Saturday, December 1, 2012

TV Long Form Infomercials - Why They Work

TV Infomercials Are Here To Stay


Thanks to all of you who visit and read my blogs. Since 1992, my company InfoWorx has been innovating, straight talking, and making money for our clients. DRTV can be tough, even brutal sometimes, but marketers with patience, an understanding of the dynamics of testing, tweaking and massaging - somehow make their products successful. Others come in underfunded, with unrealisitc expectations and a desire to reinvent DRTV - and they usually fail.

Today's topic is the old fashioned (since 1984) long form TV infomercial. A lot has happened since 1984, but these shows keep on keepin' on. Many marketers are fearful of producing a long form show because the budgets can get up there. (Check out InfoWorx affordable and award winning packages) I'm here to tell you today that those video assets are valuable. They are valuable for social media marketing, they are valuable for your web site, they are valuable for point of purchase and other corporate videos, and they are valuable for b-roll footage at home shopping networks like HSN and QVC.

Now I'm a guy who goes to the gym early in the morning during the week and the weekend. My gym keeps CNBC, E! and several local channels on, along with CNN and ESPN. You know what? I see Long Form TV Infomercials every day at 630A or 7A while I'm on the eliptical - just like millions of others. Long form TV Infomercials are everywhere. They are airing on your local network affiliate on Sunday afternoons, Satyurday evenings and most every day during late fringe. Remember this - if they are airing they are working!

Conventional wisdom is that short form works on low cost products and long form works on high cost products. That's conventional, 1980's wisdom. Here are the facts: We live in a multi channel world of communications and media. We get our messages from TV, Radio, Internet, Print, Social Media, etc. With a Long Form TV Infomercial you already have all of the video assets necessary for every application and media distribution. Your messaging can be more complex, better explained, and more fully demonstrated with the long format. Before you box yourself in, consider creating a long form show that can be used in short form, online video, and all of the channels we already discussed.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

DRTV Short Form TV Lead Generation

Direct Response TV can make the telephone ring and many campaigns can be driven by Per Inquiry TV or Pay for Performance marketing. Nowadays all the buzz is about integrated campaigns. That means that you need a TV campaign, a print campaign, a pay per click campaign, an email marketing campaign, a social media campaign, a radio campaign, and a direct mail campaign. Even our deep pocketed clients like Wamsutta, Rubbermaid and Emerson don’t start like that!


Today, I want to talk about TV Lead Generation and especially leads that are driven by live calls. In the old days, calls from toll free numbers drove the TV Infomercial industry. In the early 1990’s, marketers started putting up URL’s and micro sites for online sales. As these online sales grew, DRTV driven integrated campaigns were born. Micro landing pages, newsletters, updates and email marketing all followed as “components” of an integrated campaign. How can a marketer afford all of that?

Now it’s 2012 and the fragmentation of media is greater than ever. But I want to tell you that TV still works, and it can work as a standalone campaign. However, to gain the accountability that we need to track media, using only a toll free number can have a great impact on your media costs, tracking, and customer acquisition. We seeing this trend back to toll free only gain steam, even on expensive long form infomercial products.

Many categories can use inexpensive short form DRTV with stock footage to drive live calls or leads. We currently have several clients using :30 second and :60 second spots with a toll free number only. For one client we drive calls through our Advanced IVR Tracking system to their in house call center. They pay only for 60 second calls. Another client uses a 2 step system in which we gather a name, address, and telephone to send sales materials and have a consultant follow up. Sounds old fashioned, I know – but the results and conversions are high.

Here are just a few of the many categories that work well with lead generating short form DRTV:

- Foreclosure defense

- Debt management

- Insurance

- Legal

- Seniors

- Education

- Diabetic and medical supplies

- Social Security Disability

- Invention marketing

- Tax resolution

Think about it. A web search allows all of your competitors to buy your brand and key words and the customer is directed to anything but your offer. With classic direct response lead generation, your customer is more exclusive, focused and interested in your offer.




Saturday, May 26, 2012

Direct Response TV Update – Response Expo

Response Expo 2012 brought together the top Direct Response TV professionals, Infomercial Producers and TV Media giants all at one great trade conference. InfoWorx Direct has attended every one of these since they started 6 years ago. We sponsored the Inventor’s Pavilion and I moderated a blue ribbon panel of Direct Response and DR marketing geniuses. I want to thank my great friends John Yarrington, who runs the Response Expo and Jenny Lawlor, who works with Inventor’s full time.


We met with Comcast, MTV, DirecTV, Turner Broadcasting, ESPN, Bounce and others to solidify those all-important media relationships and, of course, attended lots of cocktail parties at the Hard Rock and the Hilton Bayfront. It was phenomenal to see some of my dearest friends and colleagues and competitors – I love the Direct Response industry!

Each year, I try to help inventor and product developers learn more about what it takes to sell a product on TV and roll it out. Last year, I gave a DRTV 101 presentation that covered the basics. This year, 2012, I wanted to put together a blue ribbon panel of DRTV superheroes and have each of them explain an aspect of Direct Response Television marketing. BJ Fazielli of BJ Global Direct explained cost of goods and overseas sourcing. Al Diem, of Hampton Direct, explained licensing deals and royalties, Doug Frankel, of Broadcast Communications Media, explained media metrics and testing philosophies and Manish Israni, of Telebrands, spoke about the Telebrands product evaluation process and how inventors should pitch their products effectively. I asked some tough questions of the panel because I promised the audience high level information that they could not get anywhere else.

Here are five trends and tips learned from Response Expo 2012:

1. TV still reaches a mass audience and can target specific niches in a way that no other medium does. For any type of full roll out – marketers need TV.

2. Media rates have remained fairly flat, but the economy seems to be doing a little better.

3. Great DR marketers are working on new tracking and metric models as TV drives consumers to traditional inbound telemarketing as well as web, mobile and home shopping. New methods are being developed to track the web sales generated by TV. Traditional MER metrics just calculated from telephone calls do not give the full picture.

4. Hispanic DRTV marketing requires a specialist and many Hispanic homes still speak Spanish at home to preserve the culture even though they speak good English.

5. Celebrities can help – but they must be right for the product and must love the product.

Please check out my DRTV Media blog here for the latest news, updates and trends in the wacky, wonderful world of Infomercials and Direct Response.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Infomercials 2012-International Houewares Show Update

Infomercials in 2012, especially short form infomercials or DRTV commercials are increasingly driven by the retail backend. Annually, I am invited to participate on a blue ribbon panel of DRTV experts and Infomercial gurus each year at The International Home + Housewares Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Our panel included Gary Sullivan, Scott Hynd, Jon LaClare, Jeff Frankel and myself – all very experienced at evaluating products and helping inventors and product developers evolve their products and pitches. Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank also appeared. This year, we saw about two dozen new products, many of which were viable, but only a few had all of the attributes necessary for As Seen on TV Success. Remember, for DRTV, we look for products that solve a problem, are new and innovative, have a 5 to 1 markup ratio, and can fit on the shelf space afforded in an As Seen on TV department.


The International Home + Housewares Show is the world's largest homegoods event with 60000 professional attendees and 2000 exhibitors - from over 35 countries. This year the added plus was the weather which was Spring like here in normally windy, chilly Chicago.

We saw many innovative products, and my message to many of the inventors was that the offer is King, and you must develop a robust upsell stream to increase revenue from direct sales to make TV viable. Having a great product is not enough, if you expect to generate enough revenue to keep a direct response TV campaign going.

To learn more about the metrics involved with DRTV and the wacky, wonderful world of Infomercials, click here for a primer on allowable cost per order.

If you are interested in production costs, media planning and turnkey campaign management services click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Per Inquiry TV and Radio Agency Expands Per Inquiry Specialization.


BOCA RATON, FL (February 20, 2012) – DRTV Agency and Infomercial production company, InfoWorx Direct has expanded its capabilities as a per inquiry advertising specialist in short form and long form television and radio. The TV infomercial production company and media buying agency has developed a proprietary platform that can deliver :30 second or :60 second lead generator calls using the client's 800 numbers or by providing clients with toll free 800 numbers forwarded directly to the client’s call center or in house consultants.

"Our newly developed per inquiry advertising system empowers the marketer to dictate the amount they are willing to pay for a response and also controls the number of responses they are willing to handle. We have been specializing in pay for performance TV and Radio programs since 1999,” Ron Perlstein, Executive Producer and Media Director at InfoWorx Direct explained. "Our new system allows the client to choose if they want to run spots 24/7 or custom tailor hours to conform to call center operations."

In per inquiry TV and Radio advertising, the advertiser can specify how many calls or orders they want and set a price or “payout” for those results. This allows them to use their performance metrics to maximize the potential of their campaigns.

"We designate one toll free number per campaign, per media outlet, and can answer valid calls which can be :30 or :60 second qualified leads. We can also instantly redirect the calls to any call center or to the marketer's live consultants,” Perlstein continued. InfoWorx Direct has relationships with hundreds of TV stations, many cable networks, and thousands of radio stations. "The beauty of per inquiry deals is that the client can work within their allowable cost per order and maintain profitability while controlling media costs. Our proprietary platform and media management systems provide complete tracking information, and can even specify call center hours for valid, qualified leads. This allows clients and media to partner with a revenue sharing media campaign,” Perlstein added.

Per inquiry campaigns work especially well for legal, tax relief, insurance, mortgages, reverse mortgages, diabetic recruitment, health care and many soft product offers.

For 20 years, InfoWorx has established itself as a pioneer in direct response TV advertising, and has generated billions of dollars of major "as seen on TV success" for clients including Emerson Electric, Innovation Direct, SnorEnz, Rubbermaid, and iRobot's Roomba. For additional information on InfoWorx, contact Ron Perlstein, or visit InfoWorx.com.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Infomercial Budgets - Cost of Infomercials 2012

Infomercial budget questions? Are you trying to understand the costs of producing an infomercial? My name is Ron Perlstein, and I started producing infomercials in the early 1990’s and run a very successful Direct Response Infomercial Production and Media Agency called InfoWorx Direct. Part of our client base includes many marketers and product developers who are new to this unique and profitable form of Direct Marketing. Please bookmark or subscribe or follow me on Twitter.


TV Infomercial Production Costs:
Short Form TV Infomercials run in 5 minute; 2 minute; and 1 minute lengths depending on your product, goals and TV media availability. Many producers charge a fee plus a royalty on the back end based on performance. There are a few DRTV Agencies (like InfoWorx) that not only produce winners, but provide media buying services. TV Production costs for these short form TV infomercials or DRTV commercials range from $5,000 to $75,000 depending on many factors.

Long form TV infomercials are about 30 minutes (most are 28:30 minutes). Again here costs can vary greatly. Do you want a production with a spokesperson sitting at a table with a black curtain or do you want to produce a TV show that is convincing with great talent, custom sets, animations and high end graphics? Take a look at these TV Infomercial production packages to get a better idea of production values.

TV Infomercial Campaign Costs:
In addition to production costs a TV campaign must include media. I recommend that a marketer test their offer or several offers. A media test on a limited national basis costs about $15k to $20k per test. These tests produce sufficient data to determine if you have a winner, moderate success, or …..ugh….a loser. The backend of a campaign or test is also imperative. Inbound telemarketing in the form of an IVR or live agent call center has setup fees ($1,000 and up) and ongoing transactional fees. A non swipe merchant account is required and nowadays a landing page e-commerce site is recommended. Also a DRTV friendly fulfillment shop is recommended to handle inventory management, pick and pack services, payment processing, and returns and exchanges. Like inbound telemarketing, there are setup fees and ongoing transactional costs associated with this aspect and having a world class fulfillment partner helps.

Check back here often. Also check my DRTV Media blog. We’re working on one now regarding rollout media budgets.



Saturday, September 17, 2011

TV Infomercials Are Here To Stay

Thanks to all of you who visit and read my blogs. Since 1992, my company InfoWorx has been innovating, straight talking, and making money for our clients.  DRTV can be tough, even brutal sometimes, but marketers with patience, an understanding of the dynamics of testing, tweaking and massaging somehow make their products successful.  Others come in underfunded, with unrealisitc expectations and a desire to reinvent DRTV - and they usually fail.

Today's topic is the old fashioned (since 1984) long form TV infomercial. A lot has happened since 1984, but these shows keep on keepin' on. Many marketers are fearful of producing a long form show because the budgets can get up there. (Check out InfoWorx affordable and award winning packages) I'm here to tell you today that those video assets are valuable. They are valuable for social media marketing, they are valuable for your web site, they are valuable for point of purchase and other corporate videos, and they are valuable for b-roll footage at home shopping networks like HSN and QVC.

Now I'm a guy who goes to the gym early in the morning during the week and the weekend.  My gym keeps CNBC, E! and several local channels on, along with CNN and ESPN. You know what?  I see Long Form TV Infomercials every day at 630A or 7A while I'm on the eliptical - just like millions of others. Long form TV Infomercial are everywhere. They are airing on your local network affiliate on Sunday afternoons, Satyurday evenings and most every day during late fringe. Remember this - if they are airing they are working!

Conventional wisdom is that short form works on low cost products and long form works on high cost products.  That's conventional, 1980's wisdom.  Here are the facts:  We live in a multi channel world of communications and media. We get our messages from TV, Radio, Internet, Print, Social Media, etc. With a Long Form TV Infomercial you already have all of the video assets necessary for every application and media distribution. Your messaging can be more complex, better explained, and more fully demonstrated with the long format.  Before you box yourself in, consider creating a long form show that can be used in short form, online video, and all of the channels we already discussed.