Multichannel: From TV to PC
Nearly 30 years after the Ginsu knives hyperbole hit the airwaves, the URLs scrolling along the bottom of today’s DRTV spots are proof that the channel has evolved. More than that, consumers are responding. Sales that once were the sole jurisdiction of the call center are now shifting, in large percentages, to the Web.
“I’d say over the past four years it’s probably gone from an average of 10 [percent Web sales] to 35 percent,” says Shari Altman, president of direct marketing consultancy Altman Dedicated Direct of Rural Hall, N.C. “Ignore it at your peril.”
Steve Schulze, CEO of Vital Intentions of Corona Del Mar, Calif. and Altman’s client, thinks prospects are shifting their reactions to DRTV advertisements from 100 percent call-center responses to a percentage opening the direct marketer’s Web page. That’s saving Schulze money.
He estimates that a live operator costs him 70 cents to 80 cents a minute, interactive voice response call centers run 18 cents each minute and, for him, the Web pulls almost nothing out of his pocket—except maybe $1 for a conversion.
Based on trial and error, Schulze has learned that it takes more than Web-only incentives to drive online sales. More important than a free trial is simply getting prospects to the site without confusion.
Altman also stresses: “No. 1, you need to have either a landing page or micro- or mini-site that mirrors the offer you made on television. [If you] dump somebody into just your basic homepage, [you] will never convert these people. Like everything on the Web, you need to respond very quickly to what the prospective customer’s expectations are. So if you ran a TV campaign, when they show up at that URL that you just advertised, they’d better recognize it.