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Making Print Advertising Work

With the right customer base, newspaper ads still bring in leads 

March 08, 2017

See Almena Faux give a talk on this topic at Professional Remodeler's Extreme Lead Gen Conference.

Our customers tend to be a bit older. This is because we sell higher-end products, and often younger people can’t afford them. Because of our customer demographic, print advertising is a huge lead generator for us. 

In 2016, I would estimate that we had 6,800 leads from print, and by “leads” I mean actual appointments set. The web gave us about 8,000. 

But there are a number of things you have to do to get print to work for you. For starters, although it may sound obvious, you must determine who your customers are and which publications they read. For example, our men love to play golf, while our women list decorating as their No. 1 hobby. They are affluent and educated. Our clients are in their 60s and, in the bath division, they are 70-plus. Many are starting to have mobility issues and want to update their tubs, so that’s a growing segment for us.  

Our clients like staying updated on the news and they read the paper. We’ve had a lot of success with newspaper advertising and have found that where the ad is placed really matters. I have a larger color ad, which I put up front. I use a unique phone number and hold the newspaper accountable for results. I look at the numbers daily, and if they’re not in the right range, I call the paper. For example, at one time we had ads running in the obituary section, but it wasn’t working, so we made a change. 

Currently, we have ads in the local edition of USA Today. It’s an insert in our local paper and it’s working well for us. Newspaper publishers are in a tough spot right now and will negotiate with you. If they say no to what you think is a fair offer, be willing to walk away. I make the case to the paper that we’re a large company in the area and other business owners will see that we’re advertising, which will help the paper. 

About the Author

Almena Faux is director of business development at home improvement company P.J. Fitzpatrick, in the Wilmington, Del., area. She’s managed various teams including outside sales and events, call center, showroom, facilities, and personnel. 

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