How do you get new prospects when people are pulling back on spending in a recession— when businesses are closing, unemployment is high, the economy is uncertain?

Many CEOs, vice presidents, and marketing managers are asking themselves this question for the second time this year, as many states and cities head into a lockdown for a second time …

… but there must be some intelligent, fail-safe strategy to continue to build your customer base, reach new audiences, and maximize your response and profits.


CDMG was approached by a company in our post-pandemic recovery – they were worried how much a lockdown, quarantine, and economic downtown would affect their business.  They thought maybe it would destroy their business.

Not only that, but the company also had a very specific niche network: the average age of their demographic was 65+ … an audience hit hard by the pandemic.

How could a business with a 65+ target demographic excel through digital marketing, with apps and online forms?

It seems that all the cards were stacked against us – but that’s where my creative team introduced the most advanced direct response strategy and tactics.

Our client – Family Radio – has a national radio network as their core product.  They needed to build their database, product offerings, and drive more response.

The Family Radio audience is a Christian audience, 65 and above.


Our Primary KPIs

  • Generate more listeners with a new radio app
  • Obtain an untapped user base outside of the current radio audience
  • Setup tracking and tagging to be able to accurately evaluate what works and what doesn’t work


Our Strategy

To achieve these goals, we used a 5-point strategic plan – 5 steps to succeed.


Step #1 – Use advanced direct response copy and graphics

Copy is the foundation of your marketing success.  But not any copy.

Not traditional ad copy.  Or editorial copy.  But direct response copy; proven to drive response.

You need to make sure your copy grabs the attention of your prospect, powerfully positions your company and product, identifies your unique selling proposition, and overcomes your prospect’s skepticism and objections.

Among other rules, your copy should:

  • Focus on one “big idea” … this is the unique advantage you are selling.
  • Stress the benefits, not the features, of your product or service.
  • Create urgency … your prospect must want to buy
  • Approach the reader from a position of authority … people will only buy when they feel that they’re getting the best of what’s available.
  • Zero in on reader action … your prospects need to act in order for you to sell.
  • Vary paragraph lengths … keep paragraphs short, but make sure they’re not all the same length.

For some of our highest performing copy, we pushed the simple message of “Block out the noise and focus on God”, going on to highlight Family Radio as the best, comprehensive platform for spiritual connection, music, and community.

Again, realize that the list above is only a small sample of the essential rules and strategies that you need to maximize your copy performance.

For the complete list, please see my book, The New Multichannel, Integrated Marketing: 28 Trends For Creating A Multichannel, Integrated Campaign To Boost Your Profits Now, you can order it as a hard copy on Amazon, as an audiobook, or you can you can click here for a signed copy.


Step #2 – Create a strong landing page

Your landing page is your holy grail.  It is the place that you’ve fully curated to maximize interest and engagement.  There needs to be a strong, succinct headline, supported by a clear call-to-action, and reinforced by direct response copy, graphs, images, and video.  Altogether, your prospect must believe that your product is the best thing since sliced bread.


Step #3 – Make the most out of Facebook advertising

Facebook is one of marketers’ most powerful tools.  The question is, is every marketing director making the most out of Facebook’s advertising platform?

For example, for Family Radio, we created four different types of prospective customer lists to target with our ads:

  • Custom: Custom lists can be anything you upload from a current customer list, to inactive customers, or new prospects. It’s yours to mold to your advantage.  For Family Radio, we took their database of listeners, Facebook followers, and newsletter subscribers to build the initial list.
  • Look-Alike: Look-alike audiences are built off what the Facebook algorithm deems to be the best prospects based on their demographics, behavior, and databases. We used powerful new ads to drive engagement from a new audience.
  • Retargeting: Retargeting is so important and should not be skipped. These are the ads that turn your curious prospects into customers and your one-time customers into loyal, long-term buyers.
  • Affinity: Affinity audiences are prospects that do not fully meet your targeted demographic criteria but have overlapping interests that could potentially translate into a significant lead or conversion.


Step #4 – Banner Ads and Native ads

Banner ads and native ads can also serve as great tools to capture interest and sales.  They do have a few differentiating factors:

  • These ads tend to have a more editorial slant to them, capitalizing on news, curiosity, and the “newsworthy” related opportunity.
  • Longer headlines usually provoke greater response; they are giving prospects more ideas and angles to latch on to.
  • Placement can be critical. Evidently, native ads are programmatically adjusted to fit the design and content of their host webpage, so be sure you are tracking allocation and performance closely.


Step #5 – Conversion emails

Conversion emails are another game-changer that can do so much in generating sales.

  • Affirming and strengthening your brand
  • Reinspiring your unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Allowing our prospect to learn more about your product
  • Reminding your prospect of the urgency of the opportunity

… and so much more.

A conversion series is a collection of emails that 1) use direct response copy and art, 2) are spaced properly apart, 3) are telling a story.  For Family Radio’s test, we created 3 emails.


Our Results

In our email conversion series, we hit an open rate of 29.7% with a click-through rate of 7.7%.  That’s well above the industry standards of a 25.17% open rate and 2.79%, respectively.

In the case of our landing page for Family Radio, we were able to create a landing page that, over our small test campaign, counted over 53,000 visits, including 11,000 new users, and 19,000 conversions.  And this was with an average viewing time of 29 seconds.

And then on Facebook, our affinity audience turned out to be our second-highest performing targeted group for Family Radio, driving over 1000 conversions, behind our Look-alike group, which deliver close to 4000 conversions.

Again, much of that success was predicated on our holistic, multichannel marketing approach.  In this case, every piece of every channel contributes to a larger funnel of brand significance and persuasion.

If you’d like to learn more about these strategies and how to implement them for your own business … please don’t hesitate to contact me at 310.212.5727 or email me at