Why don’t I sell more each time I advertise?

Have you ever taken out paid ads for your products/services but find yourself asking the question why don’t I sell more each time I advertise? Well this is a conversation I’ve had with a number of authors on Goodreads. In fact, when we analysed the idea of taking out paid ads, a resounding opinion is that people have learned to block out ads from their line of vision when browsing websites. I touched on this topic briefly on my podcast episode on Retargeting.

When I read a newsletter article by schools.co.uk, it said a lot of things that I feel are applicable to why some people may not see an increase in sales when they advertise.


Why don’t I sell more each time I advertise?

Why don’t I sell more each time I advertise? schools.co.uk

This is one of the most profound and important questions that can be asked by any and every company that ever advertises anything.  Why don’t I sell more each time I advertise?

And yet curiously it is a question that is not asked that often. Somehow an assumption can arise that the level of sales one gets is what is normal and to be expected.  That nothing can be done about it.

So I thought it might be interesting to ask what possible answers might there be to the question, “Why don’t I sell more each time I advertise?”

Here are five possible answers…  There are, of course, others but let us start with these.

1: Because people don’t want what I sell.  If you are offering course materials in learning Japanese and schools are not teaching Japanese, then you aren’t going to sell any.

Segilola: This principle applies irrespective of what field you are in. If you write books on learning accounting but promote it to people who want to swim, you are unlikely to sell very much.

2: Because the price you are charging is too high.  Schools, it is argued, will always buy the cheapest.

Segilola: Have you studied what your competitors are doing? If you write fiction and most authors in your genre charge for instance £3, you are likely going to struggle to sell any copies if you charge £9.99

3: Because the advert is not written in a way that encourages people to read it, so they abandon it right at the start and never get to read what you are selling.

Segilola: As mean as this may sound, nobody but you and your mom cares about you. If you do not tell people what problems your products/services would be solving for them, you are unlikely to see an increase in sales. For instance, if you wrote a cook book, (without me being an expert) you could tell them in a few words what type of dishes they would expect and possibly the cooking duration. Are your recipes quick recipes for the busy mom?

4: Because schools don’t have any money so they are not buying anything or at least they are not buying at this time of year.

Segilola: DO NOT BE LIKE FREE AMAZON APP RETAILERS WHO PUT IN-APP PURCHASES IN APPS FOR TODDLERS. In my toddler’s kindle for kids, it’s got child lock in it so the internet doesn’t work other than for YouTube (which is still restricted) and the child account doesn’t allow any purchases at all. So you can image advertising to people who have no money. You are guaranteed to not make any sales. You need to think about who your end user is.

5: Because teachers don’t read emails.

But do these points mean that there is nothing we can do?  I think not.

And at  the risk of hearing a chorus of “you would say that wouldn’t you?” I will answer that all of these five reasons can be tackled – and I’ll try and outline how, very quickly, in the points below.

1: If schools are not buying what you sell, it is up to you to convince them of the need for your product or service.  You might think this is obvious, but sometimes that is not enough.  You have to be clear and show why they need this and why they should buy it from you.  In short you have to talk about the benefits the product brings, not the features within the product.

The feature with the Japanese course is that they learn some Japanese.  The benefit is that the course expands their understanding of communication systems, and impresses universities when students apply for a place – no matter what the course.

2: Some will answer issues about money by saying “cut the price”.  I wouldn’t – instead I would justify the price in the advert.  Once again give the benefits that your version brings compared to the lesser versions around at cheaper prices.  It is usually much easier to earn more by putting the price up, than by taking it down.

3: You might already have read my analysis that says that there are different ways of writing an advert – from announcing the product to asking an interesting question.  There are at least five approaches and changing the approach of the advertisement can make a huge difference.

4: The simple fact is that schools are spending. I know this because aside from running Schools.co.uk we have a publishing company that sells books to schools and two companies that offer support with certain special needs pupils and students.  We are getting sales – using the methods outlined here.

5: Some teachers don’t read emails – that is true – and that is why our adverts are not only sent to schools via email but also placed on UK Education News at no extra cost, to reach those teachers who don’t read emails.

My point overall is that if your sales rates have not been all that you might hope, then with this sort of analysis you now have a chance to focus on the reason why during the summer break – and we are most willing to help.


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