Direct Response TV – How To Make It Work

direct response television

Direct Response Television (DRTV) commercials have been successfully selling products for years.

But what makes a product like the Snuggie or ThighMaster stand out while others flounder? It all has to do with the success of the DRTV approach. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do direct response TV – and very specific reasons why DRTV might be the right move for your product.

Here’s why you might want to consider DRTV, and how to create a successful approach to a direct response TV campaign:

DRTV will Increase National Brand Recognition for Your Product

By far, the best way to get the name of your product on consumers lips is through a direct response television campaign. DRTV brings your product in front of a wide, national audience and makes it a virtual household name. While this has always been the case with DRTV, it’s even more important now that the advertising landscape is so fragmented. Consumers are skipping through typical commercials, and are watching more channels than ever before.

With the repeated exposure from DRTV programs and commercials, consumers learn the name of your product and actually go searching for it – if they aren’t calling in right away. With the nationwide brand name recognition and shoppers searching for your product, you’ll see higher sales, rapid stock turns and a boost to your company’s bottom line.

Success With a DRTV Company Depends on Your Product

Your product is unique, and it needs to be handled by a DRTV company that can understand that uniqueness. Just like certain manufacturers deal better with certain types of products, DRTV companies specialize in marketing specific types of products. While some work with exercise or personal care products, others have a long track record of success with home-oriented products. In addition, certain companies specialize in different types of commercials.

Working with a DRTV company that has had success with your type of product is key. However, not all products will work well in this selling format. A DRTV campaign results in a short selling life cycle of your products, at a rapid pace. Lots of orders will come in and they need to be filled quickly. If your product production isn’t up to it, something other than DRTV should be used.

In addition, the benefits of your product should be easily seen on screen. If it can’t be demonstrated easily, you’ll have a hard time making viewers see why they should by. It may be better to go the retail route for these types of products instead.

Select Your DRTV Company Wisely

Before you sign on the dotted line with a DRTV company, you need to do your research and understand the unique expertise of each. Consider the company’s track record of success with other similar products, as well as their reputation in the industry. Unfortunately, there are companies in this industry that have been known to scam product creators who don’t do their homework.

In addition to doing your own research, attending an industry trade show like The Response Expo or the Electronic Retailing Association Tradeshow can also be helpful. These shows can provide resources and networking opportunities.

Never Pay for Launching Your Product

DRTV companies typically will cover the costs for getting the campaign going, sometimes including the manufacturing resources for products. This all depends on the company, but be sure that you aren’t paying up front for the company to do their job. That’s their responsibility, and not yours as the creator. DRTV companies should be paying for the expenses and then paying you a royalty of 2 to 6 percent of the wholesale sales during the DRTV roll out (typically lasting 18 months).

DRTV can be an ideal solution for a lot of different types of products, but make sure that you’re doing it right.


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