Why Direct Response Marketing Should Be The ONLY Way You Advertise

Most agents think the purpose of marketing is to promote themselves, but this isn’t true.   The purpose of your marketing is to ATTRACT prospects.  The primary reason most agents fail is NOT because they’re not good at the technical aspects of their business (most are), but rather because they’re not good at attracting prospects.   That’s where marketing comes in.

Image Advertising (And Why You Shouldn’t Do It)

Let me first explain what you shouldn’t do.   Do not spend your time and money on Image Advertising (as most  Real Estate agents do).   What is Image advertising?   Image ads usually talk about how great the person paying for the ad is, or some other non-compelling foolishness.   They are colorful, beautiful and expensive brochures and advertisements.   These polished pieces are filled with clever lines that promise the prospect quality, integrity and service.   Image advertising focuses on the agent (where direct response advertising focuses on the prospect).   Image advertising makes statements like:

  •  I’m #1
  • We Are The Biggest
  • I Sell a Lot of Houses
  • I Give Great Service
  • I Care About Your Business
  • List With Me

Several things are wrong with ads like these:

  • There are no benefits for the prospect
  • It doesn’t tell a complete story
  • It doesn’t make a specific offer
  • It doesn’t call for action
  • It’s not measurable or trackable
  • It doesn’t give prospects any reason to buy

As far as your prospect is concerned, these are empty, meaningless, same-old boasts.   There’s a dangerous myth in advertising which says that once you get your name out there, people will seek you out.   The reality is YOUR PROSPECT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU AT ALL.   If you really think about how much you care about other businesses outside your own, you’ll know with conviction that I’m telling you the truth.   Well, your prospects are no different.   Image advertising is ineffective as a marketing tool.

Prospects won’t call you just because you want them to.   They won’t call you just because they are aware you exist.   They will only call you if it will benefit them in some way to do so.

The purpose of your marketing is not to promote yourself, but rather to attract your prospects.

Emotional Direct Response Marketing (And Why You Should Do It)

With Effective Direct Response Marketing, you offer people what they are dying to know, and then they call you to get it.   In other words, in direct contrast to Image Advertising, you focus is NOT ON YOU, but rather ON YOUR PROSPECTS’ NEEDS, so that your prospect is motivated (not manipulated) into action of their own volition.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right about now is “Well, what DO my prospects want?”   Do they want a quick sale or top dollar?   Are they after best value or most attentive service or least hassle?   How do you find out what prospects want?

Well, it’s simple.   You ask them.  Failing to understand and address your customer’s needs is one of the biggest marketing mistakes real estate agents make.   Rather than assuming or guessing you know the answers, you should be asking your prospects directly by researching their needs.   

To begin with, however, you can leverage off of our learning.   We’ve spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars researching consumers and testing ads to determine “what they want”.   The ads given to you as part of the Success Website Marketing Manual speaks the most universally and compellingly to the vast majority of prospects.  

Here is an example of one of our proven lead generating ads:


DISTRESS Sale – Bank Foreclosures. Free list of Bank-owned properties. Receive a FREE computerized printout. Visit www.YOURDOMAIN.com
Bank Foreclosures
Free list of Bank-owned
Receive a FREE
computerized printout
Visit www.YOURDOMAIN.com


Please understand that you don’t need a writing or advertising degree to be good at creating a successful Direct Response Ad.   All you have to do is follow the formula, and the formula is:


This acronym parallels the ultimate result you’re looking for in your day-to-day business.   The simple measure of success or failure in you work selling houses is whether or not you managed to get a SOLD sign put up.   If you do, you were successful.   If this doesn’t happen, you failed.   Well, it’s the same with your advertising.   The formula for success is in these four letters: S-O-L-D.

Stop them in their track (The Headline)

Operate on their self-interest and desires (Make it Compelling)

Lure them with a story about something they want (Your offer)

Deliver them to your door (Call to Action)

Let’s understand this step by step.

Stop them in their tracks

The first thing prospects see is your headline.   Your headline is the ad for the ad.   Your headline must STOP prospects in their tracks.   Research proves that 80-90% of the success of any ad is a direct result of how well the headline gets attention.

Your headline must be selective, precise, motivating, attention getting, big picture, full of benefits.   You’ll probably want to write 10 or so headlines first before you decide which one to use.

There are 4 qualities that good headlines may possess.   They are:

1-    Self Interest

2-    News

3-    Curiosity

4-    Quick, Easy Way

With the Success Website System, of course, we give you ads with headlines that we’ve already used and tested.   But as you learn more about Direct Response marketing, you may want to test some headlines of your own.

Operate on their self-interest and desires

Your headline is simply the door opener.   Make it specifically and abundantly clear that you’re talking about something that will directly benefit prospects in some way.   Appeal to their self-interest, wants and desires. 

  And remember, people buy benefits, not features.

So, instead of saying “Down filled”, say “Twice the warmth at half the weight”.   Instead of saying “Gas Shock Absorbers”, say “Smoother Ride”.   Instead of saying “Top Producer” say “Sell Faster and for More Money”.

Deepen their interest.   Make it impossible for them to pass you by.   Spell out their specific wants and then explain in simple, factual language how your product or service fill those needs.   Logic has nothing to do with it.   Emotion has everything to do with it.

Lure them with a story about something they want

Don’t be afraid of making your ad too long.   Make it as long as it needs to be – but no longer.   People will read what interests them, so tell a complete and interesting story.   But don’t pad it unnecessarily.   Remember… People will not allow you to bore them.   Woo Them.   Romance Them.   Get Them to See Themselves in Your Copy.

Talk to them as if they were your friend.   Your close friend.   You should view your ad as a conversation – a very personal conversation – with this close friend.   By the end of this conversation, this person should be on your side because…You Should Have Connected with Them.

You should have spoken to their heart in deep enough terms that they will want what you have to offer.   And remember, in real estate, it’s a multi-step process.   One ad probably won’t make them hire you, but it should make them call you for the information – the soft, non-threatening offer – you’ve made them.

Make sure you:

  • state what you’re offering early on in the copy
  • make it easy for skimmers to get the essence of you story by using effective heads and subheads
  • use of bullets, underlining and bold type also make it easier to navigate

Never assume knowledge.   You know you business inside-out, but your prospects don’t.   Always state the obvious.

Deliver them to your door

Ask them to do something.   Demand action.   And make it easy for them to comply.   Ask them to log on to your website to order a FREE special report on the thing their heart desires.   Tell them it will be delivered to their door, with no obligation, free of charge.

In other words, state as precisely and clearly as possible what it is you want them to do. (You’ll find that people will do what you tell them to do if you make it easy).   Motivate them into action.   Create a sense of urgency with a special incentive or a bonus.  Tell them exactly what steps to take.

By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your business above your competitors.


1.    You cannot service too much

2.    You cannot educate enough

3.    You cannot inform too much

4.    You cannot offer too much follow-up and follow-through

5.    You cannot make calling or coming into your business too desirable