Dear Business-Builder,

OK … so you’ve got a product on your hands. visit my online for more deatile. Maybe it’s your product. Or, maybe you’re a copywriter and it’s your client’s product.

The question is, where do you find the prospects that are most ready, willing and able to become your customers?

That’s the question I was asked recently. Well, actually, the question was a bit more specific:

“I have a new client selling jewelry items (ear rings, chains, broaches) targeted at those who feel patriotic about their country – and wish to display their pride on their clothing and body.

“We are discussing advertising in The National Enquirer-type of publication. Danbury and Franklin mint are consistent in there with products in similar price points.

“Where would I find mailing lists targeted at those who buy jewelry items at the $100 price point?

“What about lists of buyers who are patriotic – where would I find such a list?”

Soon as I read that question, I realized I’ve been woefully remiss in writing articles about advertising media. Should you begin with TV? Radio? A Web campaign? Print ads in newspapers or magazines? Direct mail?

I mean – it’s kind of an important question when you think about it. After all – the medium you’ll be using not only determines the cost of your promotion; it also is a major influence on the approach you’re going to take in your sales copy!

So today, we’re going to remedy that – with a basic, plain-English guide to selecting the advertising media that will give your promotions the greatest likelihood of success.

Or, alternatively titled …


Right off the bat, it helps to understand three all-important facts of life about selecting the optimal medium for your promotion …

FACT #1: There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. If you plan to rent a direct mail list, place an ad in a newspaper or magazine, buy time on TV or radio, plaster your business all over a billboard – or even buy space on the back of a matchbook – you might as well get used to it: You’re going to have to unlimber your checkbook.

Think you can dodge the media cost bullet by building your business on the Internet? … Maybe with affiliate programs, joint venture or per-inquiry (PI) deals?

Good luck! These programs are important, but your affiliates and joint venture partners – not you – get to decide if and when your ads run and by extension, if and when you’ll become a success.

To produce the big numbers of new customers you’re looking for, you’ll need to seize control of your own fortunes. And that means renting e-mail lists, buying banners on websites, signing on for pay-per-click campaigns — and unless you personally have the time and knowledge required, paying someone else to make sure the search engines can find your site.

FACT #2: Some Advertising Media Cost More Than Others. The rates a particular medium charges you are generally based on four things …

A. The number of people who will see your message: The number of people who subscribe, read, view or listen to a particular medium is often referred to as “impressions” or “eyeballs” – and the more eyeballs you get, the more you pay.

The cost of a medium divided by eyeballs tells you how much you’re paying to deliver your sales message to one prospect. Multiply that number times one thousand and you get that medium’s “cost per thousand” or “CPM.” CPM is the number that’s usually used to compare the cost of various media.

A 30-second television spot in a local market might cost you as little as $10/M. A red-hot direct mail list could cost you $150/M or more.

B. The size of your ad: In addition to the number of eyeballs you get, you also pay for how much time or space your ad will consume. Full-page ads cost more than little ones; 30-second commercials cost less than 30-minute infomercials. Even in bulk mailings, basic postage rates allow you up to three ounces of material. If you want to send more, you’ll have to pay more.

C. The type of people who will see your message: As a general rule …

Media that deliver your ad to the gray masses are the cheapest on a CPM basis: Billboards, general-interest newspapers and tabloids, local TV and radio channels, for example …

Media that deliver your ad to better-defined audiences cost a little more: Special interest magazines, cable channels and websites, for example …

And the media that put your sales message only in front of people who are most highly qualified to buy your product charge out the wazzoo: Highly selected direct mail and e-mail lists of folks who have bought your type of product through this kind of medium in the recent past are at the top of the media cost pecking order (and usually, well-worth it!).

FACT #3: Some Advertising Media Produce Higher Response Rates Than Others. If you ever had the opportunity to run the exact same sales copy on every medium available, you’d probably find that the percentage of folks who respond to your ad will be up to 100 times greater in some media than in others.