How To Avoid Common Advertising Mistakes

By admin1 • October 24th, 2011


Advertising isn’t hard to do. You prepare an advertisement or
write a classified ad to sell your product or generate interest
to send people more information. But the way most people make
mistakes is either by their inability to write effective ad copy
and by sending it to be published in the wrong publication. Here
are some pointers to follow:

Writing Effective Copy Never try to sell anything costing more
than $5 in a small display ad or a classified ad. First of all,
you don’t have enough room to tell people everything they need
to know to entice them to order.

Instead, you need to employ the “Two-Step” method of
advertising. Request the reader to send you $1 or 4 first-class
postage stamps for more information. When they respond, you will
send them a brochure, flyer, order form and cover letter so they
can place an order for the real product.

Now that pricing is out of the way lets talk about writing your
ad copy. The best way to learn how is to read the ads other
people have written. Don’t copy them word-for-word, but use them
as a guide to write your own ads. Once you get the hang of it,
you’ll be writing effective ad copy just as well as the pros.

Advertising in the Right Publication. Although this may sound a
little silly and you think it is only common sense to know this
_ people will often overlook this fact when choosing the
publication they will be advertising in. Instead, they will look
for the lowest price for the amount of circulation they receive.
Unfortunately, this does not work out. Even though you need to
look for good deals that make it easy on your pocketbook, you
will be throwing money away if you don’t pre-qualify the
publication you choose.

One way of pre-qualifying the publication is to send for a
sample copy. Most publishers will send them to you free of
charge for the asking. If you don’t know of any mail order
publications, just write to Glenn Bridgeman, PO Box 10150, Terra
Bella CA 93270 or William Lee, Rt 1, Box 10790, Madisonville TN
37354 and ask them to send you some. (Be sure to enclose $1 or 4
first-class postage stamps in with your request to offset
postage costs.) If you tell them you are new to mail order and
are interested in publications to advertise in, you certainly
will find the $1 you spent is well worth the effort because both
of these publishers are very reputable, honest and helpful.

Study the publication to see what other people are advertising
and how they are advertising it. Contact some of the people who
sell items similar to your own with the hope of networking with
them. You would be surprised how much free publicity you can get
just from corresponding, calling and networking with others.

Once you locate a publication you want to advertise in, give it
a try for 3 months. If you don’t get any response or only a few
orders, try another publication. There are millions of them and
eventually you will hit the right target market that will be
interested in what you have to sell.

Page 1 Don’t Stop With One Publication. Just because you
locate the target market of people who are interested in
purchasing your product there is no reason you can’t advertise
in more than one publication. In fact _ if you don’t, your ad
will become stale. If the same people continue to see your ad
every month they will probably get tired of looking at it.
Besides, if they wanted the product they would have ordered it
by now. Don’t tire them out! Alternate different size ads and
get rid of ones that don’t work well.

Leave your ad running as long as it brings in orders for you but
also advertise in 5, 10, 20 or 50 other publications also to
generate a steady stream of orders and to reach more people.

Key Your Ads. Many beginners in mail order never key their ads
so they know what publication people saw their ads in. In fact,
I personally never did this myself and ended up losing a lot of
money. So please don’t make the same mistake I did. Keying your
ads means that you place a code of some sort in your address so
that when people write and order something from you, you
immediately will know where they saw your ad. Keep a record of
every name and address of the publisher you send an
advertisement to. Record the date you sent the ad and the date
you received a checking copy, proving that your ad appeared.
Also record the “code” you used so you can immediately identify
where it came from.

If your address is “123 Anytown St,” it could become “123
Anytown St, Suite A” for one publication and “Suite B” for
another. The postman will still deliver your mail to “123
Anytown St.” Of course, if you live in an apartment complex and
there are apartment numbers you could turn “111 Johnson Apt A”
into “111 Johnson, Apt A-1″ for one publication and “Apt A-2″
for another. Post office box addresses are also simple. Turn “PO
Box 585″ into “PO Box 585, Dept A-1″ for one publication and
“Dept A-2″ for another.

People will sometimes even change their name on the ad for
keying purposes. You might see the name “Harriet’s Recipe Book”
instead of Harriet Ranger. Harriet might also use “Harriet’s
Cookbook” or even “Harriet’s Solution to Stress” on her ads
relating to these products. Use your own imagination and pretty
soon, keying your ads will be a normal part of your life. Be
sure and keep track (on your Record Sheet) of how many responses
you receive from each publication. After 3 months, look over
your Record Sheet and get rid of the publications that didn’t do
well. You’ll go broke if you spend $10 per month advertising a
2-inch ad if you only receive $1 back in orders. After awhile
you’ll be able to see where it pays you to advertise your
particular product and then you can send in larger ads to those
publications. Never stop using this method and you’ll never stop
getting orders in your mailbox. It’s a win-win situation for

Tabloids -vs- Adsheets. Another question about advertising that
many people have is whether its better to advertise in tabloids
or adsheets. Many people will sell you information on the best
day to mail and the best time of the year to advertise. They
think they have it down to a science and will convince you of
their methods. However, there is NO set rules that can be
employed by everyone. That’s because there are a wide variety of
ways to approach various products. If you sell travel services
and read a report that told you not to advertise during

Page 2 the summer months, you’d go broke. The summer is the
travel industry’s biggest money-making season!

Don’t get hung up on specific statistics made by people who
claim to be expert researchers. There is no way to determine
what is best for you than to try it yourself and see what works.
You are the person in control of your business and you are where
the buck stops. Take advantage of your authority and try every
angle you can think of until you determine what’s best for your
company’s product and/or service.

Tabloids are a fantastic advertising vehicle and adsheets are
too. Sometimes people feel a small 1″ camera-ready ad gets lost
in a tabloid filled with 100’s of them. This may be true in some
circumstances and not true in others. Do you look at 1″ ads in
tabloids? Of course you do. You scan the pages and your eye is
always directed to one or two on the page that catches your eye.
Ask yourself “why” they caught your eye. Was it because the ad
was placed in a specific area on the page? Was it because of the
headline or the word “free”?

Classifieds work well in tabloids and adsheets and sometimes
they don’t, Look in the back of the Globe or Enquirer. Don’t
they have page after page of classified ads? If nobody was
reading them and responding to them, the advertisers wouldn’t be
submitting advertising to the Globe or Enquirer for them. So
evidently, people DO read classified ads _ even if there are
100’s of them. Test the waters and do what works the best for

Good Luck

Jonathan Stree

Jonathan Street


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