(Today’s blog post is from Section 3 Ultimate Chiropractic Ads manual and is entitled “How to Get the Best Ad Placements and Save Thousands of Dollars With Your Ad Rep”)
When running an ad, much of the success of your ad will depend on the price you get to run the ad, and the newspaper that you run the ad in.
In this section we’re going to talk about how to get the very best rates. I’ll show you negotiating tips and tricks that you can use with ad reps to get great prices. And we’ll discuss the major pitfalls where most chiropractors mess up big time and waste money.
The First Contact: Don’t Waste A Lot Of Time
When you first select the newspaper to run in, call or email the ad rep that you found from their website. Once you get a hold of an ad rep, you’re going to ask for their media kit. Now they may give you this information over the phone, or by email.
Many of them will push to set-up an appointment at your office, so they can sell you on a big ad package. You don’t want to set up an appointment right now. You haven’t determined if this newspaper is actually going to worth your time and money.
If you set up appointments with everybody, you’re going to waste all your time meeting with ad reps. You’re not even sure if their newspaper is good enough to advertise in yet. And they just spent an hour of your time trying to sell you on how great their paper is.
Let the numbers determine how good their newspaper is first; not what the ad rep says.
When you get the media kit, it’s going to have some very important information in there. One of the things that you’re going to look for is the number of subscribers that they have.
If you’re looking at a large newspaper, it’s going to have subscribers for the different days of the paper. For example, Sunday’s subscriber rate may, and usually is, much larger than the weekly subscriber rate.
Typically you’ll see a weekly subscriber rate, a weekend, and then a Sunday subscriber rate. You will also see the number of papers that they sell through the boxes and vendors on the street. This should be a separate number and not included in the subscriber totals.
I should also mention here the coverage of the newspaper. If you’re in a suburb, make sure the papers you are dealing with covers your area. Some ad reps will insist that the paper gets delivered near you, but it may turn out to be in very small amounts.
All of these numbers are important, but the main thing you want to look at is subscribers. That’s what you can compare from one paper to the next.
Smaller, local papers are many times free and they’re not going to have a subscriber rate. They’ll simply have a distribution rate, or how many papers they throw or mail.
Typically, some of the free papers will mail these to homes and apartments. Because they have no idea how many actually get delivered by the post office, you can’t always trust the numbers.
If there’s too many newspapers to choose from in your area, then you should…
Ask You Patients Which Paper They Read.
If you keep getting the same answer from different patients, you know that’s the newspaper to be advertising in. You may want to even do a more formal survey where you ask them to fill out a short questionnnaire. On the form, ask them to list the top three newspapers they look at on a monthly basis.
Just because a paper is free doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good paper to advertise in. That will depend on the quality of the paper, where your competition is advertising, and other factors in your area. For example, one of the best return on investments I ever had was with a local, free paper. After testing major metropolitan papers and local paid papers, I wasn’t getting a great return.
That’s when I decided to give this more local, free paper that only went out once a week. It mailed to the businesses and homes right around my practice. As I investigated further, this paper had the best layout as far as geographically of where my patients came from. And it was free, so almost everybody in the community got it in the mail.
Plus, it was the only newspaper really covering the local sports teams.
Side-note: Sports coverage is very important for smaller suburbs. The major metropolitan papers will not give great coverage to smaller sports teams. You potential prospects will want to read about their kids and grandkids sports teams. This is one reason why newspapers will be around for many more years to come.
Using the strategies I reveal in this manual, I got a great deal with this local paper. I still tested all the other papers, but that little local one always came back to me as my best return on investments.
It was also the least risky too, because it was the lowest cost. This allowed me to test new ads and try new strategies that I wouldn’t want to risk in other papers due to the higher cost.
Which Ad To Test First
Each geographical area (and the way you practice) is different, so I can’t tell you exactly which ads will work best. Or which ads to start with. But here’s a few tips to help you make a good decision.
Start with an ad that’s typically the type of patient you see come into your office.
What type of patient comes in regularly? Which condition would you like to see more of?
For example, if you see a lot of lower-back patients or headache patients in your office, start with that ad. You already know your practice draws these types of patients, so that’s a good ad to start with.
You’re typically going to get some good results with that. If you have a decompression office, for example, then you would pick one of those ads to start with. Same with cold laser ads.
All the ads can work well for your area, but some will pull bigger than others. Remember, we’re just testing out which paper is likely to give you the best return on investment.
Once you find out with paper that is, you can start running other ads. I do not recommend you just stick with one condition or one ad. You should diversify your practice!
Other topics discussed in section 3 of the manual are…
- How to negotiate the best ad position for the lowest price.
- What section of the newspaper you should never, ever run an ad in.
- Use this special phrase with your ad rep and get 50-80% off your ads month after month.
- Negotiating tricks that ad reps use against chiropractors.
- How to choose between a big, metro newspaper and a small community paper. (This one may surprise you.)
- Why you should never agree to run multiple ads in a newspaper until you’ve done this!
- The 5 pitfalls chiropractors must watch out for when running newspaper ads.
- How to determine which ads to “roll out” in a big way in other marketing media.
- When to run your ad as an insert and when to your run it as a regular space ad.
If you haven’t picked up the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads yet, find out more here…