One of the most effective ways of promoting products in the modern Internet age is direct response website marketing. This is often the finding of any experienced internet marketing and advertising company. Here is why we recommend direct response marketing for your online business.
In order to understand what differentiates direct response from other commercial websites, it’s helpful to think of the mass communication medium of yesterday — television.
When most of us think of television programming, we tend to think of “shows.” Television “shows” have two distinctive features in common:
They focus on providing content to an end user (the viewer). The quality of the content determines the quality of the show. They make their money by convincing other people to invest in the show.
Neither of these points determines what the content of the show will be, or what exactly will make the investors give their money to the producers of the show. The show could be a drama, a comedy, a variety show, a “reality show”, a documentary, or any of a hundred other categories. The investors might pay for advertising space on the show, buy tapes or DVDs of old episodes of the show, or even send money directly to the producers in response to solicitations (as with the pledge drives public television uses to raise funds.) Whatever form the show or the revenue-building strategy takes, however, one key principle holds: content over marketing.
If traditional web design can be thought of as “shows,” direct response website marketing can be thought of as infomercials. Infomercials have the following two features in common:
- They focus on describing a product to the end user. All content in the show is subordinated to the central goal of describing, promoting, and ultimately selling the product.
- The show makes its money through direct product sales.
Again, neither of these points determines absolutely what form the infomercial will take. An infomercial might include a short dramatic sketch, a mock “panel discussion,” a comedy act, or simply a straightforward list of features and advantages for a given product. But as the first point states, all of these entertaining or informative pieces of content have to be subordinated to the central goal of selling products. A show’s central point is, essentially, to get people to watch the show (and to make their money based on the number of people who watch the show). Whereas an infomercial’s central point is ultimately to get people to stop watching the show and to start ordering the product.
In the online world, a successful commerce website should have the primary goal of getting people to stop browsing the site and to take action and order the product. And how do we do this? What are the key elements of a direct response website? Some internet marketing and advertising companies would have you believe that flash sells. Our experience, and the empirical data of direct response internet marketers show otherwise. We’ll cover more in our next article.