Radio Direct Marketing For Print & Mail Veterans – 
A Guide to Transitioning Your Success From One Medium Into A New One

Now that you’re enjoying successful print and mail campaigns, are you wondering “what next”? How about a medium that let’s you:

Make creative adjustments on one day’s notice.
Target an audience by precise demographics.
Integrate your offer seamlessly into the creative content that the audience enjoys.
Have your offer endorsed by the medium’s top-drawing celebrities.

RADIO can work for you. Below is a summary for print and mail veterans to understand how to transition into making radio work for YOUR business models:

Determining Your Test Media – How have you tested your campaigns in the past? Do you target a local region, several regions, or nationwide? How much do you know about your customers’ demographics? There are about 35 established radio formats designed to attract a unique audience. ARBITRON rates these stations by audience size, gender and age – plus, there are also secondary studies on listener income and consumer spending habits (for example, if you need to know which station in Seattle reaches the most credit-card users). Radio lets you PINPOINT which stations, markets and times are right for you.

Here are the most common examples of radio formats to use, depending on your target:

Adults 25-54: News; News Talk
Men 25-54: Sports; FM Talk (i.e. Howard Stern); Modern Rock
Women 25-54: Adult Contemporary/Mix Music; Country; Christian Music
Men 35+: Classic Rock; Conservative NewsTalk; Christian Talk
Women 35+: Oldies; Classic Country; Christian Talk
Adults 45+: Big Band/Middle of the Road music; NewsTalk

If you are transitioning from National print and mail campaigns, many syndicated Network shows deliver CPMs as little as one dollar! The loyalty of their audiences are staggering – Rush Limbaugh’s weekly audience (ideal for Conservative Adults, Male Skew 35+) is larger than most weekly network primetime TV shows (for about 10% of the cost). Dr. Laura’s weeklong ratings exceed virtually all Cable shows geared toward Women 35+.

Other strategy tips:

Dayparts – Buying the entire spectrum of a radio station can waste a lot of money FAST. Instead, remember that most people listen to programs by Dayparts: Morning Drive (6AM-10AM), Middays (10AM-3PM), Afternoon Drive (3PM-7PM). You can achieve more success by blitzing at least 3 spots per day, in the daypart you feel works best. How do you choose the right daypart? What’s your target’s mentality? Newspaper Readers read in the morning (Morning Drive); work-based Internet Users respond to spots during Middays; people read Mail and Magazines when they get home – after they have driven home (Afternoon Drive).

Keep in mind that people are mostly committed to two or three of their 12 preset car radio buttons. You can increase your success by buying the Top-Three rated stations in your proven market for your target demo. Buy spots during the same dayparts to assure that, no matter if your listener flips the dial, they are FORCED to hear your message.

Determining your Creative – A typical :60 radio spot includes an estimated 150-170 words. Transitioning your proven copy points to radio should be easy. Use the first 10-15 seconds of the spot to set up the listener’s problem or need, the next 30 or so seconds to define all the proven reasons why your product or service is the best solution, then leave 15 seconds for your Call To Action. Have one announcer voice your ad — the more basic your spot, the higher your response.

Does your print or mail ad feature a company spokesperson, or expert, as the key selling point? Have that person read your copy for the spot. Has your ad succeeded because of customer testimonials? Record two or three testimonials, edit their best soundbytes, and use them to demonstrate your product benefits in the middle of the spot. Make sure you mention “credit cards” near the end of the copy. Repeat the phone number three times. Vanity numbers work best — but NEVER use extensions or passwords. And remember – NEVER mention price on the radio. Soft leads are proven to generate qualified, closable calls.

A final word on Live Reads & Endorsements from on-air personalities – this is the medium’s most powerful marketing tool. Historically, Personality Reads may cost twice as much, but your results can improve at least three-fold. When a beloved on-air talent reads your spot, two positives occur: listeners are more likely to pay attention (it is being read by the same person for whom they tuned in AND the talent very often works their own Shtick into your copy); and the caller, trusting in their favorite personality, is more motivated to purchase your product. NO OTHER MEDIUM gives you this option.

Preparing Your Call Center For Radio Callers – The greatest thing about radio? It generates THE MOST QUALIFIED CALLS of ANY medium. Think about it – people are calling from a program they tune into EVERY DAY. Listeners TRUST their content, particularly from News, Talk, and Christian stations. And if that listener has just dialed a number they heard only two or three times – WITHOUT a visual impression – then THEY ARE INTERESTED!

Upsell conversions are the most rewarding part of radio. At least 1 in 3 radio sales can be upsold. I’ve seen simple $19.95 offers turn into $200 sales with the right inbound scripting and teasing on-air copy.

Radio stations work for years to establish trust with their listeners. Buying into this trust is a natural transition from print and mail campaigns, and can yield close and upsell ratios that will make radio the next essential part of your marketing plans.

Joe Rashbaum is president of The Radio Solution Company, a radio direct response agency and consulting firm celebrating 11 years of success. Reach him at (805) 279-3391 or inquire below.

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