Direct Response Marketing Blog


How To Generate More Conversions by Qualifying Direct Response Leads

Posted by Jessica Metz

Dec 9, 2013 8:37:00 AM

Trust & Money in Direct Reponse Campaigns

You can never have too many checks on the system. Look at casinos – they have people watching people, When phone calls you generate for your clients are overlooked, develop your process to qualify more leads from the same number of calls to max ROIwatching people, in multiple layers of security to make sure that nothing 'slips through the cracks'. This might seem excessive, but when it comes to money, especially large amounts, its always important to take it seriously and be careful.

What does casino security have to do with direct response (DR) advertising? More than you think! Both involve a fair amount of other people’s money, trust, and the goal of making money. Throughout a DR campaign, there are many little things that can go wrong. Phone numbers might be mislabeled, spots might be trafficked to the wrong station, but once the leads come in they are often overlooked. Unconverted calls are sloughed off as normal, dropped calls are considered uninterested, and when the campaign struggles to meet a certain cost per lead, the media buy is attacked. Making the most of the leads you do generate could potentially reduce the need and expense for a higher volume.

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Topics: Advertising ROI, Campaign Optimization, Conversion Rates

Direct Response Television Advertising: Ratings vs. Rates

Posted by Jessica Metz

Dec 5, 2013 10:00:00 AM

The process of buying TV ads can be very different, depending on the nature of the campaign. If your goal is Direct Response TV Advertisingbrand awareness, ratings will be your guideline. If your objective is to generate a response via phone or web, your tactics are not quite as black and white. No matter what you are trying to achieve, understanding the relationship of ratings and rates plays a huge role in campaign success.



Thanks to Nielsen, we can obtain viewership data for each DMA (Designated Market Area). The country is divided up, typically around major cities, where networks broadcast from. The TV watching activity is recorded and reported to give stations, advertisers, and buyers a snapshot of what programs gain the most attention.

Ratings are communicated in points, which are a percentage of the overall population in that market based on the demographic you are targeting (i.e. Woman 18-34, Adults 25-54). The data is taken one step further, by specifying “share,” which is the percentage tuned in at that given time. All of this information helps to make an informed decision on what programs to buy in order to reach the most viewers in your target audience, and is crucial to maximizing your money. Rates are divided by rating points to give you a CPP (cost per point), to show the efficiency of your media spend. Breaking stations down by CPP can assist in comparing – for instance, a spot during Monday Night Football might cost a lot more than the noon news, but the viewership is so much higher during MNF, that it is a cheaper way to reach more people. 


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Topics: Direct Response, Ad Mediums, Rate Negotiation

Direct Response Radio - The Underrated Medium

Posted by Jessica Metz

Dec 4, 2013 5:32:00 PM

In the world of media buying, radio tends to get a bad rap. Sure, plenty of advertisers use it, but many just modern-day-radio-direct-response-adscan’t shake the notion that radio is the lesser medium compared to TV. If you measure your campaigns by lead generation, you understand the importance of every dollar spent and every lead received. Sometimes radio is the way to deliver that ROI you’re looking for.


Still, TV is glamorous and radio is not. This reputation leads advertisers to think TV is more efficient, when often times it is not. Even within TV, efficient direct response campaigns require overlooked dayparts like overnight, early afternoon, and weekends, when rates are much lower. Yet many times advertisers prefer highly visible areas such as prime. 

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Topics: Advertising ROI, Media Buying, Ad Mediums

Direct Response Marketing Reports Team Your Media Buying with Call Tracking

Posted by Jessica Metz

Dec 3, 2013 9:47:00 AM

In order to effectively analyze and communicate the results of your direct response campaign, it's necessary to be able to manipulate the data and generate multiple reports. Client preferences may vary, and it's your job to be versatile and deliver what they want. Teaming your media buying (through our software) with call tracking, the ability to generate reports demonstrating the overall effectiveness of your campaign is tremendous. This is a one-stop solution to post logs and media discrepancies, success of individual media outlets, conversion rates, and overall ROI.


Private Label Reporting Application:  Support your brand and retain your clients with a truly branded call tracking application (not co-branded or white-labeled). 

Custom Excel Reports:  Why spend hours integrating call tracking data into Excel reports built with your format and criteria? This is completely unnecessary when there are Excel report generators available that will automatically pull the data you want form your call tracking provider's database and format it "exactly" as the client requests it, including a customizable look and feel. Let technology do what currently requires man-hours.

Custom Excel Reports:  Why spend hours integrating call tracking data into Excel reports built with your format and criteria? This is completely unnecessary when there are Excel report generators available that will automatically pull the data you want form your call tracking provider's database and format it "exactly" as the client requests it, including a customizable look and feel. Let technology do what currently requires man-hours.

Branded Recap Reports:  Email your clients branded reports, charts, graphs, news and more.


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Topics: Call Tracking, Marketing Reports, Media Buying

5 Steps to Successful Traffic Management

Posted by Jessica Metz

Dec 2, 2013 9:30:00 AM

If you buy direct response (DR) TV or radio advertising and are responsible for the creative in your campaigns, you traffic-organization-is-success-in-direct-responseprobably manage a database of versions. Each one has its own Industry Standardized Commercial Identifier (ISCI), and is put into the format of your choice to keep track. In addition to placing the media order, you have to send traffic to the station. This might seem like a simple process, but so much can go wrong. If the same ISCI is mistakenly applied to two different versions, this could cause lots of confusion internally, at your chosen asset delivery platform, and at the traffic departments of the stations receiving the spots.

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Topics: Call Tracking, Advertising ROI, Media Buying

Benefits of Media Buying and Management Software

Posted by Jessica Metz

Nov 29, 2013 7:30:00 AM

When I first started out buying DRTV, I created all of my insertion orders (IO) from an Excel template, saved them in a folder on my desktop, and faxed each one to the stations. Confirmations were received via fax, except for the rare rep who scanned and emailed back. Most of the communication was done over the phone. And it was up to us buyers to keep very organized. This was less than 10 years ago, and then I moved to another agency to buy print. Similarly, we created every IO from a Word template, printed, and faxed them to stations. Each one was fastened to a folder, piled up, and used to bill from at the end of the month. Imagine the possibilities of lost files! This was only 5 years ago.


I am happy to say that my most recent buying was done through a web based system, although it was bulky, elaborate, and contained many more features than I ever needed (which I am sure was factored into the cost). At the very least, it was effective at keeping data organized, the buys in an easily accessible place, and streamlining the billing process.


If you still buy media the old fashioned way, it may be because you don’t know your options, or that you think you can’t afford media buying software. Finding a basic, less expensive option could be the best alternative, and once you begin to use it, you might realize it saves you money and time in the long run. The top reasons for using media buying software include:

  1. All insertion orders are kept in the same place, easily accessible from any location.
  2. Information such as rates, stations, and contacts are stored for quick reference.
  3. Accounting can pull billing information straight from program.


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Topics: Media Buying, Campaign Optimization, Insertion Orders

The Pros and Cons of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Usage

Posted by Jessica Metz

Nov 27, 2013 11:00:00 AM

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology is useful, there is no doubt about that. It can be applied to screen for misdials, manage internal customer routing, and provide basic customer service, in a much more cost effective manner than using all live interaction. However, customer satisfaction plays an equally important role in your bottom line, and they’re experience can be affected by an IVR.


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Topics: Call Tracking, Phone Number Features, Call Center Management

Misdials: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Jessica Metz

Nov 26, 2013 10:30:00 AM

We can all agree that misdials are a waste of time and money. They burden your sales team, dilute your reports, and in high volume can stand in the way of quality calls. While they are frustrating, and often misdials-caused-by-robodialers-affect-campaign-results-and-reportingconfusing, there are ways to manage your toll free numbers to better avoid them.

Misdials occur for many reasons, most notably incorrect key touches, number transposition, misprints by another organization, and leftover calls from previous campaigns. If your number is one digit off from another published number, there is a good chance you will see “fat fingered” misdials trickle in. This becomes a serious issue when that number is widespread and intended for high call volume. Another form of misdial is robodial, or auto-generated calls. 

When you order a toll free number, do you put it to use immediately? We suggest securing a pool of numbers prior to your campaign and watching them for activity. Your call tracking provider can report on all recent calls. This ensures the numbers are clean and free from misdials. If there is excessive traffic on the line, you can prevent these negative effects on your campaign by choosing an alternate number. Its best to be proactive; once TV spots are versioned and printed materials are in circulation, it is costly to change.

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Topics: Call Tracking, Phone Number Features, Reducing Misdials

Unconnected Calls: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Posted by Jessica Metz

Nov 23, 2013 11:30:00 AM

You know the routine: ads are placed, callers call, and some, not all, are converted. If your call center is diligent, they are following up on the callers that disconnect too soon and a few weeks later on the callers that didn’t convert. These calls can be identified in your system and you have the ability to make something of them.

What about the calls that hang up before being connected to the call center? These calls don’t make it on to wasted__advertising_dollarsyour reports, so essentially you never know about them. They may seem harmless, but in fact they do affect bottom line. If you can’t see them, you can’t convert them, and the advertising dollars paid to generate them are also wasted.

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Topics: Advertising ROI, Data Analysis, Call Center Management

Why Call Tracking and Recording are Important to Direct Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Jessica Metz

Nov 22, 2013 7:00:00 AM

The Benefits of Call Recording

The goal of Direct Response marketing is to create an immediate response from the consumer. ProducingThe benefits of call recording for direct response that call to action is not always easy; it requires thoughtfully executed creative and carefully negotiated media rates. However, generating that lead is just the beginning. Campaign metrics and management is just as important as campaign initiation. Call tracking and recording play an extremely important role in reducing costs and increasing campaign effectiveness.

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Topics: Call Tracking, Direct Response, Phone Number Features

Zenith Media Tracking is for advertising professionals. We track phone calls and help agencies determine the best media buying and lead selling strategies for maximum profit.

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