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16 February 2011,
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16 February 2011
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You ignore the results of your ads at your own peril.

You ignore the results of your ads at your own peril.

I made the biggest loss of my life by doing just that. I did a test mailing. The results were poor. I came up with a hundred and one reasons why the poor response wasn’t really poor at all. I rolled it out – and guess what.

The test results were accurate.

Had I listened to the market, I would have cancelled the project and taken a small loss. Instead I took a big loss that set me back for years.

It’s easy to second-guess the market. You can always rationalize poor results.

If you fall in love with your ad (and it’s easy to do – it’s your baby, and you’ve put a lot of effort into creating this ad) and it doesn’t work, you’re naturally going to be disappointed.

Try and cultivate an objective- a dispassionate attitude to the results. It can be hard – but it’s worth it.

For example, imagine (especially when the results don’t meet your expectations) that the results are comments on your ad given to you by a fair but firm critic.

Listen to what this critic has to say and learn.

Every time you do something that doesn’t work, you can learn from it. Don’t make ‘mistakes.’ Instead, have learning experiences.

In my opinion, the only real mistake in life is to make the same mistake more than once.

One Last Rule: Never Put Everything in Your Advertisement.
Every time you write an ad, pull out all the stops except for one or three.
Keep something back so that your customer will be pleasantly surprised.

[For example, you were promised 21 Ways … but I’ve given you 22. Or 33 – depending on how you count them.]

People expect ads to be full of hype. They discount your claims and promises because they’ve been burnt before.

In a good ad, you build up expectations. If you meet those expectations precisely, you have a satisfied customer.

If what you deliver falls below those expectations, you have a dissatisfied customer – someone who won’t come back. And worse: someone who’ll tell all her friends about her bad experience.

Just as the best form of promotion is word of mouth, so is the worst form.

If you exceed those expectations, you have a satisfied and very happily surprised customer- a customer who’ll come back and buy from you again.

You may pay the rent by making one-off sales. But the way to get rich is to create customers for life- people who’ll come back and also bring their friends to you.

First impressions are Last(ing) Impressions.

As a rule, the most important impression you ever make is your first impression. It’s not impossible to change that first impression. But it’s VERY difficult.

Each ad you run generates dozens, if not thousands of first impressions.

That first impression will last, possibly for the reader’s lifetime.

You should always work on the basis that you’ll never have an opportunity to change your initial impact -that your first impression will also be your last impression.

That will be true nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of every thousand.

You can increase the power and profit of your existing ad simply by changing the way it looks- Its size, its layout and its typography – or even where you run it.

I haven’t talked about copywriting although inevitably some of the suggestions I make may lead you to make changes in headlines or copy.

And I’m sure that you’ll come up with some other great ways of your own.

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Business is a commercial, profitable enterprise, that works without the owner. If you want to GROW your business, INCREASE your PROFIT, and have TIME to enjoy it,

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Bradley J Sugars CEO & Founder of ActionCOACH

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