Laugh all you want. Yes, these people look like they’re having sex at their desk. But direct response television is a strong vehicle for certain marketers. DRTV is best known for those Ginsu knives ads that run at 2 a.m. saying call now, but it works for many industries. All you need is a strong web URL (many cable networks don’t require an 800 number) and the ability for consumers to order directly from you.
The rate differential is huge. A traditional :30 second spot on Lifetime M-W 6p-7p costs about $8,096. A similar timeframe with DRTV on Lifetime is about $1,000 less. Marketers willing to spray and pray can buy airtime for as low as $30-$100 per spot on other national networks.
The testing capabilities are phenomenal, and if unique 800 phone numbers are used, nuances in offer can be tracked, sources of originating phone calls can be mapped, and callers can even be matched to streets, addresses, and emails for future outbound campaigns. However, DRTV has pitfalls, noticeably clearance issues (not all spots are guaranteed to run) and difficulty in controlling frequency (it’s harder to set up a schedule where you target specific dayparts).
One wrinkle with DRTV is that every network has different requirements on how to qualify. Some are stringent, demanding you use an 800 number and that consumers can order directly. Others will let your business get direct response rates with only a web site address in the ad. It’s not for everyone. But neither is pelvic grinding at your desk.