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How to make Direct Response work one step at a time

One efficient method is to use of the multi-step process in direct response marketing. For example, single-step marketing could...

... be defined as sending out a flyer in theneighborhood, telling people about a neighbor's home thathas just been sold by you or as running a one-time ad in alocal paper advertising an investment offering you have oras running an ad in the paper that says "Call me before youredecorate, " and so forth. In other words, anything whereyou do a single step in the hope that you will getresponses.

Now, true - you may run the same ad more than one time inyour paper over a period of a few months, and you may sendout farming flyers or postcards to people over a period oftime. But that is not what I'm talking about here, becauseeach of those particular efforts is really a single-stepprocess. You send out the piece, and prospects are supposedto call.

Now, while this seems easy and logical, it also has beenproven over time to just not work. The real secret todirect response marketing is to use little, bite-sizechunks for people so that they are responding to what iseasy and non-threatening, allowing them to take littlesteps, one at a time.

For example, let's say you run an ad that says, "Do YouWorry That Your Filthy Air Ducts Could Be Making YourFamily Sick?" "If so, call. 1-800-000-0000, 24 hours, for aFREE recorded message to get a copy of an amazing report.It reveals the secrets of 99.9% pure indoor air yourallergist will never tell you! Call NOW to get this eyeopening FREE report!"

When you run that ad in the paper, what is the purpose ofthat ad? Is the purpose of that ad to sell a product? Isthe purpose of that ad to secure an appointment for apresentation? No - the purpose of that ad is one thing only- to get people to call your 800# and listen to therecorded message!

In fact, we should take it back a step farther. The purposeof the headline on the ad is to get somebody's attentionand cause them to stop going through their publication.

The purpose of the headline is not to sell or solveanything. The headline, then, has a single purpose. Theheadline's function is to get people to read the copy ofyour ad. The copy is, then, the next step, keeping peopleinterested enough to follow through and call the 800#.

Now when prospects call the 800# and listen to the message,what's the purpose there? Is the purpose of the message tomake a sale or get a client? No - again, the purpose of themessage is only to get people to leave their names andaddresses.

Once prospects leave their names and addresses, and you gettheir phone number through the Caller ID, what is thepurpose of the follow-up that you would do on the phone andthe report? Is it to sell? Is it to get prospects to hireyou? No - the purpose of the report going out is to getpeople familiar with you and your company, and to get themfamiliar with what you have to offer, and to answer thequestions they have.

Once they've gotten the report, you move into themulti-step sequence and follow-up. See, the real secret ofdirect response marketing is, after you've gottensomebody's interest, you must try not to make them do anymore than they are comfortable with doing at any particularstep. To make all the steps combined work up to the sale ofproducts and services.

But each individual step is small, and simple, and doesn'task people to do more than ease them into the next step.The purpose of each individual step is to do only what itis supposed to do. The purpose of the recorded message isnot to make a sale; again, it is to get a prospect to leavehis or her name and address.

The only purpose of the recorded message is to getprospects to leave a name and address. You're not trying tosell them or convince them of anything. I see peoplerunning seminars, for example, and their recorded messagetalks about how great they are and how big they are and how smart they are, etc....all these things that are of nointerest to the prospects whatsoever.

They are asking the prospects to do way too much. In fact,for seminars, I recommend only doing an ad that offers aFREE report. The FREE report then offers the seminar tomake the steps more non-threatening and easier for peopleto digest.

You see, the bottom line is that people are afraid andconfused. The old single-step marketing the old "shove itin their face" approach, does not work.  For the presentand the future, to get people interested and wanting to dobusiness with you, you have to take it slow and easy! Youcan not expect your marketing to do things that it is notcapable of doing.

If you think you need single-step marketing to create salesinstantly, just forget it. Please don't forget this lessonabout the multi-step approach, and please don't forget thisconcept of asking each step to do only what it is supposedto do.

You should not try to incorporate multiple steps into asingle step. You don't want to mix up your productpresentation stuff into your copy in the ads. If you followthis process you will see your leads go up and you will seeyour business go up. But even more important, if you followthis process, the pressure will be off. There will be nomore feeling like you have to close, or that you have tomake a certain step do multiple things. It doesn't workanyway, so why put yourself under all that pressure?

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Abe Cherian is the founder of Multiple Stream Media, a company that helps online businesses find new prospects and clients, who are anxious to grow their business fast, and without spending a fortune in marketing and automation.

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