"Target your advertising"“In our advertising message we sell flowers, in our shop our arrangements ‘second the customer’s emotion’.” Heidi Richards Mooney

One of the best ways to market your small business offline is with advertising. But not just any advertising and not just any medium.  Marketing small business with advertising is only effective when you know your target audience and ONLY advertise to them.

If you are using ads that only provide information and maintain a corporate image, your advertising will not be effective. It’s kind of like running in place – putting on your sneakers with nowhere to go. Ads like this can be a huge waste of money for the small business. Small businesses must instead use advertising that has a “call to action.” Advertising that turns a prospect into a customer. This is known as Direct Response Marketing.

Your primary goal in any offline or online advertising campaign should be to motivate the reader to respond, by using phrases and offers that suggest the reader run right over or contact you immediately.

What motivates you to purchase something from an advertisement? What about your customers, your employees, your friends? Find out what motivates them to purchase. Use it as your “call to action” in your advertising.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Does your current advertising have a sense of urgency with such words as Call Now? In your print ads, is your telephone number and website address larger? Do you use bold numbers in your ad? Does your ad say “offer expires today” or “good through ___?” If not, adding these two simple things will make your advertisement more effective. Not telling the reader or listener to Buy Now before the price increases, is a waste of your advertising dollars. Basic motivators in your “Call to Action” are security, success, greed, fear, recognition or solutions to problems such as ways to save time, money or effort.

The following are words and phrases that motivate people to respond, to take action:

· Discounts – “Buy 12, get one free,” or “10% off a purchase of $20 or more”

· Free one-hour consultation

· Free trial offer

· Free Gifts with purchase – such as “Stop in for a free Rose with purchase”

· Free 90-day subscription (No Risk)

· Guarantees – such as “100% money back” or “free replacement” no questions asked

· Special Assistance – such as a reminder program, which sends notices of special dates, last time purchased, etc.

A strong Call to Action, should at the very least, get a bigger response rate. TEST different word combinations and offers until you find a “formula” for a successful advertising message. And watch your small business grow. Marketing small business offline is not rocket science. But it does take a certain amount of finesse. And mostly knowing who your target audience is!