Getting Started with Direct Response Ad Campaigns

MediaGo Staff | 12/10/2020

Direct response ad campaigns, which are also called “lead generation” campaigns, are a powerful part of your marketing/advertising toolkit. Although direct response advertising might at first glance seem like the exclusive domain of big companies with large marketing budgets, that’s not necessarily the case. Smaller businesses with limited budgets can also make direct response campaigns work to their advantage. 

If you’re thinking of pursuing a direct response advertising strategy, one of your considerations should be whether or not it makes sense for your product vertical. Direct response campaigns are commonly used for products or services that have a long buying cycle – like insurance, home loans, or credit cards. What do these examples have in common, you might ask? They are all consequential purchase decisions that consumers tend to devote considerable thought to before they decide to move forward. 

Although not all direct response campaigns fall into this category, they generally tend to occupy the top-to-middle of the marketing funnel. To understand why this is, consider the two main defining aspects of all direct response campaigns:

  1. They drive the prospective customer to take an action of some sort, other than simply clicking on an ad.
  2. The action that the customer takes will invariably provide you – the advertiser – with additional data that can be leveraged for future outreach. For example, you might offer customers a downloadable white paper report if they provide you their email address, name, and job function. Or you can simply ask people to follow your company’s social media page. No matter what action is taken by the prospective customer, it should provide the advertiser with valuable information that can be followed up on.

As you move customers through the marketing funnel from top-to-bottom, the information being collected – and the difficulty (i.e. cost) to collect it – increases quite a bit. In the case of a home mortgage provider, the advertiser first needs to build awareness through their ads, then convince prospective customers to sign up for more info, book a phone call, and run a credit check. All of these steps take place prior to closing a sale, and each of them demands a higher cost-per-action than the previous one.

Of course, not every product has such a long runway before a sale is closed. Direct response campaigns can also be leveraged to great effect for smaller ticket items, too. The key thing is to find a way to engage with your customers that makes sense for your product. If you’re selling running shoes, for example, you could offer your customers a free monthly email with exercise advice. In exchange for this piece of content marketing, you’ve successfully collected their email address. 

We hope you found this basic introduction to direct response campaigns helpful. Check back in on a regular basis for more advertising and marketing tips from the MediaGo team.