As an agency, we enjoy a unique perspective on data – that is, we see consumer web purchasing behaviors across many different product campaigns, in many different categories, all at once. Day in and day out, week after week, month after month. Regardless of category, predictable patterns amalgamate and provide us reliable trends upon which we can help our clients better merchandise their web efforts.
In just about every case, a 30% improvement in web conversions moves a mediocre campaign into success territory. If your web conversion rates - particularly with mobile traffic - are lagging, here are five consumer mindsets you can address in one business week.
Day 1. Answer These Two Questions First
Consumers buy products and services for any number of reasons – and usually you only need to satisfy a few basic questions in most cases to get the sale. Make sure you answer the two most often asked questions by consumers high up on the page first – 1) what do I need to do to see the benefit of the product, and 2) how much does it cost? Armed with that info, consumers will make a quick price-to-value ratio calculation and determine if they are ready to transact or not. Once you’ve gotten those two key transaction requirements out of the way, you can then language your copy to provide further detail and reasons to believe.
Day 2. Avoid Intimidating Copy
The more you tell, the more you sell, right? Wrong. Most consumers only need to read a few key points to satisfy their mental checklist required to make a purchasing decision. In short, the better you tell, the more you sell. Heavy copy impedes sales – especially with long scrolling mobile or responsive sites. In fact, in hundreds of variant tested landing pages, we always see lean copy pages convert much higher. Avoid creating more questions than answers in the consumer’s mind with tight copy and strategic links if the reader needs more information.
Day 3. Video Sells
Video is the greatest salesman on your site. And a quick video how-to for your product or service will get views, lots of views, and can be the single biggest selling mechanism on your site. It’s not hard to create, and it doesn’t cost a lot of money if you don’t want it to. Point a camera and go. And put it high up on your landing page versus under a tab or link. Variant page testing proves video sells.
Day 4. Increase Your Offer Value
When discussing campaign ROI with our clients, a key topic we address is average order value, and price to value ratio. With a sunk to cost to acquire your web visitor, it is essential you then generate a revenue per visit level that can drive your campaign. And the quickest way you can do that is creating value-based offers upon checkout. In testing, we see a typical average order can be increased 30-50% by kitting, bundling and merchandising the product offer. Consumers are willing to pay more to get more, if presented properly.
Day 5. Stop Sabotaging the Sale
Perhaps the simplest of all things you can do to increase conversions is to ensure you do not have inadvertent stop signs at the point of purchases. Have you surrounded your Buy or Checkout buttons with disclaimer links, asterisks, T&C’s or other language unnecessarily? If so, you are creating doubt in the consumer’s mind at the point of purchase. In variant testing, we have seen as much as a 50% decrease in conversions when disclaimer type language is in close proximity to Buy buttons. From a legal standpoint, you absolutely must be genuine in any disclosures you need to make, and they should be easy to locate. However, in most cases, they typically do not need to be executed at point of purchase.
With just a little time and not much effort in terms of web design, you can affect your web conversion significantly. Once you have these five steps completed, keep going. What you can do the following week to push conversion rates even higher?
Have more comprehensive issues with your site or web conversions? Contact us today for additional context of how your site's performance measures against others.
The Intangible Benefits of Response Expo For Your Business
Having attended numerous Response Expos over the years, the event always wraps for us with a plane ride or two back to Tampa, FL from San Diego. This year we took a chunk of the travel time and analyzed the overall ROI value of the show for our company and as individual professionals.
It’s a given that many of us envision attending the show and closing a piece of new business right then and there. And that does happen quite frequently. After all, it does take an investment of time, expense and effort to attend any industry tradeshow, so you tend to do the quick math in your head. But looking back over the years, we’ve seen an increasing ROI benefit well beyond closing a sale in the moment. It’s a benefit, when viewed in retrospect, continues to build year over year.
Here’s our take on the real-world ROI of Response Expo for us.
Our industry typically rides the razor’s edge with regard to trends, technology and consumer needs. As such, every year we see an influx of new companies and attendees ready to contribute to innovating the industry by breathing fresh insights and ideas into all corners of our business. Everywhere you look, new relationships are just waiting to be made. Without a doubt, each year we make new contacts that directly help our business. And as these new contacts blossom into relationships, we see a direct ROI correlation to the expansion of our own business.
But long-term relationships cannot be overlooked. Percolating within established relationships, there always seems to be new business opportunities. As the direct response industry expands and evolves, colleagues move between companies, or start their own. It’s this constant energy and movement that creates exponential business opportunities. As a cross-channel agency, this translates into the ability to meet creative, media and operations connections all in one place. And invariably, there is always something new to learn – this knowledge contributes directly to our company ROI.
With consumer purchase behavior, technology and regulations changing so quickly, it’s an absolute that we stay on the cusp of what is happening in the industry. And when you aggregate a large number of marketing visionaries and trench troops together, as you see at Response Expo, there is an incredible amount of real-time intelligence flowing.
The ROI payoff for us is huge when it comes to this intelligence. As we meet with marketing partners, media reps and service providers, we share back and forth what is working, and what is not. We can then analyze and triangulate tactics for our own customers, based on this intel, to enhance and optimize our campaigns. The key here is listening, because the answers are there.
As a full service agency, clients regularly ask us for recommendations on third party service providers. For us, Response Expo provides a unique opportunity to walk the show floor, or attend events, and meet various support vendors such as call centers, fulfillment and other vendors who help make the backend operations happen. With these companies spread over the US, Expo is a great opportunity to meet these folks, evaluate their services and make informed recommendations to our clients. And in many cases, aligning clients with the right provider elicits a direct ROI back to our company, in the form of expanded media, production and service budgets.
With Response Expo, there’s the Show itself and there’s the show around the Show. The Show proper, of course, is chock full of continuing education seminars, panel discussions, speakers and more, all of which contribute greatly to our overall perspective of the industry. By ingesting, and digesting, insights from direct response pioneers and up-and-comers alike, as an agency we can formulate directional changes that once again drive direct ROI. For us, Response Expo is a giant sounding board where we can confirm, affirm and crosscheck our own data points against what others are experiencing in their campaigns.
Additionally, the show around the Show is a powerful networking entity. From half-day marathons in the Fox Sports Grill, to broadcast and cable network events, to dinners late into the evening, this halo of activity could be quite possibly the biggest driver of all in terms of measurable ROI back to our company. For us, it’s the perfect opportunity to conduct meaningful business, in a laid back environment. It’s where impressions are made and relationships are solidified.
Response Expo provides something for just about everyone in the direct response and direct to consumer business. In looking at the past data (prior Response Expos), we see a clear pattern of return on our investment in both short and long term gains for our company.
tandemROI is a cross-channel advertising and marketing agency located in Tampa, FL.
Found Money: Five Places You Can Find Revenue in Your Direct Response Campaign
It’s there, guaranteed. Revenue that is. Revenue that’s generated by your direct response or direct to consumer campaign but not yet claimed. To make it yours, it’s a bit like digging for gold or gemstones – you have to know where to look and how to extract it.
It’s quite possible you have underpriced your product or service without even knowing it. Do you know, with certainty, the price to value ratio threshold for your customer? Do you really need to offer free shipping? How urgent of a problem does your product solve? In direct response, price testing is essential.
Phone Center Scripting:
Whether external or internal, finding revenue in a call center is easy. And it usually lies in your inbound or outbound script. Have you reviewed your script since the program launched? Have you done enough inbound test calls at different hours and days to understand where operators may be having trouble? How many recorded calls have you listened to? Perhaps rewriting a preformatted script template to be more consumer friendly is in order.
Upsells and Add-Ons:
Consumers in an active transactional mindset many times are willing to spend more with you…if it makes sense. Review your direct response upsells and cross check for disconnects in affinity. If I have just purchased a vacuum cleaner, I could be interested in an add-on tool package. But not magazines or cruises.
Proper policing is essential to reign in affiliates, resellers and wholesalers that may be part of your business model. It’s frighteningly easy for your online to get out of control, with many different parties offering different prices, offers and dreaded discount language, thus eroding your price point integrity dramatically, while cannibalizing your direct response sales.
Web Sites/Landing Pages:
You cannot set it and forget it in direct response or direct to consumer marketing. But web is hard and takes time. Guess what, there is revenue in them hills. Web needs to be a daily exercise in optimization, testing and CRM troubleshooting. Do so and you will be amazed at the impact a ½ percent increase in conversions will have on your program.
tandemROI is a cross-channel advertising and marketing agency located in Tampa, FL.
Miami ERA 2015 - Loews Hotel, Miami Beach
It’s fascinating to see and hear how the key topics affecting the direct response industry change from year to year, and even from event to event. This year’s Great Ideas Summit 2015, aka the Miami ERA Show, proved once again how dynamic the direct to consumer marketing environment really is.
While last year everyone seemed to be talking web marketing and maximizing revenue, this year’s trench meetings centered on expanded media and product distribution. More specifically:
Although still not widely used, savvy marketers are reaping the benefits of the five-minute short form (or long form as some view it) unit. A few years ago five-minute unit inventory was almost non-existent, however that is changing as more networks begin to expand this unit selection. In particular, networks featuring movies or extended content appear to be perfectly suited for the five-minute unit. For higher priced products or complex sales that rely on an inbound phone component to convert customers, the five-minute is rapidly becoming a solid addition to any media plan.
As part of your campaign planning stage, and in particular the production phase, we recommend you manage your creative assets in preparation for creating and integrating the five-minute unit length into the campaign.
Now, while live shop or home shopping is nothing new, it does appear there is a renewed energy among marketers and clients to embrace this channel. Putting aside scalability issues for this outlet, just about any revenues from shopping network appearances clearly are a major factor internally with companies as they build out their direct to consumer campaigns. When doing the obligatory end of the day analysis, we are hearing from many clients and manufacturers that home shopping contribution to the bottom line is important to them. We’ve been careful over the years to stop shy of saying DRTV and home shopping work together from a marketing perspective; but, from the accountant’s viewpoint, they do.
The conversations around international distribution this year at the Great Ideas Summit were perhaps the most interesting of all. It may just be that the “conquer the US first” mantra may not always be best approach. Perhaps this year more than ever we’ve entertained questions of a simultaneous distribution approach with the US, Europe and Asia. It appears there is a clear mindset shift to multi-prong distribution attacks, regardless of the country. This could be the culmination of global commerce shrinking down upon itself, where it’s just as easy to sell in the UK or Japan as it is the US. Perhaps not on the same scale, but again, revenue is revenue, no matter where it comes from.
Answers to Clients Most Asked Questions
If you are new to DRTV, or, if you are looking for answers to specific direct response marketing related questions, read on. Below we have compiled many of the most asked questions we receive as they relate to utilizing DRTV to market a product, and in general, how DRTV actually works.
What exactly is DRTV, or direct response television?Direct response television, or DRTV as it is known, is a marketing tactic aimed at reaching consumers directly via television, versus a traditional approach of selling in a retail store. Pre-produced DRTV commercials, typically :60 and :120 in length, usually include a response mechanism such as a toll free number or web URL, so that consumers can respond immediately to an offer.
What are the differences between DRTV and brand advertising?
Brand advertising, including TV, seeks to implant a memorable or favorable image of the product or service in the consumer’s mind, so that recall is easier later on once the consumer is ready to transact (usually in a store). DRTV seeks to elicit an immediate response or transaction and is much less concerned with long term brand recall.
What is an infomercial vs. DRTV short form vs. long form?
In the direct response industry, infomercial refers to a pre-produced television program which is 28 minutes, 30 seconds in length. Infomercials are also known as paid programming or long form DRTV. Shorter length DRTV commercials are commonly known as spots, or short form DRTV.
Where will my DRTV commercials run or be seen?
Depending on the DRTV campaign/media strategy, many times DRTV spots will be run on a national cable basis. This means media time will be purchased directly from national cable TV networks, allowing commercials to be seen in upwards of 90 million homes. In some cases, media will be purchased on local market TV stations. Infomercial media, for example, can perform well on a local market basis.
Is it true only 1 in 20 DRTV campaigns works?
This question is one of those broad stroke statements that just has too many variables to be considered accurate. It’s complicated too. This idea of a high failure rate is based in some truth, though. A component of the direct response industry is product marketers who rapidly test many, many low budget, DRTV campaigns to find the one product which hits the marketer’s tight performance requirements. Many times these products are tested for one week on TV. These campaigns comprise the As Seen On TV market, particularly in retail. So if you measure by this dynamic, yes, many campaigns go by the wayside. But the majority of companies we work with have legitimate products and brands, with specific goals on sales revenues, customer acquisition, etc. So in this case, success is measured and determined by each company’s goals. So the 1 in 20 question becomes irrelevant at this point.
Do DRTV and live home shopping work together to drive incremental sales?
Rarely, and being able to measure the incremental lift across both channels would be a challenge. It’s best to consider DRTV and home shopping as two separate tactics and manage them separately. Live shopping networks operate more like a retailer than direct response media. There are, however, some production efficiencies that can be realized, ie broll from the commercials can in many cases be used for live home shopping.
Do I need a call center with live operators?
If your budget allows it, yes. Historically, live operators will convert sales, leads and appointments at a much higher rate than an IVR (interactive voice response) or outbound calling. There are of course, pros and cons with live operators and IVR. Live operator environments typically have trouble staffing properly for overnight media. And some consumers are predisposed to talking to a live person before ordering, versus entering secure information into an IVR. But when you go just off pure numbers, live operators will outperform automated systems in most every case.
Should I disclose price or not in the commercial?
Price disclosure is a testable proposition. A good rule of thumb, though, is if your price is $29.99 or less, then disclosing it in the spot rarely impedes response. And in the case of $29.99, you could go with 2 payments of $14.99. At prices above $29.99, and certainly at $49.99 and above, testing a soft offer vs. disclosure begins to make sense. In the case of non-disclosure, you will rely more heavily on your phone and web mechanisms to close the transaction. What’s great about testing price disclosure is that you may be surprised to find that response and/or conversion can be the same or more by disclosing price. There are known categories in which the consumer converts at a higher rate if they know price going into the transaction.
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