Just What Is “Direct Response” Anyway?

charlote-crockett-polaroid-leftSo what is “direct-response” copywriting – and how is it different from other advertising? Unlike the “image” or brand advertising that you see in newspapers and magazines, direct-response is any kind of advertisement or letter that asks you to take an immediate and specific action – whether it’s to order the product right then and there or request more information about it.

Companies use direct response copywriting to sell everything from mattresses to financial newsletters … from health supplements to fruit baskets. Non-profits raise billions using direct-response techniques, too – from political candidates to environmental organizations to children’s aide groups. And let’s not forget the multibillion-dollar business-to-business market, one of the most lucrative and in-demand niches of the direct-response industry for copywriters.

valerie-leroyer-polaroid-leftAll of them use direct response because a well-written letter can bring in millions of dollars – for a fraction of the cost of opening a storefront or selling wholesale to retailers.

Direct-response copywriting allows companies to reach the people and businesses most likely to buy their products … simply by sending letters and emails to those who have shown an interest in similar products in the past.

But a direct-response promotion is nothing without the right words. It needs to convey the right message … say the right things … be structured in the right way … and be written to make the prospective buyer take action.

And these days, more and more selling is done online. Through websites, emails, landing pages, discussion boards and forums – even through the pages of well-known social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter … and lesser known ones like Friendster, MyLife, Ning, PLaxo, XING, and others.

Ready to take the first step in becoming a direct-response copywriter?

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