Direct Response Advertising: "Hare" Today, Gone Tomorrow

As a marketer, I am offered a ridiculous amount of marketing by other marketers; they want me to buy their services in order to better market to my target audience. For the most part, I don’t bite. Occasionally, I've bought add-on services that make my work-flow more efficient or, I think, more attractive. But In more cases than I like to recall, though, I've been a sucker for one thing after another during my early days in online marketing. For some, I won’t name names, even their price-points give them away…so I stay away. I’ll write about the ones I trust in another blog another time.

Typical Direct Response advertising, even media appearances, are often “here one day, recycled the next.” Irresistible offer, “one and done,” ads often feel manipulative, a hustle to get you to buy before a deadline, or to get a special benefit/offer, using the “fear of missing out “ (FOMO) to get you to “Buy Now”.

“Buy Now” advertising, like the always-in-a-hurry Hare in Aesop’s fable, rushes people to make a purchase, sign up, get coupons, BOGO (buy one, get one), etc. It’s more about making a sale now than building a relationship. There may be a place for that when selling “widgets”, but, for professionals…

Too many “hare-like” Direct Response (DR) sales ads scream “Buy NOW.” In viewers’ minds, whether in print or online. These ads are often “hare” one day, recycled the next. Their so-called “irresistible offer” might seem “too good to be true” or just plain manipulative. They may depend upon various fear triggers, e.g., Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), Scarcity (only so many/so many remain), or Urgency (act now or else). While these are effective triggers for widget buyers, we try to avoid them. Respect!

And then there are those cringe-worthy upsells and tempting bonuses with phony artificial pricing intended to make one alternative more attractive than the others. No wonder professionals are repelled by such obvious sales tactics. Imagine offering clients a free session if they pay in advance for Five. “Holy widget,” Batman.

And recall the guy who says his net worth depends on how he values his name any given day?

It’s become a commonplace assertion among the marketers I do trust that People Hate Ads!

Many of us are tired of online or TV ads altogether, fast-forwarding through them unless tempted to watch during a major event. Otherwise, it’s “pass me the remote.”

Nowadays, online audiences are not looking for online “rock stars” to endorse, vouch for, or offer products and services (with a few embarrassing exceptions).

People would rather buy from someone who appears approachable, relatable, and trustworthy, not someone just making a pitch to make a buck. Building trust without gimmicks is what floats my boat. How about you?

Gerry SandersComment