Are you flushing your advertising dollars down the toilet?

Are you flushing your advertising dollars down the toilet?

There is nothing worse than spending money on advertising that doesn’t deliver. And over the years, I’ve wasted my fair share.

During the boom of the mid to late nineties, it seemed like I had money to burn. So, a few misspent advertising dollars here and there didn’t hurt so much…

Fast forward to 2014 – every dollar lost on advertising that doesn’t result in leads and students is like taking a front kick to the gut from Lyoto Machida. In this economy, it is imperative that you get the most out of your marketing and advertising dollars.

So, here are a few tips to help you do just that:

1. While you’re cutting your teeth, stick with low-cost, low-risk advertising methods. Save the high-dollar advertising methods for later when you know you can write and produce ads that convert well.

2. No matter how good that sales person makes their publication or advertising channel sound, always research their claims before you sign on the dotted line. Ask for a list of their current clients, or better yet, start calling the businesses who are currently advertising in their publication (for obvious reasons, stick with businesses in other industries). If they’re not getting results, they’ll let you know in a hurry.

3. Test, test, test! You should test everything before you drop a lot of cash on an ad. Test display ads in smaller publications before spending a lot placing them in publications with higher circulation. Send out that sales letter or postcard to a small sampling of 500 homes before you mass mail to the entire community. Limit your online marketing budget until you know your ads will pull. That way, you’ll avoid making large mistakes.

4. Focus your efforts online. Print is dead, or very nearly so. The local Yellow Pages rep dropped a card off at my school yesterday – they’re trying to sell me online advertising now. Guess they finally figured it out. Have you? If you’re not marketing online, you’re missing the boat on some dirt cheap advertising. Get a website, and start promoting it, pronto.

– Mike Massie

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