The Case for Space Cheap to Test, Quick to Turn Around (1,285
Two disadvantages to space ads:
• Your offer is public knowledge on the day of publication, opening you up to copycat offers from your competition.
• You are severely limited in terms of space; you cannot present a highly complex or difficult-to-explain offer.
At Home and Abroad
Two companies dominate the direct marketing space business in the United States and the United Kingdom, and they operate very, very differently.
Novus Marketing, Minneapolis
Last year, Novus placed 37,000 space ads for clients in 800 newspapers and 400 magazines—90 percent were directed to consumers. According to Novus' Brian Blanchard, while Novus does place some fractional space ads, the lion's share are full pages for which its clients pay an average of 30 percent of rate card. Not only does Novus get very good prices, but is also able to negotiate good positions for its clients.
Most of the ads Novus places do not have coupons, but instead prominently display 800 numbers. Interestingly, more of the ads have bind-in Business Reply Cards than coupons; a BRC can increase response by as much as 600 percent. Tip-on BRCs—a fad in the 1970s and 1980s—are little used now.
Is it a good idea to offer a Web address for responses? Blanchard suggests that if an ad is highly emotional, asking a prospect to interrupt the argument and boot up a computer could break the spell. On the other hand, if the ad is selling on intellect and fact, offering Web access is OK. However, in general, Novus discourages orders going to a Web site because they are very hard to track by source. While it's possible to set up satellite Web sites to take individual orders by source, as Blanchard explains, Priceline.com doesn't want its customers forced to remember, for example, priceline.com/free1.
Lavery Rowe, London, U.K.