BRAD’S RULE #18 Let Your Customers Point the Way to Profit

Let Your Customers Point the Way to Profit

Keep running the ad until it stops working because even if you’re completely fed up with it, most of your potential customers probably haven’t even seen it yet.

You’ll get tired of your ad long before the market does.

Keep running the ad until it stops working because even if you’re completely fed up with it, most of your potential customers probably haven’t even seen it yet.

General advertisers – who can’t or don’t measure their results should either:

  1. Change their ads too frequently just because everybody has seen it again and again (everybody, that is, except 90% of their prospects); or,
  2. They run an ad far too long (because they have no idea it’s stopped working -if it ever did).

Follow your results. If your ad is making money, ‘it ain’t broke’. Don’t fix it – beat it!

Some advertisers especially first-time advertisers – make a different mistake. They think that all they need to do is run an ad once – and everyone will see it. Just watch someone read a newspaper and you’ll quickly realize that this is not true.  I’m willing to bet that a big chunk of newspaper readers perhaps the majority – don’t read a single advertisement all the way through.

There’s a rule of thumb (which makes sense to me  but I’ve never seen any evidence for it) that says for every person who responds to your ad, 99 other people have seen it – read the ad, or just noticed the headline.

Say you run an ad in a newspaper with a circulation of 100,000. You get 10 sales and you make money. A total of 1,000 people may have actually noticed your advertisement. Maybe 100 of them actually did more than just glance at the headline.

99,000 buyers of the newspaper (or, if each copy is read by an average of three people, 299,000 readers) did not see your advertisement.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration.  Maybe that’s an underestimate – I don’t know.
I do know that there are still a lot of people out there who have read that newspaper and who are potential buyers of your product or service.
However, you need to be aware of three things.

  1. The first time you run a new ad you may “cream off” the market.  Response the second time around is bound to be lower.  That’s because you get the most eager buyers the first time.
  2. It’s safer to project future returns from the second time you run the ad, never from the first.
  3. Just because there are 299,000 readers of that newspaper who did not read your ad, don’t assume that eventually they’ll all read it.

The majority of them will never read your ad –because they’re not in the market for your product.

3. There’s a continual turnover of readers of any publication.

The turnover for a newspaper is relatively small. In the United States, 20% of the population moves every year. Say 10% of them move across town; the other 10%, move out of town to be replaced by a similar number.

There’ll be another 5%-10% annual turnover as people die or lose interest in reading the paper- only to be replaced by younger readers.

For a national or international magazine, the yearly turnover will be far higher.

Say you advertise profitably in a travel magazine. Most such magazines tend to have a relatively stable or slowly growing circulation.

But few consumer magazines have a renewal rate better than 50%, 75% being the maximum. The magazine’s circulation and promotion department works really hard to get enough new subscribers every year to replace the ones who do not renew.
For you this means that between a quarter and a half of the readers are fresh, new faces every year.
Every year!
You may be able to run your ad profitably in that publication forever.
Once is never enough!
It’s important to gauge the best frequency for any advertisement.

Run an ad too often and you could lose money. Don’t run it often enough and you’ll miss out on sales and profits.

When you’ve built experience, you’ll know the best frequency in each different publication you use.

To begin with, the secret is: don’t be too eager.

If, after several insertions, the results are holding up, you can increase the frequency.

If they’re tailing off, reduce it
If your new ad is doing better than the previous one did, then by comparing the first few insertions of the new one with the first few insertions of the old one, you’ll know that you can run the new ad more often than you did the old one.

Don’t waste your time trying to dream up a new ad because you are sick of it. Spend your time trying to create an ad that will beat the one you’re using now.

Only ever replace an ad with a more profitable one.

And: in trying to beat your existing ad, you may well end up with two (or more) ads that work.

Different offers can appeal to different market segments of the same publication.

Alternate them.

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Bradley J Sugars CEO & Founder of ActionCOACH

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