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How To Advertise To Your Best Customers Without Spending a Fortune

By: Ron Sathoff and Kevin Nunley

Ron Sathoff is a noted speaker and manager of DrNunley's InternetWriters.com  He provides copy-writing, marketing, Internet promotion, and help for business speakers. Reach him at ron@drnunley.com or 801-328-9006.
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at DrNunley.com Reach Kevin at kevin@drnunley.com or 801-328-9006.

More and more, we hear from people who want to advertise only to a very specific group of customers.  One woman wrote "I only want my ad to go to people who run hospital emergency rooms and certain kinds of doctors."

Another person told us he only wanted his marketing to go to people who own small bricks-and-mortar businesses and who do certain kinds of advertising.

Here are some affordable ways to get very targeted advertising that finds and interests only certain kinds of prospective customers:
  1. Use pay-per-click advertising.  These are search engines that let you place your ad only on pages for certain search terms. For example, a business trying to sell a service to people needing legal help might get their ad on a page that lists sites on Florida divorce law, patent law, or labor law (all are commonly used search terms.)

    Most pay-per-click search engines won't send you much traffic but a few do.  We have gotten excellent results from Overture.com (formerly Goto.com) and NetFlip.com.  Use Overture's free Search Term Suggestion Tool to find the most used terms atsecure.overture.com/s/dtc/center/  The cost of getting listed under a term is anything from a nickle to several dollars per click.

  2. Send out sales letters using a very specific list of names and addresses.  This an old-fashioned approach that works.  List brokers can set you up with a list that is as narrow as you want. Need a list of people who fish for trout in Idaho in January? You can get it.

    Most cities have list brokers advertised in the Yellow Pages. Look under "direct mail."  You can also find a comprehensive selection of list brokers in the Directory of Lists published by SRDS.com (you may want to get this expensive tome through your local library.)

  3. Don't forget ezines.  While you may not be able to find an ezine that specializes in the audience you want to reach, many have your prospects in their readership.  A good business ezine usually reaches not only home-based businesses, but a wide variety of corporations, professionals, and trade people.

  4. Look up the trade publications that most people in your target industry read.  Ask some of your prospects what they read and what publications they see lying on the boss' desk. Apartment Manager's Monthly probably goes directly to just the people who would buy your new apartment fire alarm system. Advertising can be affordable and you may be able to get the publication to do an article on your latest product or service.
We've found that the best narrowly targeted advertising isn't always obvious.  When people worry about the high cost of opt-in email advertising, they often forget how other less expensive methods can deliver tightly targeted results.  Think narrow and be creative.

© Copyright 2001, Ron Sathoff and Kevin Nunley

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