In addition to the tips found here, you will find more helpful information on my blog.
Test, Track, Analyze
I strongly advise my clients to track everything, test variations, analyze the results, and make decisions from there. But how?
Here I'd like to give you some ideas. Simple, doable tactics for tracking your advertising and marketing, and making better decisions moving forward.
- Include coded phone numbers or extensions in all of your ads. This includes print and broadcast ads. To track an individual ad, assign that ad a separate phone number or extension. Be sure you know which publication, ad, date, etc. to connect with each phone number. That way, when a prospect calls in, you'll know where that lead originated.
- Include a separate e-mail address for each ad. It's the same idea as with phone number coding. This doesn't mean you have to monitor a dozen different e-mail accounts. Just have the e-mail addresses set up to land in separate folders within your main email account.
- Use URL shorteners (bt.ly , ht.ly or other free service). These are more likely to be clicked on, and they also provide highly detailed analytics, so you'll know exactly where each click-through originated.
- Train the people who answer your phones to ask callers what prompted them to call. Have them record and track this data.
- Use an e-mail marketing program that provide detailed analytics, so when you send e-mail to your prospects and clients, you'll know who is clicking on which links within your email.
- Change headlines, graphics, calls to action, layouts, etc. so you can refine your ads to be the most effective they can be for you. CAUTION: Change only one element at a time, or you will not know which one is effecting your results... and you'll still be guessing.
The goals with all this tracking are multiple.
To know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, which trade publications, websites, radio and TV stations are working for you.
- To know which headlines, offers, calls to action, graphics, layouts, etc. work best for you.
- To empower yourself to make informed decisions that are based on FACTS, instead of gut instincts, feelings, opinions, and other unreliable methods.
Track, test, analyze, repeat. My system for marketing that makes the most of your budget. If you'd like help with applying these tips, contact me today!
Include details and specifics in your ad copy, and you'll sell more product.
Ivory Soap did a very smart thing when preparing ads to promote the purity of their product. Here are some headlines they could have used:
Pure and Simple
(Nice, but too generic.)
Clean and Pure
(Still too generic, too general.)
The Purest Soap on Earth
(A bit hard to believe.)
(Getting closer, but not specific enough... not believable.)
Now, look at the line they DID use...
"99 44/100% Pure"
99 and 44/100% Pure is very specific. It is also believable.
Be as specific as possible in your advertising. Give details. This will lend credibility, make your claims more believable, and ultimately, sell more of your product!
Why do some ads fail miserably, while others bring amazing results - and profit?
Have you ever wondered why some ads bring absolutely nothing? Wouldn't you like to know why? And wouldn't it be nice to know what the profitable ads have in common?
It's simple. Follow the proven rules of success.
There are rules that apply to good advertising. If you follow these rules when creating email blasts, print ads, and web content, you will find success. Failure to follow these rules will result in ads that don't work; Advertising that costs more money than it generates. The result will be epic failure and major frustration.
I'll briefly cover the major elements here, but as always, if you have questions, shoot me an e-mail or contact me.
1. Make Good Use of Your Headline
Your headline must draw the reader in. Include your strongest benefit. Use powerful words. Test. The details of writing good headlines are on my blog. Click Here to read more.
2. Use Body Copy to Build Your Case
Once your headline gets your readers' attention, you have an opportunity to close the sale. Don't be afraid to use your ad space to sell. Afterall, all good "advertising is salesmanship".(Claude C. Hopkins)
Explain how your prospect will benefit from your product or service.Explain why. Back up your claims with facts. As much as space allows, tell your product story.As you do this, never forget the question that is in every prospect's mind: "What's in it for Me?". You must answer this question or you won't sell a thing.
3. Make Good Use of Your Graphic Element
If your product can be depicted with people using, enjoying, and benefiting from it, do so. This is always better than a static product shot. Here's a great example of the powerful use of a graphic.
NOTE: You do not necessarily need to use a photo or graphic. Make this decision after careful consideration. Can words convey the strongest benefit better than a graphic element? Or will a graphic do this more powerfully? Don't assume you need a photo!
4. Ask for Action
If good "advertising is salesmanship".(Claude C. Hopkins, think about this:A competent sales professional wouldn't end a presentation without asking for the sale. Nor should you end an ad without asking for the sale. What do you want your prospect to do next? Go to your website? Order by phone? Order online? Request a quote? Send in a reply card?Whatever you'd like your reader to do, tell them.
5. Make it Trackable
Finally, the only way you're going to know how your ads are working is by tracking the results. By coding phone number extensions, email addresses, web landing pages, and utilizing web analytics,you can plan and track everything you do.Set up tracking and test different elements of your ads.
Create different versions of your ad where you change one thing at a time: the headline, the body copy, the call to action, the photo. By doing this and tracking the results, you can refine your ad to the point of high profitability - and you'll have a repeatable success!
Interested in more? Download the FREE E-Book, Scientific Advertising, by copywriting legend, Claude C. Hopkins.
Be careful when making marketing decisions.
You may need to get outside yourself.
If I had a nickel for every time a client told me: "I don't _____________________ and I don't think anyone else does either." I could retire on some tropical island and never need to write another line of copy again!
In helping clients make marketing decisions,I've heard this kind of comment from intelligent business owners and managers.... "I never listen to that station. Why would I advertise on it?" or... "I don't use social media. I don't even know what a Tweet is!" and... "I don't read e-mail. Does anyone?"
Examine the facts from outside yourself.
It's important to think about your business from the perspective of your customers and prospects. YOUR perspective may not be of value when making decisions about what to say and where to say it.
I once had a business owner with a $250,000 income tell me how little sense it made to him to advertise on a local radio station which I was recommending. "I listen to WXXX," he said. "Maybe we should advertise there." The problem with that line of thinking was the fact that the decision to purchase his product was made by middle managers earning $40-50,000 - most of them women. Fortunately, I was able to convince him that his target audience did not listen to news and sports talk radio!
Seems obvious, I know.
This may seem obvious, but it is a surprisingly common mistake. It is not safe to assume that everyone handles their e-mail the way you do. It is dangerous to forget that there are people who LOVE social media - even though you HATE it. Do not allow yourself the ego-boosting luxury of making marketing decisions based on your own habits and personal preferences.
The truth is, you most-likely don't fit the description of your ideal prospect. Even if you do, that doesn't mean you think like them, act like them, and have all the same habits they do.
Marketing is not as subjective as people think.
For some reason, the marketing profession is perceived as subjective. Opinions count. Personal preferences matter. "If I don't like orange, I won't use it in my ad." is just plain bad thinking. Orange may be the proven winner for selling your type of product!
Marketing can be scientific, if you treat it that way. Set up tracking for everything you possibly can. Test different headlines. Track the results. Test different calls to action. Track the results. Test different photos, graphics, colors, offers, and track the results. If you don't know where your sales are coming from, you can't know what is working - and you can't possibly know where to invest more (or less) money.
This is the only way you can make intelligent marketing decisions. Not by personal preference, opinions, consensus, or any other means.
If you've hired professionals, listen to them.
If you have good marketing people on staff, or if you've investigated and chosen a marketing consultant, copywriter, designer and other professionals, listen to them. That doesn't mean follow them blindly. It does mean listen, weigh their recommendations, use as much objectivity as you can muster, then make solid decisions and be patient.
Web traffic does not triple overnight. Social media marketing takes time. But remember, ads can be tracked, e-mail and web results can be analyzed. Even social media can be measured.
You can know what's working. And you can make increasingly better decisions based on the data. Just do your best to get outside yourself and make objective, informed decisions. And leave subjectivity for the art museum!