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How and Where To Advertise:
A Study in Marketing and Advertising

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More than anything else, the key to success in business depends on how and where you advertise. You must advertise or forever remain unknown. If you have "the better mousetrap" you have to let the 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 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're 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, or author, or whether you 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 other people to buy. The same kind of "research" will save you time, frustration, and money if you apply those principles to every selling opportunity that arouses your interest.

Make up 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 check list should answer the following questions:

1) Who will I sell it to?
2) Do these people really want and need it?
3) How large is the market?
4) How will I reach these people and get them to buy?
5) Is anyone else selling a similar product, service, or book?
6) What make my product and strategies different?
7) Can I supply the product at a price the customer will pay and
still make a profit for myself?
8) How much time, effort, and money will I have to invest in order
to reach my profit goals?
9) Do I really have the resources and the stamina to carry this
idea through 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 your product and map out your advertising strategy from there. You'll find success in any 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. Analyze the salability of your product and the demand for such a product by the people you think will buy. One other thing, don't ever overlook or underestimate your real and/or imagined competition.

When people neglect to analyze the product and answer the basic market research questions, they're almost certainly doomed to failure. These are precisely the reasons for failure among people who attempt to start a mail order business. We get literally "tons of mail order offers" for products that are losers; even offers from people trying
to sell us our own materials and/or related items which we can buy at wholesale prices.

When Sears and Roebuck sends out a new catalog or sales circular, do you "really" think they send one to Montgomery Ward? Another thing, the "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 your mailbox full, but it'll never result in profits on your bookkeeping sheet. Advertise in the media that reaches your buyers, and send your direct mail materials to people most likely to buy - not to sellers!

Remember, your first task is to determine who are your most likely customers, and then design your advertising campaign to reach those specific people. Generally, you wouldn't try to sell pantyhose with an ad in a car care magazine, or socket wrenches with an ad in a magazine for brides-to-be. In other words, design your advertisements
to appeal to groups of customers most likely to buy your product, 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 publications that cater to that kind of buyer. If you want to recruit sales people, dealers, and distributors place your ads in publications reaching the people looking for these kinds of opportunities.

I do not 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 targeted 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.

When you read in a business success article that you should advertise in publications carrying similar ads, the advice actually is to 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. Make sure the media fulfills one additional criterion: Does it reach a large number of the type of buyers you're selling to?

Targeted advertising is where many mail order entrepreneurs go wrong, and is definitely the fallacy of advertising in the Mail Order ad sheets. Analyzing the type of people a publication reaches, the loyalty as well as true interests of a publication's readers, then determining whether or not they'll respond to your ad is easy if you will just ask yourself a few common-sense questions.

Mail Order Ad Sheets: These reach beginning and small mail order dealers. Their appeal is largely egotistical, the advertisers wanting to see his/her name or ad in print. Such publications are read by other mail order dealers to see who is advertising, what's being advertised, and for the accumulation or compiling of mailing lists. There is very little response from the readership of such publications since they 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 Mail Order Ad Sheets. Generally Tab Sheets are more appealing because of the "instructional" articles and greater space devoted to mentioning who's doing what, the number of names in print, and
the free publicity many such publications provide. Rate these according to the "information" being passed along in the articles. Usually these publications pull a greater response than the ad sheets, but their audience is still primarily sellers.

Mail Order Dealer Catalogs: Reaching the mail order dealers plus a very large segment of specific buyers, these catalogs generally relate to the overall kind of merchandise offered within the catalog. Unless there are "business-building" articles the recipients may toss them aside after a quick glance, although many distributors will retain and refer to the catalog throughout its life. 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

Extra Income Magazines: Many of these publications individually reach a very loyal basic subscriber list, most of the people wanting or hoping to get started in or already involved with a sparetime extra income project. Many others are distributed free to rental lists of people who have indicated an interest in extra income or new careers. Such publications have tremendously large numbers 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. Overall, judge these publications
according to the quality of the individual magazine as well as the audience each is 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.

Specific Interest Publications: Perhaps the largest category of publications are those directed to a specific audience. The editorial views, feature articles, and even the advertisements are composed with the likes and dislikes of the readers in mind. Whether its a publication such as Popular Mechanix, Field and Stream, or Woman,
the contents of the entire issue focus primarily upon those items of interest to a specific audience. This variety of publications has already identified the target audience. If the readers are a group you think likely to buy your product, contact the advertising
agency representing the magazine and request more specific information about the demographic make-up of the readership. From their advertising package you will best be able to determine the suitability of the publication as an advertising market for your product.

Remember: The bottom line is in knowing your type of buyer, presenting your product or opportunity in a style that especially appeals to that type of buyer, and then placing your ad in a publication aimed at this readership. Cooking magazines for recipes; mechanical oppor- tunities in the mechanics magazines; self-improvement books and merchandise in general interest publications; and income opportunities in the
business-building, self-help magazines.

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 token, any ads attempting to promote inexpensive reports in a magazine selling $50 books probably won't bring very many responses for you either.

To achieve success you must know your product, profile your prospective buyer, design advertising that appeals to the self-interests of that specific kind of buyer, and place your ads in publications reaching those prospects. 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 them 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 a similar product or service..

Assuming that you "know" your typical customer and the best media
to reach this prospect, the next step is putting your ad together. It's been said millions of times before, but it's important for you to 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 or a similar one is being advertised in the same publication by other mailorder 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. 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 enclosed."

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 four or more pages in length. Consider a "leader" item, and run an ad such as:

FREE RAGS TO RICHES MAIL ORDER OPPORTUNITY guide! Send your name, address, zip code two first class stamps to RAGS TO RICHES, Box 10000, Anytown, USA. In response to all the 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 two-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 to: RAGS TO RICHES, Box 10000, Anytown, USA.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: (1) Determine who you want for a customer, (2) Get his undivided attention, and (3) Sell him your product or service. Simple, easy, and it works every time! All it takes is a little bit of common sense on your part!

Utilize 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 ads with every ad sheet publisher in the country - there are literally thousands of them (a list of mail order publishers Report #3709, is available from the dealer who sold you this report). However, 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, inquiries from people you can actually sell to, and the virtual "no-cost" establishment of a nationwide salesforce to promote your business.

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. As 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!

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 it through to the kind of success you want? It's important that you do your homework on product analysis and market research. The rest is merely common sense. You've got it, now use it! It certainly won't be easy. There's work ahead and lots of study 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 now in your court. Go for it!

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