Advertising results can guide marketing strategy — if you're willing to read them honestly

Only by advertising can you get "advertising results" – and only by having "advertising results" can you guide your project to success.

I've been doing some advertising. It involved a financial commitment. You might think this is a questionable time to spend money on advertising – national events are grabbing people's focus – but the results I'm getting NOW are showing me where I must tune up my presentation to get better results – and there's no reason why I can't get better results.

I'm spending money to advertise two related books – Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics and Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!: Third Edition. Most of my advertising dollars are going to Google, to advertise the books which are sold on Amazon. Let me explain how my test campaign has evolved.

I ran some advertising on Amazon. Advertising directly on Amazon had two drawbacks. First, because I have an Amazon Associates account, I can get a commission on sales. The commission doesn't just cover sales of the product I've advertised, it also covers others purchases from traffic I've sent to Amazon. But with Amazon's advertising program I can't use my Associates I.D., so I can't get these small but welcome commissions.

The second drawback is that Amazon Advertising gives me only two choices: I can advertise a SPECIFIC title of my own or I can advertise ALL of my titles. This second option means my advertising money is split between multiple products – some of which don't sell well – instead of being focused on titles that do sell well, titles I want to promote.

So on Amazon I have to select the title I want to promote. Then there's another problem. I'm severely limited in the length of my ad. I'm not allowed to write enough to explain the book. And finally, there's censorship that limits what you can say. Don't suggest your product will help people make money or that an investment is required to carry out the program. Can anyone make perfume without putting some money into it? Amazon wants you to advertise but to keep your advertising bland. Bland doesn't sell.

So I've turned my focus to Google, Google Ads (once called Google AdWords). Here I am still very much in the "learning" phase but I'll share some of what I've learned. (If you want to know even more about Google Advertising, check out these books.)

First of all you have to have a goal. In my case it has been to sell specific books. But I offer the books both as instant pdf downloads from my own website and as soft cover books from Amazon. The ads I've run have been for traffic, visitors to a landing page, but I had to make a decision. Should my landing page promote the download from my own site or should it promote the sale of the book on Amazon? This is a choice that must, and in time will, be tested to see which approach is more profitable. At present I'm going with Amazon as the royalty on a soft cover sale is greater than my current price for a pdf download.

So the setup is this. I run small ads to drive traffic to the landing page at my website which gives a sales pitch and link to the page on Amazon that offers my book. And I do some tracking.

Google shows me how many "impressions" they've given each of my ads – how many times my ads have appeared somewhere out there — and how many clicks each ad has received. I am charged only for clicks. In placing my ads with Google I can specify how much money I want to spend daily. Here you can start with just a few dollars – $2, $5 or whatever. You'll want to let an ad run for at least 30 days before you kill it, even if you are only getting a handful of clicks. A small number of clicks means small expense.

Aside from the statistics I get from Google, I get statistics from my own website. These show the volume and sources of traffic. Now, with my ads running, they show a leap in the amount of traffic coming from Google. This is good.

From my own web stats I also get counts of traffic going from my landing pages to my Amazon book pages. This tells me how effective the sales presentations on my landing pages are.

Finally, from the traffic going to my book pages at Amazon, I can judge how effective the sales presentations at my website and my descriptions of the books at Amazon are. I am now in a position where i can identify the weak links in the chain and try to strengthen them.

At this point let's forget my personal marketing concerns and look at yours. My first point for you is that you can read all day about advertising but if you really want to learn about advertising you have to put up some money and do it. This requires two things. First, you have to be ready to spend money, say just a few hundred dollars knowing it could be lost. Next, you must have a product to advertise, a finished product that can be delivered immediately... perhaps a PERFUME.

Here I'm going to quit for today. My next message will discuss how you might use what I've talked about above to sell... PERFUME.


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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.