1) What's the most profitable way to use classifieds?
Classifieds are best used to build your mailing list of qualified prospects. Use classifieds to offer a free catalogue, booklet or report relative to your product line.
2) What can you sell "directly" from classifieds?
Generally, anything and everything, so long as it doesn't cost more than about $25, which is about the most people will pay in response to an offer in the classifieds. These types of ads are great for pulling inquiries such as: Write for further information; send $6, get two for the price of one; Dealers wanted, send for product info and a real money maker's title.
3) What are the best months of the year to advertise?
All twelve months of the year!
Responses to your ads during some months will be slower in accumulating, but by keying your ads according to the month they appear, and a careful tabulation of your returns from each keyed ad, you'll see that steady year round advertising will continue to pull orders for you, regardless of the month it's published.
I've personally received inquiries and orders from ads placed as long as 2 years previous to the date of the response!
4) Are mail order publications good advertising buys?
The least effective are the ad sheets.
Most of the ads in these publications are "exchange ads", meaning that the publisher of ad sheet "A" runs the ads of publisher "B" without charge, because publisher "B" is running the ads of publisher "A" without charge.
The "claimed" circulation figures of these publications are almost always based on "wishes, hopes and wants" while the "true" circulation goes out to similar, small, part time mail order dealers.
Very poor medium for investing advertising money because everyone receiving a copy of a seller, and nobody is buying.
When an ad sheet is received by someone not involved in mail order, its usually given a cursory glance and then discarded as "junk mail".
Tabloid newspapers are slightly better than the ad sheets, but not by much!
The important difference with the tabloids is in the "helpful information" articles they try to carry for the mail order beginner.
A "fair media" for recruiting dealers or independent sales reps for mail order products, and for renting mailing lists, but still circulated amongst "sellers" with very few buyers.
Besides that, the life of a mail order tab sheet is about the same as that of your daily newspaper.
With mail order magazines, it depends on the quality of the publication and its business concepts.
Some mail order magazines are nothing more than expanded ad sheets, while others strive to help the opportunity seekers with on-going advice and tips he can use in the development and growth of his own wealth-building projects.
5) How can I decide where to advertise my product?
First of all, you have to determine who your prospective buyers are.
Then you do a little bit of market research.
Talk to your friends, neighbours, and people at random who might fit this profile. Ask them if they would be interested in a product such as yours, and then ask them which publications they read.
Next, go to your public library for a listing of the publications of this type from the Standard Rate and Data Service catalogues.
Make a list of the addresses, circulation figures, reader demographs and advertising rates.
To determine the true costs of your advertising and decide which is the better buy, divide the total audited circulation figure for a one inch ad: $20 per inch with a publication showing 10,000 circulation would be 10,000 into $20 or $2 per thousand.
Write and ask for sample copies of the magazines you've tentatively chosen to place your advertising in.
Look over their advertising - be sure that they don't or won't put your ad in the "gutter" which is the inside column next to the binding.
How many other mail order type ads are they carrying - you want to go with a publication that's busy, not one that has only a few ads.
The more ads in the publication, the better the response the advertisers are getting, or else they wouldn't be investing their money in that publication.
To "properly" test your ad, you should let it run through at least three consecutive issues of any publication.
If your responses are small, try a different publication. Then, if your responses are still small, look at your ad and think about re-writing it for greater appeal, and pulling power.
In a great many instances, it'd the ad and not the publication's pulling power that's at fault!