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HTML Help: Advertising Mistakes

I recently ran an ad in an ezine. My web site traffic increased, but no sales were made. Before I waste more money on another ad can you offer any advertising advice?
The writer advertised a feminine product that I prefer not to mention by name here so this page isn't flagged by parental content filters. She also included her ad copy and other information I'm not listing here as it isn't needed to answer her question. Having said that...

I see three problems with your first bad-vertising attempt. First, the product you advertised doesn't really fit the ezine you ran the ad in. Running an ad for a product that appeals only to women in an ezine with a subscriber ratio that probably has twice as many male subscribers as female just isn't good targeting.

Your second mistake was that the link in your ad was to your web site's home page. Most people clicking the ad link would expect to be taken straight to the product page. Instead, anyone responding to the ad had to hunt for the product you advertised.

Furthermore, the link to the product on your home page wasn't obvious, and once I found it, it was two clicks away from the product you advertised. You made anyone who was interested in the product work too hard to find it.

Perhaps you hoped people would discover your other products by sending them to the home page instead of the product page, but I'm guessing anyone with less than a very keen interest said "oh well" to themselves and moved on. Not sending them to the product page was an unnecessary obstacle you put in their path.

Your main purpose in running the ad is to get people to the page for the product you're advertising. You want them to read your sales copy, not to hunt for your sales copy.

Advertising pros either create a special landing page for each ad they run or they use a tracking code. It's easy to measure the response to the ad this way. As it is, you don't even know if the extra traffic you received was from your ad or if it was just a lucky day traffic-wise. I know my web site traffic can fluctuate by thousands of unique visitors per day.

A special landing page would have told you how many people came as a result of your ad and allowed you to calculate a sales ratio. The sales ratio is how many people visited the page divided by the number sales, which in turn tells you how many visitors it takes to make a sale and what your cost per visitor is.

When you know that, you will have a better idea of how much you can pay for advertising and have a good probability of making a profit. Of course, it tells you the opposite too, it tells you when the advertising rates raise the cost per visitor above the profit per visitor—in other words, when an ad campaign will probably end in loss instead of profit.

The third mistake is that your sales copy needs work. Lots of work. It's littered with misspellings, incorrect grammar, and excessive punctuation that really breaks up the flow of thought.

The sales copy seems over-hyped as well. Your product isn't especially unique, but you "oh-my-gosh" it like it's really revolutionary. That's makes the whole sales presentation seem a little overwrought to me.

I would suggest that spending a little money to learn the fundamentals of marketing at this point would be a wiser investment in your business than spending money on advertising.

To invest $50.00 or $100.00, or even $500.00 or $1,000.00 to learn from others is an investment in yourself that can pay dividends for the rest of your life—and that's no exaggeration. Plus, it can shave months or even years off the trial and error learning curve so you can start earning real money sooner.

This concludes the

HTML Help about Advertising Mistakes

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