GENERATING LEADS THROUGH “FREE ADS”

Do you want leads or do you want to get actual orders right away? Again, be explicit when communicating your objective to your reader. Do you simply want them to fill out a coupon in order to receive more information, or do you want them to enclose a check or money order for a specific amount? Regardless what you want them to do, the choice is yours. Some products are better sold on a two-step basis, or what is generally called “lead generation” campaigns. Here are the two steps that take place.

  1. First Step: The ad explains brief info about the product and asks reader to write or call for additional information.
  2. Second Step: Readers who respond receive sales literature which encourages them to place an order for the product.

Some products are better sold using the two-step method. On the other hand, this method may prove extremely expensive for products that sell for under $100.

BUSINESS NAME

Your business name is a window by which customers (try to) judge what you’re made of, what your size is, what your aspirations are, and how sincere you can be. Many new businesses fall into the trap of creating such big names that they begin to sound bogus. Here’s a short checklist of do’s and don’ts about choosing a name.

  • Remember that your business name need not be your advertising name. Example, if your business name is Ross & Johnson Communications Services International Enterprises, you can use R&J Enterprises, or R&J Services, or R&J International.(Of course, a separate DBA filing is required.)
  • Avoid long names that will be too difficult for customers to memorize or spell. Using the above example, the full business name will be too long to fit on the payee line of a check.
  • Avoid names that are too difficult to spell. Also avoid foreign sounding names or surnames that may sound classy to you may actually be a turnoff to your customers.

USING THE RIGHT MAILING ADDRESS

Post office boxes are OK. But private mail boxes with a street address are even better. If you live (or have your office) in a city with a name that is difficult to spell or remember, get an address in the next city. For example, if your business is located in a city named Lauderdale Hills you may want to get a P.O.Box just a few miles away in Miami. Not only is the latter (Miami) more recognizable, it is also shorter and easier for the customer to spell.

CANADA & OTHER FOREIGN ORDERS

In most cases, foreign orders, particularly those from Canada, may represent 3% of the total orders you receive. If you gross $1 million ayear, this means $30,000 of that comes from outside the United States. Of course inter-national orders are a little bit more tedious to handle. To start with, their different ZIP/Postal Code system makes data entry a little more challenging. Keep in mind also that shipments to some foreign countries can cost $20 or more! This is one reason why international orders are usually penalized with a higher shipping & handling charge.Always require your international customers to pay you in U.S. Funds only. Make sure you specify this in your ad. Failing to do so will bring you unpleasant surprises.