My bad (the permalink that didn't work), and the cure
OK, so I set up a permalink, which became the most visible one on this blog (and in my opinion the most useful), to the sales and marketing forum at contractortalk.com -- and didn't check it! Unfortunately, in my instructions to set up the link, I repeated the http: message -- so of course it didn't work. Ten seconds of effort to verify the link worked would have saved much confusion for readers. Sorry. It is fixed now.
However, on reverifying the link, I found this interesting thread http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=22098, worthy of further consideration. The original poster asks whether a quarter page ad in two publications is more effective than a half page ad in one. The other posters chime in with some essentially solid advice about effective print media advertising. Interestingly, as far as I can tell, these are real advertisers/contractors -- not publishers selling their particular product.
Among the advice pointers:
- Repetition is essential. One poster made it clear that you need to give at least six months for your ad to work;
- Accountability and measurement are vital -- make sure each ad you place has some distinctiveness, so you can determine whether it is working in the particular publication;
- Use co-op dollars where possible (get your suppliers to help you pay);
- Print advertising can draw business but is very helpful in branding and creating a positive impression;
- Consider the ad as part of a multi-stage process -- perhaps offer a free report or something to draw the response you are seeking; beginning the relationship-building process;
- There are differing views on creativity and ad design -- should your ad follow the 'standards' or be totally different?