Question. “I just blew over $500 on mailer coupons with only 3 responses. Why didn’t it work? ”
Answer. There a lot of things that go into an effective marketing or advertising piece. Recently I tweaked a client’s advertising pieces to pull more than double what they did before, and here are seven things that I evaluated and tweaked to improve the ads.
1. Headlines – Yellow pages, newspaper, web page, email subject lines, direct mail letter, newsletter… whatever your marketing/advertising medium, your ad won’t pull response like it should if you do not have a strong, action-driving headline. As a reader I am going to give less than 6 seconds consideration to whether or not I am going to continue reading, so you need to make it count.
2. Audience – The best pulling ads speak to a specific audience, instead of the general public. Instead of running a “licensed, bonded and insured” article in the all city paper, consider running an ad in the tiny neighborhood paper (ex. “Wallingford”) saying “Wallingford’s best full-service cleaning”, or if you can substantiate it “Wallingford’s most requested cleaning service”. Another audience related issue with coupon mailers is that your audience is looking for a deal, and they will often only go for the best deal. Price shoppers are likely not your best customers.
3. Unique Selling Position – Your ad must give a unique promise to your prospects that tells them why they should go with you instead of someone else. Do you have a better training program, a better community involvement, a higher satisfaction rate, stronger testimonials, etc.? Find your one good thing, and make a promise to clients from your unique position. The right clients will find you.
4. The Offer – With thousands of advertising messages streaming across people’s desks, computers, televisions and mailboxes each day, it’s tough to compete. You need to offer something to the prospect that they can’t pass up. Your offer could be a discount, free service, or even better gifts or information that your prospects want, but are not your actual service. Free movie tickets, lawn trimming, recipe book for green cleaning recipes, etc.
5. Composition – Whether you are sending a mailing or building an ad, you need to consider how you will stand out visually, so that the ad will get read. Images, lack of images, copy, bullet points, packaging, fonts, etc.
6. Frequency – One-shot advertising is often a waste of money. This is where you place an ad and expect people to respond with a purchase. It does happen, but you may be throwing away a lot of that advertising expense, because the fortune is in the follow-up. The more frequent you advertise the more time you have to address objections, build familiarity, and be in front of your prospect when they need you. Doing a cheaper advertisement that you can to 5-6 times would be much better than an expensive one- shot deal.
7. Call to Action – People are busy and you need to tell them what you want them to do. I have tested this myself where I have two identical ads, and one tells the prospect what action to take and the other one that does not. The ad that tells the reader what they should do can pull as much as twice as much response. So, be sure to tell your readers what action to take.