Sunday, November 22, 2009

Integrating Advertising into Your Web Design

by: Stephen Bucaro

If you are going to be placing ads on your website, you'll want to put some thought into how you'll integrate them. Poor integration of ads into your website will cause visitors to click away fast. Successful integration of ads into your site can be highly profitable. Before I show you where to position ads, I want to mention a few important points about ads.

1. Ratio of ads to content

How many ads should you place on your website? There is an optimum ratio of ads to content. If your website has too high a proportion of advertising relative to content, the traffic on your website will suffer and you will lose money. If your website has too low a portion of advertising relative to content, the sales on your website will suffer and you will lose money.

What is the optimum ratio of ads to content? I can't point to any studies, but I feel the optimum ratio is somewhere around 20 to 25 percent ads relative to content. Go much above that ratio and, despite more ads, the revenue from your site goes down. But, there are ways to exceed that ratio and still make more money.

Ads as a service

Advertisements can provide useful information, as well as content. In that case, the ads become content. Here's an example. Rather than post ads that pay you the highest commission, post ads that provide the best value to the visitors to your website. These are ads where the value is so good you might respond to the ad yourself. This type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

Another example is ads for gifts around the holidays. People expect and are not turned off by an increase in ads around the holidays. Finding gifts for everyone on your list is difficult work, and people appreciate gift ideas. Again, this type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

You can safely exceed the normal ratio of ads to content if you hide the ads in the content. An example of this is product "reviews". For example, computer magazines are almost 100 percent advertising posing as product reviews.

2. Repetition of ads and ad management

I have seen websites that display the exact same banner on every page. If I didn't respond to the banner on the first page, what makes them think I will repond to it on the second, third ... hundredth page?

Displaying the same banner on every page of your website is annoying to your website's visitors, and a money losing propostion for you. Keep your ads fresh. Ads are boring enough without repeating the same ad over and over. Display a variety of ads, and use an ad management system. An example of an ad management system is a banner rotator.

3. Ad type relative to response rate

I have heard claims that text ads receive the highest reponse. I'm sure these results are not related to whether the ad is text or graphics, but more likely related to the fact that text ads are usually placed in the more responsive areas of a webpage. All thing being equal, a graphic ad will always get better response than a text ad.

A graphic ad will get higher response than a text ad, and an animated graphic ad will get higher response than a static graphic ad. But animation can be taken to an extreme. Some types of animation are annoying and not only does the ad get a low response, but it also causes visitors to click away from your website.

Examples of annoying animated ads are banners that flash or jiggle or do something else that distracts the visitor so they can't read the webpage content. Those visitors that don't click away will scroll the webpage so this type of ad goes off screen while they try to read the webpage.

A secret few advertising designers know is that the graphic that will get the most attention is a picture of a human face. People are genetically predisposed to look at a human face in their view area. Try it yourself while you're browsing the web. If a webpage has a human face on it, that's the first thing you will look at.

Where to position ads on your webpage

To discuss where to place ads on a webpage, we need to divide a page into five sections as listed below.

  1. Header

  2. Footer

  3. Left Margin

  4. Right Margin

  5. Center column

Note: There is a sixth area of the webpage which is the popup window. There are many forms of popup windows; pop-over, pop-under, delayed, and exit. The polite way to use popup windows is the self-closing popup window. Because of popup window blockers, popup windows are much less effective today, and, from my own experience, when I tried using popup windows, the page views on my website dropped by 50 percent.

The most common position to place advertising banners is in the header section of a webpage. Web users have programmed themselves to ignore banners in this position. The response rate of banners in the header section of webpages has dropped to something like .0001 percent. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has tried to overcome this problem by defining giant (what I call "battleship size") banners. I don't know of any studies that show this works.

Using banners in the head section of your webpage is a waste of processor time, but most webpages still use them. Making a sale this way is a long shot. Banners in the footer section of a webpage are even less responsive.

Actually Web users have programmed themselves to ignore all advertising on the web. However, from my own experience, you can get some response from ads in the left and right margins of a webpage. Most websites are designed with the menu in the left margin and possibly ads in the right margin. This means if the user has a low resolution display, depending upon the width of the webpage, the advertising may be off the screen.

Place your menu in the right margin and use the left margin for advertising. This places the user with a low resolution display in the positon of having to scroll to view the menu. Too bad. They should get a bigger display. Website revenue comes first.

The most responsive position to put your ads is in the center column of the webpage along with the content. As visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they come upon the ad. It's unavoidable.

If you imagine the center column of your webpage divided into three parts; top, middle, and bottom, the most responsive position for your ad will be right in the middle. As the visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they are forced to look at the ad as they continue to the lower part of the article. This might be a little annoying to the reader, but let's hope your content is worth that slight annoyance.

I would recommend placing your ad at the bottom of the center column. As visitors read the article on the webpage, they end up looking at your ad. This is almost as effective as placing the ad in the middle of the column, and a lot less annoying to the reader.

As you can see, how you integrate advertising into your webpages has a major impact on your ability to produce revenue from your website. Poor ad integration will cause visitors to click away. Proper integration can make your website highly profitable. But, ad positon is not the only determining factor, don't forget the ratio of ads to content, ad management, and ad type relative to response rate.

Permission is granted for the below article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website, offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright, and the resource box below is included.

Stephen Bucaro

To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit

Advertising Do's and Don'ts

by: Jeremy Gislason
As you begin marketing and promoting your online business you are going to run into some unbelievable advertising opportunities. Generally speaking if the ad offering sounds too good to be true--It is.

There are companies that will tell you they will get you listed in the top 10 search engines or place your link on millions of sites or they will get you listed in the top 10 returns of search engines. This last one sounds similar to the first, but there is a big difference.

Google searches over 3 billion pages during their searches. The companies that tell you they will get you listed in the top 10 of the major search engines would have to defy all the principles of math to do this. They could not work with more than a few companies in order to achieve this and honestly, there is no way they can get you listed in the top 10 of the search engines placements at all unless they make up their own search terms and people search on that specific term.

Stay away from the companies that tell you they are going to place you in search engines for a fee, for the most part they will do nothing more than use a site software submitter. You can get your own software for this or use an online service and submit your site yourself for a lot less than what most SEO companies charge for this service.

Guaranteed traffic-- They work fine for free sites or if your goal is to build a database of names, but if you are selling a product or service, you will get hits, but not many sales.

Mass email -- Any company that tells you they will send your ad to millions of people for $20 or $30 is simply taking your money. This might sound inviting, but do not waste your money. They are either using site submit tools or sending your ad to millions of harvested email addresses. The companies who tell you they are going to submit your site to millions of pages will most likely do what they say, but you will not see any return and may even get you Spam complaints.

Mass emails are a complete waste of your money regardless of what product you are selling. There are many sites that will tell you they will send your ad to double opt-in lists of people. We have tried over a dozen of these services and have barely received a hit, much less sales. The problem is you lose control over your ad when you use mass email companies. There is no way to verify the ad was sent and if you could verify it was sent, there is no way to tell it was sent to the numbers they promise. Plus, you run the risk of being accused of Spam.

Solo ads-- These are by far one of the best methods of promoting your product and service. They are targeted, you can verify the numbers and you can subscribe using a unique email and verify the ad was sent on the day and time it was supposed to be sent.

Consultants-- Use your best judgment when hiring consultants, call some or send an email and ask about a money back guarantee if they cannot meet the objectives they set forth. I am not a big believer in money-back guarantees because if a service is valuable and you can see the value before you buy, then a money back guarantee is not necessary. However, if someone comes to you and says, I can make your site profitable within 30 or 60 or 90 days and it is going to cost you X amount of money, then they should give you your money back if they do not achieve the desired results.

A good consultant will work with companies that he or she knows they can help by relying on their background and expertise in certain areas of marketing and advertising. Nobody knows everything, but if someone has an expertise in an area that I lack knowledge with, I would hire him or her in a second if they can honestly help me and they can prove they can help me and they will back up what they tell me.

We get emails every day from people who want to join ISOR with the plan of retiring in a month, making a million dollars without doing anything, etc. and we turn every one of them down. There is no business on the Internet or in traditional business where you can accomplish this type of unrealistic goal.

There are, however consultants who will tell you what you want to hear, just to get your business. They take your money and run and they will not help you a bit. We hired a copy writer one time who seemed like a good fit for our company and only after she finished the writing at $120 an hour did she tell me that she would not buy my product. Not because she could not benefit from it, but she refused to pay for anything online. Her copy was terrible and we ended up re--writing the entire sales page. Her feelings and beliefs came across in her writings. It was simply impossible for her to write positively when her mind was telling her negative things.

We have many marketing and advertising partners and all the companies we partner with have been tested by us to offer valuable services, but there are thousands of other companies on the Internet and you might find a very good company with a very good service that works for you and within your budget. Not all companies are out to cheat you, but the purpose of this article is to forewarn you regarding where you spend your advertising dollars.

We have spent a lot of money and time buying and trying different advertising options and by using our own ad campaign and link tracking system for all our advertising campaigns we have the data to back up what we say.

Research your advertising options carefully and do not get pulled into a good deal just because it sounds like a good deal. You do not need to spend a lot of money to advertise and promote your business, you just need to use your common sense and think long term.

About The Author

Jeremy Gislason has over 15 years of marketing experience and is the Vice President of ISORegister, Inc. We are dedicated to helping online businesses succeed by providing them with the tools and resources every online business should not be without. Discover how ISOR has helped 1000's of ordinary people and dozens of top Internet marketers earn a living online. Visit today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hit Counts and Advertising

by: Bob McElwain
hen you first open your new site, hits will be slow in
coming (unless you are an expert at generating them). And sales
will be correspondingly scarce. Even so, you need to be checking
your stats and sales with care. The number that matters most to
you is ...

The Value Of A Hit

By this, I mean, what is a hit worth to you? (By hit, I
mean one unique visitor or user session.) Compute this number
by dividing total sales amounts (gross profits) by the number
of hits. That is, find the total earned for say a month. This
includes your part of sales of products produced by others,
commissions on sales, and so forth. Your stats will provide
the number of unique hits.

For example, if you have a gross of $200 for the month, and
1000 hits, the value of a hit is 200/1000. Which is 0.20 or 20
cents. If gross was only $50, then this number is only 0.05 or
5 cents.

Moving Averages

With a mature site routinely generating hits, this number is
not likely to vary markedly from month to month. Even so, a good
plan is to include in your results a 3 (or 4) month moving
average. For example, given Jan: $0.30, Feb: $0.20, and Mar:
$0.10, add these three numbers and divide by 3. (30 + 20 + 10)/3
= 60/3 = 20.

The reason this helps is that looking only at the monthly
data, the above looks like an ugly downtrend. The 3 month
average eases that downer feeling. Equally important, it helps
you keep from getting too excited about an apparent up trend.

Suppose the value for April jumps to $0.40. For the new
average, January is excluded; you look at only the last three
months. This gives (20 + 10 + 40)/3 = 70/3 = 23.33 which is
roughly 23 cents. In considering 23 cents as opposed to 40 cents
for the month, there is a more reserved view of the sudden jump.

I chose numbers here to make things easier to follow. Actual
results for your site will look quite different. And since the
computations, while simple, can be tedious and prone to error,
most who take this sort of thing seriously use a spread sheet
program, such as Excel.

Why These Numbers Matter

The value of a hit is fundamental to what you can afford to
pay for advertising. And you'd like to stay a bit under this
figure. If the ad produces only this value per hit, the campaign
was a fizzle, for no profit was made. (The exception would be
the value of new customers as subscribers to your newsletter,
those who return to purchase other products, and so forth.)

There's a lot of trial and error in testing ads, but the ins
and outs of it are off topic here. For our purpose, suppose you
have a well tested ad that can be expected to generate 25 hits in
1000 impressions. If the value of a hit to you is 50 cents, then
you can expect a gross of 25 x $0.50 or $12.50.

What this means is you can afford to pay up to $12.50 CPM
(Cost per 1000 impressions) provided hits add to your subscriber
list or returns for other products. If you expect only a one
time sale, you probably will not want to pay more than $6.25 CPM,
so that half of revenue is immediate profit.

With an established site, even given troublesome variations
month to month, it is a fairly straightforward matter to decide
what you can afford to pay for advertising. Things are
different, though, for ...

New Or Small Sites

Initially you just don't have enough hits or sales to produce
numbers that make any sense at all. There is likely to be large
variations each month. Even so, it's best to begin this kind of
tracking even when only getting started.

Probably the best approach is to forget about a 3 or 4 month
moving average, and generate an average this month for all
earlier months. Whatever your results, you can not afford to
advertise until you have a tested ad and feel confident from the
value of a hit the ad will produce profits. For a new site,
unless you already know the advertising game, this may mean
waiting a year or more before even giving advertising a try.

Getting Started With Advertising

Most find advertising in ezines to be the most effective
approach on the Web. The trick is to find ezines directed at
your target. Then test your response to an ad in the least
expensive way. Given a poor or inadequate response, try another
ezine. But given a good response, go for it. In theory,
advertising that works can bring unlimited profits.

Ezine advertizing costs are often stated with a single price.
To make your numbers work, convert this price to CPM. This also
makes it easier to compare costs from ezine to ezine. For
example, if the circulation of an ezine is 4000 and the cost of
the ad is $20, you are paying $5 CPM.

Other Paths

I've haven't heard any recent reports of good success with
banner advertising using the CPM model. Some are reporting
success with the pay-per-click model, which means you pay only
for clickthroughs to your site. This is essentially the same
model used with the pay-per-click search engines such as the one
at GoTo.Com. There are no tough decisions here. If the value of
a hit to you is greater than what you must pay for a click to
your site, go for it. If it's not, ignore these avenues until
it is.

With an established site, several search engines, such as
Google, offer some interesting possibilities I have not tested.
Pricy, though, for new or small sites.


To submit a listing to Yahoo requires payment of $199.
Regardless of the value of a hit to you, submit as soon as your
site is sufficiently polished. Consider it a one time
advertising cost, and don't look back. Yahoo may deliver as
much as a third of search engine related traffic.

LookSmart is not such a sure thing. Also $199, they're
asking too much, in my opinion. But I still recommend paying the
fee. Again, it's a one time cost. Over time, a listing will pay
for itself, and may ultimately do so many times over.

SNAP is another matter. They also ask for $199 for a listing
in their "Top Sites" directory. I don't think it's worth it.
And I have not heard others recommend it. But it is an option.
Submit for free to their "Live Directory," then walk away.

DMOZ is a must. Submitting a listing is free. And if you
find a second category into which your site fits well, a second
submission about a month later works well.

So When Should An Advertising Campaign Be Launched?

As soon as the value of a hit and a tested ad will produce
profits. Until this point is reached, advertising is a waste
of money.

For a new or sluggish site, the way to go is to keep working
at boosting your CR (Conversion Ratio). That is, continuously
examine all elements in all paths leading to sales, in search of
improvements that bring a higher CR. By increasing your CR, you
increase the value of a hit. Ignore all thoughts of advertising
until your CR is sufficient to produce a hit value high enough
to cover the costs of placing ads.

But once this happens, go for it. All out.

About the Author

Bob McElwain
Want to build a winning site? Improve one you already
have? Fix one that's busted? Get ANSWERS. Subscribe
to "STAT News" now!
Web marketing and consulting since 1993
Phone: 209-742-6349

by: Diane Hughes
Everyone knows that advertising is essential to growing a business. One problem that small business owners have always faced is the high cost of marketing. Most, however don't realize that there is an effective way to reduce the cost of your advertising while - at the same time - increasing its reach.

Advertising co-ops are nothing new. Usually they are a "perk" offered by major manufacturers to encourage retailers to promote their products. Because the retailer has direct access to customers that would want to buy certain products, it only makes sense that they should do joint advertising. You've seen it - McDonalds mentioning Coke in their commercials, Dell stating that you get a free Epson printer with purchase and so on.

The retailer doesn't make the product the manufacturer is providing, but it IS a great match with what they DO offer. Nobody would want to eat a Big Mac without something to drink, and a computer wouldn't do a lot of good without a printer.

Now you can use this same strategy to create your own advertising co-op to increase the reach of your ads and drastically reduce the cost, too.

--- How It Works

Generally speaking, the cost of any advertisements (bulk emailings, ezine ads, banners, newspaper, etc.) would be split equally between all participants. If you and two associates decide to purchase a solo ad, you would each receive equal mentions in the ad and you would each pay equal portions of the cost.

So if the solo ad were going to a list of 200,000 and cost $150, each of the three would pay $50. You get to reach 200,000 people for 1/3 the cost you would have normally paid. And, because this ad relates you to other types of businesses, you actually expand your advertising reach.

--- Getting Started

So who would be qualified to enter into an ad co-op with you? It depends on the nature of your business. Think of others that reach your same target customer and make a list. If you design Web sites, you might approach hosting companies, graphic artists, copywriters or programmers. If your business is landscaping, you could invite yard maintenance companies to join you.

Once you have a list of one or more business types, think of current associates you know who belong to those groups. Also, ask others if they know of any reliable businesses that fall into the categories you've outlined.

--- Making the Approach

When you have a list of businesses to approach, simply write or email them with your offer. Be sure to point out the benefits such as:

* a win-win situation
* reduced cost of advertising
* expanded reach of advertising
* larger, more prominent ads for a fraction of the cost

Also, be sure to ask about the advertising outlets these businesses currently use. You will likely find new avenues that lead to greater exposure.

--- Finalizing the Deal

You'll need to work out payment arrangements with your partners prior to placing the ad(s). The best way I have found to handle the finances is for each party to pay me for their portion of the cost with a credit card. I then place the ad order with MY credit card. This way, you are assured of receiving the dollar amount due to you; and your partners have the assurance that - should you default on your end of the deal - they have recourse for getting their money back.

Working in cooperation with other businesses can lead to tremendous successes with advertising. When like-minded companies pool their resources to reach one target audience, the impact is doubled while the cost is reduced by at least half. That's the best advertising bargain around today!
About the author:

Diane C. Hughes *

FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful)
Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business
Into A Tower of Profits! ==>>

Friday, November 6, 2009

Advertising On A Budget -- Using Print To Drive Traffic Online

by: Michele Pariza Wacek

I decided to try something a little different and illustrate the marketing challenges of a small business. I'm using one of my clients,

PWC is an online resource guide for couples planning their weddings. Along with a ton of information for brides and grooms, the site includes a resource guide where local businesses can advertise their products and services.

We launched PWC in November 2001. Like many start-up businesses, PWC didn't have much money for marketing. Yet we had two major challenges (three counting the limited budget):

1. PWC had to attract two kinds of target markets to the site -- advertisers and couples -- essentially at the same time. And if that wasn't bad enough, we had to appeal to each group even though one was dependent on the other -- advertisers wanted brides and grooms logging onto the site, and brides and grooms wanted a complete resource center.

2. Several bridal print publications had come and gone in Prescott -- and had burned their advertisers while racing out of town. Businesses were understandably hesitant about sinking their money into another bridal venture.

Armed with those challenges, we went to work. Now, just over two years later, PWC enjoys well over 40,000 hits a month and has increased its advertising base by over 600%. On top of that, PWC is well on its way to establishing a reliable brand in not just Prescott but throughout Yavapai County.

So how did we do it? A great Web site with great content plus three main marketing strategies:
1) Using print to drive traffic online
2) Thinking small
3) Frequency, frequency, frequency

I'll cover number two and three in the next two articles. Today we'll talk about number one: Using print to drive traffic online.

The cornerstone of PWC's marketing program has been print advertising, more specifically monthly advertising in the local newspaper. Print advertising is an excellent choice for many businesses -- from small to large. In fact, it's not uncommon for small and medium-sized businesses to build their advertising program around print.

The strength of print advertising is its flexibility. Print publications come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can appeal to a broad readership or a narrow one. They can be published every day or once a year. This variety gives you a lot of flexibility in fitting print advertising into your campaigns.

You can also track print to a certain extent (coupons in newspapers for example). Print is physical, allowing your customers to carry something around with them.

However, print's weakness is also its strength. It's a visual medium only, so it requires more effort and interaction from your audience to make an impact (they need to stop and read it).

In the case of PWC, we chose monthly advertising in the local paper as the foundation of our marketing program. We decided upon the local newspaper because it has the broadest reach. Prescott isn't big enough to have its own evening television news, so the newspaper is the best vehicle for local news.

If you live in a big city, the local newspaper may not be practical because of cost. In that case, you may want to try a niche newspaper or magazine, like a business or lifestyle journal, or maybe a regionalized newspaper. In Phoenix for instance, the Arizona Republic is the main newspaper, but all the cities around Phoenix, like Scottsdale and Tempe, also have their own papers.

Because PWC is a Web site, there's an assumption we should be using only online methods to advertise. Online methods are good, and PWC does use them, but they only take you so far. Print is a part of the "real world" -- something you can touch and pick up, not virtual like a Web site. Print has also been around a lot longer, and carries more trust with it. We found by using print, some of that trust and "real world" essence rubbed off, making PWC seem less anonymous and more like a "bricks and mortar" business (a business with a store front).

Also, since we were trying to drive local traffic to the site, it made sense to advertise locally rather than attracting people from all over the world. But even with our local advertising, we still have a substantial number of visitors from around the state, including Phoenix and Tucson, as well as all over the globe.

The point of our marketing program was to advertise regularly so we could both build the PWC brand and drive traffic to the Web site. Yet it was essential to keep our costs down. So we leveraged our monthly newspaper advertising to stretch our marketing dollar as far as we could. More on that and how we "thought small" in the next article.

About the author:
Michele Pariza Wacek owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting, a writing, marketing and creativity agency. She offers two free e-newsletters that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at

Friday, October 30, 2009

Three Proven Steps to Improve Your Home Business Advertising

by: Bob Markovsky

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.

Bob Markovsky

Millennium Services Group

Start Your Own High Profit Cleaning Business

There is no such thing as Free Advertising!

by: TBA ~ Tricia, Billie and baby Ashley
There is no such thing as Free Advertising.

Yep, you read right. There is NO such thing as FREE Advertising. The only kind of advertising you can get is inexpensive or expensive, good or bad, but you can’t get FREE advertising.

Why do we say there's no such thing as FREE advertising?

Because you’re advertising is paid for with either time or money. You either pay someone for advertising OR you take your time putting advertising up.

Whichever way, you’re paying for your advertising. There are some things you need to consider when advertising, whether you’re paying in time or money.

Groups Advertising - Is the group active? Do the group rules allow advertising? Is the group targeted to your target audience?

Signature Lines Exchanges - Does the other business compliment yours? Are they in different groups than what your in so you get more exposure.

Link Exchanges - Make sure the site has traffic; one way to find out is to ask. Make sure the site compliments your product. Make sure it has a Google ranking of at least a 3. Does the site target your audience?

Site Advertising – What are the site stats? Ask the Webmaster if you can't find it on the site. Check Google page ranking. Check to see if the site is updated with new information regularly. Does the site target your audience? Does the site compliment your product?

Ezine Advertising - Again ask for the stats, don't just ask how many subscribers they have. Ask how many are reading their newsletter. Make sure the ezine is geared towards your targeted audience.

We keep coming back to the check this and check that because you want to make sure that ezine or site is worth your payment, rather it be in money or time; because our time is valuable too.

So be selective in how you spend your time, just as you would in spending your money, when advertising your business.

About the Author

Written by TBA. TBA stands for Tricia Billie and baby Ashley. We are a mother, daughter, & granddaughter WAH team. We own and operate