The latest data on the amount of advertising messages that an average human is exposed to is frightening. It is no wonder that we develop coping mechanisms to screen out some of the constant barrage and we only pay attention and respond to those that are related to to what we want and need. Only a small percentage of people who see advertisements and receive direct mail will respond. In fact if the advertising is of poor quality the response may even be zero. It is not uncommon to hear business people saying that they do not feel that advertising is effective. In fact they are somewhat correct. The full truth is that their advertising is ineffective. Here are seven things that you can do to boost the responses that you get to your advertising.


1 Improve Your Chances by Targeting the Right People People don’t read ads. They read what interests them. This may sound obvious to you, but expensive advertising material is regularly broadcast far and wide with no real focus on who will receive the message and how relevant it will be to them. When planning your campaign, don’t try to reach the whole universe. Advertise to an identifiable person. Build a picture of this person in your mind. Are they male or female? Is that person a wine connoisseur or a beer drinker? What newspapers or magazines do they read? Where do they spend their leisure time? It will take time to build up a mental picture of your target person, but the effort will be worth while. Eventually, you will have a clear idea of what media to use the reach this type of person when they are ready to buy and you will have a good sense of what will motivate them to respond to your marketing campaign If you are mailing or e-mailing people, take the trouble to look for lists that are relevant to your products, rather than mailing everyone in a postcode. Buy lists from relevant clubs or journals or look for attendance lists at suitable exhibitions. Make sure lists are frequently checked and updated, especially for emails, and you will get more leads for less effort.


2 Work Out Your USP and Blow Your Competition Away No matter what business you are in, you must establish your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). When you are clear about what makes you stand apart from the competition, you give yourself something to shout about. It gives your customers a reason to choose you. In the shampoo market, for example, some products are formulated for babies and children, others are suitable users with dandruff, while still others are positioned at the luxury market and are only sold in salons. This differentiation/positioning is a key to any good marketing. Similarly in the drinks market, a new entrant has recently successfully challenged long established vodka brands, using the fact that it is made in Russia as a USP. In the same way, the stronger your USP is, the more likely it is to draw customers away from the competition.


3 Use Strong Words To Entice Your Customers Unless you are a major consumer brand, you should not be investing heavily in brand building advertising. Rather than building a brand image, you need to be creating action advertising. You need to focus on making customers act to buy your product now. The direct method to do this is to use strong words and phrases to make claims about your product that will make customers sit up and take notice. Use these words to draw vivid pictures in the minds of your targeted customers. Spell out how your product will help them do something more easily, or make them more successful. If you can make them feel younger or more attractive, you will whet their appetite and draw them in. Tell them how to achieve a desirable, but previously unobtainable, goal, and you will surely create buying interest. Don’t get too carried away with the strong prose though – you must be able to deliver on all those promises that you make.


4 Add Pictures Research shows that images deepen the level of engagement with your customers when they are used well. If your product is designed to make your customers more successful, show a picture of a typical customer enjoying the trappings of success. If linked to your ad copy, your customers will identify with the benefits of success through both the image and the text and will be more motivated to use your product.


5 Remember That Features Bore & Benefits Entice How many times have you seen bring headlines such as “We Stock a Large Range of Stationery”, or “We’ve Been Established for 15 Years”. These are real turn-off for your customers, so avoid them at all costs. “Our management is highly experienced in all matters” sounds like self congratulation. There’s nothing there for the customer. Turn these boasts into customer benefits. Get their pulse rates racing and you have potential sales. Keep in mind that this is about your customers and how you can help them – not about your business.


6 Use Testimonials People are very skeptical about advertising claims these days. They probably have good to be wary. testimonials are a great way helping potential buyers about the benefits of dealing with you. The great thing about them is that they are all about customers needs and how the can be solved. Start a program to capture testimonials at every opportunity. Regularly collate the most powerful ones that you collect and use them at every opportunity.


7 Use Every Opportunity To Motivate Potential Buyers So your buyer is close to making up his mind. He knows about your business. He wants the benefits that your product can bring. He knows why he should by your product and not for your competitors. And he trusts you to deliver what you promise. How can motivate him to take the final step and act on what the knows? Use a guarantee to take the risk out of acting. A money-back guarantee will assure your buyer that no matter what happens he will not make a mistake. Or use a limited time offer. Or while stocks last. Compel the buyer to use your call to action. Of course you must make sure that the action step is both clear and simple for your buyers.

These simple steps will improve the effectiveness of any advertising that you carry out, leading to improved responses, more sales leads and higher sales.