When you need people to respond to your ad immediately, you need to think like a reporter.
These are the first two things they teach news reporters:
- “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.”
- “You never read about a plane that did not crash.”
So why do so many direct-response ads talk about the man who got bit by a dog, or flew on a plane that did not crash? To be successful, direct-response ads must deliver a message that is remarkable.
Recruitment Ads are a form of direct-response marketing.
Last week, the following 60-second radio ad reached 19 percent of the total population of Charlotte, NC. The average listener heard this message 6.3 times in just 3 days, Wed/Th/Fr. And it cost only seven tenths of a penny per repetition for a listener to hear it. This means that for less than a nickel per person, (6.3 x 7 tenths of a penny) we electrified 19 percent of the total population of Charlotte with a remarkable message. And you know what? The 19 percent we reached are the friends, neighbors and co-workers of the other 81 percent, guaranteed.
Are you a plumber? Would you like to make one hundred thousand dollars a year? That’s right. I said a hundred thousand dollars. Can you install new water heaters, faucets and drains? You hear Morris-Jenkins on TV and radio all the time. Morris-Jenkins Plumbing is the sister company of Morris-Jenkins Air Conditioning and they’re both managed by Dewey Jenkins, the man you DEFINITELY want to work for. Our new plumbing division is keeping 30 plumbers busy and we need 10 more who know how to install water heaters, faucets and drains. We need air conditioning installers, too. Many of our A/C installers are already making a hundred thousand, and we’re putting together a plan that will allow our plumbing installers to make that much, too. We want to meet you. This is not a joke. If you’re ready to start the greatest job you’ll ever have, be at Morris-Jenkins headquarters this Saturday Morning at 8AM for a confidential interview. We need 10 plumbers and 6 air conditioning installers. Be here at 8 o’clock this Saturday morning. You’ll find our address at Morris-Jenkins dot com. Your life is about to get a whole lot better. Morris-Jenkins dot com.
That’s a pretty remarkable message, right?
But just as important as being remarkable, direct-response ads must also be credible and urgent.
- Remarkable means your message will be repeated from person to person. “$100,000.”
- Credible means your message is supported by already-known and trusted facts.
(A.) Due to their commitment to long-term customer bonding, Morris-Jenkins is universally recognized as the market leader in Charlotte.
(B.) Dewey Jenkins is on TV every day and the public LOVES him.
(C.) This ad would not have worked nearly so well for a person that was less respected.
- Urgent means action must be taken immediately, because
(A.) the available number is limited, “We need 10 plumbers and 6 A/C installers.” Or,
(B.) the window of time is limited. “Be at Morris-Jenkins Headquarters THIS Saturday morning at 8AM for a confidential interview.
(C.) Urgency is accelerated through relentless repetition. We ran this ad twice an hour, 24 hours a day, for 3 days, on each of 2 different radio stations. 288 total airings in 3 days.
If your direct-response ads aren’t working, there are only three possible shortcomings.
1. The ad is not remarkable. People aren’t talking about it.
2. The ad is not credible. In other words, it’s hype.
3. The message isn’t urgent. There is no need to take immediate action.
NOTE: There has never been a direct-response ad campaign that was sustainable in the long-term. Because the longer you repeat a message, the less remarkable it becomes.
Direct response – “Take Action NOW” marketing – is different from customer bonding.
Customer bonding ads build long-term reputation and relationship. Direct-response ads erode it. This is why you should use direct-response ads with the same restraint you use prescription opioids.
Most direct response marketers prefer to target customers online. They talk about “holding your ad dollars accountable with trackable, measurable results.” What they don’t like to talk about is the extremely high cost of generating awareness online, especially when compared to the extremely low cost of creating excitement through old school, mass media.
For the record, 164 plumbing and HVAC professionals were standing in line at 8AM on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Were you aware that recruitment is the limiting factor of nearly every plumbing company and HVAC company in America today? No one can find enough people.
Do you remember that cost of 7-tenths of a penny (per repetition) for our direct response campaign?
When you buy long-term customer bonding schedules, you get a much better deal than that, usually around 4 or 5-tenths of a penny per repetition. This means you can reach a person with a full-length radio ad, 3x each week, 52 weeks a year, (156 repetitions per person, per year) for about 60 to 80 cents per person/per year in most cities.1
Compare that with the cost of pay-per-click.
Here’s how customer bonding ads differ from direct-response ads:
The purpose of customer bonding is to become the provider that people think of immediately and feel the best about when they – or any of their friends – need what you sell. You have to begin reaching them before they need you, and then wait until they do.
If you can write a series of messages that will bond the customer to you, you’re on your way to filling your city with corporate ambassadors who will immediately think of you and feel good about you when they, or any of their friends, need what you sell.
- You don’t need to mention dollar amounts or prices.
- You don’t have to create urgency.
- But you do have to make people like you.
Long-term customer bonding is the way big brands, and big companies, are built.
Learn more about it at Wizard Academy.
Roy H. Williams
1 These are the typical results of Devin Wright, America’s top media buyer. The average negotiator will pay about twice that price.