What Should I Do First?
If you do any print advertising you will find most ad reps try to sell you the largest ad possible. Everybody knows full page ads are the most effective, right? You'd be surprised...
Yes, in tests of readers, more people will remember a full page ad than will remember a 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8th page ad but the difference is much less than you'd imagine. In most cases (and most industries) the difference in recall is roughly this:
Full page 24% of readers recall seeing the ad
1/2 page 18% of readers recall seeing the ad
1/4 page 12-14% of readers recall seeing the ad
1/8 page 10-12% of readers recall seeing the ad
So, what we recommend to our clients is spread out your budget. If you have a limited budget (or even if you don't) I tell my clients to buy 1/4 page ads and buy in more papers. If you are in an area served by multiple local papers/magazines, you are better off running 1/4 page ads in 4 of them than running a full page ad in one of them. Ideally you want to run at least three times in each publication and always, always, always track your ads. Put a coupon and make sure that each paper has a different coupon code. At the end of the promotion figure out which publication got you the most leads/customers. I always track leads, customers and percentage of closes from each publication. I also determine the cost per lead and cost per customer from every publication that my clients advertise in.
If a publication gets me 50 leads but only 5 turn into customers and another publication gets me 20 leads but 15 turn into customers, most likely next year (next promotion) I will put more money into the second paper. Of course, you also have to look at the value of the customer. This year one of my clients actually had on publication where we only closed 25% of the leads vs 58% close rate at another publication but the customers from the first publication spent an average of $1,000 each while the publication that gave us 58% closing rate gave us customers that only spent $478. So the customers from the publication that gave us less sales, were worth more than twice the customers from the publication that gave us more leads and more sales. Next year (this is a seasonal company) we will advertise in both publications because both proved to be great for us.
I'm George Louvis