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It might surprise you to learn that the foundational elements that made direct response marketing so successful over the last 400 years have not changed much – the only change has been the methods, means, and media.

Look, the Pony Express isn’t what it used to be in 1861, and I don’t know about you, but the last time I received a telegraph was… umm…

You see, today we have more tools and resources available to us to increase response and get messages in front of people where they otherwise may have been lost. And the writing has been on the walls for years:

The next generation of direct response
marketing will be integrative

It will use elements of social marketing (Twitter, Facebook, Google+), SEO, and retargeting strategies to get the most mileage out of your marketing – but, but, but – the formula by which we craft our message will be the same.

Now, everyone tells you of the importance of a great headline and an irresistible offer – so today, I wanted to sprinkle the water with 5 less talked about tips for boosting your response and capturing your prospects’ attention.

1. Build Buzz

Pay attention to your direct marketing content. Whether it is delivered via email, on a blog or social media platform, or offline, your copy needs to be original, engaging, and maybe even a little edgy or exciting, depending on your audience.

What information can you offer your prospect that will get them to raise an eyebrow? What can make them take a step back and say: “Huh, wow, you don’t say?”

This reminds me of John Carlton’s famous headline: “Amazing Secret Discovered By One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Years to Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks and Slices… And Can Slash Up to 10 Strokes From Your Game Almost Overnight.”

2. Add Value by Selling Solutions to Problems

In Jay Baer’s book, “Youtility,” he says that marketers must focus on helping their customers accomplish something – instead of pushing sales messages.

We all know you have to make money to stay in business, but don’t sound too pushy in your messaging. Your content must be useful – that is, it must solve your customers’ problems. Position yourself as a solution provider, not just a service or product provider.

3. Emotional Appeal

Why do you think a consumer-product company selling a detergent would prefer to appeal to a woman’s proclivity for a cleaner, good-smelling house, rather than just expounding on the qualities of the detergent?

Emotion, my friend!

By targeting the prospective customer’s emotional chord, you boost your odds of delivering an effective message, getting a new client, and making money.

Remember this one irrefutable law: People buy from emotions and rationalize with logic.

Doesn’t matter if you sell to B2B or B2C – the laws are the same.

Think I’m crazy?

Ever heard the phrase: You’ll never get fired for buying IBM. Sure, it could be debatable whether or not they offer the best computers – but employees ordered IBMs because it offered them job safety and security.

Look at your product and service and find a way to pull on the emotional signposts of your customer.

4. Show, Don’t Tell

While it may be tempting to beat your readers over the head with how awesome you are, it’s not always necessary…

Demonstrate how your product or service helps in a real and tangible way.

In other words: show, don’t just tell your audience how your product works. This may be challenging to do in a short, direct marketing piece, but skillful marketers do this everyday.

Before and after photos… product demonstrations… case studies… testimonials – there are many ways to show your prospect why your product can offer them the solution they are after!

5. Stick to Direct Marketing – Nothing Else

Bob Stone, author of “Successful Direct Marketing Methods,” argues that you should stick with the core elements of direct marketing, even if you want to go the unconventional route.

Direct response marketing is the only type of marketing that allows you to:

  • Accurately quantify the results of your marketing efforts – to separate what’s working from what’s not
  • Narrowly target your buyers without wasting money on mass marketing
  • Build personal connections and rapport with your customers by targeting their very specific needs, giving you higher sales conversions

In your corner,


what now?

Continue reading for more resourceful information.