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About This Q & A
This is one of dozens and dozens of Questions and Answers found in the members-only area.

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Webmaster's Q & A
Question: I recently ran an ad for [her product]. My web site traffic increased, but no sales were made. In fact, not that many even visited the page for [the product]. Before I waste more money on another ad can you offer any advertising advice?

- Submitted by Shandice L.

Answer: Shandice advertised a feminine product that I prefer not to mention by name here. That's why I substituted [my text] for the product she named. She also sent a copy of the ad she ran, along with a some other information. You don't need to know all the details to learn something from my answer. Not that I'm not an advertising expert, but, thus having qualified my comments...

I see three problems with your first advertising attempt. First, the product you advertised doesn't really fit the ezine you ran the ad in. Running an ad for a product that appeals only to women in an ezine about NASCAR racing is poor targeting.

Now ladies, I know many of you enjoy NASCAR, so don't redline your motor because I said that. The fact is, the majority of subscribers to that ezine will be men. If you want to sell a product for women, you need to advertise where most of the subscribers are women. That's how you get the most horsepower for your buck. I understand the low ad price was attractive at first, but when the results are zero sales, the cost per sale blows a gasket. Not targeting the right demographic group was your first mistake.

Your second mistake was that link in your ad was to your web site's home. Most people clicking the ad link would expect to be taken straight to the product page. Instead, anyone responding to the ad had to hunt for the product you advertised. The link to the product on your home page wasn't easy to find at a glance, and once found, it was two clicks away from the product you advertised. Perhaps you hoped people would discover your other products by sending them to the home page instead of the product page, but I'm guessing anyone with less than a very keen interest said "oh well" to themselves and moved on. Not sending them to the product page was an unnecessary obstacle you put in their path.

Your main purpose in running the ad is to get people to the page for the product you're advertising. You want them to read your sales copy, not to hunt for your sales copy. Many times, advertisers create a special landing page for each ad they run. It's easy to measure the response to the ad when you make a special page for each ad campaign. As it is, you don't even know if the extra traffic you received was from your ad or because your site received publicity elsewhere, or if it was just a lucky day traffic-wise. I know my web site traffic can fluctuate by thousands of unique visitors per day.

A special landing page would have told you how many people came as a result of your ad and allowed you to calculate a sales ratio. The sales ratio is how many people visited the page divided by the number sales, which in turn tells you what it cost you to acquire each sale. That can tell you if you need to make changes and how much you can afford to pay for advertising before you start to lose money.

The third mistake is that your sales copy needs work. Lots of work. It's littered with misspellings, incorrect grammar, and excessive punctuation that really breaks up the flow of thought. Your sales copy seems over-hyped as well. Your product isn't especially unique, but you "oh-my-gosh" it like it's revolutionary. That's makes the whole sales presentation seem a little overwrought to me.

I would suggest either hiring someone to rewrite the sales copy for you; or do some homework on writing effective sales copy and then try rewriting it from scratch. I don't think it will sell the product very well for you as it is no matter how many people you get to the page.

Sorry I didn't have better news for you, but you did ask, and it wouldn't do you any good if I just patted you on the back and said to keep your motor running. I really think you'd benefit from studying some basics about online marketing. Spending a little money to learn the fundamentals of marketing at this point would be a wiser investment in your business than spending money on advertising.

As a side note, this is why many online home businesses fail. People jump into things without doing their homework. They don't want to invest the time, money, and effort to gain the knowledge they need to succeed. This kind of attitude greatly reduces their chance for success. When the inevitable happens and they become discouraged by the lack of results, rather than reasoning that it might be their own doing, they either assume it wasn't meant to be or that the Internet is a waste of time for home and small businesses. Both assumptions are wrong.

To invest $50.00 or $100.00, or even $500.00 or $1,000.00 to learn from others is a good investment. It can shave months or even years off the do-it-yourself learning curve so you can start earning real money sooner. Investing in your mind is always a worthwhile investment.

As a member, you'd have access to dozens and dozens of subscriber submitted questions, many that you may need answers to yourself. You can hunt and hunt the web for the answers, or you can just come here and find many of your questions answered in one place.