March 2008 - Channel Crossing: Radio

DR Radio Can Sell Books

By Bill Sullivan

If you’re into book marketing, here is some valuable selling information you may have overlooked-especially if you’ve been restricting your sales campaigns to DRTV. Some of you understand how DRTV sells books. However, because radio is a different ball game that requires different skills and talents, not many understand that DR radio can also sell books. Let’s discuss how DR radio not only can sell books, but also how to sell plenty of books at a low cost per lead. Based on my extensive experience, here are the key elements for successful DR radio book marketing.

To begin with, DR radio can sell almost any book, provided it deals with a highly popular subject that appeals to a wide national audience. Next, your creative should contain compelling radio copy. It must persuade listeners of the book’s value-how it offers solutions to health, financial or personal problems, for example. In addition, your copy should also include a hard-to-resist offer that motivates listeners to send for the book-to try it for free, just pay S&H, for example-without having to go to a book store. Most successful DRTV campaigns have a strong backend marketing program supporting every call that can apply to this type of radio offer.

Just as important as your copy is the media buy. Even with just the right book and highly persuasive radio copy plus an offer many listeners simply cannot refuse, your campaign can still fail if you don’t select the right stations and the right daypart mix at the lowest prices.

In short, selling books using DR radio requires highly specialized know-how. Time after time, the most successful DR radio book marketing campaigns have been produced by a select number of experienced and talented radio professionals who not only know what books and creatives work best, but also know how to buy the right stations and airtimes at the lowest prices possible. One such campaign for a well-known book that offered solutions to a variety of personal problems generated as many as 15,000 leads per week.

In addition to those top-to-bottom hands-on skills, radio experts with a large per inquiry/remnant radio network can place a book ad on thousands of stations-they can select from as many as 11,000 stations across the country, for example-and clients pay only a small per inquiry fee or a small percentage of the cost.

Clearly, to increase your chances of success, you’ll want to partner with experienced people who know DR radio book marketing; choose professionals with a proven record that shows they know how to develop a profitable DR radio campaign-from the selection of the book itself to the creative and to making the media buys that meet your particular needs and budget.

Bill Sullivan is president of William Sullivan Advertising, a full-service agency that specializes in direct response radio. He can be reached at (973) 379-8555, or via e-mail at [email protected].


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