Remember playing with Legos as a kid? I loved Legos when I was a kid, still do for that matter. With Legos it was easy to make changes – unsnap this piece and snap this on instead. Improving advertising results is a lot like playing with Legos, only this time your masterpiece of a creation is rewarded with increased sales. Let’s look at 3 simple steps to boosting your advertising results.
Step 1: Clarify your objective – Sales or Something Else
It all begins with a clear objective. When your objective is clear, success is easy to measure. Although this sounds so obvious, I see lots of examples where the objective isn’t clear. Why are you placing an ad? There should be only one primary objective. You can have secondary objectives, if you want to, but the success or failure of the ad is going to be based on how well it met the primary objective. Usually the lack of clarity is around the idea that the ad should generate both sales and name recognition / awareness. That’s nice, but you need to pick one objective with which to judge the success or failure of the ad. Unless you’re independently wealthy and don’t need to work, your primary objective should be sales or leads. Leave the name recognition advertising to the companies with million dollar ad budgets.
Step 2: Measure and record your response
The biggest problem here that I frequently see when working with a business to help them attract more of their ideal customers is a lack of record keeping on what works and what didn’t. Don’t rely on your memory to keep up with how well your ad worked. Your records don’t have to be complicated, use a system that works for you. For some that is an Excel spreadsheet, for others it is a piece of paper with tally marks. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so don’t worry about which is best. Focus on how you can record the results of your ad in a way that will be easy for you to update and easy for you to refer back to 6 months from now.
Step 3: Test variations
Now comes the fun part – making changes and testing how they perform. What happens if you change the headline of your ad? What happens to the response to your ad if you change your offer or your angle? This is about creating the best performing ad that you’ve ever had working for you. This is not done in one sitting – this is done by refining your ad and testing it to see what works. Split test advertising is the best way to find the exact version of your ad that outperforms all others and consistently brings you the highest advertising response rates. Who said direct response advertising isn’t fun? Improving things is always fun when it puts more money in your pocket.
Improving your direct response advertising results really is easy when you follow these three steps. This isn’t rocket science and you don’t need a PhD in marketing to get started. If you’re intimidated about the process – don’t be. Lots of business owners actually enjoy step three, once they’ve tested a few different ads and have their system and routine down.
What’s your primary objective? How will you measure and track your advertising response? What’s the first test you’d like to make with your advertising? Now go get started.