Why DRTV + Direct Response Radio = More $$ Than DRTV Alone

Written By

SMI Staff

Published On

Wednesday, Jan 15

For many direct marketing companies, direct response television (DRTV) advertising is often the “lead horse” of their marketing efforts – and it can be very effective at driving profitable sales.

If there were a downside to DRTV, most would say it’s the high cost of creating and modifying the ads and the lead times associated with that process. Direct response radio advertising compliments DRTV on these specific points, ad development costs and lead-time, extremely well. Furthermore, done right, DR radio can significantly enhance the profitability of any DRTV effort.

DRTV is often the core engine of huge direct marketing success. Why? Put simply – the numbers are bigger. However, it’s also the most expensive media channel – so one has to consider the risk/reward tradeoff. As you’ll learn, direct response radio plays the role of “risk minimizer” – that’s why including radio advertising in your marketing efforts is such a smart business move.

We routinely work with DRTV agencies to craft a strategy that allows DR radio to provide the most strategic value to a DRTV campaign. Below you’ll find out how and why the most successful, most profitable DRTV campaigns also include radio advertising.

Before You Launch – How DR Radio Advertising Will Boost Profits


1. Radio will create a profit stream that can fund DRTV development efforts

DRTV development and media testing is costly and requires a long timeline. In contrast, radio ad development and testing is inexpensive and quick. What costs $100,000 in TV costs $1000 in radio. What takes 3-6 months in TV takes 2-4 weeks in radio advertising. With these advantages, you can build a direct response radio campaign that delivers profits that can finance the DRTV development – or other strategic aspects of your business.

2. Radio advertising will provide a source of testimonials

Almost without exception, infomercials and DRTV spot ads are more effective if they contain real testimonials from real customers. Initiating a radio campaign prior to launching in DRTV provides a source of qualified, legitimate, authentic testimonials – and as every DRTV creative agency will tell you, those characteristics will make for very compelling stories that sell your product.

3. You’ll learn about customers with real data, and gather insights inexpensively

The radio ad development process will push your creative team to uncover the core customer insights that will drive the campaign, regardless of media channel. Therefore creative efforts in radio advertising can be a valuable input into the DRTV ad development – not that they will transfer exactly, but the core elements of the psychology behind the appeal of the product will become clearer. This will greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the DRTV ad development.

4. You’ll refine the “back-end” of your campaign

There are many moving pieces to a successful direct response advertising campaign. The creative and the media are “front end”. The “back end” is comprised of areas such as sales, customer service, and fulfillment. It can also include manufacturing and merchant processing. Leveraging radio allows you to refine many of the back-end details that go into making a campaign successful without the pressure that comes with a large ad development budget and large media buys. Refine the sales scripting, the offer path, pricing, and upsells so your close rate and average revenue per order are strong. Establish and improve the “save the sale” efforts in your customer service area. And fix any product or packaging issues that would drive a high return rate and therefore impede a rapid TV roll-out.

Already Running a DRTV Campaign? Here’s How DR Radio Advertising Will Boost Your Profits:


1. You acquire incremental new customers

It is commonly known that Radio and TV audiences don’t overlap very much. That means when you advertise with radio, you aren’t cannibalizing your TV sales. You are reaching a whole new group of customers. Nearly all TV campaigns reach a point where their results begin to fall off. If you want to maximize the profit of your campaign, and build the strongest brand, you can’t do it without radio advertising in the mix.

2. You establish a strong competitive position in the market

You’ve spent a lot of time and money building your DRTV campaign and you’re finally reaping the profits from it. Your media spend has grown and you know you’re one of the top advertisers. So does the competition. If you want to establish a strong position in the marketplace verses the competition, leaving radio advertising out of the mix is a terrible mistake. Many new entrants will look for that weakness, establish a profitable direct response radio campaign, and fund their competitive entry into TV. The next thing you know, your entry into retail is threatened – or, at the very least, the size of the opportunity is reduced.

3. You minimize call abandonment through efficient call center scheduling

This is particularly true for soft-offer campaigns that typically go to “smaller” call centers where staffing is a science based on the call forecast. Basic math says that radio advertising will produce smaller call spikes. As a result, radio can “smooth out” the call volume and allow the call centers to effectively staff so they don’t abandon the calls coming in off of TV.

4. You capitalize on an inexpensive means of ongoing creative testing

Fresh creative appeals are the lifeblood of all successful advertising campaigns. Without them, you have a “flash in the pan” campaign. With them, you have a long-running success that becomes a brand. That’s why ongoing testing is so important. Direct response radio advertising provides a low cost way to ensure ongoing testing of different appeals, offers, pricing, or packaging on a smaller scale before rolling out. And, while radio campaigns can be set up as mass appeal like TV, they also can be highly targeted. If you find that you have a certain common profile target customer that you are – or are not – capturing with TV, radio’s ability to target can be of significant use. Developing that area will further enhance your profits.

Subscribe to our posts

Subscribe to our posts for the latest company and industry news including: Podcasts and Radio Listernship Insights, Creative Research, Audio Trends, Forecasts, and more!