I’m Mad as Hell and I Refuse to be an Advertising Victim

I stopped being an advertising victim in 1992 when I was first introduced to Dan Kennedy Marketing, and it is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. I’m happy to say I haven’t been an advertising victim for 13 years.

If you have been in business for awhile, it has already happened to you – probably more than once. In fact, probably often. And if you are new to the retail world, you can bet the mortgage that it will eventually happen to you.

What is it? It’s when you get that big black checkbook out of the center desk drawer, and you sit down across from some media salesperson, and you write out some kind of a check for some amount, for some kind of promotion advertising expense, and you have no earthly idea whether you made a good decision, bad decision, when you’ll know, how you’ll know, if you’ll know.

I detest that kind of uncertainty. I don’t like to play guesswork games with my money and I bet you don’t either. I’m going to tell you how to eliminate it, how to make every dollar you spend on advertising and marketing measurable and accountable.

The Best Place To Spend Your Hard Earned Money On Advertising Is Direct Response!!

All advertising can be one of only two types – either “Institutional Advertising” or “Direct Response Advertising.” It is monumentally important to understand the difference.

Most advertising in magazines, newspapers, on radio, TV, and billboards is institutional advertising. It is Institutional advertising because in most cases, there is no way of accurately tracking response. Most advertising agencies like institutional advertising since, without tracking, they canNOT be held responsible for zero results. If an ad campaign does not produce the results they want, they blame it on:

1. The economy
2. The weather
3. You didn’t run the ad often enough
4. YOU (your merchandise, your service, your image, etc.)

You Can’t Deposit “Creativity” In The Bank

Unfortunately, most advertising agencies are interested In being creative and cutesy.

That’s what wins advertising awards. I think this is absolutely ridiculous. The advertising field gives awards based on creativity, not results. Many ads that have won top awards didn’t produce any substantial increases in sales.

Direct response advertising, on the other hand:

1. Contains a headline that flags your prospect and creates curiosity
2. Creates interest in the merchandise
3. Creates desire in the prospect
4. Has a specific offer
5. Has a deadline
6. Has measurable results

Why is this so important? Two reasons:

1. Most businesses have limited capital to spend on their marketing and advertising (unless you are a multi-billion dollar company). Since you have a limited budget, why waste it on advertising that you are not sure is working?

2. The only reason a business would advertise is to get more customers and sell more merchandise. A direct response ad concentrates only on this purpose. First, it contains a headline that attracts the attention of the specific customer you want to in your store(s).

Then, it makes a complete and compelling case for the reason for your offer. Next, it proves to the customer that the reason for the offer will solve some problem in the customer’s life or provide some valuable benefit to him.

It states specific reasons, facts, and statistics, as well as testimonials from other customers to validate the claims. Then it tells the reason why you are able to make such an attractive offer. It tells the customer what to do in order to gain the benefits of the offer.

It creates “urgency” by telling the customer that he must act now in order to gain these important benefits, and why this offer is so limited, either by time, or by the quantity available.

Finally, it must contain a way for you to track exactly what sales or customers were generated by that particular ad.

Now that I have defined for you the difference between institutional and direct response advertising, here’s the big question that you have to ask yourself before you make every future marketing and advertising decision. Does the advertising that you are considering meet all six of the criteria that I outlined above? If is doesn’t, then pass on it as quickly as you can say:

“I’m Mad as Hell and I Refuse to Be an Advertising Victim Again!”

An Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Tired of cold calling? Tired of pestering the ones you care about? Tired of buying leads that go nowhere? There must be some other way. The good news is that there is a better way. Today I am going to share with you an ecommerce marketing strategy called “Attraction Marketing”. Attraction marketing is today’s way of marketing, it has people chasing you rather than you chasing them. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have endless leads coming to you 24/7, already looking for the thing that you are offering. Imagine that, you not only have a lead, but one that is already looking at becoming a customer – no sales pitch required. All you have to do is provide them with what they need, its as simple as that.

So how do I do attraction marketing? I have picked up a couple of tips from using this ecommerce marketing strategy that I am going to give to you. First you must know who your target audience is. You need to understand their wants, desires, needs, fears, pains. Once you have these established then you can offer them a solution. You must be willing to give before you can ever start to receive. Give of your knowledge, make them an irresistible offer, provide them value that only you can give. Do this and you will be off with a great list of quality prospects.

Secondly know what you are really selling. Did you realise that your product is not what you are actually selling – but yourself! You are your business, to be successful in this you need to market yourself. People must be attracted to you. These days people are not interested in someone pressuring them into buying something so they can get rich. Instead they are wanting to trust you. Work on gaining trust and building a relationship with you customer, once you have accomplished this, they will be asking you what you sell. Social media is one of the great ways to establish this, places like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube. Make them personal so that people see that you are just an everyday down-to-earth person just like they are.

So if you work on these tips prospects will be coming to you. But first you must find your point of contact whether it be an ad, website, press release, video, blog. Then they will give you permission for you to communicate with them usually by submitting email details. Once you are communicating, offer them something of value to them – give them something before you start selling to them. Do this and continue to work on it, you will see results with this ecommerce marketing strategy.

Successful Print Advertising – 9 Things You Need to Know

Successful advertising is studied and dissected by marketers and analysts everywhere. There is no shortage of books written about marketing success- everything from headlines to colors to placement. Every aspect of an ad is examined to find out what about it made it successful. There is an occasional oddball in the group that breaks new ground, but the overwhelming majority have identifiable, predictable elements. These are just guidelines, but they are guidelines that have led to consistent moneymaking success. If you choose to break the rules, make sure you have an excellent reason for doing so. You may think it’s earthshakingly clever, but its reception by the marketplace is what counts. The history of advertising is littered with clever but unsuccessful marketing attempts. This isn’t making a case for sameness, but rather for utilizing the fundamental building blocks of success, regardless of how the work ultimately turns out.

Advertising: Direct Response or Institutional?

The advertising I’m talking about in this article is what is commonly referred to as direct response. In other words, it asks the viewer for a response- pick up the phone and call, come in, visit our website or some other action. It is more of a direct communication with the prospect, and designed with a short term goal in mind. If it is well done, it also has a long-term goal, building on what has come before it.

Institutional advertising is made with a long term goal of positioning the product in the consumer’s mind. It usually doesn’t ask the viewer to take a specific action. It is more of an image building ad. Open a fashion magazine and you’ll se a lot of institutional advertising. Entire pages can consist of just a picture of a model wearing a product and looking bored. Somewhere on the page is the product name. Both forms of advertising have their place (though by my calculations, an incomprehensible amount of money is wasted by most institutional advertisers.) For businesses not in the Fortune 1000, and who don’t have an enormous advertising budget, direct response is usually a much better choice.

With direct response advertising, you’re able to find out quickly what works and what doesn’t. Since most of us don’t have millions of dollars to spend to find out what brings us business, we need to know what messages and what elements are working. So let’s examine each of these elements in detail.

1. The offer

What are you selling? Is it new or different? Is it the same as what everyone else is offering? If you’re not offering something that people actually want, or can get at a lot of other places, it won’t matter much how you offer it. Before you place any advertisement, try to come up with something new. Make a specific benefit-oriented offer that promises to quickly and measurably improve the consumer’s life, and you’re off to a great start.

2. The headline

The headline is the element that tells people right away if the ad is worth looking at. If it doesn’t immediately promise a substantial benefit that is of interest to the reader, the ad won’t get read. It wouldn’t matter if you were giving away free gold bullion in the ad itself, the reader would never get that far. No matter what you have to offer, and no matter how good it is, it’s irrelevant if the headline doesn’t compel the viewer to read the ad. It is by far the most important element.

If you have no headline, if you’ve used your name as the headline, or if your headline is clever instead of benefit-oriented, you need to start over. Come up with something the reader cares about, or they’ll never read the ad.

3. The main graphic

The main graphic is usually a picture that relates to the headline. Not every successful ad has a graphic. Many advertisers, given the choice between a strong headline and a great picture, would choose the picture. That is a very bad choice. The picture should serve to support the headline, and help to quickly convey the benefit you’re offering. So many pictures used are irrelevant or “clever” and ad nothing to the ad. In many cases, they can actually detract, as the viewer’s eye passes over what looks like just another ad. It’s easy to pass over a picture, but harder to pass over simple bold words that interrupt your thoughts. Even if you only glance at the words, your mind reads them almost instantly.

With all that said, a great main graphic can help to make a great ad. Concepts that are hard to express can me made clear with a picture.

4. The first subhead

If your headline has worked, the reader will arrive at the first subhead. It should help the reader understand how the rest of the ad will explain the benefit promised in the headline.

5. The first paragraph

The first paragraph should summarize the benefit you offer, and promise the reader a clear and believable improvement to their life. It should also encourage them to read further.

6. Additional subheads

Additional subheads are used for making your strongest points. Don’t bury your best information in the body copy – pull it out and emphasize it.

7. Body copy

Body copy should be used to expand on your promised benefit. Keep it short, impactful and to the point. You don’t want to make more than a couple of points in and single ad, and each should relate to and build on the others. If you find yourself needing to make too many different points, you need to hone your message further.

8. Last paragraph

The last paragraph is the place to inspire action. Make the reader feel that he or she is this close to enjoying the benefit you’re offering. All they need to do is (insert your call to action here.) Just pick up the phone, visit our website, or whatever it is you want them to do. And make sure you actually know what it is that you want them to do. If you leave it up to them they’ll likely do something else.

9. Post script

The post script is a place to eliminate fear of taking action, or to inspire fear of not taking action. Here you can take away the risk for them by offering your explicit guarantee. Or you can tell them that the offer is good for a limited time only, or something else that will help persuade them to act on the desire you’ve instilled in them.