Diary of an Ad Man

July 14, 2009

How To Advertise in the Wall Street Journal or Investors Business Daily and Skyrocket Your Sales And Profits.

Filed under: Marketing Secrets — linwoodaustin @ 9:45 pm

How To Advertise in the Wall Street Journal or Investors Business Daily and Skyrocket Your Sales And Profits.

What follows are my random thoughts about advertising your product or service to the readers of these business publications.

1.    Newspapers are not dead.
Everyone thinks that the internet has killed most printed media. But it’s just not true. What is true is that you have to watch your costs. Your cost per lead and cost per sale. But, don’t count newspapers and magazine down and out yet. I have one client who advertises in the Reno, Nevada daily newspaper. He runs 3 ads a week for $483.00. He gets about 12 leads a week off it. And he closes 40% of the leads on a $4,000 product/service.

Those are good numbers. He’s paying about $40 per lead with his newspaper marketing. With other media, he admits he pays in the neighborhood of $250 to $300 for a lead.

Newspapers are not dead. The WSJ and the IBD are good mediums for generating leads and sales. The readers have above average discretionary spending money. They are the first buyers. Meaning, they will often be the risk-takers and buy a new, unheard-of products before it really catches on. Joe Sugarman made a nice income from full page ads in the WSJ in the 1970’s selling high-tech devices that were new to the market. He operated in the basement of his Chicago area home.

The readers of these publication fancy that they are more thoughtful than other buyers. Thus, they will read a long-winded ad, feeling that they are getting information… not talking to a “salesman”. But YOU, the smart marketer, know the truth. You know that every ad, especially a long-winded ad… IS your salesman.  A commissioned salesman who does not sell does not cost you much. But an ad that does not sell, costs you plenty.

2.    Pay close attention to this concept. Write it down. It’s important: People Will Not Read Long Winded Ads! — But PROSPECTS will.
If you want them to spend money with YOU. You must give them interesting and helpful information. You cannot bore them into reading your ad. But if it is written in an interesting helpful way… Prospects will read any amount of copy. If you think that no one reads any more… then, why o why do they buy the WSJ or the IBD? They want information.

They want products and services that will help them make more money…. Enjoy life more… get ahead in their career… prepare for the future… They want more sex. They want more time. They want solutions to a host of problems they are having. They want peace of mind. They want pride of ownership. They don’t want to be embarrassed by decisions they must make. Can your product/service solve some of these problems? Then YOU need to consider advertising in the WSJ or IBD.

3.    PASSION!
Years ago, my postman told me that the two angriest customers on his route were those who did NOT get their Wall Street Journal… or those who did NOT get their National Inquirer. Please note: The two extremes in audiences. But both were passionate about their publications. You can generally tell which publications had passionate audiences. It is the publication that has a healthy classified section. For example: Popular Mechanics magazine has several pages of classifieds. This is your hint that a fullpage ad in that publication will have a lot of selling power for you: Passionate audiences.

4.    Newspapers are not dead, but they are struggling.
Therefore, you can negotiate the price. Like the client mentioned above, if you’re selling a $4,000 product you can afford to bring in leads at a cost of several hundred dollars. But you’ve got to know your costs. Lead generation cost, conversion cost, customer repeat buyer cost, attrition cost, etc.

5.    Generally speaking, your message in the IBD or WSJ should be the same message you’re using in the internet or your sales presentations. Especially if you’ve tested your message and found THIS message to be the one that gets you the best response. Buyers who come to you from the newspaper or the web or direct mail… are all the same. They all want the benefits of your product or service. What is your strongest message? That’s the message you want in your newspaper ad.
6.    Give your ad a headline.
It is laughable how many ads in the WSJ or IBD don’t have headlines. The headline is the part of your ad readers scan to see if they want to spend more time with your ad. If it does not have a headline, you might as well not run your ad. Headlines are so important that for years and years, marketers who test various elements will tell you one headline can pull 19 times more orders than the same ad with another headline. Give your ad a headline and make it a good one.

7.    Keep the 2nd “Honey” in mind.
Very often, if you’re selling a high-ticket item, the prospect will read your ad and become convinced it is a good deal. But there is a “Honey” they must discuss things with BEFORE the buying decision takes place. If your ad is good, they will often clip it out of the paper to use as ammunition with which they can convince their spouse or boss, etc… to buy the product or service also. Give them all the ammo they will need to make a convincing argument. They want the conveniences and benefits you offer, but you’ve got to convince them. Then they must convince themselves. Then they must convince other who might say “Why do you want to buy that?”

8.    Call out your audience.
Who reads these publications? Investors. Entrepreneurs. Managers. CEOs. CFOs. Politicians. Inventors. Some educators. People who long to get ahead. These two publications are read by people who are on the cutting edge of societal evolution. They are the shakers and movers. They are the debaters of our day. If you want to sell your product to a narrow slice of their readers, CALL THEM OUT. Say: Attention Investors. Or, ATTENTION BUSINESS OWNERS. Etc.

9.    Speak to every group of readers.
Some folks are visual. Some are touchy-feely. Some are accountants. Some are audio types. Do you hear what I’m saying? Can you see the good in this? Doesn’t this add up in your thinking? You can describe the same house as being full of light coming threw the windows. Or build to withstand the toughest winds.

10.    Repeat Yourself.

Repetition is the juice of good direct response advertising. If you make a statement once, it does not so easily sink in. But if you say the same thing three different times, from three different angles, the chances increase that the reader will likely OWN the idea and think it’s his idea to own the product.

11.    Repeat Yourself.
Brand advertisers repeat the message many times over the course of a year. Direct response advertisers must repeat the selling points in the same ad, enough until it’s believed and acted upon.

12.    Give them a call to action.
It’s one thing to lay out your arguments for the purchase of your product or service. But you must tell them what to do next. Call now. Order by Wednesday for a free sample. Mention my name for a special delivery.

13.    Use a “fireside chat” approach.
Most of us have emotions. We don’t want to do business with a nameless, faceless corporation. We want to deal with a real person. We want to trust the seller. We want to know that you have done your homework and feel our pain. We want to know your solution has been tested and proven. That others have tried it and are thrilled with the results. Consider the bailouts of Chrysler and GM of today… with the bailout of Chrysler in the 1980’s under Lee Iacocca. Mr. Iacocca splashed his face all over every ad that came out selling cars. He spoke to us “man to man”. We felt his honesty and sincerity. Chrysler sold a lot of cars then. Today, the bailout of the car companies have no name… no face… no one with home we can identify. Deep in our souls we hate collectivism. We want to deal with someone who is real. Someone who will sit down with us and have a “fireside chat”.

14.    Use these ideas and you can be a fireless advertiser.
Even in a media that on its surface looks to be expensive. But when measuring cost per lead and cost per sale will likely turn out to be way cheaper than a $1 classified.

Call me if you want to discuss these ideas for your marketing.

Linwood Austin
yourlinwood@gmail.com
Phone: 801-201-9026

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