Hold The Phone

(Article printed from ARIA Connect - the online resource for radio sales professionals: www.aria-radio.com) When was the last time you wrote down a phone number you heard on a radio commercial? I thought so. Do you really expect any other listener to do it, especially while they’re driving?

Millions of dollars in radio time are wasted each year promoting phone numbers no one responds to, and yet clients keep asking to have their numbers put in radio commercials, thinking that radio works like print. It doesn’t.

Use a phone number in a radio commercial only if a phone call is the primary (or only) response vehicle, and only if the phone number is MEMORABLE. We can’t all have 1-800-FLOWERS, but the simpler your number is to remember the better.

First, use the spot to make listeners want to call, then make it easy for them to call. (Read that sentence again out loud).

If you have a memorable number, build the spot around it: benefit/phone number/ benefit/phone number/ benefit/phone number…

Or, challenge the listener to remember the number, or make a joke about it, or sing the number, or make it rhyme.

If you don’t have a number that’ll stick in the mind, make sure you implant the advertiser’s name, and send those listeners to the White Pages of the phone book, or more appropriately to their favorite search engine, since that’s the way many people get numbers now. That way, they won’t be distracted by the competitors’ ads they might see in the Yellow Pages.

Above all, stop adding a phone number as an afterthought. The time spent mentioning a phone number can be used to make the commercial more compelling. If the spot is powerful enough and aired with enough frequency to get listeners to remember the name and the benefits, they’ll find the advertiser.

Jeffrey Hedquist at Hedquist Productions, Inc. Email jeffrey@hedquist.com.

For similar articles, a searchable database of sales training materials, customizable sales proposals, and a complete online sales system for radio sellers, go to www.aria-radio.com

Want to increase your local, direct sales by over 25%? Find out how you can using ARIA's 'revenue.generator' program. Go to www.aria-radio.com/revgen