David Ogilvy said that if you never stop testing, your advertising will never stop improving. Well, years spent testing and fine-tuning our clients' DRTV advertisements have also taught us this: the quality of your copywriting has a direct impact on the response rate of your TV ads.
By changing the tone of a message, or even just a single word, it's possible to increase the effectiveness of TV ads by 25%, 50% or even 100%. But how do you consistently produce great copy for direct response advertising? Much experience has taught us that effective copywriting relies on the following elements:
1. A Powerful Call To Action
The ultimate goal of DRTV is to persuade a prospect to take action and make a purchase. If an advertisement fails to achieve this, it fails completely. But there is no need to worry about flying blind with CTA's (Calls to Action) that may or may not work. The brilliant thing about DRTV is that it is completely measurable through the use of data science. Even modifying certain elements, visuals and copy can be measured for effectiveness by data analytics, and CTAs are no different. It's possible to produce two similar TV ads in which only the CTAs differ and then using an A/B test to determine which of the two CTAs delivers the best results.
2. Long-form copy
There is a myth that has persisted for some time – that short copy is better than long copy. It's based on the premise that people are no longer able to concentrate for more than a few seconds and that they won't pay attention to anything beyond a short sentence. It's also a belief that is pushed from media buyers, as short form copy allows you to buy more media, thus increasing your reach. This is completely incorrect. People have only become more selective. They will pay careful attention to information that helps them to make an informed decision or that appeals to a deep-rooted desire. Strike the right cord with your customers and you can hold their attention captive for minutes.
3. A focus on the customer
A Creative agency that focuses on branding might struggle with DR TV because it forgets this one important point: direct response marketing should focus on customers and their challenges to deliver an immediate response - not on the branding, in the hope of gaining a ROI at some date in the future. If a marketer does not understand their customers, then they have little chance of producing effective advertising. The reason is simple: customers don't care about branding; they care about someone helping to solve their problems. In today's on-demand society, the quicker the advertisement offers to solve their problems, the better the response. This is why DRTV is so effective. You need to know your customers, their desires and their problems so that you can offer a quick solution to their challenges.
4. Attention-grabbing headlines
If a headline doesn’t grab consumers' attention, then that advertisement fails, regardless of how well-written the rest of it is. We consider headlines to be worth 80 cents of the dollar. For this reason, you have to make your headlines absolutely irresistible. To grab consumers' attention, headlines have to be customer-centered and they have to arouse intrigue. Ask questions that others wouldn't and get straight to the root of your customers challenges. Use words that your target audience uses in everyday speech to prove that you share their language and their concerns. Get this right and your TV ads will give them those few precious moments that you need to convince them to take action.
Of course, incorporating these elements into your TV ads is easier said than done. Creative copywriting is an art that requires much expertise and experience and writers with a background in direct response aren't easy to find. But the effort is well worth it: when great copywriting is combined with an optimised direct response marketing strategy, it results in the kind of effective advertising that boosts ROI and grows businesses like no other resource can. For this reason, it would be well worth your while to enlist the help of a performance advertising agency to produce your creative for you. As experts in direct response marketing, we offer just such a bespoke service. Our clients rely on us to produce DR TV that gets to the very heart of what their customers are about. Learn more about how we grow businesses through DR TV here.
Image Credit: Universal