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How to make Direct Response work one step at a time
Copyright ? 2006

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 the
neighborhood, telling people about a neighbor’s home that
has just been sold by you or as running a one-time ad in a
local paper advertising an investment offering you have or
as running an ad in the paper that says “Call me before you
redecorate, ” and so forth. In other words, anything where
you do a single step in the hope that you will get

Now, true – you may run the same ad more than one time in
your paper over a period of a few months, and you may send
out farming flyers or postcards to people over a period of
time. But that is not what I’m talking about here, because
each of those particular efforts is really a single-step
process. You send out the piece, and prospects are supposed
to call.

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

For example, let’s say you run an ad that says, “Do You
Worry That Your Filthy Air Ducts Could Be Making Your
Family Sick?” “If so, call. 1-800-000-0000, 24 hours, for a
FREE recorded message to get a copy of an amazing report.
It reveals the secrets of 99.9% pure indoor air your
allergist will never tell you! Call NOW to get this eye
opening FREE report!”

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

In fact, we should take it back a step farther. The purpose
of the headline on the ad is to get somebody’s attention
and cause them to stop going through their publication.

The purpose of the headline is not to sell or solve
anything. The headline, then, has a single purpose. The
headline’s function is to get people to read the copy of
your ad. The copy is, then, the next step, keeping people
interested 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 to
make a sale or get a client? No – again, the purpose of the
message is only to get people to leave their names and

Once prospects leave their names and addresses, and you get
their phone number through the Caller ID, what is the
purpose of the follow-up that you would do on the phone and
the report? Is it to sell? Is it to get prospects to hire
you? No – the purpose of the report going out is to get
people familiar with you and your company, and to get them
familiar with what you have to offer, and to answer the
questions they have.

Once they’ve gotten the report, you move into the
multi-step sequence and follow-up. See, the real secret of
direct response marketing is, after you’ve gotten
somebody’s interest, you must try not to make them do any
more than they are comfortable with doing at any particular
step. To make all the steps combined work up to the sale of
products and services.

But each individual step is small, and simple, and doesn’t
ask people to do more than ease them into the next step.
The purpose of each individual step is to do only what it
is supposed to do. The purpose of the recorded message is
not to make a sale; again, it is to get a prospect to leave
his or her name and address.

The only purpose of the recorded message is to get
prospects to leave a name and address. You’re not trying to
sell them or convince them of anything. I see people
running seminars, for example, and their recorded message
talks about how great they are and how big they are and
how smart they are, etc….all these things that are of no
interest 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 a
FREE report. The FREE report then offers the seminar to
make the steps more non-threatening and easier for people
to digest.

You see, the bottom line is that people are afraid and
confused. The old single-step marketing the old “shove it
in their face” approach, does not work. For the present
and the future, to get people interested and wanting to do
business with you, you have to take it slow and easy! You
can not expect your marketing to do things that it is not
capable of doing.

If you think you need single-step marketing to create sales
instantly, just forget it. Please don’t forget this lesson
about the multi-step approach, and please don’t forget this
concept of asking each step to do only what it is supposed
to do.

You should not try to incorporate multiple steps into a
single step. You don’t want to mix up your product
presentation stuff into your copy in the ads. If you follow
this process you will see your leads go up and you will see
your business go up. But even more important, if you follow
this process, the pressure will be off. There will be no
more feeling like you have to close, or that you have to
make a certain step do multiple things. It doesn’t work
anyway, so why put yourself under all that pressure?

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