Don’t Give Up On Print Advertising

We were recently working on a project with one of our client’s on a print campaign. We tested three different print ads to see which one would perform best. When testing the three ads, we determined that one of the ads significantly out performed the other two, but the cost per lead was still too high. At this point, as an Internet marketing company, we find that a lot of business owners and marketers give up on print advertising, while believing that it’s too expensive and it does not work cost effectively to generate leads. This may be the case, but you don’t want to give up too early.

There are many variables that impact the cost per lead of a print ad, from the ad itself, to the landing page, to the cost of the ad, to what’s included in the actual ad campaign. Let’s take a look at what you can do to reduce the cost per lead of your print campaign. We would recommend continuing to split test the print ad itself. Using our client as the example, since we know that one of the ads performed best, we discontinue the poorer performing ads. Then, we test different changes to the best performing ad (control version) to see if we can improve response and the number of unique visitors that are driven to the landing page.

In terms of the landing page, we also want to split test changes to the landing page, commonly referred to as a squeeze page, to see if we can improve results. We want to test three major components. The first component to test is the headline. The second component is the offer and hero image of the offer. And the third is the web form, which includes the submit button.

When it comes to the cost of the print ad, it’s important to keep in mind that publications love repeat advertisers and they don’t want to lose them. We have purchased a lot of advertising for clients and we can tell you that your print broker will listen to you if you explain that your cost per lead is simply too high and you need them to work with you on the price. The way that you can approach things is by telling them that you’d like to advertise long-term with them, but your cost per lead is simply too high for it to be feasible. Be open with them and tell them your actual cost per lead as well as your target cost per lead. Chances are that they will reduce the price to help you out and retain you as a customer.

Lastly, if they are not able to discount the print campaign enough for it to be viable, ask them if they have remnant (unsold) inventory in other marketing channels, such as banner advertising, newsletters, etc. Quite often, publications do have unsold inventory that they are willing to provide free of charge so that they don’t lose the print advertising.

As you can see, there are many ways to make print advertising work on a cost per lead basis. It’s just a matter of working at it. We believe that it’s vital to maximize the number of lead generation channels that you can cost-effectively use to scale up your business and marketing. By depending on a single channel you’re at risk of that publication or vendor making a changes that will significantly impact your business. By using multiple channels, you will be spreading risk, while maximizing traffic and sales.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.