As a company you’re brand focused. You love your brand and you want others to do so too. So you spend all your marketing budget on promoting it. You’re on TV and you look great. Life’s good. There’s just one thing: sales aren’t growing as quickly as you hoped.
Maybe you should try something different. Another way to reach your customer. Whatever it is, it mustn’t lose sight of the brand. Direct response perhaps? You wrinkle your nose. Really? You decide to give it a go. What about an insert you say? Magazines are full of them so they must work. And if doesn’t, well you won’t have spent much. Let’s not forget the brand though. In fact, let’s make it all about the brand. No need to say much. Everybody knows why they should buy our products. Include an offer? Well, if you must. Make sure it’s discrete though.
If so, the question is- did it live up to expectations? In other words, not just promote your brand but generate enquiries which converted to sales. If it didn’t, then perhaps you should re-think how to make your message more responsive next time?
Here’s an example.
Eve Sleep is a relatively new bed company who have built their brand awareness mainly on television. Using a cute mnemonic device in the shape of a cuddly sloth to give the company a distinctive identity, it recently created a 2-sided insert to drive people to their website. Unfortunately, from a direct response perspective it falls into the trap described earlier.
Take the front cover (a). It assumes everyone has heard of Eve Sleep and recognises the sloth character; that they’re aware of what Eve Sleep is as a company and are intrigued enough by the headline to want to find out more. A tall order. Here was an opportunity to catch people’s attention in a much more intrusive way. Money-off anything is one of the most powerful response mechanisms you can use yet there is no mention of it until you turn over.
As for the headline itself (b) – just how relevant is it? Eve sell a premium range of beds, mattresses and bedding with the offer of a 100-day trial, free delivery and free returns – much more convincing reasons to pick up the insert than the current wording and yet this is hidden away on the back again. It would have made all the difference if this had been the key message instead.
On the back, well here style over substance continues (c). Here was the moment to remind and inform people of the sort of products Eve Sleep has to offer. Not just in the form of imagery but in descriptive selling copy that reinforces the reasons to visit the website and elaborates on Eve Sleep’s USP’s.
Lastly, don’t hide away what you want someone to do next and how to go about it (d). There is no sense of urgency in the current insert. Key to response is to convey the need for someone to react promptly otherwise the moment is lost. An end date displayed alongside the offer and a more prominent call to action would have created a greater incentive to do just that.
The moral here is, don’t rely solely on your brand identity and perceived awareness in every aspect of your marketing. Direct response mechanics exist for good reason – they work. Next time, take a deep breath and, without losing sight of your brand values, include them in your next lead generator. You’ll be surprised at the difference they make.