Why some advertising works great while the rest fails

In the course of a day I routinely hear from people who are elated at the success of their advertising. Martha is practically turning back flips now that her ezine ads are starting to bring in a steady stream of sales, gradually turning into the important second income she hoped it would be.

It wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t all that cheap, but Martha planned for her ad campaign, then stayed confident until she got the results she was after.

Meanwhile, I hear from Tom who is seeing red over his lack of sales. He maxed out his credit card on a big ad and PR blast, and nothing happened.

Nothing, I ask? Well he got lots of hits to his site, but hardly anybody bought anything. As far as he is concerned, “the whole thing was a big, expensive waste of time,” and he has no intention of pursuing the project any further.

Within these little stories lies the KEY TO ADVERISING SUCCESS.

Let me quickly show you what Martha is doing right and why poor Tom is missing out.

1) Martha is REPEATING her ad week after week. Hardly any customer is going to place an order the first time they see your ad. You’ve got to give them time to see your ad, think about it, forget about it, then see your ad again, think about it, learn more about your product or service, then finally place an order. Sales rarely happen any faster than that. And only repeated advertising can lead your prospects down the sometimes-long path to a sale.

A one-shot ad blast can get your name in front of a lot of people, but it won’t get it there often enough or long enough to get the sale.

2) Martha is COMBINING DIFFERENT ADVERTISING METHODS. She has several ads in several ezines and she is also backing that up with cheap classified ads in a few newspapers and mail order tabloids. None of it is very expensive or a big deal. But together the different ad methods are working together to give her results.

Is Martha obsessed with knowing exactly which ads and ad methods are pulling the results? Is “I must track everything!” her daily mantra? No it is not. She knows that she her ads must be in many targeted places over the long haul. Gradually sales will come, building as she continues to work all her advertising avenues.

3) Martha has PLANNED and is PREPARED to advertise for the long term. Her budget included advertising consistently for several months. This gave her prospects time to see her ad, ignore it at first, then see it again. Then they had to think about it, finally decide to click to her site, learn more, and buy.

Knowing sales would come slowly at first, she chose to advertise a product or service that would eventually earn back her ad investment. They are priced so she doesn’t have to sellthousands to earn a return. Martha thought all this through before she started. If she hadn’t found a logical way to market her product or service, she wouldn’t have offered them in the first place. Instead, she would have found different things to offer–things supported by the marketing strategies she could afford.

Let’s sum up the ingredients that make an advertising plan a big success. Very simply, you have to be committed to your ad plan, look at it as an investment, be in as many ad venues as you can, then be patient until the sales kick in. Be prepared for sales to take weeks to months longer than you anticipated. I worked my business for almost a year before I got the first sale. But then, within a few weeks, sales came tumbling in at a steady rate and never stopped.

If you are offering a valuable product or service needed by a well defined group of prospects, you can expect this simple principle to work for you.

About the author
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copywriting at Reach him at