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Better Business Idea # 25

Keep Using What Works

© 1999 by Michael C. Gray

May 27, 1999


Sometimes the greatest marketing treasures for a business are discovered by rummaging around what was done in the past.

What ads did the business use? What were the results?

What promotional campaigns were used for the business? What were the results?

An advertising truism is the businessperson is starting to get bored with his or her advertising just about the time the customers are starting to notice it.

Some businesses continue to use the same basic ad or salesletter for years. Have you noticed that you have been receiving the same sales letter from the Wall Street Journal forever? (You know, the one that tells the story of two men graduating from the same university at the same time. Years later, one is successful, the other isn’t. What’s the difference? The successful man reads the Wall Street Journal!) Why do they continue sending the same letter? Because they haven’t found anything that works better!

Once a sales letter, ad, or promotion works, it should become a "control" that you can test against. Don’t abandon it until you find something better, and maybe you can use both the "control" and the more successful ad in some way. Try to develop an ideal marketing combination that you can use consistently to make your business a "money making machine."

Here’s a great example and a useful marketing tip. For years, marketing guru Dan Kennedy structured his response device for his seminars so multiple credit cards could be listed, each for part of the amount of the seminar or order. Many people did use multiple cards. At some point, Dan stopped including the option on his forms. Why? "I don’t know. Maybe I should do it again."

If he can make this mistake, anyone can. Including you and me. But we can do something about it. Review your old files. Maybe you will rediscover a piece of hidden gold you can exploit again (and again)!

For new articles about how to improve your business, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

Just because an ad or sales letter is old doesn't mean you should stop using it. Look through the archives of your company and revive what worked.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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San Jose, California 95128
(408) 918-3162
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email: info@profitadvisors.com
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