When designing your radio direct response advertising program, what is the best way to create traffic and maximize response to your website?
Before getting into the details, it’s important to realize that toll-free phone numbers are still a powerful and easily executable way to generate response and track performance. However, as the Internet continues to be more available and commonplace, it’s likely that radio listeners have web access close by, and may prefer to respond through a website instead of through a phone number.
If you use both a toll-free phone number and a web address in your radio advertising, the web responses can represent as much as one-third to two-thirds of your total response. There are certainly benefits of offering both options in your radio ad, but there are challenges too.
To drive responses to both channels, you need to mention each at least 2-3 times. (If you use only a web address in your call-to-action, then increase the web mentions to 4-5 times.) Repetition is critical to create a successful program. For products that are easy to explain, you’ll have time to include both phone and web address in a 60 second commercial. However, it gets tougher to squeeze both in if your product needs more explanation to communicate the benefits, legal language, etc.
Carefully weigh the benefits of using toll-free phone numbers. But if you decide to use a web address in your radio advertising, consider the following:
Tracking is important. The web is a direct marketer’s dream medium. Not only is it low cost, but all activity is fully accountable. You should be tracking the response and behavior of your traffic, and you should know from where it came.
The easier the URL, the better. Because radio doesn’t have the luxury of visuals, you need to have a web address that people can remember. You don’t want listeners to misspell or abbreviate the address.
Send listeners to an “action”or “landing” page. This is your opportunity to capture a hot lead. Don’t send them to a home page that doesn’t pick up where your radio offer left off. Make sure listeners land on an offer page that satisfies their inquiry, asks for their order and collects their ordering information.
Your decisions aren’t done yet. There are four web address/URL options to consider for radio advertising. You may need some tech assistance to execute the best method for you. Consider the following:
Using simply your main root domain (YourName.com) – Your home page may have all the direct response selling components to convert your inquiries. However, if you advertise your home page URL, you won’t know if the responses came from radio or from some other source.
Creating a sub-domain of your main website (Radio.YourName.com) – a unique prefix before your root domain provides a tracking component that radio listeners can remember and you can measure. Sub-domains can be created for each radio station’s ad, just as you would assign unique toll-free phone numbers.
Assigning domain extension (YourName.com/Radio) – Setting up folders of your main website may be an easily executable approach, but it is the least likely to create trackable responses. It’s more cumbersome for listeners to remember “dot com slash radio” and then to follow through correctly. Plus, many respondents won’t do you the favor of typing anything beyond “.com”.
Finding unique, benefit-oriented URLs (BenefitPoint.com) – If you can find available, easy-to-remember (and easy to spell) domains, this approach can maximize your response and provide you with the tracking you need. All responses can be redirected to the “action” page you’ve created under your root domain.
Working with web addresses can add some logistical complexity to your radio direct marketing program. However, the incremental response it generates can make that extra work worthwhile.