charts, graphs, images and other persuasive elements knowing that the audience will pay attention to them
  • 2. Emotion - you can convey more emotion using tone of voice, sounds and video elements
  • 3. Voice - gives you more flexibility to use multiple voices, useful for testimonials, expert opinions and other third parties
  • 4. Location - ability to shoot on the scene and do a live product demonstrations

These factors combined give you more tools to influence the audience no matter how they learn: through audio, visual or kinesthetic.

(A straight text sales page however, can only reach the audience on a visual level).

Action point: use video to reach audio, visual and kinesthetic learners to maximise your results

Direct mail

Direct mail ain't dead yet:

1. Direct mail continues to be used heavily, with a 43% share of total local retail advertising. (source: Biakelsey - Local Ad Dollars 2013 What Business Categories are Spending and Where)

2. Young adults, 24 years and younger, are among the most direct mail responsive. (source: Beasley Direct - DMA 2014 Statistical Fact Book)

3. An International Communications Research survey found that 73% of consumers actually prefer mail over other advertising methods. (Source: Marketingprofs - Print Marketing Will Thrive in 2014 and Beyond)

Despite an obvious shift into digital, direct mail is still an effective marketing channel.

When should you be considering using direct mail? Here's when I'd recommend it:

  • When you have a local audience that's easily reachable
  • When you have a younger audience that you're having trouble reaching online
  • When you have a tightly-defined, well targeted audience you can mail

To ensure your success in direct mail, you need two things. Firstly, a clear target audience and a way to reach them (in other words, a solid list). Secondly, you need persuasive and engaging copy that speaks to the heart of that audience.

Off-line ads

If you're advertising offline and you want to improve your results, then you need to incorporate proven direct response tactics.

Remember, the only way to get better results is to run activity that is trackable and measurable. The key to being able to measure your offline ads is to ask readers to take action.

Here is a simple example of a lead-gen mailing I created for a local baker: [gridfx posttypes=attachment include_terms=41 columns="2" instantsearch="0" show_views="0" show_likes="0"]

See how we're asking the reader to take action?

Because we did that, Michael was able to collect the post cards as they came into store and measure the successfulness of the campaign.

Take away: always find a way to measure the effectiveness of your advertising

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Better converting copy means more money in your pocket. Get in touch today for an obligation free quote.