by Larry Walters
More than anything else, the key to success in business depends on how and where to advertise. You must advertise or forever remain unknown. If you have "the better mousetrap," you have to let people know about it, or your ideas and efforts will come to nothing.
Everybody seemingly has an idea for a product, a service or a "how to" manual of some kind. Many people spend half of their lives perfecting a product, learning how to perform a special service, or writing a book--only to end up penniless and heartbroken because "no one beats a path to their door" to buy whatever it is they are trying to sell.
In most cases, it's a matter of whether you want to "go down in history" as just another inventor, hard-worker, author or want to "sell a product and enjoy the rewards."
Always do some basic common sense product analysis and market research before you begin building, learning or putting together something you want people to buy. The same kind of "research' will save your time, frustration, and money, if you apply the same principles to every "selling opportunity" that arouses your interest.
Make a check list of questions that must be answered before you embark upon any project or get too deeply involved in any selling situation. Such a checklist should answer the following questions:
- Who will I sell it to?
- Do these people really want, and need it?
- How large is the market?
- How will I reach these people and get them to buy?
- Is anyone else selling a similar product, service or book?
- What makes my product and strategies different?
- Can I supply the product at a price the customer will pay, and still make a profit for myself?
- How much time, effort and money will I have to invest in order to reach my profit goals?
- Do I have the resources, and the stamina to carry this idea thru to success?
Once you've answered these questions--completed this bit of basic product analysis and market research--then you can start planning exactly how you intend to sell it, and map out your advertising strategy from there. You'll find success in selling effort, much easier, and much more profitable, if you honestly and objectively answer these "check list" questions before you begin.
It's absolutely imperative that you analyze the product, and profile your prospective customer--the saleability of your product, and the demand for such a product by the people you want to buy. One other thing, don't ever overlook or "poo pah" your real and/or imagined competition.
When people neglect to analyze the product, and answer the basic research questions, they're almost certainly doomed to failure. These are precisely the reasons for failure amongst people who attempt to start a mail order business. We literally get tons of mail order offers for products that are losers; and even offers from people trying to sell us our own material and/or related items which we can buy at wholesale prices.
When Sears & Roebuck send out a new catalog or sales circular, do you "really" think they send one to Montgomery Ward? Another thing, this "we're all friends and in the same business, so you buy from me and I'll buy from you" philosophy may keep you busy and you mailbox full, but it'll never results in profits on your P&L sheet. Advertise in the media that reaches your buyers, and send your direct mail materials to people likely to but--not sellers.
Remember, your first task is to determine who your most likely customers are, and then design your advertising campaign to reach those specific people. Generally, you wouldn't try to sell pantyhose with an ad in a care care magazine, or socket wrenches with an ad in a magazine for bride-to-be.
In other words, design your advertisements to appeal to "your kind of customer,"--send $5 for our report on HOW TO WRITE ORDER PULLING ADS--and then, place these advertisements in the publications these people buy and read. If you're selling gift items, crafts and other merchandise, advertise in those kinds of publications--general merchandise catalogs catering to that kind of buyer. If you're wanting to recruit sales people, dealers and distributors, place your ads in publications reaching people looking for these kinds of opportunities.
I don't recommend that you begin, or attempt to launch your business via direct mail, but when the time comes for you to expand into direct mail, be discriminate--select mailing lists for your type of customer. Do-it yourselfers for shop tools, cosmetics buyers for jewelry and self adornment merchandise, how-to-book buyers for your crafts, hobbies and self-improvement books, opportunity seekers for business start-up manuals, and proven advertisers for your publications.
So, when you read in a business success article that you should place your ad in publications carrying similar ads--the advice given is "place your ads in publications reaching your kind of buyer." Just because it's a publication reaching mail order people and you're selling imported gift items by mail, doesn't mean your ad will pull from exposure in that publication. Always add one more answer: Does it reach a large number of the type of buyers I'm selling to?
Definitely, this is where many mail order entrepreneurs go wrong, and very definitely, this is the fallacy of advertising in the M/O ad sheets. Analyzing the type of people a publication reaches; and the loyalty as well as true interest of a publication's readers; and then determining whether or no they'll respond to your ad, is easy if you will just ask yourself a few common sense questions.
Mail Order Ad Sheet: These reach beginning and small mail order dealers...Their appeal is largely egotistical to see the advertiser's name/ad in print--read by other mail order dealers to see who is advertising, what's be advertised, and for the accumulation or compiling mail lists. very little if any response for the recipients who are looking, not for things to buy, but for shortcuts to more profits.
Mail Order Tab Sheets: These reach basically the same audience as the M/O Ad Sheets...Generally more appealing because of the "instructional" articles and greater space devoted to mentioning who's doing what/names in print & free publicity. Rate these according to the "information" being passed along in articles. Usually, these publications pull a greater response than the ad sheets, but still, they're largest audience is one made up of sellers.
Mail Order Dealer Catalogs: These reach the mail order dealers, plus a very large segment of specific buyers--generally related to the overall kind of merchandise offered within the catalog. Unless there are "business building" articles, the recipients generally toss them aside after a quick glance...These are very good showcases for your dealer/distributor ads, and if it's an "established" merchandise catalog of the kind of product you're selling, these catalogs can be very good advertising outlets for you...
Extra Income Magazines, such as Money Making Magic, Venture and Entrepreneur: These publications individually reach a very loyal basic subscriber list, most of the people wanting or hoping to get started with, or already involved in a spare time extra income project, and tremendously large number of "first time" readers with each issue. Look for, and rate them according to the balance of actual "business building" articles they carry, in relationship to their advertising--and overall, according to the quality of the publication as well as the audience each trying to reach--do the articles really help you, or are they "publicity write-ups" for the advertisers... You'll find that these magazines are retained, and referred to by the recipients for years...In almost every case, you can expect a good response from your ads placed in one of these magazines--provided you've got a good ad and it's geared to the readers of that particular magazine.
Remember: The bottom line is knowing your type of buyer--presenting your product or opportunity in a style that appeals especially to that type of buyer--and then placing your ad in the publication reaching your kind of a buyer.
Cooking magazines for recipes; mechanical opportunity in the mechanics magazines; self-improvement books and merchandise in general merchandise catalogs; and income opportunities in business-building, self-help magazines such as Money Making Magic!
Besides matching the profile of your customer with the demographics of the publication, it's also important that you match your selling prices within the average price range of everything else offered in that publication. Running an ad to sell a book at $65 in a publication featuring $20 books, probably won't pull for you. By the same toke, any ads attempting to promote "re-production type" reports in a magazine selling $50 books, probably won't bring very many responses for you either.
To achieve success--know your product, profile your prospective buyer, design advertising that appeals to the self interest of that specific kind of buyer; and place your ads in publications reaching those kinds of buyers. If you're trying to sell by direct mail, send your offers to prospective buyers--not sellers of the same type of materials you're attempting to sell.
Very few people recognize a legitimate opportunity, even when you hit then over the head with it--even so, unless you've got something REALLY NEW, and a deal that really is THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME, save your money and don't try to push your program onto other mail order dealers who may already be selling it.
Assuming that you "know" your typical customer, and the best media to reach this kind of customer, the next step is putting your ad together. It's said millions of times before, but it's important that you UNDERSTAND, and REMEMBER: Your ad MUST appeal to the self-interest of your prospect. It must somehow be different, and better, than all the others, particularly if your product is being advertised in the same publication by other mail order dealers.
Nothing beats originality. Write your ads from a different angle. Lead off with the answer to every customer's most important question: What will I get if I send in my money?
Use words to paint pictures of success, wealth and happiness. Eliminate the customer's fears of being taken or ripped off. Picture yourself in your prospective customer's shoes, and give him real reasons to send his money to you. And finally, make it easy for him to order--call toll free; use your bank card; order now and we'll bill you later; self-addressed envelope.
Don't be too determined to sell your primary product from your ad. Chances are, if it's as good as you say it is, and you really want to make big profits, you should use a sales letter 4-or more pages in length. Consider a "leader" item, and run an ad such as this: FREE RAGS TO RICHES MAIL ORDER OPPORTUNITY guide! Send your name, address, zip code & two first class stamps.
Then in response to all takers of this Free Offer, include the complete sales letter, brochure, order form, and self-addressed return reply envelope with the booklet you send out. Using this 2 step method, some people have attained 60 and 70 percent sales for their primary product.
Another angle? FREE BOOK! Mail Order Millions From A Shoestring Beginning! Send your name, address, and zip code, along with $1 for shipping and handling.
In response, you send out the book and a sales letter inviting the recipient to avail himself of your mail order business consulting services.
Again, the rules are: Determine who you want for a customer. Get his undivided attention, and then sell your product or service. Simple, easy, and it works every time. All it takes is a little bit of common sense on your part!
A small, inexpensive classified ad offering a "most wanted" leader item, followed up with a dynamic sales letter...and your success is virtually guaranteed! As a means to an end, particularly if you're wanting to enlist people to sell your product for you-
Start an ad sheet--run exchange with every ad sheet publisher in the country--there are literally thousands of them. (Send $1 for our listing of mail order publications...)
But, instead of running ads to promote your ad sheet, run your "leader item" offer and follow up with your sales letter on your primary product. From this, you'll get fantastic FREE exposure; inquires from people you can actually sell to; and the virtual "no-cost" establishment of a nationwide sales force to promote your business.
Do chain letters really work? In no way, form or fashion! But, this method of running your "leader item" ad as an exchanged ad, will work--and besides, it's legal! The end result will be what the chain letter promoters are promising you--People all over the country promoting and selling your business for you.
You can't do it all by yourself. You must multiply yourself--get other people to help you, and present your product offer to as many potential customers as possible. And so long as you're working from a limited budget, there's no way on this green earth you can afford the kind of advertising costs necessary for overnight success! Send $5 for our report, HOW TO BUILD A NATIONWIDE DEALER AND/OR DISTRIBUTOR NETWORK.
Finally, comes the moment of truth. Do you have what it takes--the ability to go on studying, learning, and adapting--the dedication and the stamina to last thru to the kind of success you want?
It's important that you do your homework--product analysis and market research--the rest is merely common sense. You've got it, now use it! For sure, it won't be easy work ahead, and lots of comprehension required--but you CAN do it, and the end result will be well worth the investment. After all, what have you got to lose but a try at total success?
From here on out, the ball is in your court and investment of some kind of action on your part is required.
Tell others about
Comments? Questions? Email Here