Direct Response Advertising

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Direct response advertising in the form of per inquiry programs tracks and measures the impact your commercial is having on the public. Because the interested members of the public are asked to respond by making a phone call, for instance, you get instant feedback on the effectiveness of your commercial. If you request real-time reporting from the advertising agency handling your account, you can keep close track of the number of potential customers.

Direct response advertising is a burgeoning area of advertising, and one reason is this accurate measuring of audience response. Another is the relatively low cost of appealing directly to the radio or television audience. Lead generation programs take direct response marketing to another level by letting the advertiser/business pay only for the inquiries that are specified in advance.

You Only Pay for Responses

The great cost-cutting approach of per inquiry means you only pay for the number of inquiries you receive. The number of times your commercial runs on the air is irrelevant. Indeed, it doesn't matter if your commercial runs 100 times--if you do not receive the guaranteed number of responses, you receive a pro-rated portion of the advertising agency's commission.

This is the opposite situation of traditional advertisers, in which they pay for the number of spots and the time placement. A 60-second commercial during prime time television is high-priced and comes with a price tag that has nothing to do with audience response. Unlike direct response advertising, there is no way to track and measure the impact these traditionally-placed spots have.

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