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Common Advertising Mistakes
by Jim Peters

Opportunity Update

One of the mistakes most often made is not looking at your product or service announcement from the point of view of your customer. Stand back and look at what you are offering, how can you present that service or product in such a way that it will appeal to you. If you are offering a service, why should someone buy it from you, rather than the other 1000 people offering that same service? Sometimes it's a little tough to be objective when looking at your own ad copy. I look at ad copy everyday and to be honest I'm really shocked at some of the things that I see.

I'll save space here by not repeating all of them. Rather I will list a few ways to get your offer, be it newspaper, direct mail or e-mail, thrown in the trash immediately. There may be some things here you don't want to hear or believe, but take my word for it the things I'm listing can make the difference in success and failure.

I will talk only about your initial contact advertising, follow up contact takes a completely different tack. Listed here, not necessarily in their order of importance, but rather in the order in which they can get your message trashed, are just a few of those mistakes.

Not addressing your offer to the recipient. (I know, you can't take the time to address all that mail.) I would say at least 50% of the people receiving e-mail not addressed specifically to them, will immediately hit the delete key. If your offer is so fantastic that you can loose 50% of your audience right out of the gate, by all means send out mail with your self both as the sender and the recipient. Or addressed to friend@whatever.com. You get the idea. You will also find this tactic addressed in the anti spam legislation. ( Note: This does not apply when sending mail to an opt in list. )

Using a vulgar or unrealistic sender address. I'll leave the vulgar to your imagination. As far as the unrealistic, dontmiss@this.com or just4u@me.com again you get the idea. You will also find this tactic addressed in the anti spam legislation. For the sake of ease (math was never my long suit) let's say this tactic looses you another 10%.

No subject or a subject that causes an immediate delete. Now what could be a subject that could cause that? Well, how about: EARN A MILLION DOLLARS WITH JUST 1 TIME INVESTMENT OF $20. 00 or any variation of that theme. Again you get the idea. Now you may well be saying to yourself, but that's what my program offers. That's wonderful, but in order to get someone interested in that program, a different approach is needed. Something like: Income Opportunity 5 minutes of your time could be the difference. or: Home business opportunity! Let's Talk. What can a grandiose subject line cost you? We'll say another 10%.

The cc: field filled with dozens of addresses or the To: field for that matter. If you need to send the same e-mail to more than 1 recipient use the bcc: field. If your mail program does not offer a bcc: field GET ONE THAT DOES! There are so many reasons for this it would take another entire article to address all of them. But the main one in my opinion is you do not have the right to advertise those addresses to the world. It is very bad netiquette. You loose another 10%

HTML other than URLs. There are many, many people out there that don't have the $10,000 set up that you have, and their mail programs DO NOT translate HTML into anything but gibberish. If you want your message to be read, write and send it in plain text. The percentage here is probably higher but again we'll say 10%.

Sending e-mail the size of War and Peace. Here again there are a number of reasons not to do this. Besides the main one, there are a lot of people out there that are limited in the amount of space their mail server will allow. Mine (yes, I still maintain one of those free addresses) for example is 2000k. When my inbox, saved mail and drafts exceeds that amount my mail STOPS. Not 1 day goes by that I don't receive at least one 75 to 100k e-mail. 20 of those and I'm out of business. The other important reason, the recipient just won't take the time to read a book in their e-mail. A message of that length needs to be on a web page. Oops we lost another 10%.

Ok, let's examine what happens when we make all those mistakes in sending out 1000 of our e-mail ads. Right off the bat we loose 50% by not addressing our offer to the recipient. That reduces our mailing to 500. We loose another 10% for our return address. We're down to 400. 10% more for no subject, now we're at 300. We decided to advertise those addresses our up-line sent us to the whole world and lost another 10%. Now we're down to 200. Our new e-mail program is really neat and we put flowers and red, white, and blue stripes on our outgoing messages, now we're down to 100. We had such a great story to tell and we were just so excited about all the neat stuff we spent 2 whole hours writing down every detail. You just lost your last 100 potential customers.

Granted, I have never received a single e-mail that contained all of those mistakes, but it only takes 1 or 2 to significantly reduce your response rate. You can't afford to let all your efforts and hard work go to waste by making these easily correctable mistakes.


Article by Jim Peters, Publisher of The Opportunity Update International Business and Marketing E-Zine.

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