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Advertising Returns

( Originally Published 1898 )

How do you expect your advertising to pay unless you give it proper attention? You wouldn't plant seed in a garden and never look at it again. If you did, the chances are that it would never grow into the fruit-bearing stage of development.

I saw a notice the other day of an advertisement which had been run continuously in identically the same form since 1866.

That advertisement may have done some good, probably did; but, to bring really adequate returns, advertising should be freshened by frequent changes of copy.

I have recommended frequent changes to a man, who said: "Yes, but our newspaper charges us extra for composition if we change our ad oftener than once a week"—or once a month, as the case might be.

That doesn't alter the case at all. The advertisement should be changed, and, if it costs a little more, it costs a little more, and that's all there is of it. It will pay to pay the additional charge.

A shrewd advertiser said to me recently: "I like to advertise in papers which charge a good, stiff, extra rate for display and for the insertion of cuts. The fact that they do this prevents a good many peopie using them, and, as a consequence, my ads are very much more prominent, for I always pay the extra price and use the cuts and display."

Advertisements should never be prepared in a hurry. There ought to be some particular time set apart in each day,, or each week, for the consideration of this question, Do not wait until the last minute, and then write something hurriedly, running the risk of making mistakes, and with almost the certainty of failing to get a really good announcement. A bad advertisement in a good paper may possibly do some good—a good ad in a good paper will always pay. It isn't such a hard thing to write good ads; it is mainly a question of taking time enough and giving the matter the requisite amount of thought. Do not say you haven't time, because this part of the business is just as important as any other. In one sense, it is more important, because without it the business cannot amount to very much.

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