DRTV RESOURCES / INFOMERCIAL GLOSSARY
Commonly Used Direct Response TV Terms.
Here's more information about infomercials and the direct response television or DRTV industry. A little knowledge can sometimes be dangerous, but at InfoWorx, we strive to give our clients as much information, honestly and ethically, as possible. Remember, your success is our success.
Ad agency (infomercial): Hired by manufacturers, entrepreneurs or product owners to produce their infomercial program (on a fee or commission basis). Normally they provide such services as TV production as well as media planning/buying/analysis. Infomercial ad agencies differ from InfoWorx unique turnkey infomarketing concept.
Ad Allowable: Your ad allowable tells you how much you can afford on a cost per order basis. The ad allowable is the dollar amount determined to be the maximum media expense for each unit sold in order to generate a legitimate profit.
Affidavit: Created by the TV station or cable network sales departments and sent to agency clients documenting their allotted commercial run times and specific prices paid.
Airing: An infomercial's broadcast in a specific time slot.
Airtime: Media time slots a network or broadcast station has slated for the placement of infomercial programs.
Back-end sales: Product transactions occuring after the initial direct television sale generated by a long or short form DRTV infomercial. Such back-end sales can account for 20 to 90 percent of all sales totals; not including retail.
Bonus: An extra product or service added to the main infomercial product as an incentive. Also called a "sweetener" or premium.
Call to Action (CTA): The segments of an infomercial program that specially motivate the customer to call and order the product. Usually two to three minutes long and reviewing the product's main features and benefits. It also states the products' guarantee, price, send check to address, toll free number, credit cards accepted, etc.
Clearance: A term used by short-form media buyers to indicate which part of their media order, or campaign, in any given day or week was actually broadcast.
Continuity Program:An infomercial/DRTV that offers the first in a series of products, often for a lower-than-normal price. The consumer is then encouraged to continue purchasing the rest of the series.
Cost of Goods (COG): The direct cost involved with the manufacture and packaging of a specific product.
Cost per Lead (CPL): The average cost of television media to generate one lead or telephone call requesting more information on the product.
Cost per Order (CPO): The average cost of television media to generate one product order, determined by dividing the cost of a specific infomercial telecast by the total number of orders received from it.
Daypart: Refers to the various multiple hour slots of television's 24-hour broadcast day.
Designated Market (DMA): The Neilson Ratings company term to describe a specific TV market area. Neilson has determined there are 211 distinct TV markets in the US.
Direct Response Television (DRTV): An all-inclusive term describing anything sold directly over television, most often bypassing traditional retail stores. DRTV is divided into three primary marketing subgroups: short form, long form, (infomercials) and live home shopping.
Fulfillment: The warehousing, packaging, labeling, shipping and tracking information related to an infomercial product. Proper fulfillment also includes payment processing, customer service and returns.
Inbound Telemarketing: The service provided to infomercial marketers; involves setting up and maintaining a phone bank for customer inbound calls wanting to order or requesting more information about the product or service.
Lead Generation: Proceeding in two steps; involves an offer where the viewer is asked to call a toll-free number for more information. An inbound sales rep captures the name, address, and phone number of the potential customer. Free information is sent in the form of letters, brochures, videotapes and/or product samples.
Long Form: Any television commercial longer than two minutes. (Usually, but not always 30 minutes in length.)
Media Efficiency Ratio (MER): The total number that decides an infomercial's overall success or failure. The ratio is derived by dividing total sales by the media cost. Sales/Media Cost = MER.
Merchant Account: A contracted agreement between a merchant or business owner selling a product and the credit card company responsible for collecting the sale proceeds. The most common types involve the big three: VISA, Master Card, AMEX, or their derivatives.
National Cable: Cable network that broadcasts its signal via satellite to numerous local cable systems nationwide. There are over 75 national cable networks with new additions coming on the air all the time.
Per Inquiry (PI): Usually a broadcast stations' policy of accepting payments for a DRTV broadcast in the form of a percentage of sales. InfoWorx has a vast network of PI partners.
Post Production: Final integration of audio, video, and graphic elements to create a finished production.
Preemption: An abrupt removal of a previously scheduled infomercial (or any)broadcast. It happens most often for a breaking news story.
Pre-production: Organizational, pre-planning stage that precedes an infomercial's production involving research, scripting, location scouting, talent auditions, set design, testimonial pre-interviews, production scheduling and more.
Producer: The "main man" of an infomercial's production. He gathers the funding, hires, fires and oversees all aspects of the production. Responsible to the client for the project's overall success.
Production: The actual shooting of film or videotape of the infomercial script elements.
Run of Station (ROS): The discount purchase of short-form commercial media time stipulating run times at the station's discretion.
Selling Cycle:Infomercials generally break down into three sections, each of which is a selling cycle that puts out the same basic selling information but is packaged differently. All the elements are there in terms of a strict order, which are: features, benefits, credibility, substantiation, guarantee, offer, and call to action.
Short-form: Any DRTV commercial that is two minutes or under in length.
60's, 90's, and 120's: References for the length (in seconds) of short-form commercials. 60's and 90's are easier to buy media for than 120's. 10 second spots, 15's and 30's are the domain primarily of national brand broadcast of the big three networks, i.e., the image/ awareness advertisers - generally not effective for short-form DRTV.
Telemarketing: Inbound and outbound telephone calls used to generate sales.
Upsell: The sale of an additional product or service offered to an infomercial product purchaser at the time of their initial telephone order.
Voice Over: The unseen narrator's offscreen voice.