Understanding that the Internet is another vehicle for
direct response marketing can potentially make you
It’s true. Not many people actually ‘get it’.
Information marketing has much in common with the ‘old
school’ mail order business. In fact, many of the
practices you see online today such as two page direct
sales mini-sites, mailing lists and unique products,
come directly from the mail order model.
Every Internet Marketer would benefit from studying
the mail order industry. The basic marketing
principles and practices employed by the industry
translate naturally to the online environment.
The five core priorities of successful mail order
companies parallel those of the online marketer. They
are: demographics, targeting, testing and tracking,
up-selling and customer follow up. If you aren’t
focused on these key areas yet, read on to discover
why should be, and what it will mean for your bottom
Direct Response Lesson #1: Demographics
Demographic information provides an in depth profile
of your potential customer. There are two ways to
acquire demographic information, and two separate
motives for each method.
o Acquire data from consumer data mining companies
such as MarketShare Online
o Acquire data from your existing customer base
The preferred source depends on your product
development process and your current resources.
Professionally gathered data allows you to survey the
market and create highly targeted products. Rather
than searching through keyword lists for potential
niches, you can use demographic data to target
specific classes of consumers based on their spending
habits and disposable income. Your marketing strategy
becomes much clearer with this data in hand. It allows
you advance insight into your customer’s interests,
pricing points and mindset. Now, you have a baseline
against which to test the effectiveness of your sales
You should also acquire as much demographic data as
possible from your existing customer base and mailing
list. Even when you possess the resources to pay for
this information you should still query your own
Quite simply, you need to compare the profile of your
existing customer base against your expected customer
base. For example, if you sell a high-priced
information product targeted towards small business
owners, yet find that 50% of your list is composed of
non-qualified tire-kickers, something is off with
either your sales copy, your targeting or both.
Direct Response Lesson #2: Targeting
Here is a rule of thumb for you to memorize: interest
and need alone are not enough to generate a sale. This
is a controversial statement, I know. Ask yourself the
following question, though: how often have you found
yourself interested in a product yet not purchased it?
How often have you needed a product, yet not been able
to afford it?
The truth is that, in either case, despite your
interest and your need, you were only marginally
targeted when the offer was presented to you.
This subtle case points to the synergy between
demographics and targeting. This is why mail order
companies go to such great effort to acquire detailed
information on the marketplace. Whether you send 100,
000 pieces of mail or pay for 100,000 visitors to your
web site, the goal is the same: put the offer in front
of the right people, at the right time. If you put the
right offer in front of the right person at the wrong
time, it’s the same as no offer at all. It is
Direct Response Lesson #3: Testing and Tracking
You absolutely must test and track everything you do.
You must track your pay-per-click campaigns, your
newsletter mailings and the paths taken by visitors to
your web site. You must test your ad copy and your
The testing and tracking phase of a marketing campaign
marks the proving ground between demographics and
targeting. Once you’ve acquired the data on your
potential customer’s behavior, you must track their
actual behavior to find out if it matches the expected
Until you do this, you are really only guessing at
what works. Every mail order company places a tracking
code on their post cards. This allows them to zero in
on the exact location, age, income, race and marital
status of responsive customers. When you first launch
a product online, however, you are essentially blind
to this information until you start tracking. As you
gather your data, however, you will discover which
search engines and which newsletters pull the best.
Over time, you will be able to match this up with
deeper demographic data collected from your list and
discover, at the very least, the age and income of
your customers and which search engines they prefer.
Can you imagine knowing that men between the ages of
24-34, for example, prefer Google, or that stay at
home mothers prefer Yahoo? This type of data is
priceless because it directs your targeting up front.
This is the exact goldmine which awaits you when you
devote careful attention to testing and tracking your
Direct Response Lesson #4: Create Robust Order Forms
for the Up-Sell
Your order form can pull more profit through impulse
purchases than you realize. Many internet marketers
seem to believe that one product should lead to one
simple order form. This is probably due to so many of
us being self-taught. We copy what we’ve seen.
Have you ever stopped to examine a mail-in coupon or
catalog form? Even when the offer ultimately focuses
on one major product, the form still includes an
up-sell and sometimes even a counter-offer.
“Yes! I’d like to order the Incredible Bikini Wax
System for $49.95 today! Also, please include my 14
ounce bottle of Instant Soothing Moisturizer, a
perfect complement to the Incredible Bikini Wax System
and a steal at only $9.99″ (Up-Sell)
“Yes, I’d like to subscribe to Golfing Today! Instead
of the incredible offer of 12 issues for $14.99, I’d
like to receive a full 52 issues a year for $29.95″ (
The reason for doing this, of course, is that the
customer is already interested and already in a buying
mindset. You’ve done all the hard work to lead him to
your site and you’ve enticed him with your sales
letter. He’s on the order form with credit card in
hand. Why not use this moment to make a complementary
offer? You can up-sell a related product of your own
or that of one of your joint venture partners for a
There’s really no harm in making the offer. The
customer will either take you up on it or he won’t.
The important point here is that a robust order form,
with additional offers, helps you squeeze out extra
profit and cuts down the work of luring that customer
back in the future to make additional purchases.
Direct Response Lesson #5: Post Sale Follow Up
What happens to your customer after the sale? Take a
page from the book of mail order secrets and follow up
with that customer! If you’ve ever purchased anything
through a catalog, you know what happens. You end up
on their mailing list and continue to receive catalogs
and other offers in the mail.
In fact, you may receive so much mail from that one
company that you become irritated! While I don’t
recommend going overboard with your mailings, I do
recommend moving your customers to an announcement
list or newsletter.
You don’t want a one time shot with that individual.
Rather, you want to build a lasting relationship. Your
follow up process should be designed with several
goals in mind:
o Keeping your name and brand in front of the customer
o To build trust and credibility by sharing supporting
material that adds value to the product
o To maintain contact so that you can make additional
offers in the future
Customer follow up is so important it can’t be
stressed enough. There is a rule which states that 80%
of your sales will come from 20% of your customers. In
other words, if someone purchases from you once, they
are likely to purchase from you again provided you
take appropriate action and keep them connected to you.
Remember that your customers are human and may go
through a variety of emotions after making a purchase.
They may experience buyer’s remorse. They may feel
nervous about sharing their credit card information
with you and then never hearing from you again. They
may absolutely love you and your product and want to
reach out for more information. You must tend to each
of these variables in order to gain the customer’s
trust and appreciation, so follow up!
What will you do with the five lessons presented to
you in this article? You have before you a nearly
complete outline of a profitable business system for
online marketing. Take these principles to hear and
put them into practice. Know your market. Speak to
your market. Connect to your market. I guarantee your
profits will soar.
Copyright 2004 Jo Han Mok
Work From Home by admin