When you think of generating sales leads, you probably think of direct mail or telemarketing. But any medium can be used to generate sales leads, including TV ads.
Watch this TV ad I wrote for Sunbelt Software and then I’ll give you the 3 key tactics used in ads like this.
First, let me say that Sunbelt is a top-notch company with a superior product. So that gives them a big advantage with any marketing effort in any medium.
Here, we wanted to test a TV ad to generate leads for a computer malware program. The ad is directed to IT managers and system administrators. It’s a tough group to convince, so the idea was not to sell the software but to let them try it free.
The formula is simple:
- Present a problem.
- Solve the problem.
- Offer free information.
One big “pain point” with malware and anti-virus programs is that they can be a little buggy and hard to manage. It’s a major irritant, so we used this to get attention and generate interest.
The answer is, of course, our software. By providing benefits and details of the product, we presented a solution to the problem.
The call to action was an offer to try the program free with no cost or obligation. Since we knew the product was superior to competitors, and because tech guys are such a hard sell, the idea was to let the program sell itself.
That’s it. Problem, solution, free information. This formula works in nearly any medium, but it works especially well for TV because you can dramatize the problem and solution.
You can see the same formula at work in nearly any direct response TV ad selling mops, diet pills, or any product. Watch this Billy Mays commercial to see problem / solution in action. The difference is that these TV commercials seek to sell the product directly rather than generate leads. So the formula is problem, solution, direct sell offer.
I didn’t produce the spot, so the final ad deviated from my script a little. Most notably, I would have preferred that the Web address stay on the screen throughout the spot. This is standard practice for lead generation because you want people who are interested to respond even if they’re not entirely sold yet.
In a direct sell spot, you generally save the Web address or phone number for the end of the spot to avoid time-wasting inquiries. People who watch a TV ad all the way through are more likely to be sold on your product. If they respond too soon, they’ll tend to ask questions and require selling on the phone.