Newspaper advertising is a tremendous source of new business that for so many businesses doesn't ever reach its true potential. These 3 steps will help you change that forever!
You're about to find out the mistakes that your competitors keep on making, and to start using techniques proven to grab your prospect's attention and draw out responses that turn your ad into the 'customer producer' you always knew it should be.
Small Business Realities
All business owners want to increase sales, generate more customers, and make more money. Yet few take the necessary actions to do so. Providing a quality product or service is simply not enough.
Many business owners think they need to set an advertising budget, send out a few sales letters, put a few coupons in the local circular, run a newspaper ad, hand out flyers, and do a bunch of other things 'trying to get their name out there'.
The problem is... a small business that uses that approach wastes a lot of potential. Spending money on this type of exposure is known as advertising. The goal of advertising is to establish a brand name, build an image, and achieve top of the mind awareness. These are some fancy terms taught in business school, but unfortunately they steer everyone in the wrong direction.
You see, small businesses aren't supposed to advertise. Advertising is all about repeating exposures and building an image. Think about all of the many McDonalds commercials you see on television in a week. That's 'high frequency'. Don't they all seem to show a feeling of friendship, eating happily with family ("we love to see you smile")? That's image.
Do you think they intend to get you up out of your seat and go to your local McDonalds right as you're watching the commercial? Not really. OK, they hope you might, but that's not what they intend. They are paying to have you see their message so many times that when you are ready to buy their product you will remember them and go there. Now,let's get to work on your steps to advertising success.
Proven Step #1
So what method will work for your business? It's called direct response marketing. Here's an example. Have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial? Even if you haven't, infomercials work, they make a lot of people a lot of money. It might surprise you, infomercials are not advertising - they don't try to build an image or get you to remember a brand, the products aren't even sold in stores!!
What do they do?
** They take a receptive audience.
** They get them excitedly to pick up the phone and buy. They create action!
This is why most newspaper ads don't deliver big results. Most newspaper advertisers choose the commercial, but you want the infomercial. Your one and only goal in newspaper advertising is to create action.
In the usual types of Newspaper Directory ads you're dealing with very targeted prospects. These are people looking up your company type and ready to call you. That's the beauty and the curse of Newspaper Directory ads. The beauty is prospects can find you easily, the curse is that your competitors are right there with you!!
So how do we get them to pick up the phone and dial your number?
Use direct marketing...which is:
** Directly target a group of people who are in the market for your product or service.
** Offer them what it is they want.
** Generate a response by forcing them to respond to your offer.
Proven Step #2
Your competitors probably waste a lot of money because they're charged for people who will never even consider their offer. There is a definite and specific market for your service and these are the only people that you should aim your offer to.
For example, if you repair dental equipment you want to market your service to dentists, oral surgeons, etc.. But it's not generally that easy.
Consider a Home Cleaning Service in a suburb of Cleveland that advertises in the Cleveland Plain Dealer due to the tremendous readership. If 75% of the cleaning company's clients and target prospects are 3 person families and larger, with incomes of $100,000 per year, living in suburbs A, B and C., they've wasted a big chunk of money. Here's why.
They just spent a lot of money for an ad that will be seen by college students, low-income families, and others that would never consider using their services anyway. Their high percentage prospects make up only a small readership of that paper. Who knows what percentage of those people will see the ad?
Maybe there's a magazine or community mailer that caters to middle/upper class families in a county neighboring Cleveland or in one of the many suburbs. Sure, maybe the readership is nowhere near as large but the lower cost and targeted readership will generate a much greater return on the company's investment.
A mailing list of 3-person households and larger with incomes above $100,000, who moved to such-n-such city or county within the last year can be purchased. Direct marketing targets the people most likely to respond to your offer.
Proven Step #3
Most advertising has no offer. And so the prospect has no incentive to respond right now. Direct response always tries to get a response by offering something of value to your prospect right now.
Using the home cleaning service in the example above, you could offer a free hour of cleaning, 20% off the first job, a free pack of sponges and a bottle of Simply Green or anything of value that will cause a person to act.
Since the offer is subject to your terms, you set a date when the offer expires, a number they have to call, a letter that they must bring in, a form that they must fill out.
So, at the end of your promotion you know exactly how much was spent reaching how many people. Also, you will know how many people responded and how much business was generated.
Most of your competitors don't do this little analysis! They repeat campaigns that cost more than they bring in. So they are forced to set advertising budgets that limit the amount of advertising they can run each year.
But, if every one of your promotions cost you $55 and brought in $225 in business, why would you need a budget? Wouldn't you just keep repeating the promotion over and over?
Your goal should be to repeat and improve what works for you. If you do, you will not need a budget and you will be able to predict what kinds of repeat and new business each promotion will generate.
Millennium Services Group
Start Your Own High Profit Cleaning Business
Millennium Services Group has been assisting people to start and succeed in their own cleaning businesses since 1999.
Article copyright Millennium Services Group - 2004