August 28, 2015

When was the last time you updated the LOOK of your web site?

Time for a makeover, maybe

If you have a website that was designed more than 7 years ago and you have just been adding to it and making changes here and there, you may need to do more.

The expectation of people has changed and they now expect a simpler look with large images and the site has to work on cell phones, tablets and computers. If your web site is small, cluttered with lots of flashing or bright boxes with small images, then you are definitely needing a complete remake of your website with a more up to date look and feel. Sometimes you have to redo something rather than fix what you have.

I don’t build websites

I’m not telling you this because I sell websites. I don’t. But, I have been reading a lot about it and I am in the process of updating my own photography website. Getting unbiased input about my progress is a challenge. Some people are just too kind to say anything negative at all and others just will not do it.

I do learn as much as I can for my clients

I am subscribed to some blogs that talk about website designs and trends because I want to be on the leading edge for my advertising clients. I want to know what works best in all areas of advertising, not just REACH Magazine.

Would you like a 3rd party unbiased review of your business website?

If you would like a uninvolved third-party unbiased review of your web site, I will do that for you. Send me a link to your site in an email. I will look at your site. Give you my first impressions and tell you about ease of navigations and my overall feelings about your company based on what I see.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get objective reviews from people within your company (who wants to criticize something the boss worked on) or from the company that is creating the website. Again, I am not a web designer and I am not looking to redesign your website for you. I will not tell you how to fix the problems I see and the impressions I get from looking at your website. That will be up to you. And, of course, if you don’t like what I say, you can always ignore the ideas and suggestions completely.

As I am getting feedback from various people regarding the makeover of my photography website, some are very insightful and I have made changes as a result of their comments, others are too kind and provide nothing helpful, and others say things that I will just have to ignore or consider later. But, so far, the information that I have received from outside 3rd party individuals has been smack on helpful.

So, I volunteer. pdemott@reachusa.com Send me a link and mention you would like an unbiased website review.

Measure your advertising and invest in what is working for you

Is your ad working?

Early in my advertising career I learned to check around in a company advertising with me. One day I came in to talk with a business owner about renewing an ad with me. On my way in, there were two sales people for the company and I asked them if they had seen anything from the ad that was running. One said, yes, as a matter of fact, I closed two and I have another appointment for tomorrow. The other guy said he had one appointment so far.

This particular company had a fairly high ticket home repair/improvement product. Each sale was between $2500 and $6000 so each appointment was very important to the company and to their sales staff.

However, when I walked in to talk to the business owner, he said he didn’t think he would be renewing. My response, was… Oh, Really, Why? to which he said he didn’t think he was getting anything out of it.

I asked him if he knew about John’s two sales from the ad. We called John into the office to tell him. Then we called the other salesman in. “Tell me about the calls you are getting from this advertising.” They both explained that they were fielding calls and what progress they were making or had already made on those calls. Then he dismissed them from his office and signed up for another run of advertising. He almost made a bad choice, base on his lack of accurate information.

It is Critical to have Effective Measurement Tools in Place

I have several tools that can help to measure response. REACH Magazine is a coupon magazine, so obviously we can count coupons as long as they are collected and kept. For larger ticket sales like home repairs and improvements, or for companies that set appointments by phone, we have a phone call tracking services that provides weekly and very accurate and detailed measures of the number of calls from whom that result from an ad.

Many times business owners think that their phone staff are taking good notes on where their calls are coming from, but thinking it is so does not mean that it is.  There are some businesses that focus and really do keep good information, but there are many others where the persons answering the phone change throughout the day and where detailed (information you can make decisions with) information is not kept. Then decisions are being made from very soft information which may not be accurate.

Making decisions on poor information can cost you enormous amounts of money as a business owner. It can cause your business to fail as well.

Make tracking your advertising an important and critical role in your business. Then, strategically refocus your advertising dollars where they are being most effective.

The old 80/20 rule may be true with advertising for business. You get 80% of your calls from 20% of your advertising, but if you don’t prioritize measuring, you don’t know which 20% is working for you.

In addition, you may NOT have discovered the advertising that will propel your business forward yet. Continue to test from time to time in order to find your best-fit in promotion and advertising for your business. In several cases I have talked with failing businesses who exclaimed, “We didn’t start advertising until it was too late….”

REACH Magazine is the expert

REACH is the Expert

Today I sent one of my clients a couple of questions about ad content in REACH magazine.  I wanted to add a cute kid to the ad to give it a softer, more inviting feel for the people who would be calling for services. Calling a service contractor can be a little scary and if the ad looks harsh that could cause some to overlook it.

 

In any case, I work with both the local manager and the regional manage for this company to create the ads they are running.  Back when we were first starting I had to call the regional marketing manager to review the ad and he wanted me to run this or that offer.  I explained that the offers have to have a perceived value among consumers. I did not think what he was suggesting would have value to Dayton area consumers.  He listened and took my advice as I was able to show him a couple of examples from some of our other REACH markets and we created a very nice ad.

 

Two weeks ago, we again had a conversation and he explained that these REACH ads was the nicest looking print ads that they had run, and not only that, they were  generating calls like none before.  I explained that sometimes we have to tweak offers until we find one that will have consumer perceived value, but in addition EVERYONE LOVES REACH MAGAZINE. REACH is Dayton and Cincinnati’s most popular coupon magazine. It is well know and trusted by consumers.  He went on to explain that things were going great and he was very happy to be working with me.

 

Here is what he had to say in an email discussion with the local manager and me:

“I’m fine with adding a cute photo.   Reach is the experts, I trust that you know what works best.  If you need any additional info or pics just call me on my cell.”

 

That was a pretty gratifying statement from a multi-market business and marketing manager. Over 30 years experience comes in handy sometimes.

NOW for the other experience

I’ve worked with other businesses over the years who will not listen. What I mean is that they give you the offer they want to run in their ad and when you ask questions or make suggestions, their response is, “THIS IS HOW I WANT IT!”

 

They have no experience in inviting people to their business using a coupon magazine and yet they are the experts and will not listen to suggestions. They are not willing to learn or teachable. When the ad fails, they say REACH Magazine does not work.

 

Creative license

“This is a flyer we use in our offices to send invoices to customers. This can be a template for the artists. But some innovation would be appreciated.”

In this particular case, the ad was very so-so and clunky. I know that our graphic designer does some outstanding work, especially when I give her the materials and the offers and only a very rough sketch of what I am looking for. I just tell her to go at it and make something the client will love and she does.

When the client received the proof for approval, he had a list of small changes. He wanted to change one of the offers, but I convinced him that the wording that I suggested would be noticed more by consumers. Then I asked him, “You never told me what you thought of the ad overall, are you happy with it?”  To that he expressed great appreciation because it was so very much better than what he had given me…. and EVERYONE loves the ad.

These are just some examples of how REACH can work. I did not include the client names, but I have them here and these are true stories. I wanted to protect their privacy.

Not every Marketing avenue is knowledgeable

Last of all, not everyone has the experience or the Archives and knowledge about effective looking and effectively worded coupons. But, as a business owner, please be willing to listen and learn. You don’t have to be in control of everything and sometimes what you learn will mean the difference between your advertising working exceptionally well and your advertising not working much. To me, as one of the top REACH Magazine sales reps, learning about advertising, about business, and about REACH Magazine are lifelong learning opportunities. Each day I am challenged with new information and knowledge that can help my clients to grown their businesses more effectively.

I hope this was of value to you.

Peter DeMott. For more information about me, please click on the CONTACT menu button above.

Business categories that can flourish in REACH Magazine

If your business is on this list you may be missing an important opportunity!

You see, I receive sample magazines from our other REACH Magazine markets and when I see a category well represented in one of those other markets with regular repeating clients, then I know that is a category we need test here.

JUNE 2015 Cover of REACH Magazine. Did you want to be in this REACH Magazine?

June 2015 REACH Cover

Here are the current business owners I am looking for because I have successful ads to share with them so they can grow their businesses here in the Dayton market. We have zones as well as full market options, so pricing varies significantly depending the test package that you choose.

 

Recent successes:

I was able to start a new category for Dayton’s REACH magazine three months ago. The regional manager for this company just told me that on the third mailing things have really broken loose. Response if better than any other form of advertising they have done. In addition, he complemented me about the ad design (I passed than complement on to our graphics designer Kim as I give her guidance, but she does her magic on each ad to help make REACH Dayton’s most popular coupon magazine ), he said it was the best looking ad their company had ever used for a print ad. He is now looking at how to implement some of my ideas in his other markets.

 

Do you know someone?

If you know someone in any of these categories of business that is ready and willing for their business to grow, please have them give me a call (click on contact page in menu above). I will show them the ads that are working in other markets and we can come up with a reasonable test package for their business to try out REACH Magazine.

 

Right OFFERS, Right LOOK, in the Right PUBLICATION

It’s about the right offers, the right look, with the right publication. Consumers are looking for these businesses in REACH Magazine. And they love REACH Magazine which gives you a leg up in the eyes of many consumers responding to ads in REACH.

 

Who I am looking for right now

 

Garage Door Companies (service, repair, replace, openers, etc.)

Handy Man Services (who do I call for this or that small to medium-sized project? – I want it done now, and I want it done correctly and safely and I may have a spouse who is not good at home repairs, maintenance, and improvements).

Electricians (This is one project that I would prefer someone with knowledge and experience and education do. It’s too easy to make a mistake – a permanent one) This includes: Inspections, upgrade of service, service calls for repairs, installation of new lighting, additional outlets, computer network etc.

Deck Surface Staining and renewal This is for those with large decks that are looking a bit old and worn. Re-staining, power washing, and minor repairs can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of your outdoor living space.

 

If you are or if you know a business owner in any of these categories, these are the ones that I am currently looking for. My desire is for you to have the same response as they other business that I recently started up in REACH. Best response in any print ad we’ve ever done….. we got slammed on the third mailing in REACH Magazine.

 

 

Don’t let your SEO crash on April 21st because of a big Google update

On April 21st Google is putting out a big new update that may affect your website SEO

If your website is not Mobile Friendly this update will likely be a significant hit to the SEO of your website. Usually everyone is guessing what will change when there is a new Google Update, but with this one they have announced the importance of MOBILE FRIENDLY for your website.

How to test your website for MOBILE FRIENDLY

In addition on Google Analytics you can TEST YOUR WEB SITE easily. Just click on this link and put your website address in the line and Google will test to see if your web site is Mobile Friendly.

To test your site go here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

The best and newest way to have a mobile friendly website is for it to be built on a RESPONSIVE platform. What that means is that there is just one web site, but that it looks different on different sized screens. You don’t have to pinch and expand the pages if you are trying to read the page on your iPhone for example. The responsive web site already adjusts the type size and the menu so that it can be read on a variety of sizes of mobile devices.

Call you web site guy right away if your web site says it is not mobile friendly or if you need some help I can get you what you need here. In some cases, for example if you work with a Word Press website, you can just ad a mobile friendly plug-in. In other cases you may need to rebuild your web site onto a RESPONSIVE website platform.

If you have not updated the look of your web site in 7 years

If you have not updated the look of your web site in the last 7 years you are due for a change anyway. The look and feel of  sites changes over time as does how people respond to different looks. If your web site looks older, it can affect the response of the viewer.

It’s like the difference of walking into a house for sale that has not been updated since the 70s compared to one with a very current look. If your web site needs to step into the present call your web guy/gale or again, I have the resources that I can point you to for some help.

April 2015 REACH Magazine arriving in homes by magic

Like Magic!

For consumers it seems like magic when they need a product or service and the very next week REACH magazine arrives in their mailbox with just the right products and services.

Working a month or two ahead to get consumers what they want

Our advertising consultants are always discussing well in advance which categories of business consumers want and when. Some businesses can advertise pretty much year round and get consistent results. Others have target seasons that are critical, times when consumers are getting estimates, making honey-do lists of things that need to be fixed, and getting a vision for what their home or yards will look like in the coming weeks.

May can be a VERY strong sales month for some businesses

We are just around the corner from the deadline for the May edition of REACH Magazine. Consumers typically have a much brighter and happier outlook once the drab gray color of winter is replaced with new landscaping, green freshly cut grass, a new patio, fixed gutters and so on.

Get your name in front of the eyes of consumers ready to spend money

Are you ready to dive into spring sales for your consumer focused business? Because they will soon be in a much better mood and ready to spend on the projects they want to get done this spring.

Print, Email, and Online coupons to get consumers off the fence

In addition to our print ads inside REACH Magazine we offer our clients featured listing in our eREACH.com coupon newsletter and coupons on our new REACH Magazine App. To find out more about any of this and to have me search our multi-city archives for a business similar to yours that is having success with REACH magazine, just give me a call here in Dayton at 937-478-6222 (Peter DeMott, 30 years experience). Or, you can click on additional REACH information in the menu above.

Here is the April cover of REACH Magazine in Dayton, Ohio:

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If my kids were little, I would be using this business

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All my children are in college or beyond now, but if they were little I would be using this service.

When I stopped in to visit this business for consideration in REACH Magazine, it was clear to me that this could be a hot item in our magazine. When we present to businesses, we want businesses that we feel that consumers want and this in my estimation is one that will likely do very well.

 

Their clients bubble over with praise

As I was talking to the owner of the business several parents came in to pick up their child or children. In each case, when I asked about the service, they bubbled over with praise.

 

In the old days (showing my age)

In my day, if you could not find the appropriate high schooler who happened to be free that night, you could not go shopping without the “kiddles” or perhaps that date you wanted with your wife would be postponed. With this service, once your are registered ($15 and forms once per year) you can show up any time they are open and just drop off your kids confident that they will have a grand time. The parents who I spoke with indicated that their children keep asking them when they get to go back to Kidz Watch in Dayton.

 

Show their ad to your friends when you see it in REACH Magazine

Here is the ad that will come out in REACH magazine on February 1st, but the owner has indicated to me that any first time client may use this coupon to try out their service so long as they pay the registration fee of $15 and fill out the appropriate (state required) paperwork. Once you are registered, just bring in the coupon for your first visit and your first hour is completely FREE. Hoping they do well in REACH because I think consumers with kids are going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this business.

 

If you have a business that you think consumers will love, please give me a call. These are the kinds of businesses we want in REACH magazine.

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www.kidzwatchcenterville.com

Located in the Crosspoint Shopping Centre at the corner of Ste Rte 48 and Alex-Bell Rd. just off I-675.

If you use this, please tell them I sent you. Much appreciated.

For Home Improvement Businesses in Dayton it’s Home Show Time

YES, Spring is here for businesses in the Miami Valley

Spring is HERE for home improvement businesses starting with Home Shows and working on REACH Magazine ads for March / April / and / May.

Home owners are preparing to open their wallets in the first quarter

More money is spent during this time on home improvements than any other time of the year. If you have a home improvement business of any time, this is the time to explore and prepare to actually put your name in front of thousands of home owners that will be opening their wallets this spring for changes and improvements on their homes. If you know how to present yourself and your business at the home shows, they can be some of your best marketing efforts of the year and get you off to a great start as soon as the weather breaks. Not everyone does well in this marketing environment however. Just like every form of advertising, it has to be a good fit.

Many consumers love to make face to face contact with contractors

Many consumers will see if they have a good feel or a good report with a contractor by saying hello at a home show. If you invest in a home show, this is FACE TIME for YOU or your sales people. This is not a time to just sign people up to man the booth who are not invested in increased sales for your company. My experience is that those who do the best at these homes shows are willing to invest their own time to be there as much as possible during the entire event.

Not everyone goes to home shows

Exposure to home owners for many businesses, through home shows, gives them some face to face contact with consumers, but only a fraction of home owners make it to the home shows. Hundreds of thousands do not go out to the homes shows and yet are also ready to spend money to improve their homes. That’s where REACH Magazine kicks in. Consumers LOVE REACH Magazine as is demonstrated by the very high readership of over 95% (The Media Audit , “one of the highest ratings of any publication that we have rated.”) And consumers TRUST Reach magazine to show them some of the best home improvement companies in the market so when a business shows some of their best work (quality photographs) and presents an incentive offer to the consumers (must have perceived value to create interest), many will respond to learn more.

What can hurt a home show? For ONE, They do not occur year round

There are a couple other factors that can be a frustration to businesses with regards to home shows. For one thing, if home shows are a good fit for you and your business, they only occur in the winter and early spring and they only reach a fraction of your potential customers each year. With REACH you can promote at the same time and also later in the season to keep the leads coming in throughout the year.

Really bad weather or really good weather can affect home show attendance

From time to time weather can be something that will mess up your investment in a home show. If the weather is too bad (5-10 inches of snow fall as the show is just ready to begin) or if the weather is too good (it’s 60 degrees out and everyone is sick of being stuck inside) then numbers can be down for a particular home show weekend (sometimes sporting events will hurt home show numbers as well). It seems like the ideal weather for home shows is a dreary day with some rain so there is nothing to do outside and there are no major sporting events going on. Whereas weather can affect home shows, REACH Magazine is pretty much weather proof.  When REACH arrives in the homes, because there are pizza places, Mexican restaurants, Marion’s Pizza, and more, people hold onto the magazine for many weeks. They review the magazine every time they need something whether that is a pizza, an oil change, or a massage.

Home shows can be expensive and time-consuming

Last of all, for some businesses, I hear that the investment of time and energy can be one frustration of participation in a home show. If they are not a good fit, response can be low and yet their employees have to spend critical “weekend” time away from their families and off of current projects that need to be done. Don’t get me wrong, home shows can be a home run for many businesses. Some can plan a good portion of their year just from the home show contacts they get, but others not so much. It  just all depends.

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Wedding Planning season is approaching and REACH Magazine can help

Here in the Dayton, Ohio market, we are again going to feature a bride on the cover of our January edition of REACH Magazine. Inside there will be a section of the magazine devoted to all sorts of wedding professionals.

In addition there will be a $25,000.00 wedding package give away to help draw the attention of brides in this market.

Twentyfivethousanddollarprize

260,000 homes will receive this REACH magazine with the wedding planning guide inside at a time when many brides are excited to start thinking about their special day. You see some of them got engaged during the holidays before during and after Christmas and New years day.

If you are a wedding professional with either services or products that brides purchase for their special day please give me a call or email me. I will send you the information about ad sizes and prices. Complete design of your ad is included at no extra charge.

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Wide open categories in Dayton advertising in REACH Magazine

Now and then I request referrals to businesses that are under represented in REACH Magazine here in Dayton. These are categories of business that are performing well in our other markets such as Indianapolis and Cincinnati. In fact, in this particular case, there are several that are doing well in the highest income areas of Cincinnati right now.

LOOKING for Dentists and Orthodontists in the Dayton and Cincinnati Markets

So, if you are a dentist or orthodontist and think that incentive marketing is not where you will gain the higher income clients that you want, think again. Let me show you how other dentists and orthodontists are employing the power of direct mail with incentive offers to get their phones ringing for new appointments and new families becoming patients for your practice.

I have many example ads from businesses that are consistently using REACH magazine to grow their practices

Here is just one example. I have dozens of other full and half page examples of dental and orthodontist practices that are regularly represented in REACH Magazine (Tell me would they continue with a program if it was not performing for them). Different markets require different approaches and I have examples of many different offers and presentations for you to review and consider for your practice.

Our CALL TRACKING service can be used to track exactly which calls originate from REACH Magazine

I will show you how our call tracking can help you more effectively determine the ROI (Return on Investment) from the advertising that you invest in. The weekly reports can also help you to fine tune your customer contacts and staff interactions with consumers.

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• Are you a dentist looking to grow your practice and patient load?

• Are you a orthodontist wanting to grow your practice and your income?

• Would you like to see examples of how other professionals are using the power of the mail box (yes, snail mail) to grow their businesses?

• Do you know a good desist or orthodontist who you would like to help with a referral to advertising that really works?

Please call me at 937-478-6222.

Peter DeMott at REACH Magazine in the Dayton and Cincinnati markets of REACH Magazine