TV Infomercials and Direct Response TV commercials ask the viewer to take action. They may ask the viewer to call or go online for free information or a free consultation or you may be making a hard offer to buy a product. In either case, the advantage of direct response is that we track the response against a pre-determined allowable cost per order (or lead or call or web hit) and measure the effectiveness of our creative messaging, TV offer, inbound telemarketing, e-commerce conversions and the general functionality of the new campaign. Please remember, the purpose of testing is to learn if your offer is viable, but you also need to know if the telephones are being answered properly, of if the callers are converting response into revenue. Our advice after 20 years and thousands of tests is to go slow, methodically, patiently and with purpose. Take a scientific approach, like all of the top direct marketers do, and you will see your offers succeed. One of Bill Guthy’s top rules for success is: test, test, test!
There is much debate in the Infomercial and Direct Response industry about testing strategies and media test budgets. High priced agencies usually quote media test budgets of $50,000 to $100,000. Conventional wisdom among most DRTV agencies and media planners is to test in increments of $10,000 to $15,000 per test. At my agency, we always manage client risk and have learned to test using lower budgets to test more variables, more offers, and to double check and make sure our systems are all working. Typically the first few days of a test campaign may be clogged with problems in the call flow, reporting or fulfillment files. These kinks in your campaign need to be worked on as much as the response metrics.
Here are five tips for an effective media test strategy:
- Start slow and test a small budget to make sure the inbound telemarketing and e-commerce mechanisms are properly in place.
- Test nationally, even if on small cable networks. This is a more effective test strategy than picking local markets for testing.
- Work with media buyers who offer reporting and tracking through a media management system,
- Find out the price and offer that consumers will jump at – and work backwards from there.
- Be patient.
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