How much do you spend on advertising? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 04-21-2004, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering how much the other WAHM's spend on advertising. I want to get my name out there more, but it is so expensive!

Do you have a rule of thumb as far as a certain percentage of your sales? Or do you have a set yearly/monthly amount?

How many different places do you advertise with?

Do you think it is smarter to advertise with a website that is specific to your industry (cloth diaper site, toy site, etc.) or a one that addresses a larger spectrum (general natural parenting site).

Thanks for any opinions on this!
Dana

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#2 of 16 Old 04-21-2004, 09:34 PM
 
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First read this article: How to Know if Online Advertising Is Right For You

In general, it is better to figure out where your customers are clustering and advertise at those places. Don't advertise your niche products on general sites.

Secondly, I set an ad budget that is equal to 5% of my profit. Whatever that is. Whether it's $100 or $1000, I reinvest 5% of the profits (not gross) into advertising. That way I am not sinking all my profits into ads that may not work.

thirdly, test the market. When you're starting out, make sure you don't have to commit to a long ad run. What if it is failing miserably the first three months and you can't stop it? Start out at places that go month-to-month.

Fourth, never ever place an ad that you cannot track yourself. So many people i know haphazardly places ads and then "think" they are pulling well. You don't know that unless you have tracking in place. Tracking could be a coupon code, or php source code, or other things. If you aren't tracking sales from each and every ad, you won't know which ads are working. CAncel ads that don't bring sales!

And lastly, test, test test! Create three ads, put them on a site or magazine and see which brings in the msot sales (not clicks or visitors, SALES!). When you find your best ad, replace the other ads with your best ad. 6 months later try new ads. You never know when you're going to hit on something sweet!

I hope that helps!
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#3 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 12:00 AM
 
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erin,

what is a php source code and how does it work?

jodi
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#4 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 02:14 AM
 
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I'll use an example:

When I want to track sales, I create a link that looks something like this (note the end):

www.domain.com/index.php?src=mothering

Then when someone clicks on that link, my website keeps track of the "src" part which in this case equals "mothering" If they go on to my order page, the "src" is carried with them. When I get an order, part of what I get is the "src" value, in this case, Mothering.

So then I know that sale came from somoene who clicked on a link I had at Mothering.com. I keep track of every single sale and where it came from. In this way, I can tell which of my ads are no longer effective and which make me the most money.

I can tell you, that I was extremely surprised by my results. Ads that got high click through rates did not always equal greater sales. Ads that got lower clicks resulted in better sales.

Now I know if paying for a sig ad is worth it or not because I've been trackign the effectiveness of these ads.

Okay, thing about the php code is that you have to set up the php code on your sales pages. This is tricky if you don't know php. I can do it for anyone who wants me to.

PM me if you're interested. It's not cheap though... however, I have found it to be invaluable because I've stopped wasting my money paying for ads that turned out to be ineffective.

So you can either spend the money on ads that you don't know are effective, or you can set up this tracking system and for years to come you will only spend money on ads that work. So in that sense, the set up fee is way worth it.
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#5 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 10:54 AM
 
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How about tracking print ads? By offering a discount code?
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#6 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 12:36 PM
 
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Yes for print ads you can use a coupon code.

Big companies sometimes use separate 800 numbers and track sales based on who called which number.

Also, when I do print ads, I'll use a redirect... so for example:

Buy this book now:
http://www.vegfamily.com/vegnews

I have that automatically forwarded to
http://www.vegfamily.com/rvc.php?src=vegnews

I can't put all that in the ad because no one will type all that in, so I put the name of the mag I'm printing in and keep it short.
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#7 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 02:28 PM
 
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I've also found that for me, I wasted a lot of money trying out print advertising! All of my sales have come from either my online banner ads or from sales at events, none from the various print ads. I've stopped doing print advertising because it is waaaayyyyy more expensive than online advertising and it may not reach my targeted audience.
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#8 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 04:13 PM
 
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I discovered the same thing. People read the mag and throw it away. No one is sitting there reading and sees your ad and says, "By golly, I need to stop what I'm doing and get to my comptuer right now!"

I agree that if you run an online business then online advertising is the way to go. There's nothing better than click and buy advertising.
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#9 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 04:57 PM
 
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I do this all the time! Or at the least I will dog ear a page and take a look later on in the day or week. I have found great products this way.


Quote:
Originally posted by Erin Pavlina
I discovered the same thing. People read the mag and throw it away. No one is sitting there reading and sees your ad and says, "By golly, I need to stop what I'm doing and get to my comptuer right now!"
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#10 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 06:26 PM
 
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Okay okay.... some people will remember to go back to your ad later. I concede.

One thing I really like about online advertising is that if you can get the person to click on your ad it's like getting them to walk into your store. Once they are on your site, you can wow them and make a sale quickly (if your site is doing it's job that is...)
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#11 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 07:14 PM
 
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Also, the difference in cost between print ads and online ads is phenomenal. To me it is worth potentially losing 1 or 2 customers from not advertising in print in order to save THOUSANDS of dollars /year!

I'm testing out my ad campaigns online, and then as I feel more confident about my marketing, I may venture back into print advertising. However, most of my business is from online mamas as found here on MDC (in fact it is almost all MDC mamas!)

Peace
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#12 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 07:42 PM
 
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Totally! A print campaing I am going to do is "throwing in" free on-line banner advertising for a year as part of our agreement. Double whammy!
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#13 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 08:14 PM
 
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RomansMamma - where are you going to be placing that advertisement? That sounds like a good idea!

Thanks,
kb
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#14 of 16 Old 04-22-2004, 09:03 PM
 
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ePregnancy mag/.com.
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#15 of 16 Old 04-23-2004, 02:11 AM
 
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Thanks RomansMamma... ya, you sure do rock!

I'm going to look into that one.

Peace,
kb
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#16 of 16 Old 04-23-2004, 06:13 AM
 
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PM me for contact info!
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