Space Advertising Secrets

The Success Margin

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Perhaps the best-known secret of the world's
most successful Internet marketers is this.

Applying the hard-won lessons learned in
building successful marketing campaigns offline
to the online marketing arena is the reason for
the really big successes.

While, of course, everything offline does not
apply exactly to online marketing, the major
principles do.

As attractive as marketing on the Internet can be,
I submit it's a big mistake to limit yourself to any
advertising medium, online or offline. Ideally,
you use a combination of both.

Today I'm going to discuss offline space

It's a great and profitable skill to actually sell
products and services right off the page in
magazines and newspapers.

In fact, you can make a huge fortune quickly once
you learn the secrets of marketing utilizing space

But perhaps because there are several critically
important things which very few people in the
world know, almost all marketers who try space
ads fail miserably.

Failed space advertisers tend to quit in disgust.
And considerably poorer. And not necessarily
wiser. Even worse, they simply don't know what
they did wrong.

Those who have followed my career know that
for 21 years I was perhaps the most successful
user of space advertising in the U.S. to sell
products directly off the page.

Frankly, most people think my unprecedented
space ad success is due completely to my
copywriting skills. And while, of course,
powerful copy plays a big part, there's much
more to the picture.

Here are some basic tips regarding what I learned
the hard way in over 20 years.

** The look of the ad **

The way most space ads are laid out, whether
created by direct marketers or ad agencies,
practically scream, "I'm an ad." This is a huge

Consumers don't like to read advertising as such.
They do seek and enjoy information. Your ad
should scream "Here is some valuable
information." That's why all my ads have an
editorial look.

Copy should be dense. Column length of body
copy should be no wider than a good newspaper
or magazine. A full-page ad should have 3

Photos when used should be mostly of people, not
products. Products in an ad will immediately flag
out that you may--God forbid--be selling
something. This tends to turn people off. People
should be looking directly at the camera. Photos
should always, always be captioned.

Tip: Once again, for the umpteenth time, a great
headline is critical to the success of the ad.
Without a compelling headline, your ad doesn't
stand a chance of succeeding.

** The position of the ad **

In a magazine, a space ad should always be on a
right-hand page. And it should be up front in the
magazine, ideally on the first five right-hand
pages. When a space ad is, for example, on page
177, your results will be extremely light.
Reason? Most people are so busy they do not get
a chance to read the entire magazine.

Ads on left-hand pages generally produce less
than half the sales of a right-hand page. You
must insist on a right-hand page. Or pull the ad.

In a newspaper, urgently request your ad also be
above the fold.

** The media selection **

A great ad in the wrong media will bomb. You
must choose magazines and newsletters carefully.
In the U.S., Standard Rate and Data Service
(SRDS) can be subscribed to or found in a good
library. Every magazine and newspaper
published and worth considering is listed. A
good basic approach is to simply call publications
in which you may be interested and request a
media kit.

The media kit will contain all kinds of useful
demographic information and a sample of the

Tip: Avoid publications which have no direct
response or mail order ads. This indicates
the readers are not accustomed to buying
off the page.

** Cost of media **

Advertising rates are almost always negotiable.
At my seminars I teach a negotiating technique
which usually reduces advertising costs by 50%
to 80%.

** Space ad copy **

The copy style, beginning with the headline, must
be even more powerful and "tighter" than a sales
letter, where comparatively you get away with
murder. You must mercilessly cut any
unnecessary words or sloppy phrasing.

** Legal factors **

While the following is not legal advice (I am not
an attorney), I will give you a few practical

Once you seriously begin advertising in space,
your activities are much more visible to
everyone. This includes, of course, your
competition. And government agencies.

Tip: More people will try to cash in on your
success, "rip off" your successful ads. My ads
have been ripped off by many marketers (the
names of some of them would shock you).

A good protective step which costs nothing is to
add to each ad you produce the copyright symbol
© followed by the words Copyright, followed by
the year and your company name. This helps to
provide you common law copyright protection.
Often a cease and disease letter from you or your
attorney will prevent further violations of your

As to government agencies, if your ad is on the
edge or actually breaking some law, you will
undoubtedly hear about it sooner than otherwise.

Adding space advertising done correctly to your
marketing program can easily put millions of
additional sales in your bank account.

But, you must get the details right. As with all
marketing, success is in the margin.

Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas

P.S. To see what my most successful ads look like,
you can now get a copy of my monstrous 642-page book,
It's been recently updated. Each ad, direct mail
piece, brochure and card deck is graded on a star
system so you can immediately see just how well
each one pulled. For more information you can go to:

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© Copyright 2005 Ted Nicholas