Archive for December, 2009

Defining your copy, deciding where you want to place ads and what companies you want to chance your money with through their lists are just a few of the things to consider about advertising. While the quality of your content and the audience of your advertising sources are critical, there are other factors related to your advertising success.

8.   Look at the "click-through rates." If you are advertising through a list, your email might include details or a teaser that clients can click on. What percentage of people will actually click on it?   Ask list owners if any stats are available. If they can't, you can easily track the click-through rate yourself to determine if you want to continue advertising on that list in the future.

In my own research, I've found that I typically get a 15% to 25% click-through rate. If 100 people open my emails, 15 to 25 are going to actually land on the page.

You can see how quickly that list of 100,000 can be drastically reduced in terms of the number of people who end up signing on with you.

9.   Make sure that your squeeze page is totally aligned with the message that you are advertising. It's important that there are no inconsistencies or mismatches that would cause you to lose opt-ins right at the point of a sale.

10.   Be emotionally resilient. If you are serious about lead generation, one thing is certain. You will sometimes end up doing advertising that does not produce any results. As disappointing as that will be, you must push yourself to move past it. Having a balanced approach to spending your money will protect your emotional investment in your business, should your financial investment in advertising take a hit. Recognize that some things don't work.

11. Look for different advertising opportunities. If you allow yourself to get hung up on the money you view as "lost" because an ad didn't produce any leads, you'll find it difficult to get back up and advertise again. The next time an opportunity presents itself, you'll talk yourself out of it. That's the worst possible thing that could happen. It is through advertising that you are going to reach all of the people who need to know about what you can offer.

If you can run ads that get you a $3-$5 return for every dollar you spend, those are your real cash cows. A guaranteed return like that takes time to find, as well as some trial and error. Take care of the things that you can: your content, where and how you advertise, and tracking your results so you can make well-informed decisions.

When you do hit upon advertising that brings you some significant return, be sure to evaluate it. Are there similar advertising opportunities available elsewhere that can bring you that kind of return?

Last, but far from least, remember to protect your mindset when you do start to pay for advertising. Don't bet your child's college tuition fund until you've tested what will work for you.

No matter how good you are at what you do, if not enough people know about you and your product or services, your business won't be as successful as it can be. Word-of-mouth recommendations will certainly help promote your business, but the best way to let prospective clients know you exist is through one-to-many advertising.

This means paying to get your company information on lists, on web pages, in publications and anywhere else that your market may be. There are several important things to keep in mind regarding how and where you should advertise.

1.   When it comes to buying NEW advertising, you must treat it as a risk.

Essentially, you are gambling on the results you hope to achieve when you try any NEW method of advertising. When you do buy advertising from a new source for the first time, view the money you are spending like chips you would plunk down on a roulette table. You won't know for sure whether you've laid your marker in the right place until you give the wheel a spin – until you test the source and track the results.

2. Like gambling or buying stock, don't invest what you can't afford to lose.

3. Trying to predetermine how many leads the money you're spending on advertising will bring you is pointless. You can't know for sure because there are many variables. Some of the variables are under your control.   Some are not.

4. The copy you send out should be one of the variables under your control.

Your content should say what you want it to say, in the way you want it said. Make sure you are consistent and clear with your message.

5. Research your advertising options.
When you hand over money for an ad, it's guaranteed that the ad will go out and that a certain percentage of people will see it. So, you do have some ability to determine how many people you can potentially reach through certain means of advertising. Typically, look for publications online and offline that are targeting the audience you want to target.

6. Consider list advertising.
In addition to traditional advertising, you can pay companies to send a mailing to their list, both online and offline. Sometimes they have a collection of advertisements and send them all in one go. You can also do a "solo mailing," where they will mail their whole list one email about your product or service. This is a great value in that you are not vying for attention with other advertisers, but it will cost you more money to stand out.

7. When you're making a decision to advertise on a list, look not only at the size of the list, but at the owner's relationship with the list.
Here's what I mean by that. When you're buying this kind of advertising, it's easy to be swayed by the size of the list. The list owner may have a list of 100,000. You could argue the point that if only 10% of them open their emails, you'll get 5,000 leads from that.

But, what influences the result more is the relationship that the list owner has with the list. Those really big lists may seem tempting and even look like a shortcut to you. "I'll just advertise in these and sit back. This will produce all the leads I need."

But, if the list owners send mailings to those lists every single day, they are not going to get the same attention as the list owners who only send mail once a month.

Some list owners might send out 100,000 emails, but have only an 8% open rate. It could be that only 8,000 people are even opening that email.

Ask questions like, "How often does your list hear from you?" "What are the types of things they hear from you?" "Can you give me any statistics on the percentage of opened emails you get?"

Look for Part II tomorrow …

Bernadette Doyle is a small business marketing expert. Get more tips and advice at

I challenge you to spend a moment right now just thinking about how you would like your business to be. How you would like your experience of business and work to be.

How many days do you want to be working?
How much time do you want to spend on work?
And when you are working, what do you want to spend your time doing?

Spend some time focusing on you – reflecting on your beliefs and attitudes.

Start with your vision.

What is your vision for your business?

Ultimately, you want to set up your business so that you're living life on your terms, don't you?

If that means that you really only want to work 4 days a week, 3 or 4 hours a day, then it's important to start with that. That's not going to happen by default. It's not going to happen by accident.   Establish this as your first and foremost intention.

My guess is that you don't want to spend your time answering customer service emails or sending people a download link for the e-book that they just ordered, or doing bookkeeping or accounting.

You probably want to spend more of your time working with clients, conversing with clients, and sharing your core skills with clients. Or you want to be working on the things that excite you and will grow your business.

Personally, I think about spending my time while I'm working doing just the things that I'm best at. Creating products, leading teleseminars, leading master
classes, coming up with new marketing ideas. These are the things that I most enjoy. And pretty much that's it's. That's all I want to spend my time doing.

The more time you spend immersed in that final image of how you want your business to be, the faster you're going to bring it into reality.

Do not underestimate the value of spending time envisioning your end result.

When you think about your desired end result, try as much as you possibly can to conjure up what it's going to feel like for you. It's the feelings that actually magnetize your vision coming into reality faster.

Don't mistake this for daydreaming, and all the negative connotations that go along with that. By all means, do start to dream about what's possible. But when you really envision your business, with a concrete plan and actions, the possible dream turns into a promising reality.

Bernadette Doyle is a small business marketing expert. Get more tips and advice at

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