Advertising Your Business:  Key – Formula – Close

Advertising is an essential part of your customer acquisition strategy. Advertising should be viewed as a form of sharing information. It is the way that you tell prospective customers that your product or service is available in a particular form and at a particular price, at a particular place, and for purchase in a particular way. The good news is that effective advertising is free. Effective advertising yields you more profits than you would have had without advertising. Effective advertising has a high return on investment or profit per placement or insertion. Effective advertising more than pays for itself. This is your goal.
There are various ways that you can advertise, depending upon what you sell and to whom you sell it. One of the best ways to determine your advertising strategy is to study your successful competitors. Find out how they advertise. Find out where they advertise repeatedly. If one of your competitors advertises over and over again in a particular medium, that\’s usually proof enough that advertising in that medium is succeeding in attracting customers in a cost-effective way. Don\’t reinvent the wheel when you advertise.

Perhaps the most important principle is to test and measure and then test and measure again. Most advertising doesn\’t work, at least initially. Many of the ads that you place will not attract a single customer. Many of the ads that you write for radio, television, newspaper, or the internet will achieve no results at all. You must continually test and measure your advertising results throughout your business career. You may have to run five or 10 different ads in five or 10 places before you find an advertisement or medium that generates consistently profitable sales for you. When you start or build a business. People who sell advertising of various kinds will call upon you. Most advertising that they will offer you will not work. Since your financial resources are always limited, you must be extremely careful in allocating every advertising dollar.

Always test on a small scale before you advertise on a large scale. Beware what is called the fallacy of big numbers. This fallacy suggests that if you take out an expensive advertisement of some kind that reaches 100000 or one million people, you\’ll be sure to generate enough responses in sales to justify the cost. But what happens when people apply? The fallacy of big numbers is that they spend enormous amounts of money on advertising that often attracts no response, and all of the money is lost. Think of some of the Super Bowl ads over the years that cost millions to run. There\’s an old saying that fully 50 percent of all advertising dollars are wasted. The problem is that no one knows which 50 percent it is. The sad fact is that the number of advertising dollars that are wasted can be much higher than 50 percent. It can be 80 percent, 90 percent, or even 100 percent. The only way to keep from making advertising budget mistakes is to test on a small scale and expand only when you\’re small. Scale tests turn out to be profitable.

If you\’re thinking of running a newspaper ad (most are online now) and a large daily paper run the same ad in a neighborhood paper at a much lower price, your response rate will tell you quite quickly if the ad is going to work before you embark on a large radio advertising campaign, run the same ad or three different ads only three times in each case. Make an offer for your product or service and ask listeners to phone or visit your place of business. If you get no response from three radio advertisements, you\’ll get no response from 30 advertisements.

Test and measure, test and measure, test and measure. Never saw. Testing and measuring and then finding out what is working. Whenever a customer calls you or comes in, the second or third question out of your mouth should be. How did you hear about us? Whatever the customer says, write it down immediately. Keep an accurate tally of each customer response. If you listen closely enough to your customers and to the people who are actually responding to your advertising, they will tell you where to advertise.

In addition, you can ask what it was about your advertising that caused the customer to visit you, rather than to go somewhere else. In many cases, it was one benefit that you offered in your advertising. That caused the customer to respond positively if several customers gave you the same answer. You can then design your future advertising around emphasizing this benefit for other prospective customers.


Now the next part is how to write effective advertising. There are several keys to writing effective advertising, and you have to know what they are if you\’re going to advertise in any medium.
The first key is to focus on a single product service or benefit, then always imagine that a child will read your advertisement and then turn to another child and tell that other child what you sell and why someone should buy it from you. Make your advertising simple, clear, and direct focus on a single reason why people should respond to the advertisement, rather than responding to the hundreds of other advertisements that they will see and hear every day.

Here are some painful little secrets of business. I can\’t repeat it often enough.

  • No one likes to admit it, but here it is again.
  • Nobody cares about your product or service.
  • Nobody cares what your product or service is.
  • Customers only care about what your product or service does for them.
  • Customers care only about how your product or service improves their life or work.

There are lists of reasons and motivations that cause people to buy, but you can boil them down into one single buying motivation improvement customers by improvement morning, noon and night. All customers are concerned with is whether or not your product or service will improve their life or work in a particular way.

The First Key to writing an effective advertisement. Starting right now and in the future, when you write an advertisement of any kind, the improvement you offer must be the focal point of your advertising, and it must be clear.

The Second Key to writing an effective advertisement is to tell the prospect exactly what action you want him or her to take immediately.

For example, come in today before nine p.m. while supplies last.

The Third Key to writing an effective advertisement. Here\’s an important rule. Make it easy for your customer to buy from you. Be sure that your call to action is simple and easy to follow, especially on the radio, where listeners have nothing to write on. Keep numbers to a minimum. They just confuse prospective customers.

The Fourth Key to writing an effective advertisement. Here\’s another rule: do not try to create a need in your advertising. You only address a need that already exists that the customer already has. You address a pain the customer already feels and wants to have taken away. You address a lack that the customer already experiences and offer to address it. You offer to provide a benefit that the customer already desires. Your goal is to use your advertising to talk to customers who already want what you sell.


Your advertising aims to get the already qualified customer to buy from you rather than from someone else and to buy now. There\’s a three-part formula for effective advertising, especially for radio and television.
The First Formula. You describe the customer’s problem, the need the customer wants to satisfy, or the pain the customer wants to have taken away. This immediately grabs the attention of your ideal prospect.

The Second Formula. You describe the solution. You describe the ideal way to solve the problem, fulfill the need, or remove the pain. These triggers bind desire in the prospect’s mind.

The Third Formula. You describe your product or service as the very best solution available and end the advertisement with a call to action. You tell the prospect to visit your place of business, telephone to set up an appointment or visit your internet site. All part of the “buyer journey,” to get a customer to take any action or to lead them to a way to buy your product or service immediately. Then offer the customer a quick way to get the solution or benefit he or she now desires.

Here\’s a simple example: Drivers have serious car accidents every day when their worn tires give out in fast freeway traffic.

  1. Problem or pain that you\’re addressing. The next part of your advertisement enjoys the peace of mind and security of knowing that you are driving on brand new tires. This is the solution to the problem.
  2. Close the customer. ABC Tire Company offers you great prices, quick service, and skilled technicians. Come in today at 100 Business Avenue or phone 123-456-7890.
  3. Call to action. Don\’t wait. Do it today. Come into 100 Business Avenue or phone us to set up an appointment at 123-456-7890. You\’ll be so glad that you did.

You don\’t need to be an advertising genius to write effective copy. You simply have to focus clearly on the most important benefit you offer. Be clear about what your product or service does to improve the customer\’s life or work and tell the customer what action he or she should take immediately to acquire your product or service. All advertising for your business must be treated as a direct response advertising. This means that your advertising triggers immediate responses from prospective customers. It translates into immediate sales today.

Creative advertising sells, period! Effective advertising sells, period!

If your advertising doesn\’t trigger immediate responses. Discontinue it immediately and try something else. The easiest way to test your advertising is to run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. The easiest way to measure the success of your advertisement is that you attract immediate responses that are converted into customers who buy more of your product or service and yield you more profits than the cost of the advertising. That\’s the true test. That\’s the only test if you keep testing and measuring, practicing trial and error, asking your customers about how they heard about you and what caused them to contact you or visit. You can eventually develop a method or process of advertising that pays for itself every single time. Once you have developed the ability to attract customers profitably, you can advertise more and more and grow your business almost without limit.

One final point about marketing, advertising, sales, and customer service. Always remember to tune in to the customer\’s favorite TV station: WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?

In the final analysis, customers are selfish and expedient. They have a thousand choices. They buy a product or service only when they are convinced that it is the ideal choice for them at this time. At this price in this location, and that there\’s nothing better available as an alternative, you should also keep asking what\’s in it for my customer? WIIFMC.

BONUS from

The Conversion Equation for Marketing has 4 Parts to crafting your marketing collateral.

  1. Interrupt – getting qualified prospects to pay attention to your marketing
    • Often accomplished by affecting the prospects emotionally – hot button
  2. Engage – Promises that the information is forthcoming that will help the prospect make the best decision possible
  3. Educate – give them information that allows them to logically understand how and why you solved that emotional problem
    • Accomplished by giving detailed, quantifiable, specific, inside-revealing information
  4. Offer – low or NO risk way to take the next step in the sales process. The Close.