Do Infomercials Work?

by | Oct 1, 2021 | News

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The biggest question you probably have when researching Direct-to-Consumer strategies is simple. Do infomercials work?

The Answer

The answer is a resounding “Yes!”, and while we can point to many examples of how our infomercials are an incredibly successful sales and marketing tool, what do third party analysts say? Examine the data collected in this PDF from DRMetrix. For example, national cable media billings lead generation has increased 73% between 2016 and 2020. If you have any doubts as to the potential for success with an infomercial, the information here should squash them.

We Get It

We understand the word infomercial brings up certain preconceived notions. Because of this, there have been a few attempts to rename the infomercial. You may know it as Direct Response Television (DRTV), or Performance Marketing. Ultimately though, the format is best known as the infomercial.

There is a better than average chance that you found this page because you were searching for infomercial results online. We know that while you might have preconceived notions and feel hesitant about the word infomercial, you will not be hesitant about the profits and data that a campaign can bring to your company. Simply put, the revenue channel that an infomercial can create for your company can be a major game changer.

Growth

If you look at the data, you can see that in every category, infomercials had stronger growth in 2020 than in 2019. While any data from 2020 is obviously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, in most categories there is a growth trend dating back to 2016. Regardless of what you think of infomercials, the evidence is solid that they work.

Unfortunately, because of confidentiality agreements, we are not allowed to share specific details of the many successes of our past and current clients. All you need to do, however, is look at our client list and our show reels and see how many of them are repeat clients. Successful brand names like Adams Golf, Amazon, Guthy Renker, Hoover, Snow Joe, SharkNinja, and EHealth are just a small sampling of the companies that have retained us for more than one infomercial campaign. All of them had entered the process sensitive about protecting their brand image but discovered that a well-produced infomercial can actually enhance their branding, while simultaneously selling.

Where is Success?

You might be wondering how an infomercial is considered a success. This is going to be different from company to company, but there are certain metrics that share similarities from campaign to campaign. Much of this is due to how infomercial campaigns function compared to the way traditional equity commercial campaigns do.

In a traditional equity commercial campaign, an advertisement will air on television yet have no access to its correlation to improved revenue. Some months down the line, if sales are up, the campaign is considered a success. If sales are down, it is a failure. But generally, there is a lack of direct attribution as to how sales are affected by advertising. For marketers coming from a digital background, where CTR and CPM can create attribution for an ad, the lack of direct attribution in traditional brand advertising television can be something of a shock.

Conversely, the data generated from an infomercial campaign is immediate and measurable like that of a digital advertising campaign. The call-to-action (CTA) in an infomercial tends to be much more direct than in equity advertising. Instead of a non-urgent suggestion that you should buy a product or service, the CTA is tied to an extremely specific response to either directly purchase or discover more information. This can be through calling a phone number, visiting a website, or texting a specific code.

This lets a company know exactly how many people are responding to an infomercial, at what time and from which channel or platform. Sales are generated immediately and because there is no retailer middleman, the revenue goes immediately to your company. This allows your company to use that money to purchase more airtime for the infomercials and grow your market. In essence, the Direct Response campaign becomes self-sustaining. The infomercials continue because they are paying for themselves.

Many companies that started as online digital native have found that television has been the answer to their limited scale issues. With digital only, they were only able to achieve so much success. Television has been the way for them to find new customers beyond their online communities.

Retail Lift

There are other benefits to an infomercial campaign that are more difficult to track. Many of our clients have reported that since airing infomercials their retail partners have reported increased sales. Part of the magic of the infomercial is that it is not just about selling or branding. You can brand and sell simultaneously. Retail lift is just one of the many benefits.

Not for Everyone

This is not to say that the infomercial is a silver bullet that will work for every single product or service. Many products are not a fit for a national infomercial campaign. This can be for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a product is just too inexpensive and not able to generate enough money to justify shipping. Other products or services might not be competitively priced. And while no one ever wants to hear this, it might be a product that no one wants to buy. This is why Script to Screen does not just accept any business as a client. We consult with all our potential clients to ensure the best possible outcome for success.

Yes, They Work

In summation, yes, infomercial campaigns work. The evidence shows that not only do they work, but as an advertising format, they have seen growth for the last several years. Yes, the word infomercial for the uninitiated has negative connotations, but it is an advertising format you and your company will happily embrace when you see what it can do for your revenue goals and profit margins. Do not let your preconceived notion created from your experience years ago generate a negative emotional response to the word sway you. Look at the hard evidence in the PDF. Let the numbers help you make your decision.

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