Local Direct Response Marketing Examples!

by Brionix

Local Direct Response MarketingLocal direct response advertising can be a very consistent way to attract new clients and generate leads. But direct response marketing is not your run of the mill brand marketing strategy. Let me explain it this way…

First, you probably advertise at the moment, maybe in the local paper, or in magazines, maybe even on the Internet, and if you don’t, then you’ll want to after this.

If you currently advertise, you may have wondered just how to make it stand out from all the other ads. I mean, it’s obvious, right? But the problem comes when we take a look at what everybody else is doing, come to the conclusion that what they’re doing is ‘what everybody does’, and we do whatever they’re doing.

But how are you going to stand out, how are you going to grab your prospect’s attention, if your ad looks like all the others? (Oh, and don’t worry if you now realize your ad IS the same as everyone else’s, they don’t teach this stuff in college…)

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 1:

Here’s a quick test for anything you’re thinking about including in your ad (A picture, an overall design, words and paragraphs): Take it and compare it to the ads your competition is running, in the paper, the yellow pages, wherever. If more than 5% or so of the other ads use a similar picture, a similar ad layout, then don’t use it!

All the other ads in your section will almost certainly look the same – basically a big business card. But the thing about advertising, is that your ad cost is the same whether it gets you one new customer or a hundred, so I’ve attached a sample newspaper for a hair salon ad (and a second ad for a nail salon) for you to look at, and I’m going to show you exactly how you can come up with your own profit pulling ad in no time.

Side Bar: Remember, this ad can be changed for just about any other advertising medium, not just a newspaper. And, this ad can be modeled for almost any business. Now, just because it’s not ‘your industry’ doesn’t mean you can use it. As a matter of fact, any ad that works in one industry can be modeled in another industry and work even more effectively. Why? Because every industry is busy looking at what each other are doing and copying each other. And what happens is that all the ads in the industry look the same!

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 2:

So let’s take a look at that sample ad and we’ll get started:

Local Advertising Example #1:

 Direct Response Advertisement

Local Hair Salon Direct Response Advertisement

Unless you have experience in direct response marketing, the ad might look a bit strange to you, maybe even downright ugly. But it doesn’t matter what your first impression of an ad is, unless you’re seriously looking to buy whatever the ad is promising.

The point is that while most ads are made to look very pretty, a direct response ad like this one is designed to do just one thing: Get you a paying client!

I’m sure you can see how this ad would stand out from all the others, right? With a big bold headline, lots of text, even a testimonial, if you’re looking to get your hair done, then this ad is going to attract your attention.

Let’s start at the beginning and break down this direct response ad so you can model it in your business:

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 3: The Headline.

There is something that almost all businesses put at the top of their ad: Their business name and logo. Big mistake! Have you ever bought anything for the first time because the logo caught your attention? Do you have the required millions of dollars and years of patience to ‘build a brand’? If not, then you should not put these things at the top of your ad. Especially if you want to stand out from your competitors.

A powerful headline will attract the attention of the person you want to read the ad. It’s really the ‘ad for your ad’. Studies tell us that we are exposed to something like 2,500 plus advertising messages per day. So to get through all that clutter you need a powerful headline to draw their attention in. Your business name and logo won’t cut it.

The headline I’ve used on the sample ad is

“FREE Hair Care Beauty Pack
& Follicle Assessment Valued
At $97.50 With Any Service!”

Let’s analyze it. Making a statement like this is very powerful for someone who is after this type of service, even if it’s just a bit of fluff on their lip. The phrase ‘FREE’ and ‘With Any Service’ literally screams out to be noticed by your target market. Advertising works on emotions, we justify with logic later, and this is a headline guaranteed to stir up feelings.

Of course you can substitute that headline for many others, such as:

“FREE Hair Care Beauty Pack & Follicle Assessment Worth $97.50”

“Beautiful Healthy Hair Can Be Yours – Guaranteed”

You will turn heads with curls so natural
only your stylist will know for sure!

You will look like you just stepped out of a salon every day!

Watch as your hair is transformed into gorgeous,
healthy-looking locks in less than X minutes!

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 5: The Body Text.

I’ve done something a little different here – I’ve placed the coupon towards the bottom of the ad. Should I be doing this? Tests show that a coupon on the lower right gets better results.

Well, in fact it’s not really a coupon at all. The dotted line is just another way to grab attention. Besides, who says I have to have the coupon at the top? I don’t have to have a coupon in there at all.

You’ll also notice a lot of text on the ad, as well. Here’s the thing: words sell. When you place this ad, the rep will say something like “All that text is going to be hard to read”, or “People won’t read all those words”. Baloney. If they’re interested, they’ll squint to see tiny 8 point print, if they’re interested.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 6: Benefits vs Features.

To get people to do this you need to talk about benefits. Everybody’s tuned into the same radio station – WIIFM – What’s In It For Me. They’re not interested in how good you say you are, they want to know how they will benefit. Credibility and qualifications sure help, but they aren’t enough to compete these days.

Now, a feature is something like, in this example, the treatments you use, your wax types, etc. That’s important, but not until they get there. What gets them there, what nobody else talks about, are the benefits, the beautiful hair they’ll have, the compliments they’ll get from their friends.

A feature for a carpet cleaner could be, ‘Industrial Strength Deep Cleaner’. But what does that do exactly, what is the benefit? How about, ‘Gets the nasty toxins your vacuum or rent-a-cleaner can’t get out’.

A feature for a Dentist might be, ‘Professional Teeth Whitening’. But a benefit might be, ‘Gets your teeth naturally pearly white without dozens of treatments and harmful chemicals’.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 7: The Offer.

Another powerful thing this ad does that most don’t is that it makes an offer. If you don’t make some kind of offer, why have an ad in the first place? Don’t try to ‘get your name out there’, you need sales as a direct result of every ad you pay for.

I’ve also made this an ‘irresistible offer’. A free Hair Care Beauty Pack, (which worked like gangbusters for one hair salon that tried it), plus a Follicle Assessment, which can be a 10-point or 5-level analysis and assessment that might come with a report in writing while they’re with you, the full robe and slipper treatment. It’s designed for new customers, so I’ve put that restriction on it, but otherwise I haven’t weighed down a otherwise great offer with a ton of conditions, like you have to come in between 7 and 8 in the morning of a Tuesday in a month without an R in it. Why make them jump through hoops?

You should also test giving away a free hair cut and a free beauty pack to see what kind of numbers you get, keeping in mind it’s about how much you make in back end sales from new customers, and how many referrals you get.

Why give away a free gift or hair cut? Because free samples are one of the most powerful marketing techniques ever created. They get people in the door. And that’s exactly what you want because once they have a wonderful experience they will come back and buy more products and services, and refer friends. Secondly, a large percentage who take advantage of a free treatment will spend the money they saved on products and services during their initial visit.

Do the math. Test it. You’ll see that by giving away a service or treatment that you will make a lot more money and build your client base faster than ever.

If you do not get these kinds of results, then there is something wrong in your business and you need to fix it right away.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 8: Deadlines.

And the offer has a deadline. If you say they can come in and get the offer next week, next month, whenever they get around to it, next time they have a lazy afternoon, then you’ll never see them. They’ll put it off until tomorrow, and of course tomorrow never comes. Make sure you use a deadline, or limit the offer to a certain number of packs, so something to motivate them to do something now.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 9: Testimonials.

Next the testimonial – the biggest barrier to people trying you is a lack of trust. And just saying you’re great doesn’t count, because anyone could say that, and they all do. But something that someone else says about you is much more powerful. Don’t have any? Ask. If your clients like what you do, there should be no problem.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 10: 800 numbers vs local numbers.

I’ve put a regular number on this ad, because of the nature of the offer, but another great marketing technique your competition doesn’t know about is the 800 number with a free recorded message.

Here’s why it works: For a start, an 800 number will get greater response simply because it’s a free call. And the recorded message part? Well, one other concern your prospects have is that they think they’ll have to put up with a ‘hard sell’ from a sales person when they call. Especially if you’re generating leads to market to later on, as opposed to presenting an offer such as in the sample ad. But if they know they can leave their details so you can send them something in the mail, that’s a far lower barrier to them picking up the phone.

If you go for the 800 number free recorded message option, this is a way to get a lot of interested people to raise their hands, say “I’m interested in manicures and pedicures”, and give you permission to market to them. A very common method is to then send out a series of sales letters, postcards, you can even use a phone call or fax to increase sales.

Anything you send will of course go by the marketing rules we’re talking about here. And, anything you do will also be so far ahead of everyone else, you’ll might have your local market all to yourself.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 11: Should I use a picture or image in my ad?

I have a small picture in this ad, and it doesn’t need one. Be careful. Don’t try to sell with a picture, unless it very powerfully demonstrates the main benefit you offer, or it’s a good picture that goes along with a testimonial (like in this ad). Remember to run it through your test: Take a look at the other ads, does it look like any of those? If so, it’s probably no good. You don’t want to look the same as everyone else. And frankly, direct response ads are usually very effective without needing images and pictures, it’s the words that sell, so any pictures you use must contribute to the sale.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 12: What About My Website?

You can put your website in an ad, and you should. But don’t use your website as the only way to contact your business, get a coupon, or special offer. The goal of every ad is to not only get the attention of your prospect, but you want to make it very easy for them to do business with you. Requiring a person to jump through extra hoops will drop response rates. Present 2 or 3 ways to easily contact your business.

Local Direct Response Marketing Part 13: QR Codes?

Using a QR code in your advertising could be a good idea. It’s an advanced strategy that requires more than a simple explanation. Read this article on QR codes and other marketing ideas.

Local Advertising Example #2:

Using Before and After Images In Your Advertising:

Before After Advertisement

Local Before After Picture Advertisement

As you can see this is basically the same ad except for two things:

  • It looks more like an advertorial. An advertorial is an ad that looks like an article. These types of ads are proven to boost response.
  • Before and after images. Before and after images, if done well, can dramatically boost response to your ads. Don’t think you can use them in your business? You can. I know of insurance agents who have used them with great success. So if they can do it, you can do it. Remember when I said, “Don’t try to sell with a picture, unless it very powerfully demonstrates the main benefit you offer”? This is one way to use them effectively.

So What About QR Codes and Other Cutting Edge Ideas?

Go to my Kindle Authors page for even more information on direct response marketing, mobile and text message marketing, and more 🙂

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