Waste #7 – Failure to Make Advertising Direct Response

In the 21st Century, the investment required for successful media advertising can be very significant. Many business owners try to do a little bit of advertising in the paper or radio or billboard, etc. but find out they don’t get back any return. They become frustrated and upset.

There are two reasons for this frustration. First, there probably isn’t enough advertising going on in a synergistic way that creates results. If the company is advertising on radio, they might need to do newspaper and billboard as well. If they start marketing and advertising on the web, they probably need to do off-line marketing to support it. These costs and investments can become very difficult to maintain. A huge waste of money.

The second reason the advertising falls short is most are doing what is called “institutional advertising” rather than Direct Response advertising. They are sold by the advertising agency that “branding” and “positioning” is important. They are told that if they don’t advertise, their competition will and beat them to the customer. These are both possible true statements. But, not necessarily true.

21st Century Marketing System’s recommendation to small businesses is to make all advertising a direct response. That is, make the advertising create a response of some kind i.e., a lead, purchase or request for more information. That way, the advertising can be measured. It can be held accountable.

Briefly, there are several important elements that should go into every advertisement that makes the ad direct response. These elements include: headlines, sub-headlines, good copy, offer, urgency, reply mechanisms, bonus, P.S., etc.

If a company will follow these rules, the advertising can be tracked and different testing accomplished. Institutional advertising simply tells people that the company is in business and has great service. There is no USP, offer, urgency, bonus, reply mechanisms, etc. Therefore, the company cannot measure results. A big waste.

By implementing direct response marketing into all advertising, different testing can be used to make the same dollar invested return more in leads, sales or even an opt-in E-mail database. Waste (in the form of non-producing ads) are eliminated.

Even with direct response, there is branding and positioning that can be accomplished. At the same time, if there is room in the marketing budget, branding and institutional advertising in and of themselves can be effective. It’s simply the case that most small to medium sized companies can’t afford both types of advertising.

Successful Print Advertising – 9 Things You Need to Know

Successful advertising is studied and dissected by marketers and analysts everywhere. There is no shortage of books written about marketing success- everything from headlines to colors to placement. Every aspect of an ad is examined to find out what about it made it successful. There is an occasional oddball in the group that breaks new ground, but the overwhelming majority have identifiable, predictable elements. These are just guidelines, but they are guidelines that have led to consistent moneymaking success. If you choose to break the rules, make sure you have an excellent reason for doing so. You may think it’s earthshakingly clever, but its reception by the marketplace is what counts. The history of advertising is littered with clever but unsuccessful marketing attempts. This isn’t making a case for sameness, but rather for utilizing the fundamental building blocks of success, regardless of how the work ultimately turns out.

Advertising: Direct Response or Institutional?

The advertising I’m talking about in this article is what is commonly referred to as direct response. In other words, it asks the viewer for a response- pick up the phone and call, come in, visit our website or some other action. It is more of a direct communication with the prospect, and designed with a short term goal in mind. If it is well done, it also has a long-term goal, building on what has come before it.

Institutional advertising is made with a long term goal of positioning the product in the consumer’s mind. It usually doesn’t ask the viewer to take a specific action. It is more of an image building ad. Open a fashion magazine and you’ll se a lot of institutional advertising. Entire pages can consist of just a picture of a model wearing a product and looking bored. Somewhere on the page is the product name. Both forms of advertising have their place (though by my calculations, an incomprehensible amount of money is wasted by most institutional advertisers.) For businesses not in the Fortune 1000, and who don’t have an enormous advertising budget, direct response is usually a much better choice.

With direct response advertising, you’re able to find out quickly what works and what doesn’t. Since most of us don’t have millions of dollars to spend to find out what brings us business, we need to know what messages and what elements are working. So let’s examine each of these elements in detail.

1. The offer

What are you selling? Is it new or different? Is it the same as what everyone else is offering? If you’re not offering something that people actually want, or can get at a lot of other places, it won’t matter much how you offer it. Before you place any advertisement, try to come up with something new. Make a specific benefit-oriented offer that promises to quickly and measurably improve the consumer’s life, and you’re off to a great start.

2. The headline

The headline is the element that tells people right away if the ad is worth looking at. If it doesn’t immediately promise a substantial benefit that is of interest to the reader, the ad won’t get read. It wouldn’t matter if you were giving away free gold bullion in the ad itself, the reader would never get that far. No matter what you have to offer, and no matter how good it is, it’s irrelevant if the headline doesn’t compel the viewer to read the ad. It is by far the most important element.

If you have no headline, if you’ve used your name as the headline, or if your headline is clever instead of benefit-oriented, you need to start over. Come up with something the reader cares about, or they’ll never read the ad.

3. The main graphic

The main graphic is usually a picture that relates to the headline. Not every successful ad has a graphic. Many advertisers, given the choice between a strong headline and a great picture, would choose the picture. That is a very bad choice. The picture should serve to support the headline, and help to quickly convey the benefit you’re offering. So many pictures used are irrelevant or “clever” and ad nothing to the ad. In many cases, they can actually detract, as the viewer’s eye passes over what looks like just another ad. It’s easy to pass over a picture, but harder to pass over simple bold words that interrupt your thoughts. Even if you only glance at the words, your mind reads them almost instantly.

With all that said, a great main graphic can help to make a great ad. Concepts that are hard to express can me made clear with a picture.

4. The first subhead

If your headline has worked, the reader will arrive at the first subhead. It should help the reader understand how the rest of the ad will explain the benefit promised in the headline.

5. The first paragraph

The first paragraph should summarize the benefit you offer, and promise the reader a clear and believable improvement to their life. It should also encourage them to read further.

6. Additional subheads

Additional subheads are used for making your strongest points. Don’t bury your best information in the body copy – pull it out and emphasize it.

7. Body copy

Body copy should be used to expand on your promised benefit. Keep it short, impactful and to the point. You don’t want to make more than a couple of points in and single ad, and each should relate to and build on the others. If you find yourself needing to make too many different points, you need to hone your message further.

8. Last paragraph

The last paragraph is the place to inspire action. Make the reader feel that he or she is this close to enjoying the benefit you’re offering. All they need to do is (insert your call to action here.) Just pick up the phone, visit our website, or whatever it is you want them to do. And make sure you actually know what it is that you want them to do. If you leave it up to them they’ll likely do something else.

9. Post script

The post script is a place to eliminate fear of taking action, or to inspire fear of not taking action. Here you can take away the risk for them by offering your explicit guarantee. Or you can tell them that the offer is good for a limited time only, or something else that will help persuade them to act on the desire you’ve instilled in them.

Internet Marketing Services or the Simple Way to Establish a Powerful Online Identity

Potential customers spend most of their time nowadays on the internet, so this makes internet marketing services for modern businesses indispensable. Internet marketing is a fast-growing area and it is also a cheap and reliable method of targeting audiences without making big investments. The survival of a business is in direct connection with the marketing strategies and tools one uses to promote his products and services, to establish a popular online presence and to send out his message in a timely manner.

With quality internet marketing services, you have literally endless possibilities of promoting your services, not to mention that you can customize these options to work for your personal business. To this purpose, you need to resort to quality internet marketing services and hire professionals to implement all the below aspects into your marketing strategy:

• Social media marketing – one of the most powerful tools of targeting audiences in a cheap and effective way. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace allow business owners to advertise their products in a very efficient manner.

• Email marketing – Sending advertisements and promotional messages to clients in order to maintain constant communication.

• Web analytics

• Link Building – Driving more traffic to your pages by having quality links generated from popular and trustworthy sources.

• E-commerce

• Article marketing and directory submission

These are only a few services that can increase your chances of success by creating efficient advertising approaches. A lot of people are trustful that an online identity can be established in a simple and cheap manner, but only professional internet marketing services can produce good results for your target audience. Especially in this fierce competition between service providers, a lot of importance is given to the professional image you establish on the internet.

Professionals that provide internet marketing services are able to analyze your professional goals, your financial resources and understand what type of products and services you provide and who are they addressed to, so that the marketing campaign they design fits your needs and goals perfectly. A good plan, wise strategies and a lot of tools and resources are needed to design an efficient campaign and to get your money’s worth, so only professionals are able to see every angle of this project and provide reliable solutions.

What should you expect from resorting to quality internet marketing services? Not only will you be able to see results in a short while, but your business will benefit from these services in numerous ways:

• Establishing a powerful web presence

• Sending out promotional messages to potential clients and establish direct interaction with them by means of email marketing and social bookmarking

• Increased brand awareness and profits

• Increased traffic on your website pages

• Analyze customer responses and enjoy immediate results

• Building business-to-business or business-to-client relationships.

Investing in quality internet marketing services is a means of helping yourself survive on the market and stay updated with the trends and directions of today’s society. Online marketers can help you achieve these goals without spending all your savings or waiting for a long time to see actual results.