Usually, advertising doesn't come cheap, but it can be cost-effective—if you do your homework ahead of time and follow some best-practices.
Step 1: Set the benchmark for performance for each campaign
If you do not know what you are aiming for, you will hit it every time...
Before you spend your first dollar, ten dollars, or thousand dollars, know in advance the number of responses or impressions you need. Frame it this way: "I would call the campaign a success if..." Then answer the "if" part.
Don't be afraid to say "I need one call or signup or sale for every X amount of dollars I spend." It is the only way to set an objective goal for everything you try.
Knowing the specific results you want from each campaign will allow you to take the emotion out of your decisions and invest in what performs.
Step 2: Make sure your advertising fits your sales system
How and when you generate sales determines when and where you want to advertise.
- If you sell directly to your customer, ask yourself, "How many calls, leads, emails can I effectively handle in a day with my current sales staff or telemarketing center?"
- Consider how you handle each incoming lead. Do you have a system for outbound calls?
- Have you trained your sales staff to make outbound calls?
- What time of day do you generate the most sales?