But Wait, There’s More! 3 SEM Lessons From Infomercials & Direct Response Media

The $150 billion infomercial industry uses lines such as, “but wait, there’s more” and “if operators are busy, please call again” to create a sense of urgency and boost response rates.

Given marketers’ success advertising on television, what lessons can you apply to your online marketing efforts? Let’s explore the following three principles:

  1. Your customers make purchases over the phone
  2. Your sales will increase as you improve response time
  3. Your advertising effectiveness will improve if you measure what works

Now, how does each of these ideas apply to online marketing?

Customers Buy Over The Phone: Make It Easy For Them To Call You

On TV, an infomercial’s primary call-to-action is generally “call us now.”

On the Web, your ads and website should also display a phone number, inviting eager buyers to contact your sales team.

This is especially important for service professionals, local businesses and other companies that require a sales dialogue to close new business.

Since initiating a phone call from a smartphone is much easier than filling out a website form, displaying a phone number in your ads and on your website will become even more important as the use of smartphones continues to grow.

Customers Want To Talk Now: Improve Your Response Time

Infomercials create a sense of urgency by claiming “offer ends soon,” “supplies are limited,” or “call now and receive a second absolutely free.” When someone actually calls, sales reps answer quickly before the caller loses interest and hangs up.

The same principle is true for online marketing. When a prospect calls to learn more, you should connect that lead with a sales person as fast as possible.

For example, franchises should geo-route phone leads to the nearest store and an emergency plumbing service should forward calls based on a schedule of the plumber on call. The more quickly you speak with a lead, the more likely you are to make a sale.

Measure Your Advertising Results: Consider Phone Call Conversions

Do you need to optimize ad spend, increase lead flow, demonstrate value, or improve lead quality?

For any of those goals, measuring response rates is a critical piece of the puzzle. With call tracking software, you can measure these metrics as effectively for phone calls as you do for online conversions.

As you begin to measure phone leads, you may be surprised to learn that:

  • Traffic sources that generate few online leads deliver many phone leads.
  • Websites with phone numbers generate more leads than those with just a web form.
  • Your best leads call because they want to speak with you before making a purchase.
  • Your marketing efforts generate more leads than your web analytics software reports.

Advertisers have successfully used call tracking numbers in TV ads to measure results for many years, while search engine marketers have generally favored web analytics software.

Recently, there’s a resurgence of interest in measuring phone leads from online campaigns, as businesses realize that the phone is often the preferred channel of communication for their most valuable business opportunities.

Stock image from Shutterstock, used under license.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Credit Is Due


About The Author: is the Marketing Manager at software startup Ifbyphone, a leading provider of phone call tracking and lead distribution software. Elan is an expert on startup online marketing and call tracking software. You can connect with him on Twitter @mosbacher or LinkedIn.

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