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Old 07-13-2003, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I have finished my ad purchasing for 2003 and I am thinking about 2004 already! LOL

I have ads out in print at
Compleat Mother
Mothering
Renewal
and occasionally the MomsNetwork

I have banner ads at
Mothering
Wahmall
occasionally Amitys

I am wondering, wahms, which ad spots have you found beneficial and which ones have left you "wanting".

For example, I have only received 2 known orders from my Compleat Mother ads! That really surprised me! I expected a higher response rate, but the one ad I put in the Mothering color section had over 260 requests for catalogs plus the many phone calls etc.

So I'm wondering if others have expereinced the same thign with their ads at Compleat mother?

And also, how important is search engine placement to you?

I don't know if I have seen it make a huge impact in our sales as much as our traffic.
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Old 07-13-2003, 08:36 AM
 
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so I have done Amity's and WAHMall only. I am saving for a Mothering Ad though.
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Old 07-13-2003, 09:27 AM
 
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We submitted to first engines first. Our promo guy recommended that highly to get started b/c we were obviously a 'no name.' Yahoo and Looksmart. Yahoo and Google bring in about 65% of our sales, so we find our placement to be very important for our key words.

Those advertisements that did little to nothing (closer to -0-) were the:
API Newsletter
Pregnancy
Baby Years
childavenue.com

We do not yet have a Mothering Ad, but instead focus primarily on advertising online.

Looking into Amitys
Diaper Pin is big for us
BTL brings in a few here and there

I'm wracking my brain here trying to remember all.

I exchange writing for advertising some, so that helps diffuse costs and is fun for me. I think a balance is good for us. In 2004 we are going to work toward print publications again. We do not put out a catalogue though - and so many times in print mags, they want a catalogue.
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Old 07-13-2003, 12:12 PM
 
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I know a lot about advertising partly because I sell ads on VegFamily and I also buy ads elsewhere.

The one thing I can tell you that is imperative is that you must be able to track the effectiveness of your ad or don't waste your time and money.

You want to track sales, not just clicks and click through rates.

I did an experiment on my own site. I had 5 different types of ads going for my book: banners, pictures, text, newsletter, etc.

My hubby helped me design a tracking code for every ad. I saw that my banners were getting a 1.2% click through rate. Excellent! But ZERO sales!! The image ad I have on my left side bar gets a .2% click through rate (low) but generates 50% of my sales! Bingo! If I hadn't tracked the actual sales from the ads, I might have gotten rid of the side bar ad and left the banners!

Before I ever pay for advertising I do some calculating. Here is my formula for how well I think something is going to work:

You need to know the cost of the ad, how many impressions you're going to get, and the average click through rate on those ads. Ask the company, they should tell you what rate to expect.

Okay, so let's say the cost of the ad is $50, for 10,000 impressions with a 1% click through rate.

You can expect 100 clicks on your ad. From there, you can expect a 1-2% conversion rate (sales). So that's 1-2 people buying the product you're advertising.

Now, ask yourself if the profit from 2 sales is worth more than the cost of the ad ($50). If it is... run the ad. If it isn't, it's too risky but you can try it. If it doesn't even come close to the cosst of your ad, then the price is too high and you won't make back your cost.

I wrote an article to help people who want to advertise on the web understand some of the nuances. It's called 8 Crucial Questions to Ask Any Company Before You Advertise On Their Website.

http://www.vegfamily.com/advertising-questions.htm

I have a lot of knowledge in this area so if any one wants to pick my brain, please feel free. I'm so glad to see this new forum!
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Old 07-13-2003, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't wait to read it!
Thank you so much!
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Old 07-13-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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unfortunately I can't afford to do too much advertising. I did the one week highlight at diaper pin and that was a bust...

Erin that is great advice but what if your site has no real way of tracking?

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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Old 07-13-2003, 10:15 PM
 
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I need help with that. Where do I put them at? I use a store through wahmshoppes..
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Old 07-13-2003, 10:32 PM
 
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like this
<html>
<head>
<meta name="description" content="All in one diapers">
<meta name="keywords" content="AIO, All in one diapers, free range baby, kushies, bumkins">
<title>All in one diapers</title>
and then the body of your page

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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Old 07-13-2003, 11:40 PM
 
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flminivanmama,

When you buy advertising at say an online site, their software should at least allow you to track impressions and click through rates. That won't give you sales info, but it's an important piece of the puzzle. If they don't offer the ability to track those clicks, be suspicious.

To set up tracking for your ads, I would suggest using PHP. There's a really simple set of coding you can do for your sales pages that will tell you what ad a person clicked on who then went on to order from you.

For example, for my book info page, instead of sending the person to http://www.vegfamily.com/book/index.htm I send them to:

www.vegfamily.com/book/index.php?src=mdcforums

When someone clicks on my link the source of "mdcforums" folllows them all the way through my site until they order.

Okay it's a little complicated to explain here, but it's a fairly simple set up. When you send a banner ad or any other type of ad to a company to post for you, give them the whole string, including the src=mdcforums or whatever you want to code it.

You also have to make sure your site is set up to handle php. Some of the free web hosting sites wont' offer that.

Another way to track sales effectivenes is with a unique coupon code. Mention VB098 to get your 10% discount, and everyone who uses that coupon code came from that particular ad. Know what I mean?
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Old 07-13-2003, 11:52 PM
 
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I've advertised at Diaperpin and at Wahmall. I found that Wahmall was a complete waste of money.

Erin,

Stupid question. What do you mean by the image you have on your left sidebar?
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Old 07-14-2003, 12:53 AM
 
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If you go to www.vegfamily.com and look on the left there... you'll see a large picture of my book cover. That's the image on the left sidebar. I call the left navigation column of my site the side bar. I have a right side bar and a left side bar.
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:08 AM
 
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Check out Google AdClicks, too. You control how much you spend, and you can see how many people click through. Just go to www.google.com and click on advertise with us.

This has been my favorite. I also advertise with EcoMoms, which is great for ad co-ops (some of you are there already, lol), at Amity's, and I took an ad in Moms Network Exchange (print) too. Oh, and Susan's World Of WAHM's, just to see what happens.

Jennifer
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:50 AM
 
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I'm advertising in both the Northwest Attachment Parenting
and API publications. The API one hasn't come out yet, so
I don't have any results to share yet. The NWAP one just
came out recently and so far, no bites.

I also put my link in my sig. file

I wish I could afford to do more!!
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Old 07-14-2003, 04:31 AM
 
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With my host, I can view my site statistics that are updated at least daily, and I think it may be much more frequent than that, perhaps hourly.
Anyway, I currently have advertising with:
Print~
Compleat Mother
Mothering Mag
Web~
WAHMall
Amity's Banner
MDC Sig line
Diaper Pin

That's about all. I only started using paid advertising in April, but that is when my sales really took off.

Erin, that is awesome info you have to share. I can see exactly how many click throughs I get, but I honestly do not know where a lot of my sales come from. I asked a few customers how they found my site, and most of them said they didn't remember, they were just surfing and found me. A few definitely said it was from reading reviews at Diaper Pin and MDC though. I may just try the coupon code, although I do not know how to set it up through my shopping cart.......
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:53 AM
 
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hey! I'm an Andrea Kim too! that's funny

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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Old 07-14-2003, 10:17 AM
 
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i have banners at:

amitys
YAAPS
Diaperpin (and a directory highlight)
Borntolove
WAHMALL
and LOTS of banner exchanges

I pay for print advertising in:
Mothering (every month for 1 yr in the mother to mother section)
Pregnancy
Baby Years
Veg baby
Renewal


i have found that i can attribute VERY few sales to a particular ad...i am getting VERY frustrated. Saving my pennies to do a reader response ad in mothering...which will BREAK my budget...but hoping it is worth it....:
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:18 AM
 
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google adwords ........REALLY REALLY REALLY expensive for the keywords i used.....lots of click throughs, hardley any direct sales
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:24 AM
 
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and also got very little benefit and cancelled it.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:10 AM
 
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Haven't read other responses, so sorry if this is repeating

The only ad $$ I've spent is on Google's Adwords, and did that for about 3 months. I was very picky about the search word keywords I paid for, and got numerous sales from those little pink boxes!! It increased my traffic tons, but what it did best was bump me up in the regular search engine placement. I was on the first page of every search engine (since virtually all of them now use google's technology) within 2 months. Then I stopped doing the adwords, and I'm still on the first page for all the keywords that were important to me. About 1/3 of my sales now are directly from search engines
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:35 AM
 
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I am just in the process of building my own website, so thanks for all the great things you talked about here! I am surprised how many companies are out there for cloth diapering! WOW! Do you all have enough business at all?
Thanks Erin for your great advise!! I might contact you about advertizing on your website eventually.
Pavlina
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:13 PM
 
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My husband was doing the Google Ad Click sponsored link thing and although he got a lot of clicks, he got very few sales from it. It seems like mostly a lookie-loo thing, at least for certain keywords.

I find the best places to advertise are the places that are most highly targeted. At VegFamily I only allow advertising that is vegan or parenting related; consequently, my visitors know that every ad on the site is specifically suited for them.

I did a survey of my readers to find out if the advertising bugs them or not. Resoundingly they responded, "No, we count on the advertising to know what vegan and parenting products to buy!" I was so glad to get that feedback because I knew it meant I was on the right track.

Other veg sites have ads for phone cards, credit cards, cars, investment companies, "win a prize by clicking the monkey" which dilutes their advertising because people learn to ignore the ads. They don't ignore the ads on my site and consequently my click through rates are sometimes 10-15 times the industry average.

But I've worked very hard to make sure my advertisers are well taken care of.
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:17 PM
 
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I have been back and forth with wanting to do ads at your site and you are making it tempting. Just need more money,lol.
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:54 PM
 
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Our products are not vegan related but definetly parenting and family related. Alternative health has to do with every family
Just like Aubrey organics....
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Old 07-14-2003, 03:02 PM
 
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Yeah, healthful living products are okay.
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:35 AM
 
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Print:
Compleat Mother
a group ad in Mothering this issue, I'd like to do more
group ad in epregnancy once

Online:
Banner at Amity's
Daily diaper/sig line here at mothering


I have seen a response from my Mothering ad; I did get some sales from Compleat Mother but not a huge amount (that I know of); I do the most from Amity's and Mothering.com

HTH!

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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Old 06-12-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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I'm considering doing Natural Family Boutique and have started going through old WAHMWell posts for info. I found this thread to be useful so I thought I would bump it up and see what other WAHMs have to add.
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Old 06-12-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grisandole
Print:

a group ad in Mothering this issue, I'd like to do more
group ad in epregnancy once


HTH!
What is a group ad? I'd love to put an ad in Mothering mag, but can't afford it. Is it possible to share space for an ad? Will they let you do that?

Mom to three and owner of Earthetarian Happy, healthy and handmade.
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