Selling Your Product on TV
Think your product can be the next infomercial success story?
It might surprise you to learn that only one out of ten infomercial products is actually considered successful! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably done your homework and read about products generating $30 million, $50 million, and even $100 million from their infomercials, but for every one of those there were nine others that didn’t make it big.
On this page, we’ll discuss what we look for in a product and help you determine whether it’s something we’ll take on or not.
Does it Solve a Problem?
Every infomercial starts by identifying a particular problem. Sometimes it’s a simple inconvenience, other times it’s a health, lifestyle, or money-related problem.
Products that prevent the problem from happening usually aren’t a good fit for the infomercial format, but products that solve the problem can be.
To understand the difference, think of a fire extinguisher; While the product technically “solves a problem”, your reason for buying one is preventative. Products like this won’t do as well on TV because they’re a solution to a problem someone “might have”, not a problem they currently have.
Can it be Demonstrated?
Products that can be demonstrated using high-impact, lively demonstrations with emotional trigger words that build excitement can work great on TV.
Every feature or bullet point of the product should be demonstrable; If your product is a knife that always stays sharp, we’ll cut a piece of leather and then slice a tomato. If your product is small and compact, we’ll show how little space it takes up in your cupboard. If your product will let someone lose weight and gain muscle, we’ll show someone with a well-toned body looking confident on the beach.
Seeing is believing. Products that require too many words to explain won’t do as well.
Is it Easy to Use?
The spokesperson, or “pitch man”, will always highlight how easy it is to use the product. They take the product apart to show you how easy it is to clean or maintain, or how quickly it assembles or solves the problem. For example, “Just drop it in, and your clothes stay fresh!”
Most inventors are experts in their field and sometimes forget that what’s simple for them isn’t always simple to the average consumer. If your product needs to be explained, has too many features, or requires a complicated instruction manual or documentation to figure it out, it probably won’t do well on TV.
Margins & Value
There’s an old cliche that all infomercial products need to meet a 5 to 1 ratio, meaning the cost of the product must be no more than 1/5th of the advertised price, but this isn’t always the case. While it’s true that for a typical $19.95 product we need to be able to manufacture that product for under $4 in order for it to be profitable on TV, for more expensive products the 5:1 ratio doesn’t always apply as long as the overall margin vs anticipated sales is sufficient to cover the media and production costs.
Upsells are also a huge factor. These are the additional add-ons that aren’t mentioned in the commercial, like accessories or related products that are shown to customers after they order. For example, on the Pocket Fisherman campaign, customers were give the opportunity to add a second unit at half price, an extra set of lures, a fishing net, and a compact folding chair to their order. If you have compatible or related upsells for your product, your chances of success are much greater. A typical $19.95 product can end up having an average order value of $30-$60 with the right upsell combination.
Is Your Product READY for us?
Perhaps the most important of all is whether or not your product is ready to sell. Do you have a patent? Is the product out of the design phase, manufactured, tested, and ready for production? We don’t accept “ideas”, napkin drawings, or schematics that haven’t been made into products yet – we can help with the manufacturing and packaging, but at the very least you’ll need to be able to send us a working prototype that looks and functions like the final version and could be used in filming. If you aren’t there yet, we suggest working with a U.S.-based rapid prototyping company in order to work out any kinks in your product’s design and get some working demo units produced before contacting us.
We also require the ability to manage the product’s online presence during the media run. If the product is already available for sale on other websites, we would end up driving traffic to other parties where we can’t control how the product is presented, measure the conversion rates, or apply our upsell funnel. Having this is critical to determining whether or not the media run was successful, so if your product is already available for sale on Amazon or anywhere other than your own website, it isn’t something we’ll be able to take on.