Make the Promise You’ll Deliver
As indicated by its name, the goal of direct response marketing is to elicit an immediate response from prospects. The opposite would be mass marketing, in which prospects are — perhaps and eventually — motivated to check out a product at the store after seeing the product’s (or the store’s) television commercial an ad nauseum number of times.
Unlike the disengaged television viewers impatiently enduring commercials, social media prospects are somewhat active and some kind of connection to the seller. No wonder, as Kim Walsh-Phillips writes in No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, that “nothing has proven to give a higher ROI than social media marketing. Dollar for dollar, day in and day out, over and over again — you get the idea.”
Social media consultant Walsh-Phillips and co-author Dan Kennedy, a well-known, direct-response copywriter, combine to offer specific how-to advice on social media marketing. Their advice is generously illustrated with real-world examples, often reproduced in the book.
The first lesson of the book, and one that the authors emphasize throughout the book, is that business is about money. It’s not about tweets, followers and any other social media metric about which too many businesses get excited. “Let profit be the true measure,” writes Walsh-Phillips in the introduction, while Kennedy later notes that “you can’t go to the bank and deposit likes, views, retweets, viral explosions, social media conversations or brand recognition.”
To help their readers make money, the authors offer a wide array of recommendations, often organized into concise but comprehensive lists. One of their early offerings, for example, lists the six rules for effective marketing:
1. There will always be an offer. Tell prospects what to do and why they want to do it right now.
2. There will be a reason to respond right now. Don’t give prospects any reason to delay or ponder.
3. There will be clear instructions. Walk your prospects through the steps to the sale.
4. There will be tracking and measurement. Forget the “new metrics.” Forget tracking “engagement,” “reach” or “virality.” What’s the return on dollar spent?
5. There will be follow-up. The lack of follow-up by some businesses — i.e., no capture of names or addresses, no offer to send information, no coupons — is “criminal waste,” the authors write.
6. Results rule. Did the campaign make money? There are no other questions.
These rules are basic rules of direct marketing, yet too many businesses are willing to ignore these rules in the social media arena, the authors write. These rules, they continue, “must be comprehended, practiced, managed and enforced.”
A Range of Topics Covered
While it uses lists as effective tools for conveying key lessons, Kennedy and Walsh-Phillips’ No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing is much more than a collection of numbered imperatives. The range of topics it covers is comprehensive — from unique selling propositions, creating your own celebrity status and the secrets of niche marketing, to creating effective magnetic leads, crafting effective emails, nurturing prospects and developing calls to action that actually lead to action. Each chapter ends with “#NoBSsm Tweetable Takeaways” (the authors want the readers to use the hashtag so they can keep track, a succinct lesson in itself) that capture the lessons of the chapter.
The chapters are also very specific. The “magnetic leads” chapter presents a long list of leads magnets (what you give to leads in exchange for their information). Suggestions include a guide (“Top 10 Questions about Granite” was offered by a granite and marble supply company), a who’s who book and a gift certificate or discount code, just to name three.
One of the core lessons of the book is that pretty pictures and cool music might work for television commercials, but direct response marketing on social media is successful if you prove from the onset that you will deliver. No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing encompasses this lesson: Kennedy and Walsh-Phillips deliver.
Receive our latest book reviews in your inbox each month.