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7 Tips for Attracting New Customers with Small Space Ads
by Joe Gracia

1. TARGET

First of all, make sure that the publication that you are going to advertise in attracts the very people who would have an interest in your product or service.

If you are selling a business oriented product/service then you would want to place your ad in a publication, or section of a publication, that gets lots of business people reading it.

If you are selling a product that appeals to new mothers, then you want to advertise in a publication that targets mothers and not sports enthusiasts.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that any publication that has lots of readers is good enough. You will be wasting your money.

The more readers who are in the market for your type of product or service, the better you will do.

2. DONT TRY TO SELL IN YOUR ADS

This point always startles our new clients.

'Huh?? I shouldn't try to sell my products or services in my ads? You've got to be kidding.'

No, we're not kidding. This is probably the one biggest money-losing marketing mistake we see in so many small business marketing efforts.

Since we are bombarded with thousands of advertisements trying to SELL us products every week, we naturally assume that the purpose of an ad is to sell.

Just because millions of people believed that the world was flat a few hundred years ago, didn't make it true.

And just because most people today believe you should try to sell your products and services in your ads, doesn't make it true either. We call that Flat-World thinking.

The purpose of your ads is NOT TO SELL your products or services.

The purpose of your ads should be to ATTRACT and IDENTIFY as many INTERESTED PROSPECTS to your business as possible.

These are people who have a need or an interest in the solution that your product or service provides.

The actual selling only begins during your follow up contacts to these interested prospects.

Did you notice that we said 'attract and identify'?

It's not good enough to attract prospects to your business if you don't have them identify themselves by providing you with their follow-up information. That information can be their name and address for mail follow-up, or their phone number for phone follow-up, or their e-mail address for e-mail follow-up.

Without this identifying information, you don't have anything. If you can't capture the follow-up information of interested prospects on a physical list, and follow up with them multiple times in the future, you can't convert them into loyal, lifetime customers.

Attract and identify interested prospects first, then start telling them about how your product or service can benefit them in your follow-ups.

Does this approach work?

Well, we can just tell you that we have helped our clients make millions of dollars in additional sales by following this simple approach.

We have hundreds of thousands of interested prospects on our follow-up lists for our newsletters, and we follow up every two weeks with helpful information and a few promotions for our products within our newsletters. This simple process now generates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in profits for our business.

Yes, it works! And it can work wonders for your business too.

3. MAKE A SPECIFIC OFFER

Every ad you create must have a headline. Without a headline your ad can't attract your prospects' attention.

Your prospects need to know immediately what you have for them if you expect them to stop and read your ads.

You tell your prospects what you have for them in your headline. That's called an offer. Without an offer, nothing happens. Let's repeat that line again: Without an OFFER, nothing happens.

If you want your prospects to take action, then you must give them an offer to take action on. You must put them in a position of having to make a decision. 'Do I act on this offer, or don't I?'

For instance, we often use the following headline offer to attract interested prospects to our marketing business:

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FREE MARKETING TIPS INFO-PAK Free to Business Owners Who Would Love to Attract Customers to Their Businesses Like A Magnet!
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That's an offer, and after reading it, our prospects now have to make a decision. Should they take action to get this free marketing info-pak, or pass it up.

Notice that we have Targeted our best prospects in our headline. Business owners who want to grow their businesses. There's no question who this offer is for.

Notice also that we aren't trying to sell anything. We are simply trying to attract and identify interested prospects to our business.

Obviously, when our prospects respond, we will get their names and mailing addresses, or their e-mail addresses so we can send them their free information, and so we can follow-up with them in the future.

Remember, if there is no offer made in your headline, your prospects will have no decision to make. No offer, no decision, no action = no sales!

Now that you know that you shouldn't be promoting your products or services in your small space ads, and that there must be a specific offer to your prospects in your headlines, start to look at the ads in your local publications, and try to find the ones that makes a specific offer in their headline.

You may be shocked at what you'll find.

4. GIVE THE BENEFITS OF THE OFFER

Now that you've gotten the attention of your best prospects with a specific, and appealing offer in your headline, it's time to tell them a little more about what they'll get if they take you up on your offer.

List the details and benefits of your offer. Spell out what they will get when they receive your offer. Usually a bulleted list is a good format for this. It doesn't have to be that long, but it should be compelling.

For an example of what we mean, go to our Web site and click on our FREE MARKETING IDEA-PAK Link. You'll see that we've included a bulleted list of what our prospects will receive if they take action on our offer.

http://www.givetogetmarketing.com (AOL users, scroll to bottom for a clickable link.)

5. TELL THEM WHAT TO DO

It's not good enough to just present your offer, you must tell your prospects exactly what they must do to get your offer. Don't assume that they will figure out what to do, they won't take the time to do that. If it's not clear, and easy -- they're gone!

If you want them to call you and ask you for your Free, Beauty Tips Booklet, then tell them to do that.

If you want them to fill out a mailable coupon that you've included at the bottom of your ad, then tell them to do that.

This part of your ad is called your Call to Action.

Just listing your phone number at the bottom of your ad, is not a Call to Action. If your prospects are unclear about what they are supposed to ask for, they will decide to take no action.

6. GET THEM TO ACT NOW!

This is called your Sense of Urgency.

We are all procrastinators to one degree or another. It's easy for us to put something aside with the thought that, 'I'll do it later.'

Guess what? Either later never comes, or when it does we can no longer find the ad that we set aside for later action.

Out of sight -- Out of mind.

If you don't get your prospects to take the action you want immediately, chances are you've lost them.

That's why it's so important to include a Sense of Urgency in your ads. You can do that by including a deadline, like, 'Offer Ends June 30,' or 'Act Now! Supplies are Limited,' or 'Special Bonus Report to the First 100 Callers.'

If you don't already have one, start an idea file where you can clip and save good ads that you see in the media. If you look hard enough, you will find ads, especially from bigger companies, that will include a solid Call to Action, and a Sense of Urgency. Collect them and use them as a guide in creating your own.

7. TEST! TEST! TEST!

Finally, you must test your small space ads and the publications you place them in.

Test your headline offers until you are happy with the number of interested prospects you are attracting and identifying.

Once you have a compelling offer in your headline, it is just a matter of finding publications that attract your target prospects.

When you test, write down the specifics of your offer and the publication and date your ad ran. Then record the number of responses you received.

You will quickly discover which offers work best for your business, and which publications attract your best prospects in the greatest numbers.

Continuous improvement is the name of the game.

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