Step One To Creating An Effective Direct Response Piece

When it comes to marketing insurance and financial products, the first thing you must do is answer a very important question. And the answer to this question will dictate the marketing strategy that you use to build your business. Here it is: Do you want to generate awareness for your business, or do you want to generate new clients, leads, and referrals?

If you want to generate awareness so that people are aware of your business and may eventually come to your practice as a result of hearing and seeing your company name in various media, you better have a big bank account, because this form of marketing, which is also referred to as branding, is a very costly, time-consuming, and risky strategy.

If you want to generate new leads, prospects, and referrals for your business then direct marketing will become your best friend. Direct marketing is about generating a response from your advertising versus the opposite effect, which is generating awareness.

Direct marketing is not about blasting your company name on the radio, television, and print media so that people become aware of you. It’s a costly strategy that you cannot measure. Branding can be effective, but it is a very risky and costly way to promote a business. Only large companies with deep pockets can afford it.

Do you want to generate a response from each of your advertising strategies so that you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing piece and or strategy? If you answered ‘Yes’, here is step one to creating an effective direct response piece:

One of the great legends in advertising, David Ogilvy, once said, “If you haven’t done some selling in your headline, you have wasted 80% of your clients money.” He also said, “The headline is the ‘ticket to the meat.Use a headline to flag down readers who are interested in the products you are promoting.” What this means is that a good headline will grab your intended readers attention and get them interested in the rest of your ad.

David Ogilvy says that four out of five readers will read the headline and skip the rest of the ad. This tells you that your headline must make a clear, compelling, selling proposition. An exceptional headline can evoke a response instantly. An ineffective headline can be disastrous.

What makes a good headline? There are many ways to write an effective headline, but let’s keep it simple. Ask yourself what the biggest, best benefit you provide your clients and use that as your starting point. Let’s say your best benefit is that you help families save money for college so that they don’t have to go into debt. Also, another effective technique is to target a specific group of people with your headline. For example, do you work with people who have 5 million in net worth or above? Do you work with retirees? Do you work with businesses with 50 employees are more? In the example so far, we are discussing families of college bound children. Shall we work with that for now?

Here is another tip: A great way to instantly improve your headline is to add ‘How To’ in front of it. ‘How to’ is a proven winner for many direct response ads.

Now I will put all of these tips into a headline example:

Attention: Families of College-Bound Children Do You Want to Pay For Your Child’s College Education Without Borrowing a Dime?

Or,

How To Pay For Your Child’s College Education Without Borrowing a Dime!

As you can see, these two headlines are Clear and Compelling which shouldl get parents of college bound children interested in what you have to say.

A headline is a powerful tool in direct response marketing. A well-crafted headline can create a stampede of new leads that are eager to do business with you.