by: Bob Osgoodby
A scattergun, or more commonly referred to as a shotgun,
fires many pellets into the air hoping that one or two might hit the target.
Most however miss and fall harmlessly to the ground.
The scattergun approach in advertising, is when you don't try to isolate
your potential customers from the general population. While you may
find a few people who will buy your product, the majority of your
advertising dollar is being wasted on people who aren't a potential
When describing a particularly good salesperson, it is often said they could
sell Ice Boxes to Eskimos. Now for those who may not know what an "Ice Box"
is, think of your refrigerator - the kind you plug in to keep your food
cold. Eskimos, of course live in a very cold climate, and would have little
use for a box to keep ice in.
Some salespeople however have an extraordinary talent, and can
convince someone they absolutely need something, even if they don't. Now,
everyone is not that type of a super salesperson, and you may have to be a
little more realistic.
Are you trying to sell "Ice Boxes" to Eskimos? You may think that you're
not, but if your ads aren't reaching your target market, then you might just
as well be. There's no way you'll succeed in your business on the Internet,
unless you're selling to your target market!
So what is a target market? Simply put, it consists of people who may have
an interest in what you are trying to sell. Finding prospects for your
target market, whatever it may be, is not that difficult. A quick way is to
do a search on the web using keywords that would relate to your target
market. This is an ideal place to attempt to develop mutually beneficial
Now, don't get me wrong - I am not suggesting you find these web
sites and send them unsolicited commercial email - in other words "Sp^m".
There is software available that will find these sites by the thousand, and
you must resist that impulse. If however, you send a personal email,
suggesting a symbiotic relationship, few people would take umbrage. The
ideal candidate you might find is not in a competing business, but in an
Ezines, by any account, are the absolute best way to isolate a target
market. Most of them sell advertising space, and for a small investment, you
can get your message out to exactly the potential clientele you are seeking.
Find Ezines, which are of interest to your target market and take out an ad.
Another powerful method is to write an article that would be of interest to
the publisher of an Ezine. Most are hungry for new and fresh content, and
will publish your articles with your "authors credits" at the end.
You have a much better chance of being published, if you try to set up an
exclusive arrangement with the publisher. Now this doesn't mean that they
are the only one you send the article to. You may send them your
article first, giving them a chance to publish it, before you send it to
If you get to be known as an expert in your field, whatever it may be, you
will find your potential clients approaching you. Once they do
approach you, keep a file of their names and email addresses. First send
them a thank you note. You can follow that up later with your actual sales
messages. Because you have established a relationship, they will be more
inclined to read what you say.
Notice that you should include their name in the information you capture as
well as the email address. Now when you send them your offers, you can start
it off with their first name - like "Dear Bob". Most people will take the
time to read something that is that personal, as it immediately separates
your email from all the other junk they receive.
If you don't use the "Scatter Gun" approach, you won't have to try to sell
that proverbial "Ice Box". You have identified your target market, and your
advertising dollars should generate the desired result.
Did you know that subscribers to Bob Osgoodby's Free Ezine the "Tip
of the Day" get a Free Ad for their Business at his Web Site? Great Business
and Computer Tips - Monday thru Friday. Instructions on how to place
your ad are in the Newsletter.