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5 Profit-Draining Mistakes You Make In Your Advertising Every Day And What You Can Do About It.- Part 4

Furniture World News Desk on 10/28/2013

Let’s review in case you’ve missed one or more of my previous articles.

Whenever I say “ad” I mean any means you use to communicate with your customers and prospects. ROP, circulars, web site, direct mail, whatever.

People buy for one reason and one reason only: to get the BENEFIT of what they’re buying offers.
Your salespeople do a pretty good job of explaining benefits to the customer in the store.
You don’t do a good job of talking benefits in your ads.

Prospects and customers are hungry for information and will read any amount of copy if it’s interesting, helpful and serves their self-interest.

I spent all day Saturday at the High Point market. While enjoying coffee and a snack at the North American Home Furnishings Association (I’ll be forever saying NHFA) Resource Center café I overheard a very interesting conversation between two retailers. One asked the other how last weekend was. He had run a full color circular. The other said, “Pretty good.” I bet you’ve had that same conversation yourself with friends in the business. It was all I could do not to butt in and ask was it pretty good because the circular pulled well or because they just did some pretty good business.

If I asked you that same question, my guess is that you wouldn’t know. Now I'm going to say something that is probably pretty foreign to you. All your marketing efforts should have some aspect of direct response. If you're not familiar with the term “direct response” here’s what it means. Direct-Response Marketing is a type of marketing designed to generate an immediate response from consumers, where each consumer response (and purchase) can be tracked, measured, and attributed to a specific ad. (For an excellent example see page 6 of my Free Special Report at www.lovefurnitureprofits.com.)

The whole aspect of direct response is too much to go into here, but suffice it to say that probably 99% of all retail advertising is not direct response. Unless someone happens to come in and ask to see the recliner that was on the front of the circular you never know how that prospect came to your store unless you ask.

I recently did a full color circular for a regional mattress store chain. In the flyer we offered free tax and a free set of sheets with any Posturpedic or Beautyrest purchase. There were coupons in the flyer and the consumer had to bring it in to get the free stuff. It was not offered in the store. Note: the salespeople were allowed to offer the sheet and/or free tax if they needed it to close the sale. Whether or not you would do this depends on much latitude you give your salespeople. The point is, we were still able to track response from the ad.

The response was so good it prompted one of the store managers to say, “We’ve never had people bring in the ad before.” There were many other elements at work in that flyer. Strong benefit headlines for the sale and for the individual items. Benefit laden body copy for the sale, the items and for this store as the place to buy. They all combined to produce a 43% increase over the comparable weekend the year before. And we knew exactly who came in because of the flyer. Note: if you’d like a free PDF of this flyer, send me an email to david@lovefurnitureprofits.com. Put Flyer in the subject line.

There’s an additional aspect of accountability for your advertising dollars. My guess is you force every part of your business to justify the dollars spent in that area, except advertising. Let’s say you budget 6% of gross sales to advertising. You spend that much without much thought of how much business came directly from that 6%. This could be an entire article in itself.

I don’t remember who said this. Might have been some furniture retailer. “I know half of my advertising money is being wasted, I just don’t know which half.”

Next week in article #5 we’ll summarize and close out this series. If you have a topic you’d like me to address, or a question, please shoot me an email, no later than Thursday, to david@lovefurnitureprofits.com and I’ll tackle it for you.

David Love is the owner of Love Furniture Profits. An advertising consulting and coaching firm that shows retailers how to get more traffic, more and higher ticket sales and more profits using long-lost scientific advertising secrets unknown by about 99% of all of today’s retailers.

David is a 41 year furniture/mattress, in the trenches, industry veteran. His unmatched-by-anyone background includes retail furniture sales. Manager of a retail furniture store. 22 years on the road making money for companies like Sealy Mattress and Best Chairs. His territory and his retailers achieved sometimes remarkable sales increases due to the expert advertising and sales advice he gave. He has also owned and sold his own profitable furniture store and was a highly regarded sales manager of a top 100 furniture store.

With his front-line experience he has a passion for passing it on and sharing that experience to help furniture and mattress retailers cut advertising waste and maximize sales and profits.
To find out more get your free copy (a $29 value) of his just released, breakthrough Special Report for Furniture and Mattress stores, “5 Long Lost Scientific Retail Advertising Secrets that work like magic in today’s economy for any furniture or mattress store to get you more ready-to-buy customers, more sales, more profits” go right now to www.lovefurnitureprofits.com. David can be reached 707-580-3415. david@lovefurnitureprofits.com.
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