Five Very Silly Myths About Print & Mail Advertising (written October, 1999)
Print and Mail Advertising Works!!!! No question about it! In fact, all advertising works!!!! When you let it!!! Let’s face it, all advertising can make or break any business. If it works, you are off to the races. If it fails, you get discouraged and probably will drop out of this industry cursing everyone you were involved wit. But let me say right here and right now that understanding some very silly myths about Print & Mail Advertising and all advertising for that matter will help you make better, more informed, advertising decisions and it definitely will help you get the most from your advertising dollar.
Myth #1 – Advertising is too expensive. First off, if you don’t advertise, are you even considered in business? Advertising only becomes expensive when you don’t get the results, however way too many times the results you want are unrealistic. Print and Mail is an “alternative” way to doing it yourself. To print and mail out 2000 pieces for example costs only $100 for one side. To do 2000 pieces on your own would cost you over $920 in postage alone, so when you use a Print & Mail Service, you must realize that results are not going to be the same as mailing it out yourself. That should be common sense. So advertising only becomes expensive when you set unrealistic response rates and you don’t get them.
Myth #2 – There is only one right way to advertise. Print and Mail Advertising is an “alternative” to mailing it yourself, as I said above. Fact is that you need to test many sources and many ways to promote on a regular basis. Testing many different options give you much more flexibility. You can mail yourself. You can use a Print and Mail Service, like CME, Inc. You can place classified ads in big or little publications. You can cold call people on the telephone. You can run ads on TV. You can place ads on the Internet. You can do just about anything, but you do need to keep track and test and keep tracking and keep testing these multiple ways of promotion and when you develop a way that works, put more money into that method, but definitely keep testing other methods.
Myth # 3 – If your ad does well today, it will always do well. Wrong!! Nothing stays the same. You run an ad today and get good results but tomorrow it may or may not work. The same holds true in reverse – you get bad results today, but tomorrow it does well. You have to always be on your toes and constantly adjusting your ads and flyers regularly to meet the changes of your customers and the pressure from your competitors. That is why you need to continuously track your results – to help you stay on top of what is working right now and what isn’t.
Myth #4 – One shot should do it. Placing one ad in the newspaper to sell your Mom’s Old Rocking Chair probably will work, but in business, you need to let your prospects see your offer over and over and over again and again and again. Does every ad you read register the first time you read it? Some days you do and some days you don’t. If your ad is not there one day, the day you read the ads, you lose. Same holds true with your customers. You need to constantly advertise – constantly keep your offer in front of your customers! If you think one ad will do it for a test, you’ll fail every time. Too many people in our fantastic Industry do this on a regular basis – and subsequently fail. No wonder why here.
Myth #5 – If you advertise here, you don’t need to do anything else. Wrong!! You should be constantly promoting your offers in as many different places as possible. A combination of a few different promotional sources work best because if one is not doing well, the others have a chance to pick up the slack. In addition, when your prospects see you advertising in different places, they feel more comfortable and secure to deal with you.
A little common sense in advertising promotion goes a long, long way to increase your chances to succeed. That is what you want – right? Use these tips from your Uncle L. wisely and if you need clarification, do not be afraid to call me.
The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.