Direct Response Marketing Blog


Post Logs: A DR Media Buyer's Best Friend

Posted by Jessica Metz

Mar 23, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Post logs are a report from the station showing if and when your media spots actually ran. Because we face far less than 100% clearance on DR media schedules, and often buy broad rotators instead of specific shows/programs, it is impossible to know the times and clearance level ahead of time.

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Topics: Call Tracking, Marketing Reports, Direct Response, Media Buying, Campaign Optimization, Data Analysis

Campaign Metrics: Are you analyzing too much or not enough?

Posted by Jessica Metz

Feb 4, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Without measurement, there is no way to understand your advertising campaign results. And without that knowledge, it is impossible to improve your campaign. We may all be able to agree that analysis is necessary, but what to focus on can be confusing.

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Topics: Call Tracking, Direct Response, Advertising ROI, Media Buying, Campaign Optimization, Data Analysis, Conversion Rates

Hispanic Market Advertising

Posted by Jessica Metz

Jan 5, 2015 9:30:00 AM

The Hispanic media market is not to be ignored. If your product or service is relevant to Spanish speakers, marketing to them is a must. This is especially true in markets like Miami (where the Hispanic population is high), but even if you are buying media on a national scale, this group is growing nationwide and overlooking them will be a detriment to your campaign.

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Topics: Call Tracking, Direct Response, Media Buying, Campaign Optimization, Marketing

Call Screening vs. Call Blocking

Posted by Jessica Metz

Oct 3, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Many DR campaigns are state or area code sensitive. Perhaps laws prohibit your product being shipped to California, or the company offering a service is not licensed in Florida. If your media campaign is national, keeping callers from those excluded states is a must. Otherwise, your client receives calls they can’t handle and it poses a logistical nightmare. On the opposite side, a local campaign in New York is unlikely to get viable calls from New Mexico. A caller from that far away could be a transplant, or could be a spam or misdial.

There is more than one way to eliminate these callers efficiently and in the fairest way to the caller, because after all, they did hear your spot and are responding as they were intended to (this means your creative worked!). No matter which way you choose to restrict them, playing a message explaining they are out of the service area is a must. Without it, they might call back or think the number was published incorrectly and this reflects poorly on you.

  1. Call Screening:  You can select the states (or area codes) that you trust are likely to generate true leads, and “screen out” all other states with a message requiring the caller to press a single key. Those callers from the likely states will pass directly to the endpoint because they are essentially being qualified based on their location. In addition, this tool can be used to play an “out of service area” message to callers within certain states or area codes before disconnecting the call, so that they do not have the option to proceed to the call center. The reporting distinction with call screening is that screened calls not passing to the endpoint do not show up in reporting. This is especially clean when using for billing purposes.
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Topics: Call Tracking, Direct Response, Campaign Optimization, Reducing Misdials, Lead Management, Phone Leads

Radio VO’s: Professional or Local?

Posted by Jessica Metz

Jun 25, 2014 10:09:34 AM

Buying local radio can be tedious. It requires research of market, coverage areas, signal strength, format, etc. Once your buy is placed, it’s time to send traffic to the stations. You have a couple of choices in creating radio spots, and each have their pros and cons. Here is a look at your options:

  1. Professional VO: Depending on your overall marketing plan, using a professional VO talent to record your spots could be extremely important.
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Topics: Media Buying, Campaign Optimization, Marketing

Curing Call Confusion: Test Dialing 101

Posted by Jessica Metz

Jun 19, 2014 10:59:48 AM

The first step to truly managing your campaign call routing is test dialing. It may be a nuisance, and it’s often overlooked, but is quite possibly the most important thing you can do to ensure success. Let’s face it, without a properly operating telephone call, advertising dollars go to waste and revenue is lost.

What happens during the test dial can be confusing, and may lead to more questions than answers. Also, there is more to check than simply connectivity. Here is a checklist to follow:

  1. Dial the TFN from a couple places if you have more than one phone available. Call routing can be a complicated process with multiple steps involved in set-up. Failure at the carrier level can lead to strange behavior of calls, such as certain blocks on incoming calls. While rare and unlikely, it doesn’t hurt to double check!
  2. Count the rings to pick up, and make note of subtle differences in ringing sounds, as well as time it takes while in call center IVR/queue. While you always hear a ringing sound when trying to connect to the endpoint, sometimes call centers play a ringing sound once the call is connected and before they have a rep available. This confuses many, because they assume it’s one continuous ringing instead of the actual case of waiting in a queue.
  3. Press through IVR’s if applicable. Reach the final destination (a live rep) and listen to their greeting. Script adherence can make or break a successful campaign, and your test dial might uncover a problem before it can negatively affect your bottom line.
  4. Detailing what you find and when will help tremendously if there is an issue that needs to be researched. Also, allow enough time before campaign inception for kinks to be worked out when placing the test dials.
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Topics: Campaign Optimization

Dynamic Routing: We'll have our system talk to your system

Posted by Jessica Metz

Jun 11, 2014 10:42:55 AM

Sure, a phone call can be routed to another number, through an IVR, or even by geographic location. And there are lots of routing rules to apply, like time of day, volume, monetary considerations, and allocation percentages. These are all parameters set ahead of the campaign, and although they can be changed at any time, they do remain static until manual intervention takes place.

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Topics: Campaign Optimization

Lead Gen Metrics: Increasing Direct Response Advertising ROI with Math

Posted by Jessica Metz

Mar 17, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Traditional practices of analyzing metrics to increase ROI certainly play a role in campaign management, but technology has now surpassed such methods in taking your ROI to the next level. Instead of being reactive, you can finally be proactive in managing your lead flow. With the help of mathematical algorithms, the leads you generated can be routed to maximize ROI, based on what each customer is paying per lead and their current conversion rates.


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Topics: Advertising ROI, Campaign Optimization, Lead Management

Call to Action! Finding the Right Message for your Campaign

Posted by Jessica Metz

Feb 18, 2014 8:00:00 AM

In seventh grade, my language arts teacher taught me to always consider my audience when writing. That basic principle is just as important when scripting your next creative. We all know direct response spots must have an effective call-to-action, but how to present it and how under or overstated it should be differs by campaign. If you are advertising a product at a lower price point, and perhaps branding is less important, then an aggressive call-to-action (CTA) can be appropriate. Examples include: flashing words or phone number, increased volume of spokesperson or VO, and running time clock or wording to convey urgency. However, if you are offering high level degrees at a university, and branding is of equal importance to the response, the CTA should be toned down.

Some tactics are up for debate -- crawlers (the scrolling sentences reminiscent of a news ticker across the call-to-action-for-direct-responsescreen) are loved by many advertisers, as they are a quick and inexpensive way to add an extra message to an already versioned spot. Whether it’s a time sensitive event, deadline, or a new feature, crawlers can be added for additional emphasis on the CTA. They do not come without cons; adding any visual to an existing spot can make it look crowded, busy, and downright cheesy. This is especially true if not done professionally and consistently across all versions. If your current creative is a masterpiece, it might not be a great idea to interfere with it. Also, managing the time sensitive messages is extremely important. If your message displays a deadline of January 31, and is on air past then, your company image can be tarnished as careless or disorganized.

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Topics: Campaign Optimization, Conversion Rates, Calls to Action


Posted by Jessica Metz

Feb 11, 2014 9:00:00 AM

For those who have never purchased media, it may seem very basic. You want something, and you buy it.  Unlike going to the grocery store and buying a gallon of milk, media buying is not quite as simple.  There are many factors to consider: planning, strategy, and negotiation. Here are the basics that every direct response marketer should know:direct-response-media-buying-101

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Topics: Media Buying, Campaign Optimization, Rate Negotiation

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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