Are 3 P ads destroying the profitability of your store?

Yes, the ad below is over-the-top, and no it’s not an ad you’re going to see in your local newspaper. But let’s be honest, add another 3 to 6 products, clean up the free financing language and would be like many of the ads that show up in newspapers across the country on a regular basis:


And even though there are several things I could talk about on how to make this ad pull in more customers, in this email I’m only going to talk about one aspect… the 3 P’s of this ad, and why using 3 P ads like this one is costing your business $$.


What are 3 P’s? Picture, Product, Price.


And yes most ads are some form of a 3 P ad, but soon you’re going see how much better your 3 P ads can be…


In previous emails I’ve talked about the power of using better (and more) sales copy. In my 30 years of marketing the truest-true I know of is sales copy is king with it comes to advertising. It’s not the picture of recliner in the above ad that’s going to get someone interested enough to either call, visit your website (hopefully you have a website that shows all of your merchandise) or stop in to your store- It’s going to be the sales copy. Even the price is secondary to the sales copy.


Outside of a few basic staples most people have a poor feel for what something should cost, so showing a price of $229 or $299 or $399… it’s not going to have as much affect on the person reading the ad as will the sales copy.


You may say, “OK Mike I get the point that sales copy is important, but this is a low-end recliner, how much sales copy can use?”


Yes, this is a low-end recliner. But a good copy writer can spin good sales copy about any product. You’ve heard of Duluth Trading Co? They advertise on TV and built their business on the backs of a very successful catalog.


Here’s a small snippet of their catalog that shows their 3 P ad for a pair of blue jeans:



What’s more of a “commodity” product the low-end recliner or this pair of blue-jeans? Now I’m not going to review all the sales copy in this ad for the blue jeans, if you take the time to read it, you’ll find that it’s darned good! And notice the picture? It’s not even a picture of the blue-jeans but a drawing!


And if you think that’s too much sales copy and no one will read it… Wrongo!  I’ve seen split test after split test and longer sales copy always out-pulls shorter sales copy.  You many ask “Who’s going to read all that?”  And the answer is the person most interested in buying that product.


I admit when I became a marketing specialist for a catalog company almost 20 years ago the first thing that struck me as being different from retail marketing was how much effort catalogers put in their sales copy as compared to retailers.


Imagine how much better your ads would pull if you had more and better sales copy next to each product- Imagine how much better your ads would be as compared to your competitors.


Going forward, keep in mind that it’s not the picture that going to get someone interested in your product nor is it going to be the price. It’s going to be the sales copy in between. And to ignore that point will cost you big $$.


Mike W.


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