MANY INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTS COME INTO PLAY MAKING A SUCCESSFUL AD:
1. PERSUASIVE SELLING COPY. The wording is the single most important element in determining a successful ad. What counts most is what you say and how you say it.
2. PLACEMENT IN APPROPRIATE PUBLICATION. This might seem obvious, but it is often neglected. If the right people don’t see your ad, they can’t respond.
3. SPACE/PRICE IN PROPORTION. You simply can’t sell high priced merchandise from a small classified or one inch ad space. These should be considered as a low cost means of building a mailing list by asking readers to write for more information. If you expect to sell directly from an ad, the size of the ad will have to increase in proportion to the selling price. Two or three inches of space for items selling for 42 to $5… half or full page for items selling for more than $5 up to $20. When the price goes above $20 it is usually best to run inquiry ads and follow up with a printed sales presentation. There are exceptions, but this is a fairly safe rule to follow.
4. TESTING ALL THE ELEMENTS. Unlike institutional advertising (toothpaste, cars, soap, etc.) which must rely on extensive market research, analysis, surveys and a lot of psychology to achieve success, mail order selling has a built-in “watchdog” to guard against waste and loss, and to help assure that every dollar spent will produce a profit…or at least tell you why it didn’t, so you won’t make the same mistake twice. This method (unique to mail order) is called KEYING. By inserting a number or letter (or combination) into every ad you run, you can tell which ad works in which publication and in which issues it works best. More sophisticated forms of this testing technique can be carried through by trying a new headline, a different testimonials,guarantees, etc. The testing technique know no limits, but there is also danger in becoming test-happy. To use the testing principle effectively, be certain that the results will justify the time and expense of making the test. If it merely means adding to your paperwork without adding profit or reducing cost,it isn’t worth it.