How to Make Radio Work

10 replies
Haven't done anything with radio in years and I can't remember if it was because radio sucks or my radio script/call to action sucked

Car insurance and local FM there any chance this relationship can make it? Leaving the brand awareness radio to geico, etc. I'm talking about direct response...compelling call to Is there such a thing? Does anyone even listen to FM radio anymore?
#make #radio #work
  • Hi Dan,

    This is not a huge amount of help and I do apologize.

    Years ago before there was a zillion stations I did a lot of radio ads and the results were great.

    But with the sheer number of stations many aiming at the same "niches" it became less cost effective.

    And like you said - I have no idea how many people listen to the radio anymore (although the radio stations do publish the figures).

    My guess - the people that do - are likely to be driving - so car insurance may be a OK - but my immediate thought is - the motorists can't write down and are unlikely to remember the contact details.

    With any Ads I don't concentrate on "brand awareness" - I want the fastest response possible.

    Hopefully people with up to date info and results will give you more advice.

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  • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
    I forgot when was the last time I turned the radio on. I think you have better chances with youtube than the radio.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      Somebody say "radio"?
      I like your (ice cold) beer spot a lot more.

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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Williams
    Has anyone ever accused Mal of not having balls?
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    This is what you need: Advertising in America: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why (Audible Audio Edition): Roy H. Williams: Books

    Roy even gives a detailed example of a successful campaign for an insurance agency.

    It's a recorded seminar, so there are some weird edits, but if you are starting from scratch and really want to understand radio, there is nothing better.

    It's ten years old, but it's not dated. Radio is alive and well.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Problem with radio is...if you use the radio station's copywriter for the most part it will be rubbish. Same applies to an ad agency radio writer. These gigs are usually filled by juniors or guys and gals that don't really want to be a radio copywriter - they want to be on-air or writing for TV. What you want is a writer/producer team that specialises in radio.

    Radio can be very powerful. In fact - talking of that cold beer spot that Subtle mentioned above - there's an ex-publican wandering around The Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and the locals still call him "The Cold Man" - a tag I gave him in a radio campaign 22 years ago. He tells me he occasionally gets mail addressed to "The Cold Man" as well. How's that for branding.

    The tag was "Brought to you by that Cold Man - that indefatigable Champion of the Underdog - Shane "The Cold Man" O'Connor.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Hey, radio works.

      And Dan O'Day is the GOD of radio commercials.

      I would run and buy his courses on Radio Commercials.

      In fact, I used to make all my copy trainees buy his stuff because it's so good.


      Wonder where that call I did with him is...

      Found it and took out the pitch. It's attached.



      Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
      Free NLP Communications Course at
      Get Fit In Four Minutes
      Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO

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      • Profile picture of the author OutOfThisWord

        Radio is great for targeting your market for insurance.

        Just match the station demographics with your perfect customer. Are you after homeowners with good credit... or do you serve the more risky market?

        And it is less expensive for your spot to air in non-drive time, 10am to 3pm. Even though you are reaching less of an audience, they are mostly in their car at that time, not listening from home.

        Dan, since I've seen you pop up from time to time asking about ways to market your insurance business, I suggest you try Valassis. They are the single largest customer of the Post Office.

        They are the ones that have the postal carrier put all those fliers in your mailbox, usually on Wed., or Thur.

        You can target precisely just the homes that match the demographics you are looking for, even to the sub-zip code level. Meaning one house may get your flier but the next would not because they are not your market.

        You'll typically have to do a minimum of 20,000 pieces, costing about $1,600. But a paltry one-tenth of one-percent response will bring you 20 new clients and if you work your referrals right, you'd eventually end up with 3-5 more.

        Good luck!
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