Monthly Archives: December 2016

6 Lessons From the Legends of Advertising

  • By Adri van der westhuizen
  • Published December 15, 2016
  • Tagged

The following excerpt is from Craig Simpson and Brian Kurtz’s book The Advertising Solution. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

No matter what your advertising message is and what platform you’re using to broadcast it, there are basic principles of promotion you can use to make sure you’re working as effectively as possible to spread the word.

From all my reading and extensive research on some of the best master promoters, I’ve arrived at these 10 overriding lessons for putting together a promotional campaign that produces the best results.

Lesson 1: Know your product

In order to sell something, you need to develop some kind of description of what you’re offering that you can present to prospects. At this point, many would-be promoters make the mistake of sitting down before a blank sheet of paper or computer screen and waiting for inspiration to come to them. But all our legends tell us that’s not the way to create great copy.

Everything you need to get started and see you through the entire process is right before you. The sales pitch you’re struggling to come up with is in the product itself and the information you have about it. The task is more a matter of doing your research and organizing what you find than trying to create something new out of your own head.

No matter what you’re selling, start by gathering all the information you have about it. If you’re selling a product, get all the details on how it’s made, what it does, how it’s an improvement over the competition and any special effort that’s put into creating it. You especially want information about unique or quality features. These will form the basis of the smaller headlines and subheads in your final piece. What is the chief benefit it offers? This might end up being your main headline, but don’t worry about that yet. Just start by finding out everything you can about your product, and the ideas and connections will soon start to take shape.

Lesson 2: Know your audience

Another aspect of crafting a successful message is to specifically gear it to the desires, needs, interests and language of the people you’re trying to sell to. If your best prospects are teenage boys with an interest in skateboarding and hip-hop, you’ll present your message very differently than if your best prospects are conservative, middle-aged men. What works well for selling to one group will fail miserably at appealing to the other.

The ad legends all say that you have to spend time immersing yourself in the culture your prospect lives in. Go to the movies they attend. Read their most popular magazines. Listen to them talk in elevators, in restaurants, at ball games or wherever your prospects tend to hang out.

If you’ve got the means, consider asking them about themselves. Send out questionnaires to lists of people who are like your prospects or interview them personally. You can also learn a lot about them by taking your list of prospects to a company that does “list modeling.” These companies have access to a surprising array of information from places like warranty cards and surveys that people fill out without even thinking about it, which is then compiled by a large number of consumer and business data cooperatives.

As a result, these companies can give you a pretty good picture of what your buyers look like. Are most of them dog owners? You can use some kind of dog imagery in your examples. Are they active sportsmen and women? That gives you more ideas on how to appeal to them. Are they predominantly single? That’s also important information.

All this gives you a much clearer idea of whom you’re selling to and how to speak their language, capture and hold their interest, and influence their choices and behavior.

Lesson 3: Make sure you get every part of the package right

Every promotional package is made up of a number of different parts. Each of them serves a different purpose and is essential to the overall success of the campaign. If you’re writing a sales letter, a web page, a blog or an ad in a publication, you should have a headline that captures attention and gets people wanting to read more. That should be followed by copy that further presents your case and convinces readers they need and should get what you’re selling.

If you expect people to give you money, or even their email address, you should offer some sort of guarantee. It could be a money-back guarantee or an assurance that you won’t sell their email address to another company. The purpose of the guarantee is to make prospects more comfortable about risking their money or personal information.

You’ll need an order page or order form where you’ll put in more sales copy and provide a way for people to give you the information you need to complete the deal. The order form should be clear and easy to use, or you may lose people at the end. For online applications, the “abandoned shopping cart” is partly the result of an order area that’s not user-friendly.

You might also want a FAQ area, special instructions, news items, inspirational quotes from famous people, photographs, cartoons, charts and tables — there’s no limit on what you can include in your promotional package, as long as it supports your sales message and keeps people reading. The bottom line is, be certain that each part of your campaign pulls its weight and strengthens your message.

Lesson 4: It’s all about the prospect

Of course, you are interested in your product and in convincing your prospects. But what are your prospects interested in? Themselves and what they want. That means that to be successful, you must be very interested in those things too.

The purpose of your promotional copy isn’t to build yourself up or impress people with your vast vocabulary. The purpose is to pull prospects in. While you want to get them interested in you and what you offer, the way to do that is to make your campaign about them. This means you should be talking about your product in a way that keeps the prospect’s desires and needs in the forefront. Your copy has to address what the prospect cares about, and how your product will fulfill those needs.

If you maintain the proper balance, you’ll be able to get in all the important information about the product while personally engaging your readers and making them understand how important it is to acquire what you’re offering.

Lesson 5: Showmanship will differentiate you

Nobody’s going to make the effort to read something that looks uninteresting. There’s just too much to distract us these days. People’s attention spans are getting more and more abbreviated. If you want to influence people’s behavior, you have to grab and hold their interest long enough to get your message across. Sometimes that takes a little showmanship.

So what can you do that will make your sales piece or banner ad or TV commercial or job application really stand out from everything else competing for your prospect’s attention?

Physically, there are clearly things you can do. If you’re sending out a direct mail package, you can use a brightly colored envelope. You can use attention-getting graphics, or place wording on the envelope that’s a little intriguing or even a bit outrageous. You can send out some kind of lumpy mail — an envelope containing something that feels bulky and interesting. When prospects pick it up, they can tell there’s something inside and their curiosity drives them to check it out.

If you’re promoting yourself online, you can use intriguing headlines or images on banner ads or choose blog titles that will capture interest. You can also use blinking banner ads or video ads. And a bit of showmanship in the subject line of an email can lead to a better open rate.

A little showmanship can make the difference between being overlooked and being noticed.

Lesson 6: Testing trumps all

If there’s one thing our ad legends all agreed on and emphasized in their writing and thinking, it was that testing is everything in marketing. Don’t rest on your laurels by assuming you’re getting the best results possible. And don’t assume that something you’re doing isn’t working at all and should be dropped. One small change in a headline or color you use can turn a losing campaign into a winner.

If you’re not measuring your response rates, you could be missing out on better results or wasting your money altogether. Learn how to assess the results of your campaigns: it could make the difference between just getting by and having a smashing success.

Why You Shouldn’t Stop Advertising Over Christmas

  • By Adri van der westhuizen
  • Published December 8, 2016
  • Tagged

The Holiday Season is a time for family and fun, but for many small business owners across the country it is the time of year where many experience a surge in revenue and online traffic incomparable to any other time of the year. Making this short period of time count equals extra stress and pressure, and this is only one of the reasons why you should not stop marketing over Christmas. SponsoredLinX have collated a series of reasons to back-up our case:

Traffic Volume Increases

This is the time of year when people actually have time to search for things on the Internet. People are on holidays; their time is not spent in their day jobs from 9-5 Monday to Friday.  That time is obviously spent on other activities, including spending time on the Internet.

Also, to take into consideration that what Google has aptly named as ‘Micro-Moments’ are on the rise. These are the moments where people need instant answers and solutions to their queries.  How many times a day do you Google something that comes up in your mind or in conversation?  As a business owner you want to be there during those Micro-Moments.

Spending Increases

Consumers are on holidays.  They spend money.  This is the time of year when people are buying up on things they need as they’ve now got the time to purchase those big ticket items they’ve been holding off on.  Think about things people cannot buy online. Think about the empty gaps in their calendars, where they will fill those gaps with things to make them happy. Think about the socialising and family gatherings they are going to have to attend.  People generally spend more during this period, so how can your business take advantage of that?


New Year’s Resolutions

People want to change their lives over this time of year.  It’s time they got healthier, quit smoking, lost weight, joined a gym or went on that much needed holiday! Does your product or service improve people’s lives? Will people be specifically searching for your product or service over this time? Do you have gift cards? Utilise a remarketing campaign to re-capture an audience who have visited your site. If you can make a difference, you want people to be able to find you, and believe in your business and product. You can’t do that if you’re not advertising.

Trades and Services

Emergency tradesmen are in high demand over this period. If you’re a tradesperson, you need to be advertising. Keep your ads really specific to notify people you’re still working over the period. Or, if you want a break, maybe you could consider showing your ads on certain days, or after hours.  If your competition is going on holidays, you’re one step ahead, because you’ll get the exposure and the business.  It’s important to have call extensions active, and be near your phone at all times so that you can convert those phone calls!


Gizelle Burke Account Director

Gizelle is a Benoni born, ex-cheerleader, turned marathon runner, with a passion for psychology and a penchant for ‘ops’. She lives in Stellenbosch with her husband Conrad and three children: John, Amelie and Isa. Her position in this exciting industry is to manage operations and liaise with clients and broadcasters.

GIZELLE Service with a smile...

She always goes the extra mile!

Mobile : +27 84 581 9836 | Office: +27 21 880 2701 | Email:

Adri Van Der Westhuizen Founder/ Director

Adri is a Namibian, fashion aficionado-over-achiever with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for brand marketing. Previous Marketing experience: Integrated Marketing Communication at the AAA School of Advertising. Lives in Stellenbosch with her husband Nico and two young daughters: Sophia and Eva. Her position in this exciting industry is to manage the media business and establish long-standing partnerships with clients and suppliers.

ADRI Sell, sell, sell


Mobile : +27 833 951430 | Office: +27 21 880 2701 | Email: