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Business Promotional Materials: Advertising basics 3

Now you know your way around the advertising obstacle course a bit better after Advertising basics 1 and 2, we can look at some of the options you have for handling your advertising and its costs.

There are really two fundamental issues:

  • What you can do for yourself.
  • What you shouldn't do for yourself. (See Advertising Basics 4)

What you can do for yourself.

For many businesses, large scale advertising is very risky. It can be a huge outlay, for an unknown result. You could buy an ad in the national media, spend a fortune, and get three phone calls.

If you're an average size business, you're more likely to want to be doing ads in trade magazines, classifieds in the local papers, or online ads using selected sites, and paying their fees. This is the sort of advertising you can do for yourself, save a lot of money, and get at least some exposure for your business.

As you'll have noticed, most ads of this kind are pretty much the same, in terms of appearance and information content. Your competitors are running fairly similar ads. The only real differences are size and appearance. All the local trades use a small column classified, some use bigger ads with graphics. Quite a lot of these ads are 'home made', or use a standard format supplied by the publishers.

If you've got a computer and a phone, you can do very similar ads. Just ring up the publisher, and ask about rates, sizes, and formatting. You'll find it's a very simple process, and they often advertise online simultaneously with other media. You can have a standard ad set up in minutes, and just vary it when you want to advertise something new.

The example given here is a very simple format which can be applied to practically any business.

You'll notice that most of the information is pretty similar to a Yellow Pages basic advertisement. That's because those ads do in fact contain most of the relevant information customers need to see. They're very effective, and can be a good template for your classifieds and other basic ad layouts.

This ad also includes terms of service, ad copy, and a discount offer for late arrival at a job.


1234 Alpha Beta Street
Phone 12345678

24 hour Anywhere area services, including emergency, hot water and appliance repair.

Best rates anywhere, ring our competition and ask them, if you don't believe us.

Customers please note:

We also show up on time, when we say we will, or you get a 10% discount.

Yes, we accept all major credit cards except American Express and Diners Club.

License number: 234567


Please note:

  • This text is intended for advisory and guideline purposes only.
  • Any business letter can become a legal document, so check your content properly before issuing.
  • Any executable or statutorily defined document should be checked for compliance with legal requirements, and you should seek legal advice regarding its contents.