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Q. How can I get more response from my newspaper ads?
I never seem to have much luck with my newspaper ads. I have them professionally designed, and they stand out on the page, but I rarely get any response. Any suggestions?

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A. Marketing expert, Joe Gracia, responds:

There is a lot of confusion among business owners as to what constitutes a successful ad.

One owner might say, 'All my friends have seen my ads and they have given me positive feedback about them.'

Another owner might say, 'I may not be getting much response to my ads, but at least I'm building awareness in my marketplace.'

And still another might say, 'My ads always win creativity awards at the local ad competitions each year!'

Comments like these miss the point. The purpose of your ads is not to impress people with your cunning creativity, or to elicit praise from your friends and associates, or even to win awards at the local advertising galas.

The purpose is to produce immediate and measurable results--whether those results are sales, requests for information, leads, store traffic, etc.

Here are the types of comments about ads that we would love to hear:

'My ads produce from 30 to 50 calls each time I run them.'

'My ads generate around 100 new prospects each time I place them.'

'Our ads result in about $3,500 in gross sales each time we run them.'

Notice that each comment contains a specific, measurable number that makes it easy to tell if your ads are meeting or beating your expectations.

Here are some tips if you want to increase your results:

1. Set a Goal: Before your ad runs, set a specific goal stating exactly what you are expecting in terms of results. Are you expecting sales? prospects? requests for information? How many are you expecting?

2. Target: Make sure you place the ad in the most appropriate publication and section that targets your very best prospects.

3. Name Your Target: Name your target prospects in your headline so they know it's for them. For instance, 'FREE to Music Lovers!' or 'Headaches?'

4. Make an Offer: Make an offer in your headline. Tell your prospects what they will get if they respond.

5. Expand on the Offer: Tell them the details of what they will get if they respond. You get! You get! You get!

A solid offer is essential to your success. We can show you how to create offers for your product or service that will send your sales through the roof in our Give to Get Marketing Solution.

6. Include a Graphic: If appropriate, show a picture or graphic representation of what they will get. If you are offering a free booklet, show the booklet.

7. Tell Them How to Respond: Don't assume that they know how to respond -- tell them. Call. Write. E-mail. Fax. Visit Our Web Site.

8. Tell Them What to Ask For: Make it easy for your prospects to respond. If you're offering a booklet, give it a name and tell them to ask for it by name. For instance, Ask for Your Free 'Chocolate Lover's Catalog!'

9. Include a Deadline: People like to procrastinate, so you need to give them a reason to act now. Include a deadline with your offer. Offer Expires 12/31/02, or Act Now! Offer Ends Soon!

10. No Obligation: If you are using your ads to generate prospects, let them know that there is no obligation if they respond. People are skeptical and you need to soothe their fears.

11. Include Your Web Site: Today it is becoming more and more important to have a Web site for your business, so your prospects and customers can get the information they need about your company and your products/services. By includng your Web site address, interested prospects now have a non-threatening, quick and easy way to learn more about your company, your products/services and your offers.

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It's easy to understand, it's easy to use, and most important, it works.

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Home Affiliate Program Free Idea-Kit Marketing Tutorial Articles Motivation
About Joe Marketing Myths Internet Marketing Case Studies Marketing Tips
The Give to Get Marketing Solution Make 50% Commissions Marketing Store