When people are concerned about the lack of response to their advertising, usually they complain about one of two things. They either say, "I put it in all the popular ezines but nobody responded" or "I followed all the copywriting 'rules' but didn't even get one sale." This dilemma is normally due to one common problem. There is one thing most people don't think about that dooms their advertising to failure.
Advertising is a process, not an event. Basically this means four things.
(1) Your copy has to be fabulous.
(2) Your placement has to be right on target.
(3) Your timing has to be impeccable.
(4) You must repeat your ads regularly.
The one thing that most people don't consider that dooms their ads to failure is that all four elements in the process must be in place.
Let's go through them individually to get some clarification and ensure your ads get the response they should.
-- Your Copy Has To Be Fabulous --
Copy, especially with online advertising, is a primary concern. It has to grab. It has to push those emotional triggers. It has to stand out from the crowd in order to be seen. This normally means using a benefits-oriented approach.
When you speak to your customers through your advertising, your primary goal should be to answer two questions. "So what?" and "What's in it for me?"
-- Your Placement Has To Be Right On Target --
Just because the ezines, newsletters or Web sites you chose to place your ad with are popular doesn't mean your target audience frequents them. For example, let's say Worldwide Marketing Ezine has over 100,000 subscribers and everybody you know reads it like the Bible. You may be tempted to place an ad with them thinking you'll get a huge response. But if your product is an ebook that deals with gardening, you are most likely wasting your time and money.
When people read Worldwide Marketing Ezine, their focus is on business and promotions, not gardening. Yes, some of these people may be avid gardeners, but throwing a gardening ad at them while they are in "marketing mode" won't get you the response you want. A better idea is to seek out ezines that cater to gardening enthusiasts. That way, your ad will be placed in front of people who have an interest in gardening - while they are in "gardening mode".
-- Your Timing Has To Be Impeccable --
There are some general "timing" rules that apply in advertising.
1. Never advertise during a holiday weekend unless you are in retail. Most people are geared toward being with family during the holidays and don't notice advertising as much. The exception to this is retail. These stores do the majority of their sales during holiday times.
2. Summers are slower than the other three seasons. This is not to say that you shouldn't advertise during the summer. What it means is that you'll probably have to advertise more! Again, the focus of most people is on planning vacations, being with their children and having fun. Because of that, most won't pay much attention to advertising that isn't specifically related to their immediate need. You'll have to up your ad frequency in order to place yourself in front of them continually.
3. Always take advantage of advertising related products during "newsworthy" times. Nationally or locally, if your product or service relates well with something that is being covered in the news, jump on the bandwagon. Again, it deals with the general focus of your customer's attention. (Of course, PLEASE use good judgment!)
-- You Must Repeat Your Ads Regularly --
There is another old advertising saying (marketer's are just full of them). "Repetition breeds remembrance." Nothing truer has ever been spoken. Why do you think Pepsi and Coca-Cola spend millions on marketing each year? Everyone in the world knows who they are. However, they understand that if they disappear from view, they are likely to drop in market share and fast!
Pepsi, Coke, McDonald's and hundreds of other major corporations understand the importance of staying in front of their audience. The last statistic I saw pertaining to impressions stated that consumers must see your ad seven times before they really even notice it. SEVEN TIMES!
I know what you're thinking, "But I'm a small business owner. I don't have the budget of Coke or Pepsi." True. But you can swap ads with others, write and submit articles to ezines or Web sites, arrange joint partner ads and split the cost plus a number of other things to reduce your advertising expense. What's important is that you stay in front of your particular customer.
Once this combination is put into practice, you will notice a great increase in your advertising response. The result of an ad that is well written, placed in a targeted publication, timed impeccably and repeated with regularity will be a more consistent flow of sales for your business.
Diane C. Hughes * ProBizTips.com
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