Direct response television marketing, more commonly referred to as infomercials or DRTV, is a form of advertising that has been around for many years. It's not uncommon for people to turn on the TV and see someone selling a variety of items with a call to action encouraging people to "act fast," or "call right now."

However, like most advertising campaigns, there is a fair amount of strategy involved in creating DRTV spots that yield positive results on a consistent basis. Simply filming someone discussing how a product or service will improve the lives of viewers is only a small part of the equation.

As such, it is very easy to make mistakes during this process that can render an infomercial completely ineffective. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid common mistakes during the creation stage of the DRTV process that will make an infomercial deliver positive results from the moment it is deployed.

Here is short list of items for companies launching an infomercial campaign to beware of:

1. Avoid working with inefficient payment processing company

Most infomercials require consumers to make purchases over the phone or online using a credit or debit card. As such, it is necessary that these payments be processed quickly so that orders can be shipped and customers can receive their purchases in the reasonable time frame being advertised. Because of this, it is critical that businesses partner with a payment processor that can streamline these transactions in a manner that is speedy, efficient and protects the sensitive financial information of customers.

2. Presenting solutions before outlining pain points

To best capture the attention of consumers using an infomercial, the Electronic Retailing Association suggested that companies identify any challenges consumers have before presenting a product or service that can address them using an infomercial. This will capture their attention and encourage them to sit through the campaign in its entirety, ultimately leading to a purchasing decision being made. If these steps are followed in the reverse, potential customers may not give their full attention and the overall impact of the infomercial is lost forever.

3. Using an ineffective call to action

An infomercial can present a groundbreaking product or service that can revolutionize the world. However, if the audience isn't encouraged to take action and make a purpose, then the campaign itself will yield less than ideal results. Northern Lights Direct suggested to avoid using weak call-to-action messages that don't encourage consumers to take the next step. The website wrote that reiterating the benefits of the product or service being advertised, using large graphics that prominently display the CTA and using words that elicit strong buying signals are best.

4. Not making the product or service front and center

Most infomercials feature a spokesperson of some kind who presents a product or service being promoted in an infomercial. However, Target Marketing wrote it is important for companies not to make the pitch person the actual focus of the campaign. Frequent shots of the product being advertised and a demonstration of the way it will function go a long way in helping to convince consumers to make a purchase. Scenes of this kind serve as hooks that will capture the attention of viewers and help companies close sales using infomercials.

DRTV campaigns are still effective because so many consumers spend significant amounts of time watching TV. As such, with the right approach, a company can drive a higher level of sales and attract new customers using a well-crafted infomercial campaign. Following the best practices listed here can yield positive outcomes on a consistent basis. 

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