Ron Perlstein’s Rules for Infomercial Success

September 16, 2010

Direct Response Television success, Infomercial Success or DR Radio success does not always come that easy. I’ve developed seven easy rules after 18 years running InfoWorx, producing infomercials, and placing millions in media buys.

1. Make practical and rational not emotional decisions. DRTV offers immediate empirical information regarding your offer. Base your decisions on facts, not theories.

2. Be scientific, use the numbers. But the numbers must be handled and interpreted by an expert who has the experience to understand what the numbers are telling you.

3. DRTV Success Test: Is the phone ringing? You should know from day one if your program has life.

4. Frequency is the benefit of success, not the key to success. A top direct response and infomercial agency can push out a successful offer for all of it’s value and prevent you from throwing good money after bad. Media tests are just that — tests to discover what works and what does not.

5. Your offer is King. Great product, weak offer, no calls.

6. Use traditional Direct Response techniques. Branding is a side effect of great direct response campaigns, not the other way around. A great DRTV and infomercial company will buy to your allowable cost per order and generate direct sales and leads. Brand awareness will result from DRTV success.

7. Infomercials and Direct Response TV are a science. Stay with your winners and cut your losers immediately. At InfoWorx we use research to target your best customers, media buying power to get your offer in front of millions, and 18 years experience turning response into revenue.

Infomercial Cost Per Order

May 29, 2010

For over 18 years, I have been coaching, consulting and assisting my clients with every aspect of their infomercial projects.  Direct response selling is a science.  This means that in order to achieve infomercial success you must understand the concept of an allowable or cost per order. 

To scientifically optimize product sales, you must test different offers, different premiums, and different messaging.  One of the biggest mistakes newbies make over and over is to simply test one offer with one premium instead of multiple tests.  Edison tested over 6000 different filament materials while inventing the light bulb.  The most successful infomercial offfers are tested over and over before a roll out.  So, do the math, be patient, and test, test, test!

DRTV Equals Cost Per Aquisition

April 25, 2010

Back in the day, it was easier to succeed with Direct Response television. Nationwide cable media costs were much lower, general advertisers did not use Direct Response TV as a branding medium, and there was much less competition for direct sales to the consumer on television. Now, AS SEEN ON TV SUCCESS  requires a compelling media strategy, a bull dog of a media buyer, and infomercial television production that captures the audience’s attention.

But one thing that will never change is that DRTV and infomercials work based on the concept of a pre determined cost per acquisition. It is the concept of an advertising allowable or media cost per order. Great media buyers buy nationwide airtime to a media cost allowable, and know if an offer is working from the first direct response media tests. Customer acquisition costs and great DRTV media buying go hand in hand.

TV Infomercial Budgets

October 26, 2009

What is the cost of an infomercial? How much does it cost for TV infomercial production? Are long form infomercials more expensive than short form infomercials? These questions — and others about the cost of TV infomercial media and airtime come into our offices every day. This blog is for you — to answer your questions and help you understand the wacky, wonderful world of TV infomercials — our world!

Let’s start with question number one: What is the cost of an infomercial? First of all, as you may know, there are two basic formats: short form infomercials and long form infomercials. Short form is comprised of commercial lengths of two minutes or less. Long form is generally considered the thirty minute format (actually 28:30 minutes, but there is now some nationwide media distribution for five minute infomercials too. So what is the cost of an infomercial? TV infomercial budgets start with a TV production budget. This cost is a one time fixed cost, and it needs to amortized over the life of the project. Short form budgets can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more then $50,000.00 depending on the scope of the production. Long form infomercial costs also run in a wide range of budgets. Talk show formats cost about $20,000.00 and up, demonstration shows usually cost around $50,000.00 to $100.000.00. Again, think production values — or in movie language big action movie budgets verses low budget indie films.

The largest portion of a TV infomercial budget is the media budget. And you may be surprised to learn that long form infomercial media is cheaper than highly targeted CPM short form airtime. Check out our other blog for ongoing discussions about TV and radio media costs, clearance issues, and the latest trends. We recommend testing your offer on national and regional cable with test budgets of at least $5000.00 per week. Remember, repetition is very important in all forms of television advertising, so you must stay on the air to build momentum. Check back here frequently for more information on TV infomercial budgets.

Ron Perlstein’s Rules For DRTV Success

February 17, 2009

Direct Response Television success or DR Radio success does not always come that easy. I’ve developed seven easy rules after 17 years running InfoWorx, producing infomercials, and placing millions in media buys.

1. Make rational not emotional decisions.
DRTV offers immediate empirical information regarding your offer. Base your decisions on facts, not theories.

2. Be scientific, use the numbers.
But the numbers must be handled and interpreted by an expert who has the experience to understand what the numbers are telling you.

3. DRTV Success Test: Is the phone ringing?
You should know from day one if your program has life.

4. Frequency is the benefit of success, not the key to success.
A top direct response and infomercial agency can push out a successful offer for all of it’s value and prevent you from throwing good money after bad. Media tests are just that — tests to discover what works and what does not.

5. Your offer is King.
Great product, weak offer, no calls.

6. Use traditional Direct Response techniques.
Branding is a side effect of great direct response campaigns, not the other way around. A great DRTV and infomercial company will buy to your allowable cost per order and generate direct sales and leads. Brand awareness will result from DRTV success.

7. Infomercials and Direct Response TV are a science. Stay with your winners and cut your losers immediately.

At InfoWorx we use research to target your best customers, media buying power to get your offer in front of millions, and 17 years experience turning response into revenue.

Perlstein’s 10 Questions for Infomercial Success

January 17, 2009

Success in direct response TV and Radio infomercials often requires several rounds of media testing and tweaks or revisions to produce a successful TV or Radio Infomercial campaign.

The Direct Response Television Infomercial test results need to be drilled into and analyzed to determine the causes that contributed to the positive or negative results. Here are 10 questions about your infomercial you should address:
1. Does the product effectively fulfill a consumer need?
2. Was the price too high?
3. Was the offer compelling enough for people to call?
4. Was the media planning and research well targeted?
5. Was the media buying campaign optimized?
6. Was the call volume high enough?
7. Was the telemarketing conversion rate too low?
8. Was there adequate incremental revenue from up-sells?
9. Was the show effective at communicating the product benefits?
10. Can the marketer afford to make less money upfront by enhancing the back-end revenue?

Ronald Perlstein – TV Infomercial Producer

December 21, 2008

Of my blogs …..this is the most personal, but all of them can assist entrepreneurs understand TV infomercials, direct marketing, and how to get the most for their marketing buck.  So if you like learning about long form infomercials, how to make money with TV, or the cost of infomercial production my blogs can help.

I’ve produced more long form infomericals then I can count and the number of short form productions is beyond my memory, but I can tell you one thing….it’s not that easy to get a hit show or spot.  You need a an expert, someone who knows the right way to test a product and will tell you the best infomercial media strategy as well.

So when I said this was the most personal of my blogs, I meant that this is my blog where I can be more open, looser, and let my readers know that I care….I want your products to succeed!!!  TV Infomercials is still probably the easiest and cheapest method to launch a product nationwide in this great country.  It’s all about the numbers….the ROI. TV Infomercials still have more reach and better conversions then the Internet, although we use the Internet for more then a third of our sales. And now we can show you how to webcast your infomercial globally for a fraction of broadcast costs….although it is not as simple as it sounds.

Remember, there is much power in the half hour. Long form infomercials can convert more viewers into customers faster then any other marketing method.  It’s a TV show, and people, if they are interested in your information will stop and listen….for about 9 seconds. That’s it….you have 9 seconds to grab them and keep them watching.   At InfoWorx, you can create a compelling, successful, profitable half hour infomercial for about $30,000.00.  We also know how to buy media at a fraction of the rates other media companies pay.  Stay tuned….

Ron Perlstein – Infomercial Producer

December 18, 2008

You know….when I started in this business (1992) an infomercial was a half hour program that combined information and a sales message for a product.   Back in the day, no one called a direct response commercial an “infomercial.”  Nowadays, the term is thrown around willy nilly for just about any advertising that makes a direct pitch to the consumer.  Having explained this business to thousands of marketers, product developers and inventors, it’s clear that everyone is looking for the cheapest, fastest and best way to launch a new product and bring it to market.

The classic infomercial, a half hour program that informs, entertains and sells is still the best format to achieve faster, cheaper, better.  Especially if you are reaching out to baby boomer and older audiences. Yes, it’s true that my son’s generation (he’s 22) uses the Internet and mobile devices for information.  But us old folks who have been brought up with Ozzie and Harriett, The Fonz, or even Seinfeld still love to watch TV for entertainment, information, and shopping from home.

There’s much power in the half hour and we can produce shows for as little as $30,000.00.  Airtime for half hours can be as lttle as $10.00, so the idea that half hour infomercials cost more then short form direct response commercials is not correct.  There are usually several long form infomercials airing with great success in a talk show format.  Why? Because viewers stop to listen to information that interests them.

Check back to blog frequently and I’ll give you many more insights into how to make the most with little or low budgets.

Ron Perlstein Buys Cheap Media

December 12, 2008

It’s Economics 101….supply verses demand.  Recessions create cheap media opportunites for smart, savvy media buyers.  And new technology has brought many many ad auction platforms: Google TV, Radio and Print, SpotXchange, and several others for online video ads.

Cheap media means that products that are driven by an allowable cost per order can produce better results in a recession then in a boom. There are more per inquiry opportunities, remnant media, and syndication fire sales.  You can drive a truck through the available media after December 22, 2208.

If you have a product ready to launch, if your product is inexpensive and meets the needs of the recession weary public, then there is an opportunity now like we have not seen since 9-11-01.  By the way, direct response and infomercials had a fantastic run in late 2001 and 2002.

TV Infomercial Cost and Obama

November 23, 2008

When Obama ran his infomercials across the networks the week before the election, McCain and their surrogates repeatedly used the word infomercial with a scornful tone.  That was because they knew that the long form half hour infomercial would work to convert more television infomercial viewers into Obama voters.

There is much power in the thiry minute infomercial, and the smart, savvy Obama infomercial marketing experts knew how to exploit media and the format. You can, too.

After many years in the direct response business, many successes in both long form and short form….I can tell you that the half hour is the most cost efficient sales conversion tool in for a nationwide launch of a product or service.