David Ogilvy’s Guide To Direct Response Advertising Part 2

Ogilvy was keen on direct response advertising for one good reason – the results were measured in sales. It either worked or it failed.

You could argue that all advertising should be like this, but the world is full of sharks who promise and fail to deliver.

Last week I promised that this new series will help you find clients. Part 1 emphasized a couple of important points to get you started. The first of which was: know who you’re selling to. The second was: call them out in your headlines.

This assumes you’re using advertising to get clients (just like Ogilvy did). But it doesn’t mean you have to pay mega bucks to get them. In fact, you don’t need to buy advertising space at all if you’re on a tight budget.

How do you do that? You advertise in places that don’t cost you money – like your website (don’t have a website? Get one on any of the free hosting platforms – there are tons to choose from).

That doesn’t solve the problem of getting traffic though (build it and they will NOT come). Having a website matters for one reason – you can send people to it, and if your copy matches your prospects’ needs, they will at the very least be interested.

How do you send people to it? Advertise! “But I just told you I don’t have a budget!!!”, fine, do you have a phone? Do you have access to email? Do you have access to the internet? Use these tools to find and contact prospects.

“But that’s a LOT of hard work!!!” – yes, it is. Next question? (paid advertising is NOT a lot of work, but it’s a lot of money – take your pick).

But this is only part 2 of this 19 part series, so let’s crack on (there’s a lot more to cover – nothing is truly simple until we’ve mastered it).

As we know from part 1, Ogilvy was after big budget C suite execs who wanted the best. In the second element of his ad, he narrows down the field even further by mentioning Mercedes-Benz.

This is an example of alignment. It’s also one of IBM’s biggest advertising idea taglines – “no one ever got fired by choosing IBM” (that line was written by a copywriter – remember this – it’s a very simple way to let your prospects know how valuable good copywriters are – they can turn million dollar companies into billion dollar companies).

Ogilvy concluded this element with some stats (in other words, he used proof): his agency sold 716 Mercedes in 8 weeks using an 8 page sales letter. He achieved it by researching who to send the letter to (know your customer – or in this case – know your prospect’s customer).

Click the button below for part 3. Meanwhile, start thinking about who (exactly) you want to sell to (not knowing who you want as a customer is like setting off from home without a destination, you’ll never get there because you were lost from the start – not even a map can help with that).

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