Summary: If you want better results from your advertising, and you're a small business owner, or an entrepreneurial decision-maker in large company, this could be the most valuable marketing book you read all year.
Because there are more proven, effective, immediately useful advertising tips and examples in this book than any other I can remember.
Advertising rookies will benefit from this because, if you read it early in your business career, you'll have far, far fewer bad habits to unlearn later.
Advertising veterans (like me) can pick up a half dozen new tricks every chapter on such topics as direct mail, offers, deadlines, headlines, premiums, holiday promotions, and sequential mailings.
Bottom line: If you have to feed your family tomorrow with the ads you write today, get this book.
1. Understand that there are 3 possible responses to every ad: "yes," "no," and "maybe later."
Key corollary: When you pay attention to people who say "maybe later," your profits will soar.
How to do it?
Follow up multiple times and offer valuable information that educates, informs, and ingratiates your business with your prospects. You can deliver marketing-based information to convert more "maybe" prospects into "yes" customers via web pages, email, direct mail, tele-seminars, webinars, brochures, articles, etc.
2. Think of your business card as a mini sales letter. Because it is one.
Your business card must stand out or get thrown out. Don't scrimp on this and get the $25 "name, rank, and serial number" type cards from Vista print.
Instead, put some thought into your business cards. What would you include on your cards if they were the only chance you had to impress prospects enough to call you? If you're stuck, Google "creative business cards" to get ideas.
3. You can't sell to people who don't know you exist.
This is actually the thesis of the book. Anything you can do to stand out and be memorable (within reason) will improve your advertising. Examples from the book include:
* mailing a sales letter inside a coconut, a bank pouch, a wastebasket, etc.
* personalizing your sales letters wherever possible with the prospect's name
* taping a rubber band, a nickel, or other "grabber" atop your sales letters
* tying your promotions to holidays, current events, prospects' birthdays, etc.
No, you don't have to dress up in a straitjacket and imitate the local used-car dealer on late night cable. But yes, you do have to get noticed to get customers.
Not only can you do it with your dignity intact, but you can use Outrageous Advertising to make your business fun again. That's important. Just as most cars rust out before their engines wear out, most small business owners tire of their businesses before their customers and markets tire of them.