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Why Your Ad Didn't Work--5 Common Problems and Their Quick Fixes

By: Kevin Nunley

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.

Ever run an ad in an ezine or newspaper and get no response? When this happens, most people are baffled. They blame the publication, ezine, or website for the lack of response. But the problem is usually the ad itself.

No one wants to hear that their lack of response is due to the ad they painstakingly crafted. But with a few simple fixes, that ad can pull sales the way it was supposed to.

Here are a few common ad problems and how to tweak them for maximum selling potential:
  1. Your Ad Isn't Bold Enough. People see literally thousands of ads every day, and half the time they don't even know they're seeing them. We are so used to being approached from all angles-- television, newspaper, Internet, magazines--that we learn to tune everything out. But once in a while, something gets through the barrier, and that something is usually an ad that shouts to get attention. If it isn't bold, bright, and active enough to reach out and grab our attention, we simply don't see it.

    Fix: The key is to make your ad bold without being annoying. For instance, if you want to burn your company name into people's minds, make your logo big and keep the rest a little more subtle. Your unique selling points, or whatever is most important for people to know, are what you should push the hardest, make the boldest.

  2. You Sound Like Everyone Else. You may offer a product or service that many people want, but your ad doesn't communicate this because it sounds like all the others. If you can't let consumers know that you offer something that stands apart from the rest, they don't care.

    Fix: Look for a benefit only you provide, or a problem only you can solve. If your product or service offers nothing entirely unique, highlight something your competitors fail to mention.

  3. You Didn't Give Your Ad Enough Time. Remember the rule of seven: Seven out of ten of people won't respond to your ad the first time they see it, so you can't give up before you give your ad a good run. When you advertise the same ad over and over again, you give the bulk of your audience time to really absorb the message.

    Fix: Have a professional write your ad to ensure that it is written for maximum selling power, then run the ad over and over again in different mediums: newspapers, ezines, sig files in email, etc. Your audience will see you, remember you, think about you, then buy from you.

  4. Your Ad Worked But Your Site Blew the Sale. Who knows, maybe your ad worked like a charm. Maybe people flocked to your site to buy. And maybe when they got to the site, they decided not to buy because they couldn't find the order button, or because your information was sketchy.

    Fix: If your site isn't clear, people won't trust to buy from you. Make sure your site design is simple to navigate and your information is written in a concise manner. To instill confidence in you, put up a photo of yourself on the contact page, along with a phone number. The fact that you can be reached by phone goes a long way to making people trust you. Include testimonials from past customers. Make sure you have the full name of those from whom you include testimonials.

  5. You Didn't Stick to Your Marketing Plan. All successful marketers have a plan; they don't just wander haphazardly through the world of advertising. Your plan may not work right away, but that is another thing you have to plan for.

    Fix: Don't give up. Just when you're ready to throw in the towel, that's when things are likely to turn around. Remember, these things take time. If you follow the guidelines above, response to your ads is inevitable.
When your ad doesn't bring you the results you hoped for, look for one of the problems above. Don't give up--just fix the problem and try again. That's the professional way to advertise your business. Stay with it and you will see professional results.

© 2003 DrNunley.com.

Other Articles by Kevin Nunley

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