September 24, 2018

10 Rules of Direct Response Marketing

An understanding of Direct Response Marketing is essential if you want to work with clients or build an online business. 


Because "DR" is all about proven, tested marketing fundamentals. 

This list is inspired by Dan Kennedy's book, "No B.S. Direct Marketing."

It's also the 1st book I recommend you read, whether you're interested in freelancing, copywriting or any other online skill or business model. 

Rule #1: There will ALWAYS be an offer(s)

If you’re constantly creating high-value CONTENT without any offer attached, why not?

And if you’re timid about promoting your offers, you deserve to fail.

Create strong offers that solve a specific, BURNING problem.

Two types of offers:

  1. Offer requesting purchase (like a product or my coaching calls)
  2. Lead generation offer (like a free template, checklist or e-book)

Rule #2: There will be a reason to respond RIGHT NOW

People are wired to hesitate and procrastinate.

Which is why you need to create a LIMITATION.

3 ways to do this:

  1. Urgency
  2. Scarcity
  3. Rarity

Rule #3: You will give clear instructions

People want to be led.

They want to be told what to do.

So tell them.

Set clear expectations.

Your prospects should never wonder what happens next.

Example: Instead of “Buy Now” try “Click Right Here To Buy Now”


Rule #4: There will be tracking, measurement and accountability

“What gets measured, gets managed.”

The best business owners “know their numbers”

  • Monthly revenue
  • Average order value
  • Hourly rate, etc etc

Hard numbers = better future decisions based on logic (not feelings)

Rule #5: Only No-cost brand building

This doesn’t mean branding is useless

It means you don’t need to pay for it

Especially since most small businesses have a tiny budget

So focus on direct response and you'll build your brand AS A RESULT

Rule #6: There will be follow up

One of the 1st thing I learned in sales was the importance of follow up.

This is why daily emails work.

This is why you want to send a ton of emails during a product launch.

This is why every e-commerce store should use an abandon cart sequence.

Understand: Most prospects rarely buy the 1st time they see your offer.

Think about your own purchase behaviors.

How often do you buy something the first time you see it?

I sure as hell don’t.

I’ve got a dozen items sitting in my Amazon shopping cart right now.

Rule #7: There will be strong copy

You’re on this email list because you understand copywriting is one of the top skills on earth (you do know this, right?).

Common mistakes:

  • Not writing with your target audience in mind
  • Not writing conversationally
  • Not writing with bold claims and promises
  • Writing TOO much copy (write just enough)

Rule #8: It will look like mail order advertising

  • Headlines
  • Sub-headlines
  • Features and benefits
  • Social proof
  • Call to action, etc etc

Rule #9: Results rule. Period.

Results above all else.

Results are King.

You will do everything possible to get results because results are what matter most.

Rule #10: You will be a tough-minded disciplinarian and put your business on a direct marketing diet

How many things do you know you should be doing, but remain undone?

Some suggestions:

  • Trim the fat. Get rid of things that don’t support you.
  • Have a plan. No no no I’m not talking about a business plan. I mean, what’s on your calendar this week? What’s on your To Do List for today? What would you like your business and your life to be like by the end of this summer?
  • Invest in the right tools (and don’t overcomplicate this step). Aweber, ClickFunnels, Buffer, Evernote, Toggl… all simple, but effective tools.
  • Establish your key metrics. I have 5 or so I focus on every day. If they’re not getting done, I’m failing. Simple as that.
  • Invest in your education. Duh. You’ve heard this before, but a lot of people still don’t do it. Just an hour a day of reading will compound and make a huge difference.


Book - No B.S. Direct Marketing

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