I have saturated the internet to death with ads..I found every place you can think of to advertise in our area online, I have great keywords in my web site and am working on my site map to better it. 90% of my business is from the internet. I want more! I dont want to advertize in the penny saver as I don't do sheet cakes and such, but would like to do a print ad in a bridal publication. There is one I have been talking to for a while who isn't too badly priced (about the price of one bridal show) and the magazine is free, given out at all the shows and everywhere you look that is bridal. My DH doesnt think print ads work, and I would like to get the bride that doesnt sit and surf the web but insteads combs through these magazines.
Do any of you do print ads? Do you think they work? Or do you just stick with internet?
lorie, I'm like you ... all internet ads. I tried a few smaller newspapers and a small local phone book .... nothing.
I'm in a bridal show in March that is sponsored by the local small town newspaper. Part of the cost of the booth is an ad in a special publication that is given to brides all year long. So I'll be waiting to see how that works out.
I'm very interested in finding out others' experience in this area.
I put 1/8th page ad in our local "Wedded Bliss" and had some response. I even changed the cake pic from one of my traditional styles to the brightly colored Caddy Wampus cake and the response doubled and then fizzled out.
I upgraded to a 1/4 page and the response has been unbelievable. I have had 6 consults in a week and 5 of those have booked.
I am also doing my FIRST bridal show. I have my brochures printed--made one myself and took it to Kinko's. I have just ordered some pens with my name, number and website on them to hand out at the bridal show.
Our local newspaper has just started having a wedding page for advertising at a reasonable price and no long contract. I may consider putting one in there but right now the wedding magazine is doing it for me.
It really depends on the publication. It is very important to know who is picking up the magazine. You can tell by who is advertising in the magazine, since all of the advertisers usually put out the magazine. We get a lot of inquiries from one magazine, and the other mostly gets our cakes shown to less expensive vendors to recreate, because the demographic is a little below our price point.
I've just put an 1/8 page ad in one of the national Scottish wedding magazines. It came out a couple of weeks ago. The hits to my website have skyrocketed but no queries off the back of it yet. It's early days though & I'll have a better idea in a couple of months time. I've done it as a bit of an experiment - I use Google's AdWords and get pretty much exactly the amount of business I need from it. The print ad was very expensive so if it doesn't work I'll stick with AdWords.
We spend around $4000 a year on print ads along with a similar "saturate the web" campaign. I am always amazed at how many calls we get from people that have never visited our web site and are just calling with a copy of a bridal mag in hand. Being in the magazine is also the only way to also get on their web site... which costs an extra $1000 a year (Arizona Weddings magazine).
We continue to do print ads because of the freakish amount of competition in this market (I could list 120+ "custom cake shops" that have a web site or advertise elsewhere) and while we are in a great position and growing in revenue every year, I need to make sure it stays that way.
I would love to be done with print ads soon but every year when I am evaluating it, I determine that it's worth at least what we spend on it so I keep running them to keep our name out there in front of the world.
Best of luck!
When I was in Houston I was in the PWG and worked the leads like crazy. You received the contact info on every bride that registered with PWG if you had an ad. I had a small ad (a little smaller than a biz card) that cost me $185 a month. The cost for the year didn't recoop in sales for wedding cakes as there were 3 other highend shops within a few blocks of me.
Now that I am in a pretty rural area, I am doing direct mail postcards and a small ad in a local publication. I am going to start writing an article about all the things brides need to know about choosing their baker/cake designer, as well as other "bridal" issues beginning in the March issue.
This way, I get and extra small ad along with my paid ad and people are reading my articles too!
We've done some targeted ads in bridal sections with little success. You best bet is Google Adwords targeted to your state.