Making the Move from Radio to DRTV

by Bill Sullivan on Jun 10, 2015 3:00:00 AM DRTV

Radio_on_Television-770284-editedWith strategic creative, smart media buys, and good tracking systems, your carefully crafted direct response radio campaign is delivering impressive ROI. So why stop there? To effectively build momentum and expand exposure, let more of your audience see your product’s impact through a trackable, cost-effective DRTV campaign. Making the transition from radio to TV may be quicker, easier, and more lucrative than you think.

The ingredients for DR success in radio and television are similar—enticing creative, savvy media buys, and accurate measurement. Once you’ve identified your target demographics and sociographics, your campaign is fueled by a message that includes a captivating headline, an attractive offer, clear substantiation, and a compelling call to action. When the elements are correct, you’re giving a low-priced remnant buy a chance to work, and low CPMs on radio mean reduced ad costs and greater sales.

The Campaign

The creative you run on radio should be driven to unique telephone numbers and URLs to ensure the most accurate tracking. To help reinforce your message, supply your operators with telemarketing scripts that match the wording of your ads. The same principles apply to your landing page, with a headline, offer, substantiation, and call to action taken directly from your radio ad to optimize lead/sale conversion.

When tracking a successful radio campaign using a lead-generating soft-sell offer, response will impact sales, the continuity program, and the customer’s lifetime value, hopefully leading to dramatic retail sales. After many weeks of tracking success, a client would be wise to transition that creative to TV—i.e., making a :60 radio ad into a :60 TV spot.

The most logical way to succeed in DRTV is to infuse your message with the headline, offer, substantiation, and call to action proven in your radio campaign. You’ve already experienced positive responses from radio listeners; it just makes sense that TV viewers in your target categories will also respond to your message favorably. You may even apply the audio from your radio spot to matching graphics, text, and video to ensure big results on the small screen.

Is It Worth It?

Combining effective creative with a proven CPM-level media buy works to reduce the advertiser’s risk. Then, when it’s all pointed to the same landing page and telemarketing team, you can expect similar conversion results that lead to similar average sales, continuity, lifetime value, and hopefully, a retail presence.

For example, one savvy DR agency recently created a successful radio campaign for a student loan debt-relief program. The radio buy delivered a large volume of leads at $17 per lead. Happy with the low-cost leads, the client transitioned to TV after several months. Coupling the radio voiceover with graphics, text, and video to create the TV spot, the creative was distributed through proven low-CPM DRTV buys, delivering an even lower $10 cost per lead. Converting by similar levels on the phone and online, DRTV turned out to be a more profitable vehicle than radio.

Any client with a successful DR radio campaign should consider a transition to DRTV. But when planning your marketing strategy, be sure you seek the help of an experienced DR agency that is a proven resource for brands of all sizes in minimizing cost and maximizing profits.

Illustration by Yury Velikanov/

Bill Sullivan is managing director of direct response at JL Media.

The above post was adapted from the DR 101 column "Radio on the TV" published in the September 2014 issue of Electronic Retailer magazine.

Bill Sullivan's blog
Get a2bFilfillment's FREE Ultimate Guide to Fulfillment e-Book
Subscribe for tips on how to grow your direct response marketing business!
Subscribe Now!

Follow Us

New Call-to-action

Editorial Disclaimer

The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.