Marketing Tips! - June 2014
How to Evaluate a Newspaper Ad Campaign

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… successful ad campaigns take testing and testing and testing! Each campaign is an opportunity to improve your results… continue with what works and get rid of what doesn’t. Keeping this in mind, maintain realistic expectations with each campaign.

Here are some questions to ask yourself after a newspaper ad campaign, in planning for your next run.

1) How Long Did Your Run?

You drive past this Italian restaurant everyday on the way home from work. You become familiar with the sign, the building, the parking lot, etc. Are you more likely to try this restaurant or one that you drove by one time on the way to Aunt Sally’s house? The same is true with ads. The more often you run, the more familiar people become with your ad, your message, your offer and consequently they are more likely to call you when they are in need of your product or service.

2) How Was Your Headline?

We can use the same example of the Italian restaurant… the original sign read, “Tony’s Restaurant.” That doesn’t tell you much about the restaurant, other than the owner’s name is probably Tony. However, the new sign reads “Tony’s Italian Cuisine” which tells you a little more about the restaurant and may even entice you to pull in and take a look at the menu (that is, if you like Italian food.) If your headline doesn’t invite the reader to read on, then your ad is a waste of time.

3) What Contact Information Did You Provide?

People want options. I hear it all the time… “The goal of the ad is to get people to visit our website.” Great goal… however, there are many people in the world today that are fed up with websites, emails, and little to no human interaction. Throw these people a bone and give them a number, so that they can call and speak to a PERSON who can answer their questions. Doesn’t seem all that difficult, right?

4) When Did Your Ad Run?

Besides holidays, weather, national events, elections, natural disasters and a whole host of other events can influence the response of your ad. Before chalking up your poor response to a bad ad, check out what was going on when your ad ran. If California experienced the worse rain storm of the century the week your pool company ran its ad, the problem probably wasn’t the headline. Try again once it warms up.

5) What Was Your Message?

If your ad was cutesy and it didn’t work, try straight-forward. If your ad was straight-forward, try a clever saying or catching headline. Different products and services will appeal to different people. It may seem obvious to you what your message is, but is it as obvious to someone who has never heard of you or your company? Regardless of if you are using clever or cutesy writing, your message should be clear. Always. Period.

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