#7 of 27 Awesome Growth Hacks

Step By Step Cheat Sheets That’ll Increase Your Businesses Bottom Line.

Why most small business advertising doesn't work

If you go into any small business that advertises and ask them how well it’s working, only a tiny percentage will be able to tell you. Most will have no idea.

They have no measurement systems in place, they have never tested anything to do with their advertising and, in truth, the vast majority of small businesses advertise in a very half hearted way.

They do it because they feel they have to.

What’s also interesting is that if you talk to most small businesses about marketing they’ll think you are talking about advertising. They believe the two things are completely interchangeable which, of course, they’re not. There is much more to marketing than just running ads and, indeed, for many types of business, advertising is not even a good thing to do, let alone the only thing to do.

Lets look at this in a bit more detail.

The 5 Step Formula To Ensure That Your Ads Maximise Their Return

Step 1 – Direct Response Advertising

Most business owners do not understand what direct response advertising is.

It’s really very simple and it puts the emphasis on the ad to generate a response from the person that reads it / listens to it / sees it.

The ad is effectively like a little sales person working on your behalf and its purpose is to get people to take action


Step 2 – To Sell or To Get a Lead?

Much of my advertising is aimed at lead generation.

What I mean by this is that I want people

to see the ad and then go to my website where, in exchange for me giving them some information, free reports, checking whether their area is available, etc, they give me some contact information. It might only be a name and an email address but now I can keep in contact with that customer and I can nurture our relationship in the hope that, over time, they will buy what I have to sell.

The key thing is to be very, very clear as to whether you are advertising to sell products and / or your service or, whether you want to generate leads that you can nurture.


Step 3 – Testing & Tracking

  • 1. Tracking numbers

These are separate telephone numbers that you overlay onto your existing phone line so only one phone rings but people are actually calling different numbers.

  • 2. Different Web Addresses

So you send respondents from different ads to different URLs and, again, the stats will tell you how many people came and bought, etc.

  • 3. Different Prices

Even just changing the price by one or two pence in each ad enables you to see who bought from which ad.

  • 4. Different Staff Member Name

Using a different name for the member of staff people are to call. This can work really well as a very primitive but effective means of measure.

Results are all that counts in business. Any advert worth running and putting your time, money and effort behind is worth measuring how well it performs.

As an astute businessperson you should never even consider running an ad without some type of response mechanism to measure results.


Step 4 – If It Ain’t Working, Don’t Run It   

You now know which ads are delivering your return, which ones are at least breaking even and which one’s not to touch with a bargepole.

You are not only saving time this way but, if you can take a proven winner, then the difference will all be profit to you.


Step 5 – Go Where No-One Else Goes    

There’s a big lie in advertising that goes something like this, “All your competitors are doing it, so you should too...”

In a nutshell, don’t ever feel pressured, obligated or in any other way persuaded to run an ad in a publication or to be somewhere just because it’s where your competitors are.

Writing an Effective Ad

1. Headline

This is the most important part of the ad.

You need to be writing headlines that are not only interesting but which force people to read the rest of the ad. You can only do this if you gear the headline towards them and their interests, not towards you and your business.

Effective headlines will usually include the following:-

  • A specific reference to the target market or prospect – it’s all about them, don’t forget
  • The promise of the biggest benefit your product or service can offer
  • Identify a current or potential frustration that your prospective customer faces
  • Develop an urgency to take action now

Whatever you do, don’t let any of your advertising pieces go out without an attention grabbing headline.

An effective headline can make all the difference in the world to the success of your marketing efforts


2. Benefits

It is so key that your advertising talks about the benefits, i.e. what your product or service can do for your customers rather than just the features.


3. Remember, It’s NOT all About You

The number of times you use “you” or “your” in your ad, should be at least twice the number of times you have the word “we” or “our”. This is all about your prospects so talk to them in their language. It’s not about you.

They don’t care about you or your business, they only care about what you can do for them.


4. A Compelling Reason for Them to Take Action

This is where offers can work really well with direct response ads, but you have to have something that’s going to force people to take action, pretty much there and then.

When you are writing your ad you need to be looking at what can you put in it that will force someone reading it to take the action you require, right there and then, to stop whatever they’re doing and ring you up, or go to your website.

Having the discipline to at least try to create ads that do this will be critical to your success.


5. Include a Call to Action    

What do you want people to do when they read your ad?

Make sure they are in no doubt whatsoever that that is what you want them to do and that they know how to do it

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