Thursday, December 13, 2007

To Pay or Not to Pay for Advertising

When you are looking for the best way to market your home business there are tons of possibilities, but some may end up costing you more than others. Whether you want to market yourself through the internet or through the mailbox there are certainly some methods of marketing that will be more cost-effective.

If you have just begun your home business it probably isn't reasonable to expect to advertise yourself on a local billboard. However, it is much more reasonable to post an advertisement in a local newspaper or church bulletin. Or you could print fliers or postcards at home. You could also post links to your website on certain forums online.

The only way you will really find free advertising is through word-of-mouth and some online posts. Every other form of marketing has small costs that must be allowed for. To print fliers you must purchase the paper and printer cartridges. To send postcards you must purchase the cards first and then pay for shipping. To post an ad in a newspaper or bulletin you much pay for the ad space. Even online, some sites will charge you to post your ad.

Depending on how much you are willing to pay for advertising, your sources for marketing may be limited. However, it is important to try multiple methods of advertising before deciding on the first one that shows a return. Most importantly is to remember that if the return you are earning from an ad is not enough to pay for the cost of the ad itself, it isn't worthwhile. One way to determine whether or not one of your methods of marketing is profitable is to survey your customers. When they go to make their purchase, simply ask how they heard about you.

Once you have taken a survey of your customers it will be much easier to see which marketing solutions are showing the highest return. You can save yourself some money by cutting down on the advertisements that are not showing such a high return. The money you are saving can then be reallocated to marketing strategies that you know are working well.

It will take some time to find the best marketing solution for your home business. Ultimately the best return may come from a combination of methods, so it is very important never to limit yourself to a single avenue for advertisement. The best solution will be the one that that brings in the most revenue at the lowest cost to you. To get an idea of which advertisements are helping you the most, take a poll from your customers of how they found you. This will really show you how to manage your advertisement costs.

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