The Little-Known Marketing Secret That Allows You To Write Advertising Homeruns

You remember Sherlock Holmes don’t you? Holmes was the fictional consulting detective invented by Scottish physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes, as you know, is famous for cracking open difficult cases and solving them with almost magical abilities.

So, grab your inspector’s hat and let’s play Sherlock Holmes for just a moment. We’re going to do a little spying today and see if the “Sherlock” in you can turn up a few profit clues lurking all around.

This is the shortest course to the profit-land in this crazy fun business. The direct marketing or “mail order” business as we affectingly call it have a “secret” way of “spying” on the competition. It’s called “seeding.”

Very simply, seeding is where you get on other businesses mailing list

… for the sole purpose of snooping and finding out what’s going on in your selected marketplace.

This does several things for you.

First, you’ll start receiving offers from the company you inquired about plus competing companies. And these offers can be golden to you by seeing exactly who’s mailing what.

You’ll see firsthand what their winners are, how the copy reads, what offers are hot and ideas will start to catch fire.

And if you go the extra yard and actually buy something, you’ll experience firsthand how you were treated, what upsells they offer, and how they run the customer service side of the business.

Simply put, this is one of the best direct marketing educations you can get. And best of all… it won’t cost you a fortune.

Basically, you get a master’s level marketing education for the mere cost of a postage stamp and the time it takes to “sign up.”

Pretty damn cool, right? As my late marketing mentor Melvin Powers once told me, “There are no secrets in the mail order business.”

You’ll be tuned in to ‘real world-real time’ marketing methods and strategies. This is one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with powerful trends and effective marketing that’s cutting edge.

Seeding gives you another huge benefit…

… A swipe file right at your fingertips.

What’s that, you say? Swipe file? YES! Swipe File!

What’s a swipe file? Hey, I’m glad you asked.

A swipe file is a collection of marketing pieces that have a proven history of positive results. These ads are bringing in bucket loads of profits, leads, store visits or whatever action the ad is asking from the customer.

But how do you know if these ads are profitable or not? It’s not really that hard to figure this out… and you don’t have to guess.

If you see a marketing promotion (advertisement, sales letter, squeeze page, etc.) that runs over and over or is mailed over and over, then you’ll know for sure it’s a winner.

Most marketers, especially direct response type businesses loath wasting money. Again, if you see an ad repeated over and over again, you can rest assured that it’s making money for the advertiser.

Once you start building your swipe file you’ll want to see how you’re marketing stacks up to the competition. Ideas gleamed from your swipe file could be used to improve your marketing.

There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. In direct marketing (or mail order), you have learned that there are no secrets. Everything is laid out there for you.

And by the way, did I mention swiping is legit… it’s sharply slices a huge portion of the learning curve!

Let me tell you a quick story about one of the most successful, profitable and effective direct marketing promotions to hit during the 20th Century.

It was 1974 and Martin Conroy was commissioned to write a sales letter to sell subscriptions for the Wall Street Journal.

No big deal, right? After all it was only two pages printed front to back… a mere 780-word letter.

But here’s the thing. Did you know that one of the most successful and profitable sales letter ever written…

This super-successful sales letter mailed for 28-years with almost no changes to the original copy. It raked in over an estimated TWO BILLION DOLLARS in gross revenues!

Take one of the most famous copywriting controls, The Wall Street Letter written by the late Martin Conroy. He in fact swiped it from a sales letter written many years before.

So what was the secret to this mega-success letter?

The secret, according to industry insiders, is that Conroy relied on a little-known “trick” to cheat his way to writing the pitch.

It’s helpful to know that Conroy’s letter was not beaten until 2002. It was beaten in two consecutive tests… the first test Conroy’s letter was beaten by less than 10%. The second by a huge 24%.

The second letter was written by copywriting legend Mal Decker.

So, the question is how did Mal Decker come up with a letter to beat the ‘unbeatable’ control?

The answer… again… it’s surprisingly simple… and you my friend can use this ethical “cheat” to produce blockbuster ads, web pages, sales letters, and just about any marketing piece you need to write.

Now I’m not saying its OK for you to straight out copy the ad word for word. Not at all… I’m saying it’s fine to borrow or swipe ideas, concepts and compelling parts that intrigue you and adapt them to your marketing.

Swiping is a great way to infuse new life in old copy and can often lead to more sales and leads.

So start your swipe file today and let the ideas flow.

Insurance Advertising – Discover How Independent Insurance Agents Generate Leads

Each day, more and more Insurance Agents are leaving the captive corporate world to venture into the realm of independent insurance agent. Rather than being locked into selling one major insurance carrier’s branded product line, they opt to offer a larger variety of policies, services and costs; coinciding with the demand of consumers wanting to have choices and options at competitive prices.

As we are well aware, this is no longer a “seller’s market”, but an “informed buyer’s”. People, in general, are armed with more information than ever before. So, how do you, the independent insurance agent, stand out from the other 100’s of agents in your city? What marketing avenues are available to you so that you capture the prospective buyer’s attention and convert them into a prospect and ultimately a long-term client? And which ones work?

Regardless of your target audience, whether you have niched your focus to be product specific, or if you are targeting a certain population segment; you need to investigate the various forms of advertising available to you, the costs of such programs and the pros and cons.

Below is a breakdown of the most commonly used forms of advertising for the independent insurance agency, and the pros and cons of each.

Television Advertising

As the average American spends more time in front of the television, it should be no surprise that this is one of the most sought after forms of marketing available.


  • Ability to reach a larger and more diverse segment of the insurance seeking population
  • You can specify time of day and network, reaching your intended audience easier
  • Since most consumers are engaged by a combination of movement, color, what they see and what they hear, this gives most businesses a platform to achieve full sensory contact
  • Gives a business instant credibility and prestige
  • Cons:

  • Cost for the commercial air time and/or multiple runs
  • Cost for hiring a marketing agency to lay-out and film your insurance commercial
  • Consumer expectation – no longer are we impressed with someone reading off a teleprompt, they want to be entertained
  • Competition for the consumer’s attention
  • Popularity of digital recorders has increased, giving consumers the ability to fast-forward through commercials when watching their favorite shows
  • Many experts would agree that if you have the extra capital in your marketing budget to incorporate television into your advertising that you should. However, it is important that you research different advertising firms to help you explore your options with regards to creating your on-air advertisement, the best way to target your audience and keep within your planned budget.

    Newspaper advertising and local weekly shoppers

    With regards to print advertisements, some independent agents turn to local newspapers and weekly shoppers to advertise their agencies. Since many households either subscribe to at least one newspaper, or pick them up at their local newsstands, it is a fast and simple way to gain recognition by consumers.


  • Ability to reach more than one target audience by placing various advertisements in the different sections of a newspaper
  • You have the choice of large or small circulation papers to advertise your insurance agency
  • Consumers who turn to the newspapers and weekly shoppers are looking for advertisers who offer deals or bargains
  • Multiple advertisement ad sizes to correspond with various budgets
  • Cons:

  • Newspapers and weekly shoppers are usually read once and discarded
  • Smaller advertisements have a more difficult time standing out when placed next to a larger ad
  • Quality of the print may distort images and photos in a way that can hurt your marketing rather than help
  • Ads, regardless of size, have to compete for the reader’s attention
  • Like television advertising, it would be prudent to consult with a professional marketing firm, preferably one that specializes in insurance marketing, to help you design an advertisement that best captures your targeted audience’s attention. The smaller the ad space the less detailed and complicated the ad should be.

    Also keep in mind the days the most sought after papers and weekly shoppers are printed. The rates for a large advertisement over the weekend will be greater than the same sized ad featured all week long.

    Billboards and Signs

    While most forms of outdoor advertising are contained within billboards and large signage, some independent agencies have broadened the term to include park benches, posters and seat rails at public transit stops. This form of marketing has become a popular, less costly way, when compared with television and print advertising, to reach a larger audience in major metropolitan areas.


  • Potential clients cannot simply discard or “turn off” outdoor advertising
  • Name recognition is higher with those consumers who walk or drive the same route each day
  • Billboards and signs vary in price due to size and location making it is easier to find one in your budget
  • Cons:

  • More often than not, outdoor advertisements do not fully engage a consumer’s attention for more than a few seconds
  • Advertisements have to be simple and interesting enough for the consumer to remember
  • Outdoor advertisements are usually contracted for a longer period of time than most independent agencies had anticipated securing them for
  • Posters and bench signs at public transit stops work well in major metropolitan areas where lower, middle and upper class alike share the same transportation systems, however, not as effective in areas where public transportation is not as common
  • If you feel various forms of outdoor advertising would be a compliment to your business and marketing plan, consider placement wisely. Consult many firms for input and advice on the best way to stretch your marketing dollar and how they can help you create eye-catching and simple designs for your sign.

    Phone Book Directories

    Since exposure to the advertisements in phone book directories is voluntary, meaning consumers actually turn to the phone book for its ads, this form of marketing for independent insurance agencies has become an industry standard.


  • Certain targeted audiences utilize the phone book regularly to find businesses in their area
  • Many phone books also have an online directory giving agencies a more broad exposure
  • You can tailor your exposure to cover a large metropolitan area, or just the city you work in
  • Traditionally, consumers will keep a phone book versus discarding it like a newspaper
  • Cons:

  • Cost – as more consumers turn to the internet, the cost for print ads in the phone book has increased to cover profit loss
  • Marketing ineffectiveness – with so many insurance agencies buying ads, it becomes more difficult to capture the consumer’s attention, and once again, stand out from the 100’s of other agents in your market
  • There are so many phone books in which to advertise, which one do you choose to feature your agency
  • As with any form of advertising, be sure to read all the features and benefits that come with your paid advertisement. Does it include a featured ad online, or is that separate? What is the target area or audience of the phone book you are looking at? Is the cost monthly, quarterly or annual? Is there an automatic renewal clause or will you have the option of not renewing your contract? Where will your advertisement be placed in comparison to the other featured ads? Will someone employed by the phone book assist you with an eye catching advertisement, or do you have to hire a marketing agency to do that for you, and what is the cost?

    Internet Advertising

    Roughly 90% of all the households across the United States have access to the internet either at home, at work or at school; making advertising on the internet the fastest growing marketing medium for independent insurance agents. That household percentage goes even higher for those families with a combined income of $100k or more. However, internet advertising gaining its strength only in the last decade or so, there is still a lot an independent agent would need to research, as with any form of advertising, before making a financial commitment.


  • Cost- you can spend much or as little as your budget allows
  • Levels the playing field – the internet gives the independent agent a chance to compete with the large insurance carriers with regards to search engine placement
  • Whether a web site, a PDF brochure, an affiliated network or a video; any and all forms of advertising can be featured and found on the internet
  • Advertisement exposure is voluntary. Only the websites relevant to a consumer’s online search will pull up for them to look at. Someone searching for insurance agents in their area are more often than not, looking for an agent to speak with
  • Cons:

  • People expect to be educated or informed by an agent’s personal website – having out-dated information or poor graphics can actually hurt your credibility
  • The ever changing internet – each of the major search engines change what they search for on websites constantly with regards to how well they rank. Staying on top of these changes can be very time consuming or expensive if you pay a firm to do this for you.
  • Fear of identity theft – consumers are becoming skeptical of entering their personal contact information online for fear they will have their personal information stolen or sold to telemarketing companies and be subject to unwanted emails or phone calls
  • There are so many options and services available to the independent insurance agent to effectively market themselves and attract more leads. The form of advertising you choose will depend largely on the audience you intend to target, the area in which you do business, and ultimately your budget. Be sure to ask questions. Know what you are getting and what you are not with whatever forms of marketing you decide to use.

    Is Classified Advertising Dead?

    For more than a century, classified ad business was dominated by the newspapers. In the offline world of the days now long gone and forgotten, it was tremendously lucrative, accounting for a significant part of publishing business’s revenues. There were even numerous standalone classified ads publications, either free or paid, attracting both readers and advertising profits.

    It all changed in 1995, on the eve of digital revolution. It was that year that Craigslist was launched. It is estimated that today, this online classified giant costs tens of millions to run, at the same time bringing hundreds of millions in revenue.

    While online publishing has sucked dollars out from the pockets of offline classified publications, it was a good news for an average classified user. Since cost of publishing on Internet is very low, online classified advertising websites can afford to let users post, and reply to ads, without a fee.

    The real problem with free classifieds today, for both the classified ads website owners and their users, is not the operating cost, but the issue of “getting found” among the myriad of free ads in the jungle that is the Internet today. And it’s a huge problem!

    The solution to this growing problem of “getting found on the Internet” appears to elude even the most hardened Internet marketing veterans and offline advertising mavens. That led some to proclaim the death of classified ads business model. They were probably too quick to write them off, though.

    Online ads certainly have some serious advantages over offline ones going for them. Not charged for by the line, they can be longer. Once posted, they usually go live almost instantaneously. Unlike their printed counterparts, they are searchable.

    What can we expect from the classified ads in the future? Well, they are yet to respond to social, something that is changing the Internet before our eyes. Giving the ads a “social layer” could infuse a new blood into the old industry. One important advantage online advertising has over traditional, but hasn’t made a full use yet, is performance monitoring in real time.

    In recent times, a growing number of new classifieds emerged, some offering hyper-local listings, while the other cover globally. Niche classifieds are offering everything under the sun, specializing in anything from business opportunities or personals, to boats or pets.

    Despite the growing pains, online classified ads world looks like it’s thriving! Classified advertising has a long history, and it is definitely not still… history.

    Making Money Online – In-Text Keyword Advertising Makes That Message Pop!

    It’s been said many times that content is king. This is particularly true on the Internet, where millions of people scramble to and fro for information each day. The most useful, convenient, non-intrusive information delivery systems on the Web are the ones that get the traffic. If your Web site doesn’t make the grade, people will look elsewhere.

    The same idea holds true in online marketing and advertising. The Pay Per Click ads you write and the affiliate marketing arrangements you make are only as effective as the content delivered. Once effective ad content exists, the delivery method must be as seamless and relevant to the user’s interests as possible. An exciting way to meet both of these ends is via in-text keyword advertising.

    What is in-text keyword advertising? This form of contextual advertising places specific words within the text of a Web page. The word is usually distinguished by a double underline. When a user trains their cursor over the in-text advertising, an in-page window appears with the associated advertisement text. In-text ads for your services appear on sites with related content.

    In-text advertising used to be confined to niche sites, such as video game and science portals. Now it is increasingly prevalent, found even in such places as mainstream journalistic Web sites. Some champions of journalistic integrity have criticized this practice on newspaper Web sites, but a growing number of publishers see in-text advertising as a natural extension of advertising techniques used over the years to reach and serve consumers. Considering the current state of newspaper companies, it could be argued that clinging to an outdated notion of integrity and overinflated sense of value to society makes no business sense. When revenue models are considered, online advertising is a must. However, as one reader states regarding the 12/3/07 Businessweek story on in-text ads (“Pitching Between the Lines”), “many companies need advertising, but we don’t need bad ads.” This basic line of reasoning – that better ads serve the public better – should be the credo for any advertising you write or any advertising you host.

    Let’s assume you’re ready for the kind of revenue stream in-text advertising can bring through your Web site as a publisher, or through your own ads on relevant sites. Networks like Kontera offer advanced In-Text Advertising solutions. They guarantee the highest degree of relevancy between content, keywords and ads. This equals higher click-through rates and a nice return on your investment (as an advertiser) or conversion rate (as an advertiser or a publisher). Vibrant Media offers IntelliTXT technology, which reads a page and in real-time double-underlines words directly within the content and places sponsored links inside a relevant page’s text. Should the user click on an in-text ad, the site owner will make a commission. Miva MC is another great source for in-text ads that pop. Any InLine ad through Miva MC is 100% user initiated, meaning that a visitor must mouse over the underlined keyword in order to see the advertisement. Ultimately, this leads to a winning equation of added revenue for you without having ads take up too much page real estate. One possible undesirable result in that situation might be that advertising clutter eventually cuts down on page impressions. When it comes to online moneymaking, that is a no-no. Simple in-text links like those available through a program such as My-PayDayLoan are clean and can be highly effective.

    Great content keeps readers coming back for more. Great ads that blend with great content can boost your online revenue stream. With in-text keyword advertising, get your message before an interested audience or deliver a highly targeted ad on your own Web site that can net you significant commission per referral. Combine this technique with Pay Per Click advertising and other types of Affiliate Marketing and you are well on your way to mastery of making money online!

    Translating Online Advertising Material Into Other Languages

    If your business is heavily web-based, then you’re surely already aware of the Internet’s potential for reaching an international audience and for reaching it quickly via on-line advertising. To cater for your international customers, you’ll probably have your web site translated into the major languages spoken in the markets you are targeting. For many people, this part is relatively straightforward: you submit your copy to the translator, who will provide you a quote based on the volume of text and any other special requirements you may have, such as checking the translated text of web forms once they’re on line. But have you considered how you’re going to handle the translation of your on-line advertising material?

    If done properly, translating on-line advertising material differs from ordinary translation in some important ways. Firstly, a significant part of the material to be translated will actually be the keywords that you bid on or purchase rather than the ad copy itself. Translating keywords effectively is somewhat different to translating paragraphs of text for reasons we’ll see below. A good ad translator must also work differently to a colleague dealing with ordinary text when it comes to the ad text itself.

    The latter point may seem the more obvious but is worth expanding on. The advertising scheme that you are using will generally have restrictions imposed on them such as the maximum lengths of titles and other lines of the ad. The text of your ads was probably chosen to sound catchy rather than because a particular literal meaning was important. So to translate an on-line ad, it may be more effective to use an approximate translation that sounds catchy and adheres to the length restrictions. As an example of the kind of decisions the translator can make, there is a word in Spanish that can be used to translate “summer holidays” (“veraneo”) which is actually shorter than the general word for “holidays” (“vacaciones”). If the translator knows that your business or campaign is specifically dealing with summer holidays (and a good translator will always take the time to understand your business), they can use the shorter word which may be crucial when translating an ad title with a 25-character limit.

    The problems involved in translating advertising keywords may be less obvious. But think first about the process you went through to choose your keywords. You probably starting by picking some phrases that characterize your business. You may then have expanded this list by considering synonyms, possibly using a tool such as Google Trends to find the most likely synonyms that a user would search for. You would also have considered which combinations of these synonyms were most likely in English. For example, in British English, the words “hire”, “rent” and “let” have similar meanings, but “hire” is often associated with vehicles or industrial machines, “rent” with residential property and “let” with commercial property. Subconsciously, your choice of possible keywords was probably influenced by the grammar of English and the grammar of web searches. For example, you would probably chose “van hire” rather than “vans hire” or “van hires”, neither of which are usually grammatical in English. If you were running a holiday company, you might choose “minibreaks Paris” rather than “minibreaks in Paris”, because you know people tend to omit short function words like ‘in’ in web searches.

    When it comes to translating these keywords, you might naively think that you can look up translations of each individual word and do a search and replace on the list of keywords. Unfortunately, this will usually not be effective for several reasons. Where there are synonyms such as “hire”, “rent”, “let” in English, the foreign language probably won’t have exactly the same number of synonyms with a direct mapping between them. (In Spanish, for example, the two verbs “alquilar” and “rentar” can both apply to either vehicles or property.) So in the foreign language, you may need to consider combinations of words that you didn’t consider in English, and some combinations may not be viable.

    Some of the grammatical restrictions that affected your keyword selection in English may not apply in the foreign language. For example, in English the phrase “vans hire” is generally ungrammatical. But in French, Italian and Spanish (and indeed many other languages), the phrase would be common and grammatical with either singular or plural, leading to more keyword combinations to consider bidding on. And in these and other Latin-based languages, compounds are usually formed by inserting the word for “of” between the content words (e.g. “de” in Spanish and French, “di” in Italian). But in web searches, this word may optionally be omitted, so that in Spanish, for example, a Spaniard looking for “car hire” may search (among other things) for either “alquiler DE coches” or simply “alquiler coches”.

    Most subtly of all, the grammar of web searches actually differs from language to language. Some of my own research suggests, for example, that Spanish speakers are more likely to include the word “de” between content words than French speakers, and that Spanish speakers are more likely to pluralize words in their searches.

    Finally, recall that some on-line advertising systems offer a keyword tool which will suggest alternatives for you to bid on giving a starting list. You should also speak to your translator to see if they can assist you in choosing between the list of suggestions and advising you on their meanings where necessary.

    Newspaper Advertising Costs – 8 Factors To Consider

    Calculating and comparing newspaper advertising costs can quickly get complicated. Once you’ve tracked down a newspaper advertising rates card, you’re then faced with the delightful challenge of making sense of it all. There’s no “one size fits all” to make our lives easy. Instead, newspaper advertising costs depend on a number of factors, some of which you might find surprising. To answer the question, “How much does it cost?”, the answer would be: “It all depends.”

    8 factors that affect newspaper advertising costs (within the one publication) are:

    • type of ad
    • size
    • day of the week
    • section or lift-out
    • page position within a section
    • left hand side VS right hand side
    • colour VS black and white
    • annual spend/expenditure commitment

    In this article, I’ll discuss the 8 factors that determine newspaper advertising costs in Australia. I’ll also provide an example of how much it would cost to place a display ad in The Courier Mail (a Queensland newspaper). As you’ll see, newspaper advertising costs can quickly add up. If you’re on a tight budget, as many of us are these days, knowing what most affects the cost, allows you to cut back where you can.

    #1 Type of Ad – Display VS Classifieds VS Inserts

    The first factor that decides the cost of a newspaper advertisement, is the type of ad. Most Australian newspapers offer a number of different types. Display advertisements appear throughout a newspaper, and may use colours, illustrations, photographs, or fancy lettering to attract the reader’s attention. These provide a great deal of creative control over the content of the ad, without being limited to just text. They also aren’t grouped according to classification, unlike classified ads. Display advertisements are typically charged at a rate per single column centimetre. In other words, the height in centimetres and width in columns determines the cost of the advertising space. On the other hand, classified ads are typically charged based on ‘lineage’ or per line.

    Another form of advertising offered by most major newspapers are ‘inserts’ – separate advertisements that are placed inside the newspaper, and can have more than one page. Inserts are usually charged at a rate of per 1000 per number of pages. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to limit our discussion to display advertisements.

    #2 Size Matters

    The second factor that contributes to the cost of newspaper advertising, is size. As mentioned above, display advertisements costs are calculated based on their height in centimetres, and width in columns. Most newspapers have their own standard sized advertising spaces, which your ad needs to fit into. Some newspapers offer non-standard sized spaces, such as a ‘U’ shaped ad around the edges of an open paper, but be prepared to pay a higher price for irregular sizes and shapes.

    Let’s look at the standard sizes available in The Courier Mail, as an example.

    • “Small Page Strip”, 6cm high by 7 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day (based on a Mon-Fri Casual rate of $AU58.51) is $AU2457.42.
    • “Medium Page Strip”, 8cm high by 7 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU3276.56.
    • “Quarter Page Strip”, 10cm high by 7 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU4095.70.
    • “Horizontal Half Page”, 20cm high by 7 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU8191.40.
    • “Full Page”, 38 cm high by 7 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU15563.66.
    • “Vertical Half Page”, 38cm high by 4 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU8893.52.
    • “Vertical Third Page”, 38cm high by 3 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU6670.14.
    • “Vertical Quarter Page”, 38cm high by 2 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU4446.76.
    • “Portrait Half Page”, 28cm high by 5 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU8191.40.
    • “Portrait Third Page”, 20cm high by 4 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU4680.80.
    • “Portrait Quarter Page”, 20cm high by 3 columns wide, the minimum casual cost per day is $AU3510.60.

    Here you can see that the cost of a standard size display ad can range from at least $2457.42 per day for a small page strip, and up to at least $15563.66 per day for a full page advertisement. That’s an awful lot of money to invest in a single page, that will only be published on one day. Most of us simply don’t have that kind of cash to throw around, so you’d really need to know what you were doing. This example demonstrates how much the size of a display advertisement affects the price.

    #3 Day of the Week

    The third factor that contributes to the cost of a newspaper advertisement is the day of the week on which the advertisement is published. Typically, newspaper circulation is greatest on the weekends, and so the advertising rates for major Australian newspapers are adjusted accordingly. In our example of The Courier Mail, the rates are cheaper on a weekday, more expensive on a Saturday, and most expensive on a Sunday. For the most basic display ads, Saturday ads are 25% dearer than Monday – Friday ads, and Sunday ads are almost 90% dearer than Monday – Friday ads.

    This pattern may vary though, depending on the circulation of a particular publication. For instance, The Age is most expensive on a Saturday. To illustrate how much of a difference it makes – a small page strip ad in The Courier Mail on a weekday would be at least $2457.42, and the exact same ad run on a Sunday would be at least $4637.64.

    #4 Different Sections or Lift-Outs

    Most newspapers are divided into different sections and many have lift-outs – and this is the fourth factor that determines newspaper advertising costs. Different sections attract different readers and different volumes of readers, and so the advertising rates are adjusted to reflect this. For example, an advertisement placed in the CareerOne (Employment) lift-out in The Courier Mail, costs 2% more than the general section. The rates for CareerOne, also vary depending on the day of the week, as mentioned above. Some examples of other sections that may have different rates include: Adult Services, Funeral Notices, Real Estate, and Business.

    #5 Page Position Within a Section

    The next factor that can significantly affect the price of a newspaper ad, is the page number on which the ad appears, within a certain section. The most expensive part of the paper is typically the front section, which might include the first 10 or so pages, and is referred to as the “early general news” or EGN for short. In our example of The Courier Mail, page 2 in the EGN section attracts a 60% loading. Similarly, the first 11 pages have at least a 50% markup. This type of loading is common practice across Australian news publications. Now let’s say we wanted to place a small page strip ad in The Courier Mail on a weekday, on page 3 in EGN, the cost would be at least $4054.74.

    The first few pages and back pages of other key sections of the paper, such as Business, also attract a higher loading. For The Courier Mail, the very back page attracts a 65% markup. You can see how the page position of an advertisement can have a substantial influence on the price.

    #6 Left Hand Side VS Right Hand Side

    The next factor is also related to position of the ad, but relates to which side of an open newspaper the ad appears in. You might be surprised to know that, in some publications, an ad that appears on the right hand side of an open paper, will cost more than one that appears on the left hand side. This is to do with the way readers actually read a newspaper, and where their attention is focused. This factor may also be tied to the page position of an ad, and which section it appears in. For example, in The Courier Mail, for ads on pages 12 to 21, a right-hand side ad costs 5% more than a left-hand side ad.

    #7 Colour VS Black and White

    Another factor that substantially affects the price of a newspaper advertisement, is whether the ad features colour, and how many colours. Colour ads are more expensive than monochrome or black and white ads. Some newspapers may distinguish between multi-colour advertisements and those that only feature one added colour (called “spot colour”). For example, The Courier Mail charges 30% more for multi-colour display ads, and 20% more for ‘spot’ colour display ads. Remember, that this is combined with any positional loading.

    So let’s say we wanted our small page strip ad in full colour in The Courier Mail on a weekday, on page 3, that would be calculated as: $2457.42 + 30% colour loading = $3194.65 + 65% positional loading for page 3 = $5271.17

    You can see here how the cost of our ad has more than doubled after we’ve factored in the colour, and position of the ad.

    #8 Annual Spend/Expenditure Commitment

    Now here’s a factor that also affects the price of your newspaper ad, but this time it’s a decrease, with a catch, of course. If you have the budget, and are prepared to commit to spending a certain amount annually, usually by entering into a 12 month contract, then you may be entitled to a discount. However, the discount depends on how much you’re prepared to spend. For example, to qualify for a 4% discount on The Courier Mail’s advertising rates, you need to spend at least $38500 per year. If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’re not working with this kind of budget, so bye-bye discount.

    Just in case you’re curious, businesses that annually spend at least $2.3 million with the Courier Mail, receive a 13% discount. In my opinion, this form of discounting simply highlights how biased mainstream advertising is towards big business. Where’s the discount for all the struggling small businesses? But that’s another story.


    To sum up, those 8 factors again, and how they’ll affect the cost of your ad:

    • type of ad – display VS classifieds VS inserts – rates based on different measurement units
    • size – pay more for bigger ads
    • day of the week – weekends are more expensive
    • section or lift-out – early general news (EGN) is more expensive
    • page position within a section – front pages and back pages cost more
    • left hand side VS right hand side – RHS is dearer
    • colour VS black and white – pay more for full colour
    • annual spend/expenditure commitment – get a discount if you spend up big

    Now that you know what affects the price of a newspaper advertisement, you’re better prepared to decide where and how you want to spend your advertising dollar. If newspaper advertising seems beyond your budget, then it might be worth considering more cost-effective alternatives, such as online advertising.

    How to Advertise Your Business Online Cost Effectively: Advertising Ideas for Your Small Business

    Learning how to advertise your business online without losing your shirt can be mind-boggling with all the internet hype you see online these days.

    Quite obviously, if you’re a small business owner, you can’t afford to dish out thousands of dollars to purchase your own website, and Google pay-per-click will gobble up your money in no time!

    Pay-per-click is especially dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    Everyone who has been successful with paid advertising has admitted that you just have to be willing to “waste” a lot of money in the beginning until you figure out how to track your success and tweak your ad…

    … The idea behind pay-per-click is that you need a strong capture page to attract attention… but that’s not enough!

    Once you attract attention, the visitor clicks your link (and you pay) – but then you need a strong sales page to finish the deal – or you’re out some big bucks!

    So what do I suggest for how to advertise your business online without paying thousands of dollars on pay-per-click?

    Blogging is the new way of how to advertise for free, since the average buyer is looking more to be entertained than to be sold. And there’s no better entertainment and your own personal story-telling or video!

    Naturally, for the purpose of making the blog about how to advertise your business online, you’ll want to include links that go to good capture pages and sales funnels.

    Even if you learn how to advertise for free using a blogging system, you’ll need to setup a capture page, sales funnel and shopping cart. But your reader is drawn to your product initially by being attracted to your blog.

    How to advertise your business online using a blog… (learn what attracts people to your blog)

    The fastest action comes from social media, and the long-staying action comes from ranking your blog on Google. Contrary to popular belief, some of the top sites you’ll see on Google are blog sites…

    … but it depends on what you’re searching for.

    For example, my own personal blog is currently ranking top of Google for “Easy Money Making Blog”.

    What makes your blog rank highest?

    1. An authority domain

    What is that? Anyone can buy a domain (that’s the name of your blog.. most people just use their own name dot com. However, as businesses come and go, so do domains. The ones that Google will pay particular attention to are the ones that have been in operation longest – so domain age is a big factor.

    2. Social “likes” & comments

    The easiest way to explain this is that you need to build popularity on your blog for it to rank. Social commenting and tweeting will help a lot, so it’s best to syndicate your blog through Facebook, Twitter and other social sites each time you create a post. This will start the ball rolling.

    3. Backlinks

    When you have a good site, other sites linking to it (“track-back”) will help the popularity of your site. The more popular the site linking to your site, the more popular your site will become.

    But when you’re learning how to advertise your business online using a blog, you need to begin with keyword research…

    Google’s keyword external tool is actually not as easy to use as it used to be, so I prefer to use keyword research software. This will tell you not only how many people are searching for a particular phrase, but how much completion there is for you to get ranked.

    For example, the keyword phrase in this post, “how to advertise your business online” gets over 200 searches monthly, and the keyword phase “free advertising ideas” gets over 1000 searches monthly.

    If you’re trying to rank on Google for free, it’s mandatory that you frame your blog post around a keyword phrase that gets very little competition…

    Then, simply put that phrase into the “tag” section on your blog. The “long tail” phrase (several words) is notoriously easier to rank.

    For how to market a product, the more specific your phrase, the easier it is to rank.

    And, your blog visitor will also be more likely to be very interested in your offer. For example, if I’m looking to but a hairspray that works well for curling fine hair, I would be much more interested in reading a post about “hairspray for curling fine hair” or even “best hairspray for fine hair” as opposed to “best hairspray”.

    If you’re looking for how to advertise for free, blogging isn’t completely free, as you do have to pay a monthly fee for hosting.

    However, if you use the system often enough by blogging daily, you’ll find that blogging is the most cost effective way of how to advertise your business online available today.

    Local Small Business Advertising Ideas – Where to Get Them

    Local small business owners spend a great deal of money on advertising. Most of us never know if the advertising is paying off. Most never know if their advertising or marketing is any good at all. The problem is, we ask the wrong people their opinion. We ask our co-workers if an advertisement looks good. The CEO asks the treasurer what she thinks. The problem is that most of us are not experts in advertising. At most, we know what we like in graphic design.

    So, where do we get great advertising ideas? Most of us never look outside our doors for advertising or marketing ideas. The smarter small business owners look outside their doors to other, more successful, business owners…in the same business. That a smart way to look for ideas. Copy what works. It’s the franchise method. Test an idea, copy it, and deploy it to the vendors.

    Te problem with his idea is that everyone in your business has access to these ideas. They aren’t new. Soon you are copying the copier. You are playing “follow the follower”. My mentor Dan Kennedy calls this “Marketing Incest”.

    Most tested and proven small business advertising and marketing ideas are found completely outside of your core business. These ideas can then be tested and translated into any business you like. For example, I own a retail store and sell vacuum cleaners. But of the 42 separate marketing and advertising methods I employ, only one idea came from the retail industry. One out of forty two. In fact, the most profitable ideas I use come from the restaurant, medical, and insurance fields.

    The idea is simple. Find businesses that are actually owned by someone. Not major corporation, but businesses that have a leader calling the shots. Most successful companies have articles written about them and their CEO. In fact, there are hundreds of books out there on that hold all the marketing and advertising secrets these leaders used to grow their company. These ideas are plentiful, easy to find, and books are cheap.

    You can read a book about an entrepreneur, and I see what made them successful. Then you just have to imagine how that idea, at least the core of it, could be applied to your business. Most great advertising and marketing ideas are similar or even identical across all industries. A few tweeks is all it usually takers to generate a profitable new idea for your business.

    You can go to the library and take a day doing this; Look up magazines where there are direct mail ads running. Direct mail meaning that you can actually buy something from the ad, or at least request information. These are not brand building ads. Now find the same magazine from a year ago. Look at the ads. Which ads are the same from a year ago? Those ads are profitable. These are the ads to study. What do they have in common? A few hours of studying these ads will show you a pattern that great ads use. Now look at the ads that are there a year ago, but are not there now. What do they have in common? These are unsuccessful ads. What are the differences between a dozen of these unsuccessful ads, and the ones that are repeated for at least a year?

    Now imagine that these successful repeated ads were used to sell your product (or at least get a request for information). A few simple changes are all that’s needed for most ads.

    I know this is boring work. I know it isn’t exciting, and won’t make for a great story when you tell your friends about it. But if you want to know the most profitable way to get advertising and marketing ideas for your local small business or retail store, this is it.

    Some Ideas for Local Small Business Advertising

    Local small business advertising, although local and meant for a small business, is still advertising at its very best which on proper implementation can reap rich rewards but if neglected could push the fledgling concern into the deep schism of oblivion. According to the principles of business management, a small business must invest only 5% of its total resources in local advertising and this would reap a rich harvest only when judiciously allocated and channeled as per the advertising fundamentals.

    Even now in the contemporary age of technological advancement, the best recommendation for local small business advertising is by word of mouth. However, it is a method which wins publicity at a snail’s pace and hence an entrepreneur who is desirous of fast results feels compelled to use other methods to make his firm and product well known.

    One of the most popular mediums for local companies to publicize themselves is by listing themselves in the Yellow Pages. Visibility is the prime factor here and a prominently displayed ad is likely to draw not only inquiries but potential customers as well. Apart from Yellow Pages, advertising in the newspaper and local magazine also helps since these are directly delivered to the target audience and segments of population existing in the area.

    An attractive business card could well serve as the vehicle for local small business advertising as it simply needs to be handed over to the prospective client. Another way of effectively distributing business cards would be include these as a part of the direct mail which is sent within the geographical area surrounding the business and is much more personal in tone as compared to telemarketing or emails.

    May be acquiring a slot during one of the popular national events on television for airing one’s advertisement might be difficult or even impossible but the same is well within reach if aimed at the Cable television. Cable TV is meant for the local city dwellers and an ad flashed in it would not only pique people’s curiosity but would attract a lot of local interest as well.

    Having a vehicle with one’s company logo splashed across the sides is a method of local small business advertising which deserves more than just a thought. A colorful display or a magnetic quad sitting on the roof of one’s vehicle is a perfect way to catch the eye of the passers by and in case affordability is an issue then investing in a simple magnetic sign would also achieve the desired result.

    In towns and cities, people depend on buses for transportation due to which a prominent hoarding at the bus stop or sponsoring benches bearing the company’s logo for people to sit on is a good method of creating awareness. This would undoubtedly attract a mass audience but is dependent on permission being granted by the local transit authority.

    Trade shows, big and small, form an integral part of city life and participation in them is likely to earn one popularity as well as revenue. However, this opportunity needs to be capitalized upon in a proper manner in order to translate into profits and aiming for trade fairs which focus on particular industries is economical as well as result oriented for a small local business.

    Small Business Advertising Ideas: The Top 1% Of All Small Business Advertising Ideas Bring You Cash

    Guess what, if you are searching passionately for proven small business advertising ideas, you could not be in a better place.

    The mighty Google that you know and love has very much come out and revealed that local search will eventually be the biggest revenue stream for them.

    That is a massive statement. And it means that if you are not putting into place even a small business SEO campaign that features your top keywords based on location, you are handing money to your local competitors. Pity.

    Knowing that momentum is coming, it is your job to jump on board. And one of the best and fastest ways to do that is to start am article marketing process that features your top, localized keywords.

    A whopping 70% of all clicks on any given Google page are being gotten by the top four spots on that page. Everything after the bottom of Google page one is useless, but can you imagine that 70% of all the organic clicks are going only to those top 4 spots?

    Now, if you also knew that a man by the name of Bill Gates saw local search coming and predicted the demise of the Yellow Pages industry, how would that factor in?

    Gates knew. Google knows. Local small business search is where it is at and where it will stay. So you need to find the best way in.

    So how best to approach this? One of the top, most affordable small business SEO methods out there is article marketing. But this is article marketing done perfectly, creating tens of thousands of in-pointing links from quality sites that feature your localized keywords.

    With all of those links out there, all using your local keywords, your web page will not so slowly assume one of those top 4 spots for that keyword. It is a simple yet amazing SEO game that’s played by the best small business SEO services companies.

    Honestly, of all the small business advertising ideas out there, this is one that you can bank on.

    It is not easy to find an article marketing services company that will start with your best keywords and publish them in mass and then publish them and then point to those articles. But that is what you must demand.

    The real factor here is that all of those articles mean not a thing to you if they do not get found.

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