(Warning: this blog post contains math – lots of math. Proceed at your own risk)

Your traffic comes from three sources…

• Repeat Customers
• Referral Customers

I was asked once to write down the percentage of customers I believe are Repeat Customers. I wrote down 60%. I guessed 25% for Referral Customers. That left only 15% of my traffic being Ad-Driven.

With such a small percentage of our business being driven by our ads, if I want to move the needle through advertising, I have to take some big risks.

Here is the math…

Assuming you have 10,000 customers a year and your percentages are similar to mine you have the following:

• Repeat Customers = 6,000
• Referral Customers = 2,500

A 10% increase in effectiveness of your ads would only net you an additional 150 customers, a modest 1.5% increase in your overall traffic.

If you want your advertising to make a difference you can see, you need a 100% increase in the effectiveness of your ads. Anything less and you would be better off spending that money on Customer Service training.

But since you’re going to advertise anyway, you might as well climb way out on the limb where the fruit is.

To be effective, your ad campaign needs to drive another 1,500 new customers into your store. 1,500 new people. What can you say that will convince 1,500 people to take an action they haven’t yet taken? You have to say something fascinating and interesting. You have to say something emotional and heartfelt. You have to say something memorable.

You have to craft a message so powerful that it moves the needle for 1,500 people. That takes some risk. Are you willing to risk insulting someone who most likely wouldn’t be your customer anyway? Are you willing to say something that doesn’t sound like anything else in any other ad anywhere? Are you willing to be open and honest about your shortcomings as well as your strengths?

The good news is that the math also works in your favor. If your ad campaign backfires or falls flat, you still have that 85% of Customer Service-driven traffic to keep you afloat. And 1,500 people is a mere pittance in a trade area of 150,000 people. You just need to convince 1% more of the population to shop with you to get 15% growth.

Say something powerful and the math will all work out.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com