Saturday, November 3, 2012

DRTV Media Rates – Remnant Media Buying

DRTV Media Rates, DRTV Response Rates, Pay Per Call Advertising and powerful media buys for tiny little costs. DRTV Media Rates in the post-election aftermath are stable. In fact, during this never ending election cycle, our media buyers have found numerous opportunities to buy remnant TV and remnant radio all over the country. We’ve said it before, and I will say it again – your media buyer must be a bulldog with a robust rolodex and many deep, long standing relationships in the direct response media world. But make no mistake, DRTV media is unsold media that goes to the highest bidder. The skill set necessary relates to the buyer’s sense of value and the unending quest to make money for our clients.

Last week, a lot of publicity came out regarding the cost of a :30 second ad on Sunday Night Football ($545,000.00). It’s actually a good value with a CPM around $25 compared to other top rated shows like The Voice or The Academy Awards at CPM’s hovering around $35 - $37. But DRTV media rates require single digit CPM’s and lower. Where do you find remnant media at $5 CPM and lower? We have several clients buying national airings in 26 million homes at CPM’s under $1! And these are top tiered networks like ESPN, Lifetime, and Fox News.

Remnant media buys require a specialist. And if your offer is a lead generating offer or if you simply crunch your customer acquisition numbers - pay per call TV advertising, per inquiry TV, pay for performance – whatever you want to call it is viable. We are expanding our DR digital reach into Mobile with click to call campaigns, too.

Please subscribe to this blog for the latest updates on DRTV Response Rates, DRTV Media Rates, Pay Per Call Advertising and big media buys for tiny little costs.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pay Per Call TV - Per Inquiry TV

Pay per Call TV is often called Per Inquiry or PI because this methodology pre-dates the internet and “pay per click” or “pay for performance.” Marketers using a Pay per Call TV strategy only pay for qualified leads. At our agency, we have been running Pay per Call TV advertising for our clients since 1998, generating millions of leads across many categories like inventor leads, tax resolution leads, foreclosure defense, medical tourism, insurance, legal and others.

There is mounting evidence that Pay per Call is gaining momentum across many channels as marketers slowly come to the realization that a web hit is a long, long way from a conversion. Forbes Magazine recently reported that in the online world of advertising Pay per Call could become even bigger than pay per click as advertisers understand the value of a live call versus a casual click. Pay per Call TV (Per Inquiry TV and Radio) has been around in our world since the advent of the toll free number.

Direct Marketing News recently interviewed me for a DRTV feature they were doing, and I explained that we are using more direct response short form spots and long form infomercials with no URL and a toll free number only. Why you ask – because web hits on their very best day convert at less than 10% and sometimes less than 2%, while telephone calls convert on a bad day at 20%, and we have one offer running all year that converts at 64%.

Pay per Call TV offers advertisers with lead generating offers a format that can mitigate media expense, get your sales force the hot leads they need, and the benefits of TV branding as well. Remember, it’s all about the payout and the length of a call. Some of the legal offers can pay thousands for one qualified lead.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Infomercial-DRTV Media Test Strategy

TV Infomercials and Direct Response TV commercials ask the viewer to take action. They may ask the viewer to call or go online for free information or a free consultation or you may be making a hard offer to buy a product. In either case, the advantage of direct response is that we track the response against a pre-determined allowable cost per order (or lead or call or web hit) and measure the effectiveness of our creative messaging, TV offer, inbound telemarketing, e-commerce conversions and the general functionality of the new campaign. Please remember, the purpose of testing is to learn if your offer is viable, but you also need to know if the telephones are being answered properly, of if the callers are converting response into revenue. Our advice after 20 years and thousands of tests is to go slow, methodically, patiently and with purpose. Take a scientific approach, like all of the top direct marketers do, and you will see your offers succeed. One of Bill Guthy's top rules for success is: test, test, test!

There is much debate in the Infomercial and Direct Response industry about testing strategies and media test budgets. High priced agencies usually quote media test budgets of $50,000 to $100,000. Conventional wisdom among most DRTV agencies and media planners is to test in increments of $10,000 to $15,000 per test. At my agency, we always manage client risk and have learned to test using lower budgets to test more variables, more offers, and to double check and make sure our systems are all working. Typically the first few days of a test campaign may be clogged with problems in the call flow, reporting or fulfillment files. These kinks in your campaign need to be worked on as much as the response metrics.

Here are five tips for an effective media test strategy:
  1. Start slow and test a small budget to make sure the inbound telemarketing and e-commerce mechanisms are properly in place.
  2. Test nationally, even if on small cable networks. This is a more effective test strategy than picking local markets for testing.
  3. Work with media buyers who offer reporting and tracking through a media management system,
  4. Find out the price and offer that consumers will jump at - and work backwards from there.
  5. Be patient.
Please check back for new blogs or subscribe and also take a look at my Infomercial Producer blog for the latest trends and info on TV Infomercial production.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

DRTV Media 2012 Rate Update – 2nd Quarter

DRTV Short Form Media Rates - 2nd quarter update. There is a lot of concern regarding the 2012 Presidential Campaign’s effect on DRTV media rates and avails. I can tell you in Florida, during the political window of the Republican Primary, most of the local avails went to political ads and advocacy ads. The good news is that national cable (which is the cornerstone of DRTV) has been effected little, if any. Of course, no one knows what will happen in the fall. I predict that the “battleground” states will have few local avails. DR marketers should not be hurt too much, but the local retail environment and the spot branding buys will certainly be affected.

In the first quarter there was much optimism (like 2011) and rates started to gain upward pressure almost immediately. Second quarter is traditionally a high priced quarter, but we have seen some easing of rates, as perhaps the 2012 optimism was too high again. A savvy, tough media buyer always understands value and looks for bargains. What is happening on one network in terms of demand may be different on another – and it changes week to week. For example, a prominent network geared to African American audiences recently cut their rates significantly, as they have inventory.

We are finding many DRTV remnant opportunities for our clients including nationwide remnant inventory for $5/minute in up to 8 million households. In Direct Response Television media buying the trick is to reach an allowable cost per order that works for your offer. Check here to learn more about this concept. Bottom line, we are exceeding our clients’ expectations and are generating leads for as little as $5 in some cases. Our stated mission has always been, “Your success is our success.” We can lower your cost per lead or order, and we back every media buy with affidavits and timely reporting.

Please subscribe or bookmark us and feel free to share our information. Thanks to all of you who read my blogs and appreciate the straight talk, DRTV information, and assistance you derive for your planning and new projects. I take a lot of pride in my direct approach because as we all know, knowledge is power.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

DRTV – How to Calculate Cost Per Order or CPO

CPO, Cost Per Order, Allowable Cost Per Order. These are the key metrics for successful direct marketing. And for 20 years, I have been educating my clients, potential clients and members of this great industry. I’ve been blogging about the DRTV and Infomercial business for 4 years and the keywords usually center around the cost to produce or air an infomercial or Direct Response TV commercial. But make no mistake, you can’t make money or break even or execute any direct marketing strategy without knowing your Allowable Cost Per Order. Let’s define the terms for this blog or click here for an Infomercial Glossary.

Cost per Order (CPO): The average cost of television media to generate one product order, determined by dividing the cost of a specific infomercial telecast by the total number of orders received from it.

Ad Allowable: Your ad allowable tells you how much you can afford on a cost per order basis. The ad allowable is the dollar amount determined to be the maximum media expense for each unit sold in order to generate a legitimate profit. Also referred to as Allowable Cost Per Order.

In order to calculate your cost per order, you must be able to track response and sales by media airing, week, month and so forth. DRTV and DR Radio are accountable forms of advertising (unlike branded advertising), and your DRTV Media Agency must have a media management system that tracks calls, web hits, and orders for each airing, broadcast week and broadcast month. Handled properly, the direct marketer should receive data daily that estimates the CPO and receive data weekly with reconciled reporting that tracks the CPO to the penny.

We provide our clients a report called an Allowable Report. Upon setting up a campaign, we crunch the numbers, consult with the client and establish an Ad Allowable or Allowable Cost Per Order. Our custom report shows the client at a glance all of the stations, networks and airings that are below the Allowable and all of the media that is above the Allowable. A savvy and responsive media buyer cancels all media that is under performing the allowable and reorders the media that is working.

To learn more about DRTV Media Rates and Rollout strategies – click here. Don’t forget to subscribe so you receive all of the latest info on the DRTV Media business.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

DRTV Media Rates and Rollout Strategies

Direct Response TV Rates are based on supply and demand.  After the upfront quarterly media buys are made by the largest corporate advertisers, media companies have inventory that may be used for spot branding buys (scatter media buys) and DRTV or Direct Response Television.  Check back here often because we also cover radio which works a little differently.
Media rates flatten in the early part of the first quarter and slowly rise as we move closer to the important second quarter with many Spring and outdoor activities starting up again such as lawn maintenance, outdoor recreation, and Easter.
Direct to Consumer:  If your product is a Direct to Consumer product such as a supplement or skin care product that will rely on DRTV or DR Radio sales, a rollout can start slow and simply build and ramp up slowly based on sales and budget capability.
Lead Generation: Lead generation rollouts may be impacted by your call center or inbound telemarketing capacity issues.  Once your lead generating DRTV commercial or short form infomercial is tested and you are within your allowable, a slow but steady ramp up can take place like Direct to Consumer.  But if your phone room is small, steps must be taken to make sure all calls are answered and all leads responded to in a timely fashion. Also lead generating spots are well suited for Per Inquiry or PI distribution once the creative has been tested.
Direct to Retail: Many of the best known direct response products are consumer products that solve a problem and cost $19.95 or less. In the Direct to Consumer model often continuity sales or auto ships or reorders keep the backend very profitable so the marketer can afford a decent allowable cost per order. Check here for more on the allowable concept. The Direct to Retail model uses retail sales to complete the “backend” sales which are crucial to success.  DRTV commercials drive retail sales.  The retailers are looking for robust media plans in order to give you their precious shelf space.  Direct to Retail rollouts should start with budgets of $25,000 per week and a strategy to be rated as an up and coming product. Often media funding companies are brought in to help with this type of rollout.

Monday, January 2, 2012

DRTV Response Rates-Allowable Cost Per Order

DRTV Response Rates. $50 per spot DRTV. According to my research these two key words come up in many searches. So let’s talk it about because if you are looking for the latest 2012 DRTV Media information, The DRTV Media Blog is the place to get it. Please mark it or subscribe.

For those of you just getting started, DRTV is an acronym for Direct Response Television, which is a method of advertising on TV on a National or Local level in which the advertiser pays low, low rates which are pre-emptible or, in other words, remnant media. Savvy marketers and advertiser establish an allowable cost per order to reach sales goals that should be preset.

DRTV Response Rates are usually tracked via metrics known as Media Efficiency Ratio or Media Ratio or MER. Let’s define a few of these terms:

Media Efficiency Ratio (MER): The total number that decides an infomercial's overall success or failure. The ratio is derived by dividing total sales by the media cost. Sales/Media Cost = MER. This term is also sometimes referred to as Media Ratio or simply Ratio. You can track your TV commercial media buying efficiency on a single airing, a group of airings by station or a week, month or quarter.

Ad Allowable: Your ad allowable tells you how much you can afford on a cost per order basis. The ad allowable is the dollar amount determined to be the maximum media expense for each unit sold in order to generate a legitimate profit. To calculate your allowable add all of the revenue per unit including postage and handling and then deduct all of the expenses including cost of goods, telemarketing, etc. Here is a tool that may help you determine your Ad Allowable.

Cost per Order (CPO): The average cost of television media to generate one product order, determined by dividing the cost of a specific infomercial telecast by the total number of orders received from it. Compare this number to your Ad Allowable and you will know if you are reaching your goal or not.

Media rates ease up significantly in the first few weeks of a new year then gradually move back up as the winter nears its thaw. First and third quarters are the best TV media buying quarters as far as rates with second and fourth quarters having the most demand from corporate and branding advertisiers who pay higher rates.