I always get nervous when I place an ad in one of the industry trade magazines.

I just published ads in The Director, Funeral Business Advisor and ICFM.  And they’re already working.

I just took three orders from folks who saw our ads in one of the magazines and checked out the website.  I took another order this morning from a man who did an Internet search for covers, but only after he remembered that he had seen them recently in a magazine.

Does magazine advertising always work?  Of course not.  Our ads in Mortuary Management had an impressive effect the first time (we sold 9 covers from the first ad) but offered diminishing returns the next four times we published it, until we got nothing on the final try.

We also don’t spend huge money on these ads (I have an obligation to keep my covers competitively priced!) so we don’t get the “full-page” effect that some might expect.

Except, our covers don’t really need a “full-page” push.  How much can you write about quilted cot covers?  They’re covers, they’re quilted, they’re the best on the market.  End of story.

Of course, this message is for other product/service makers out there.  Ads in the trades do work.  Just make sure you can afford them.  And then measure their effectiveness.

I always ask our clients how they heard about us and what made them order today.  During our first few years, the answer was “Internet search.”  Now, the answer is more often “we knew there were quilted covers out there, so we searched the Internet” or “we heard about them and saw an ad for your website.”

Even better, some say “we used to buy ones from your competitor, but we think yours have better patterns and features.”

Here’s the ad we put in the December Director Magazine: final_embrace_nfda_dec_2007.pdf