Advertising Made Easy
Do you remember your first day as a business owner?
You were probably just like the rest of us… pretty darned happy and bit on the proud side. Yeah, back then we thought we could conquer the world.
Now we’re too busy conquering our own little corner of the world to pay a lot of attention to the rest of the world… unless it’s to learn a few tips from successful marketers just like us who have made it big.
Tips just like these… that will apply to every market – regardless of the product or service – are great motivators to try something new.
Yeah, you never know when the next idea will be worth a million dollars!
- Create a Special Offer
A special offer is exactly that… an offer that is special. Normally, customers would not be able to purchase this product or combination of products, and once the products are gone… sorry!
You don’t have to go out and order a bunch of new products to put together a special offer. It doesn’t take a whole lot… just use what you’ve got.
Grab a few items that are related, group them together, discount the price, and your customers will be excited to be getting a good deal. Think about it from your standpoint… you’ve sold three or four items rather than one.
Yeah, combination offers are winning deals for everyone!
- Address the Small Customer Groups
Niche markets are everywhere, right under your nose! Within the customer audience that you serve right now are groups of people who share common traits.
Think about it… maybe you have a group who speaks Spanish, a group of teens, and a group of middle class family men and women.
Evaluate these classes of people, and discover the unique needs and desires they share. That will set you up to customize your advertising campaign directly to them. It’s not hard to take your current ads, and make a few changes to adjust to the niches.
They’ll be impressed that you understand THEM, and the increase in your profits will be the best thanks you can get.
- Set up a Winning Referral Program
Successful marketers develop the ability to turn their customers into advocates. Often, they don’t even have to directly ask customers to refer them to others.
Their willingness to go the extra wins customer loyalty and support. Naturally, satisfied customers prefer their friends and family to the place that will take good care of them.
Quality service and is the first step toward referrals, but you can easily take it one step further. Studies show that every satisfied customer tells three people about you.
What would happen with a little incentive added to the picture?
Give customers who refer friends a thank you – whether it’s a discount, special gift item, or a simple thank you card – and watch the referrals spiral!
- You can implement customer surveys.
A few quick questions about what the customer does and doesn’t like about your product, followed by a request for the names and addresses of friends and family who would benefit from the product, and you’re all set to go with the contact information of a prospective customer!
The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies.
There are so many proven ways of promoting your own objectives without cost that it literally boggles the mind just to think of listing them.
One way is to write an article relative to your particular expertise and submit it to all the publications and media dealing in the dissemination of related information. In other words, become your own publicity and sales promotions writer.
Get the word out; establish yourself as an expert in your field, and “tag-along” everything you write with a quick note listing your address for a catalogue, dealership opportunity, or more information.
Another really good way is by becoming a guest on as many of the radio and television talk shows or interview type programs as possible.
Actually, this is much easier to bring about than most people realize. Write a letter to the producer of these programs, and then follow-up with an in-person visit or telephone call.
Your initial contact should emphasize that your product or service would be of interest to the listeners or viewers of the program – perhaps even saving them time or money.
Other ways of getting free or very inexpensive exposure include the posting of advertising circulars on all the free bulletin boards in your area, especially the coin-operated laundries, grocery stores, and beauty and barber shops.
Don’t discount the idea of handing out circulars to all the shoppers in busy shopping centers and malls, especially on weekends. You can also enlist the aid of the middle school students in your area to hand out circulars door-to-door.
Some of the more routine methods include having a promotional ad relative to your product or service printed on the front or back of your envelopes at the time you have them printed with your return address.
Be sure to check all the publications that carry the kind of advertising you need. Many mail order publications just getting started offer unusually low rates to first-time advertisers; a free-of-charge insertion of your ad when you pay for an order to run three issues or more; or special seasonal ad space at greatly reduced rates.
And there are a number of publications that will give you Per Inquiry (PI) space – an arrangement where all orders come in to the publication, they take a commission from each order, and then forward the orders on to you for fulfillment.
Many publications will give you a contract for “stand-by” space. In this arrangement you send them your ad, and they hold it until they have unsold space, and then at a price that’s always one-third or less than the regular price for the space you need, insert your ad.
Along these lines, be sure to check in with the suburban and neighborhood newspapers.
If you send out or publish any kind of catalogue or ad sheet, get in touch with all the other publishers and inquire about the possibilities of exchange advertising.
They run your ad in their publication in exchange for your running an ad for them of comparable size in yours.
Finally, there’s nothing in the world that beats the low-cost and tremendous exposure you get when you advertise a free offer.
Simply run an ad offering a free report of interest to most people – a simple one-page report with a “tag-line” inviting the readers to send money for more information, with a full-page advertisement for your book or other product on the backside.
Ask for a self-addressed stamped envelope, and depending on the appeal of your report and the circulation of the publication in which your ad appears, you could easily be inundated with responses!
The trick here, of course, is to convert all of these responses, or a large percentage of them, into sales.
This is done via the “tag-line,” which issues an invitation to the reader to send for more information, and the full-page ad on the back of the report, and the other offers you include with the complete package you send back to them.
As mentioned at the beginning, it’s just a matter of unleashing your imagination.
Do that and you have a powerful force working for you that can help you reach your goals?
McGraw Hill once commissioned an extensive study to determine what marketing weapons make a company famous in its market or community.
The study went on to show that advertising created more product, service, or brand awareness than all other marketing weapons combined.
The fact is we know that Coke is “The Real Thing” because Coke advertises, not because it has good salespeople or does great direct mail.
It stays in front of your prospects when you can’t be there. While a handful of salespeople can only be in front of perhaps a hundred or so prospects per month, ads can reach thousands of potential buyers each and every month, week, or day.
Studies also show that it inspires confidence from your current clients. When current clients see your ad, it reinforces their belief in you.
It makes them feel like they made the right decision to be your client. It can also waste money if you don’t use it properly.
To avoid wasting money, keep these three tips in mind.
Don’t spend money on advertisements if the majority of its listeners/viewer/readers will never buy your type of product or services.
For example, let’s say that you own a commercial real estate company or a business bank. In both cases, you are only interested in business people.
Broad-reaching television or radio stations or general-interest daily newspapers base their rates on how many consumers they reach.
An examination of their audiences may easily show you that a high percentage of their listeners or readers are not business people, yet you will have to pay to reach all of them.
Conversely, there are more specialized advertising vehicles that target a far greater percentage of your potential buyers.
A business radio program or a business publication will offer you an audience composed mostly of your potential buyers.
If you do advertise, do not expect that a single ad, or even a few ads, will be effective. to be effective your campaign needs to be consistent and steady.
Don’t spread your promotion too thin.
Today, repetition and concentration are the keys to successful advertising.
The more penetration you can get to the same audience, the better the possibility that you will get noticed.
In the ’90s, getting noticed is everything. In today’s commercial confusion, you get noticed only by continually reaching the same potential customer with a consistent theme, message, look, and feel.
Look at the lifetime value.
If you have an inexpensive product, your adverts have to deliver a high number of leads, or every lead has to turn into a repeat customer.
For example, say your average customer spends $25 with you. If you are spending $1,000 per month on advertising, you will need to attract 40 new customers per month to break even on the ad, not counting any of your other costs, such as product costs and overhead.
If those customers are one-time buyers, then you have to find a way to make your ads more effective or less expensive. If they become regular buyers, then you can accept lower response rates.
The key here is to look at the “lifetime value” of a customer. A customer who spends $25 a month and comes to your store only once is only worth $25 to you.
But if you can get that customer to be a repeat customer, then that customer is worth $300 a year, or $1,500 over five years!
Most business people do not understand the power of quality promotion; they do not realize that each new $25 customer is potentially a $1,500 customer!
Advertising brings in the customers, but it is your job to keep them buying from you.
A Neilson study tracked hundreds of ads and the response rate each ad generated.
After a year of tracking the highest response generating ads, it was learned that, for the most part, the ads that pulled the greatest response followed four primary rules:
Rule No 1:
Is it distinctive?
Your design should appear to be distinctive (or sounding, if you’re on the radio) that it pops out of the confusion.
In print, the first goal of a high-response-oriented advertisement is that it be visually distinctive
So make your ad distinctive.
Something that makes it STAND OUT.
Rule No. 2:
Tell me what you want to tell me. If you page through a magazine, you will quickly notice that you do not read the ads that make it difficult for you to figure out what they are selling.
“Clever” is only better if it is “super clever.” Clever headlines that do not tell you what they are trying to sell are simply not effective.
Most ads in most publications today don’t have headlines that tell you what they are trying to sell. In the information age, don’t hint around; say what you want to say, right in the headline.
A good headline follows these four criteria:
It tells you what the product or service is.
It starts with the word you or your (not always, but mostly).
It contains a benefit to the reader. Most companies brag about themselves, rather than talk about the benefit to the reader (prospect).
High-response-oriented promotion focuses like a laser beam on the benefit to the customer.
It makes the consumer want to read on.
The headline is the ad for the ad. If the headline isn’t good, no one will read the rest of the ad. Responses to ads have jumped tenfold by simply changing the headlines.
Rule No. 3:
The body copy should…
Be curiosity driven, unfolding the story you want to tell.
By highly benefit oriented. So many ads talk about features, when it is benefits that motivate buying.
Give you a reason to take action now! Can you offer something for free that will help you engage the potential customer?
Rule No. 4:
Ask for the order.
Too many ads do not give explicit instructions as to what action you would like the customer to take: “Order today and save,” or “Call us today and receive this free….” You must always ask for the order!
Even if you take a small schedule and a small ad, by consistently letting it run in an appropriately targeted vehicle, over time that ad will have an impact. People will see your logo and it will register.
It will support everything else you do in your business. But it is only part of a total package.
You must have other marketing, and you must make sure, ultimately, that you are treating the customer like gold.
Happy customers will spread the word faster, and effective advertisements will help facilitate that.