Does Newspaper Advertising Work?

31 replies
I am curious has anyone gotten clients for building websites and running SEO campaigns from running Newspaper ads? I don't read the Newspaper that often, but the times when I read the Sunday paper I do not see many advertisements for websites or anything else internet related. Just curious...if anyone has had success with it. If you have had success with it then why type of ads do you run? Thanks!
#advertising #newspaper #work
  • Profile picture of the author SamyE
    I have not seen any web related ads that I can recall.

    Best thing to do is buy a copy for one complete week and go through the paper page by page and see if there are any in the paper.

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  • Profile picture of the author Bayo
    Originally Posted by Matthew Payne View Post

    I am curious has anyone gotten clients for building websites and running SEO campaigns from running Newspaper ads? I don't read the Newspaper that often, but the times when I read the Sunday paper I do not see many advertisements for websites or anything else internet related. Just curious...if anyone has had success with it. If you have had success with it then why type of ads do you run? Thanks!
    Yes it does and savvy local small businesses are taking advantage of the fact that everyone seems to be hooked on FB, LI, Twitter, Scoial Media etc

    I create write-ups, ads and other types of content for local businesses as part of a lead generation/copy writing service and can confirm that there are businesses still very much in favor of this media

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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      I don't think newspapers are particularly targeted for that market. What I do mostly for offline is advertise in trade journals and professional magazines. Far better is to write related articles showing your expertise. Most publications will give you a byline and even a link to your website, which is virtually an implied endorsement. Subsequent reprints of these articles will go a long way to open up doors to larger and more lucrative clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author roypreece
    Originally Posted by Matthew Payne View Post

    the times when I read the Sunday paper I do not see many advertisements for websites or anything else internet related.
    Newspapers are great for some markets (like cars and houses) and lousy for others (like specialised electronics).

    Many companies try newspapers -- once. Then they look at the results. If there are no sales, they don't advertise again.

    If there are few ads for internet services in your paper -- or none -- that's a good indication that newspapers don't work for internet services
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOLady
    It can still be an effective medium because newspaper still have a lot of loyal readers though it is significantly dwindling...
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    Check out the local papers, and by that I mean REALLY local. In Seattle we have the Times, the big paper. But we have local advertising and content papers that are free like the Bellevue Reporter (and one for Redmond, Mercer Island, and so on). You might be able to get an article placed in these papers as well.

    I don't know how effective the advertising is but it's a lot cheaper and a lot more targeted.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rozanne
    It can still be an effective medium because newspaper still have a lot of loyal readers though it is significantly dwindling...
    Absolutely right Newspapers and Magazines are very strong and powerful medium for promotional activities. You can capture an attention of readers to your business and it's really helpful to create a brand value of your products/services.
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    • Profile picture of the author roypreece
      I aree that MAGAZINES are still very effective, especially specialist ones. People buy magazines on subjects such as scuba diving or electronics to read the ads as much as the articles.

      It's newspapers that don't pack much punch for internet services marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    Any sort of the marketing medium "works" -- it's a matter of placing the right message (i.e. offer) in front of the right target market.

    If your offer isn't exciting, or properly targeted to the audience, then it will of course fail.

    The problem you might come across is the the thousands of dollars required to pay for advertising in a large publication such as a newspaper can cost you up to $25,000 per day.

    Compare that to direct mail, or even showing up in person, and you can probably get a better ROI (not to mention being able to test on a smaller scale).

    Food for thought

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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Rivers
    Heck Yeah!

    However, I agree 100% with Redlegrich when he says local.

    When I first started out, I couldn't afford to do a full page ad in my Quasi-local newspaper for $1500, much less test something first.

    BUT I could totally afford the $150 in my really, really local newspaper that local yocals (like me) really read. Using those papers allowed me to test ads and offers first and then I would ramp it up.

    The local trade magazines and holiday special editions that my local papers use have also worked really well for me too.

    However, with that being said, out of all the things I've tried (wasted money on) there was only two types of ads/offers that I've gotten to work really well:

    1. Advertorials - Ads that look like newspaper articles and drive traffic to your online offer. I've even cut them out of the paper and mailed them and gotten great responses from prospects.

    2. Information Hotlines with a list of 5 - 7 free reports that they could choose from and call a pre-recorded message to get access to. This allowed me to test which offers would work so I could ramp it up.

    So, test your market and see what works, but my advice is to start with the really, really local papers.


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  • Profile picture of the author TWalker
    I was going to post a new thread asking for advice on newspaper ads but there are just a few post here so....

    I am going to place an ad locally for SMS services, mobile sites and websites etc.

    My reasoning is:

    • I live in a small community with a lot of tourism, restuarants and real estate.
    • I think SMS lends itself to demonstrations especially in print
    • SMS turns print into interactive ads
    • I want to get my name and brand out there so people get used to it.
    • Advertising specialists say it takes multiple exposures of your name and brand for people to start to trust and accept what you offer.
    • I would like the local Chamber of Commerce who have a sign out front which changes quite regularly to have something like text town name to local number for pictures and calendar events notifications.

    But I'm starting with a newspaper ad so that people can see who I am and what I offer. The newspaper ad will be a call to action for photographs and events in our town.

    It would read something like this:
    Text: ASPEN
    TO: Phone number
    : 555-5555 for
    hotos, Event notifications and calendar.


    • Real Estate
    • Restaurants
    • Coupons
    • Special Offers
    • QR Codes
    • Mobile sites
    • QR to SMS

    Business Name


    (I just used Aspen as an example)

    Understand that this town is constantly full of people taking pictures, we have wildlife running in the streets and we are famous for this so tourists are always looking for photographs.

    My main objective is not to collect tourists phone numbers through SMS it is to advertise my service show the Chamber and businesses what SMS can do.

    Tell me what you would and wouldnt do in this case.
    And are there any WSO's or realated sites on how write ad copy?

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  • Profile picture of the author RS3RS
    I've had mixed success, and it seems to depend on exactly what services you're offering and who the audience of the paper is. With web design, it pretty much completely flopped for me. When I started offering social media consulting and SEO-related (read: traffic) services, it was a little better, although the results varied wildly from one paper to the next. YMMV.
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  • Profile picture of the author fitz10
    Yes, but put it in places where business owners are likely to read. So the business or investing section is ideal, I also suggest considering business-themed inserts and/or local business related magazines. Best thing you can possibly do though is get an article published in one of these publications. If you're not a good writer yourself, hop on over to someplace like Constant Content, which is known for its relatively high writing standards. Count on paying $50+ for a 500 word article, but it will be high quality and the amount it can make you in the long run makes up for the cost.

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  • Profile picture of the author Monikacis
    Yeah i also didn't see any website's advertisement on news paper and i think its obvious as www is a great platform then newspaper as it covers whole world unlike newspapers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Luther Landro
    In short, newspaper advertising works by soaking up your budget, and giving you very little back; unless you have a large budget that enables you to keep a sizable advert running for long periods of time.
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  • Profile picture of the author James_Harkin
    I've done newspaper advertising in the past, on the whole for any product you need to target your audience and offer something they need. I've tried business opportunities in a local newspaper and for the £600 I paid I didn't get any response whatsoever. So if you want to promote to a local area, make sure its a product or service that locals want.

    Regarding trade journals and magazines, I've promoted web projects in The Entrepreneur magazine and the National Enquirer and got a great response (although this was when the Internet was in its infancy). I also promoted in targeted trade journals and magazines and got a phenomenal response also in not only display but classified ads. It all depends what your product and market is and what they are lacking. Most magazines and newspapers have demographics, so only advertise towards those specific demographics in order to gain a better response. For example, in the UK the Sunday Mail newspaper comes with a magazine called YOU, its targeted at women, so if you placed an ad in there for a male product, the response would be lower than if you advertised something that women would like.

    An example, if you were selling cheap beds and furniture, it would be better to promote in a local newspaper on the day where there is a lot of rental properties being adverised. Since locals would know to pick up a copy of the local rag to search for apartments and homes and therefore would also be looking for some cheap beds and furniture.

    Offline advertising does still work. Some people still buy 1" display ads in national newspapers every week and still get good revenue. Its a test situation, buy a 3 month ad in a specific newspaper or magazine and gauge the response using a unique URL or telephone number for that ad. If one ad does better on a certain day of the month then focus advertising on that and even increase the size of the ad to see if response increases even more.

    A recent ad we saw in a trade journal involved double glazed windows at such a price that we went straight to the web to find out more. It was a targeted ad and they gave a price that we wanted to pay. We weren't specifically looking for windows but the ad made us respond.

    Anyways, good luck with your offline advertising budget.


    James Harkin

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  • Profile picture of the author Amoore9900
    Anytime you do print the target market needs to see the message over and over just 1 newspaper ad won't get you much. I do like industry specific trade journals better then traditional papers.
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  • Profile picture of the author vlvaralakshmi
    yes,If you are planning to sell something, advertise your business, or trying to find something specific to buy you may consider using newspaper advertising to get your word out.
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  • Profile picture of the author spacechimpmedia
    Still effective if executed right.

    - Target Your Market
    - Get a Pro to Design Your Ad
    - Make It Compelling
    - Clearly State Your USP
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    • Profile picture of the author Luther Landro
      Here is a handy site on rates for simple column ads I found.

      I don't know how accurate they are.
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      • Profile picture of the author naruq
        Test Newspaper Advertising and Industry publications, magazines and newsletters and compare your results.

        Please do not use affiliate links in signatures

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Lambert
    I used a regional newspaper did it for several months and wasted my money...a lot of money. it was for a photography biz and I was trying to target a certain ethnicity.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulFL
    It's difficult to make a broad statement about whether they work or not because of the number of factors involved. In my opinion, most newspaper ads suck because they're image or branding ads.

    Small businesses don't have time to wait to "get their name out" or "build their brand." they need sales to pay for the ad.

    If you're going to run an ad, make it a direct response ad with an offer and a deadline. Offer a special report about how to avoid getting ripped off by a web developer or how to avoid the most common internet marketing mistakes that kill your web marketing dead in it's tracks. Drive them to a squeeze page to get the report or use an 800 number (they pull better than local numbers).

    With any ad, you have three components: the market, the media and the message.

    Are you targeting a hungry market?
    Does the media you're using reach that market?
    Does your message connect with your market and niche enough to make them act?

    I did an ad a while back for a guy who was running an image ad for 6 months and did not get a single call. My ad got over 60 calls and 10 clients in the first month so the client was thrilled. The rep from the paper didn't like my ad because it was "ugly" and was trying to sell my client on the old ad!

    They asked me what to tell the rep. In the interest remaining civil on the forum, I'll just let you use your imagination!

    BTW - A good resource on writing direct response ads is Dan Kennedy's Ultimate Marketing Plan
    A must read if you plan print media ads is Oglivy on Advertising by David Oglivy, who built one of the largest and most successful ad agencies in the country.

    Remember that advertising is a science, not an art. Art can be involved but there are proven methods that consistently work. Unfortunately, most ad designers don't know them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gaurav36
    I have not seen too many advertisements related to it. I am not a regular newspaper reader.It would be useful only if our target market customer are regular newspaper readers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amanda786
    It does work my friend. If you are running a local business service then yes as local people are more interested in local services and the trend of reading newspaper is never old. Many people love reading newspaper rather than using there mobile devices all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    I wouldn't spend money on a newspaper ad for SEO services. I haven't bought/read a newspaper since around 2005, doubtful I'm alone. You would be better off (IMO) to buy a banner ad on the newspapers website If you wanted to target that type of traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author JTV
    I think that roypreece really summarized it perfectly almost three years ago – it depends on what you are looking for. If you have a specific niche market that actually responds to newspaper ads, chances are that you will benefit. If you are just running an ad to get in the paper, chances are that it is money down the drain.

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  • Profile picture of the author stan farrier
    You wiil wasted your money ...........................
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Is everyone who gets the newspaper a real prospect? No. Maybe less than 1%.

      So, 99% of the cost is wasted.

      Direct mail (to a specific list, NOT EDDM), phone calls, online marketing.....
      One Call Closing book

      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    I have 4,000 postcards/coupons inserted in a local paper coming out next week, promoting a warehouse sale. I'll let ya know what the response was. It cost 185 bucks.

    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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  • Profile picture of the author powerofschool
    Even though We can get more potential Clients for Website Related Stuff from Web. Some times, we may get good number of leads from the News Papers.
    I have seen some Advertisers doing Ads continuously every week in the News Paper. Ofcourse Small Square Size Ads in local paper ( not in main paper) .
    According to one of my friend ( who runs Internet company for websites etc ) got enough number of leads ( Good ROI ) from News Papers.
    Hope this helps you.
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