Secrets to a Successful Ad Campaign

A key to a successful campaign is that all ads should stand on their own-plus work in conjunction with other ads in the campaign. Ads are so expensive, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck-starting with the first ad in a campaign. You don't want to have to spend tons of money on a campaign before prospects start trickling in.

The first step in putting together a successful ad campaign is to set a clear, attainable objective.

The second step in developing your campaign is to pick a theme for it. Usually you will use a simple slogan to characterize your theme. United Airlines has used the same theme for years-"Fly the Friendly Skies." The theme is the glue that holds a campaign together.

Two of the next steps are to decide which advertising methods to use and how much advertising is necessary.

If you run the same print ad each week for six consecutive weeks in one publication, you'll typically see your response rate drop with each successive week rather than rise. The consumers who are in the market respond quickly to your first few ads.

The secret to determining the proper frequency of health club advertising is to figure out how closely you can have your ads spaced together and still have the later advertisements pull a response that is nearly as high as the earlier advertisements. This time span may range from several days to a few weeks. It depends on a number of factors, such as the product offering of your club, your location, the nature of the audience who reads your advertisement and the specific advertising copy that you use.

These principles of advertising frequency hold true for all types of print advertising. With radio and television, you will find that the second advertisement heard by a particular individual will generate a higher response than the first, and the third ad will do better still than the second. This is because print advertising enjoys the advantage of the referral factor-the ability of the consumer to refer back to the advertisement. This is very important in direct-response advertising, since the consumer must have a telephone number or address in order to respond.

Should you run "image" ads? Or should you run ads with special offers? You should do both. It is possible to run image-building ads-and achieve all of the benefits of image advertising-even if you include special offers in your image ads. Not only is this possible, it's desirable. Why? Because "image" advertising stimulates long-term demand for your club-which is important. And "offer" advertising stimulates a short-term, immediate response-also important.

So, by incorporating special offers properly into image-building ads, you successfully achieve your long-range goals and short-term goals.

- Jim Smith is president of Peak Perfor-mance-The International Fitness Network, and publisher of Club Success-Successful Strategies For Fitness Industry Professionals. He can be reached at ppjimsmith@yahoo.com.


NEHF 2000 Promotions

May 17th is National Employee Health and Fitness (NEHF) 2000, and the National Association of Governor's Councils on Physical Fitness and Sports (NAGCPFS) is helping you with your celebrations by offering incentive items for NEHF, as well as Let's Get Physical programs. These incentives can help you maintain and increase participation in your work-site health programs.

For more information or to place an order, contact NAGCPFS at (317) 237-5630 or online at www.physicalfitness.org.


A Proven Forumula for Effective Advertising Copy

If you use all of the parts of this formula when writing your copy, you should be able to increase the effectiveness of your advertising-perhaps substantially.

1) Headline: Gets attention.

2) Lead-in or Hook: Promise your biggest benefit in the first paragraph.

3) Enlarge on the Biggest Benefit.

4) Switch the Reader From the Interest-Grabbing Initial Statement to the Club Itself: Be specific. How will membership in this club benefit the prospects (improve their appearance, make them feel better, etc.)? Make a promise.

5) Sell the Club With Benefits.

6) Add Believability With Proof and Endorsements: Offer people proof. Present evidence. Tell a success story.

7) Explain What They Will Lose If They Fail to Respond.

8) Restate Your Biggest Benefit and Close.

9) Guarantee, or Additional Proof.

10) Motivate for Immediate Action: Tell them to call. Give them a good reason to act now (e.g., the sooner you start the program, the sooner you will be enjoying the benefits, etc.).