Recent Study Reveals Most Effective Direct-response Method for Radio Advertisers

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Radio Advertising Research Confirms Vanity 800 Number Out-Performs "Repeater" Toll-free Number by 58%. As companies continue to use direct marketing as a way to reach consumers, effective response mechanisms remain critical to a healthy return on investment. Incorporating vanity 800 numbers in ads can substantially raise advertising response rates - by as much as nearly 60%, as evidenced in a recent radio study.

Radio is one of the most popular forms of media today with over 13,800 radio stations reaching 94% of the U.S. population every week; presenting consumers with 15 minutes of ads each hour. According to a recent study, Toll-free Numbers in Radio Advertising, listeners are more likely to respond to a radio ad that lists a vanity 800 phone number (e.g. 800-NEW-CARS) than an ad with a numeric toll-free number.

Creative Broadcast Concepts, Inc. (http://www.cbcads.com) and Grieger's Chrysler Dodge Jeep (http://www.griegermotors.com) joined 800response (http://www.800response.com) to test the effect on response rates of placing different types of phone numbers in otherwise identical ads. The radio study analyzed the use of a vanity 800 number (800-TRADE-NOW) versus a numeric 800 number (800-954-2828) as the direct-response method.

The resulting response rates showed a notable difference when using a vanity 800 number, with 58% more calls going to the ad featuring 800-TRADE-NOW than the ad listing the numeric toll-free number.

"Radio is a critical component of advertising plans for most of our clients. It is highly targeted and easily tracked. The study shows that more calls rang into the vanity 800 number during the radio test. This proves to us that not only are vanity 800 numbers effective for the radio medium, but that businesses are missing out on potential sales when they advertise with a straight numeric phone number," says Bill Park of CBC, Inc.

As companies continue to use direct marketing as a way to reach consumers, effective response mechanisms remain critical to a healthy return on investment. Incorporating vanity 800 numbers in ads can substantially raise advertising response rates - by as much as nearly 60%, as evidenced in this study.

"We've known for years, based on our customers' experiences, that memorable direct-response tools generate more results. The study with CBC and Grieger's quantifies the extent to which a vanity 800 number out-performs even an easy to remember "repeater" number, like the one chosen for this test." says Laura Noonan, vice president of marketing for 800response. "Given the predicted growth of direct marketing and the proven benefits of using vanity 800 phone numbers in radio advertising, we expect to see the use of these memorable response mechanisms to increase in radio, as well as other advertising media."

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct marketing expenditures will continue to rise and boost the economy through 2007. Widely used throughout many forms of advertising, direct-response tools, like vanity 800 numbers, can be found in Out-of-Home advertisements, radio and television campaigns, direct mail materials, and the Internet.

About the Study:

The primary purpose of the study was to compare and document the use of vanity 800 phone numbers, which are mnemonic numbers that translate into words for easy recall (e.g., 800-NEW-RIDE), and numeric toll-free numbers in radio advertising. Over a two week period, two radio stations in the Chicago metro area ran one hundred fifty-four (154) radio advertisements. Fifty percent of the spots featured a vanity 800 number, and the other fifty percent featured a numeric toll-free number. Both stations used an even rotation of the radio spots, with one version featuring 800-TRADE-NOW, and the second version featuring 800-954-2828. The ads were identical with the exception of the phone numbers. Incoming calls to both toll-free numbers were tracked and recorded electronically. For a complete report of study findings please visit http://www.800response.com.

About CBC Advertising, Inc:

Creative Broadcast Concepts, Inc. works with some of the most successful and profitable automotive dealerships in the United States and Canada. Included in that group are some of the largest dealer groups in the country. By collecting ongoing, in-depth information on the media habits of customers, CBC's dealers eliminate wasted money in their ad budgets and concentrate on the specific media options that are most effective in their marketplace.

About Grieger's Chrysler Dodge Jeep:

Operating with distinction for over 50 years, Grieger's Chrysler Dodge Jeep is the top Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Business Link Commercial Vehicle dealer in Northwest Indiana, Southwest Michigan and South Chicagoland.

About 800response:

800response is North America's premier provider of vanity 800 service and offers the broadest selection of Custom 800 numbers available today. Custom 800 numbers enable businesses to significantly increase advertising response rates while building a database of leads; accessing demographic information on callers; allocating sales staff based on call patterns; and analyzing ad campaign results. Services include a sophisticated Call Routing platform, Call Recording, and real-time Call Tracking reports that provide invaluable demographic information to customers. Call 1-800-NEW-SALES for more information and a copy of Toll-free Numbers in Radio Advertising.

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Jeanne Landau
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