Advertising that works

Advertising that works

Most of you already know that 99% of our business has come from word-of-mouth…and we have nothing to complain about since our business has pretty much doubled each year for the last three years.  However, from time to time we have dabbled with small newspapers, some print and even google adwords with basically no success.

That is until we found HARO.  If you’ve never heard of it, help-a-reporter-out is the recent creation of Peter Shankman.  It’s a simple email list that connects reporters to potential sources for articles, for free.  We’ve been subscribed since there were only a couple of thousand readers, and now Peter’s got more than 35,000 readers and a ton of high profile reporters and bloggers use it to find sources.  We’ve benefited by getting some quality press through connections we’ve made on HARO.

Peter offers one short text sponsorship at the top of each of his emails.  We figured we’d give it a try since the price was reasonable and we’ve never had a chance to put AllyZabba in more than 35,000 people’s inbox.  It turns out, it was the best advertising choice we’ve ever made.

Let’s get specific.  We were having a decent month of December–especially considering the general state of the economy.  Here’s an excerpt from the ad that Peter ran for us on December 16th:

I love HARO sponsors because they send me the coolest (warmest, and softest, technically,) things. This HARO is thanks to AllyZabba, the worlds softest blankie…order today for guaranteed Christmas delivery for only 1 cent!. http://www.AllyZabba.com/

And you can see the response from this graph showing our site visitors:

And here is what happened to our sales that day. This graph shows the approximate gross income:

Even with our niche product of high-end, handmade baby blankets, the results were terrific.  It’s a little hard to tell from these charts how good the rest of our month actually was.  We always have a couple hundred visitors in our store and at least a few orders each day.  But, by comparison to “HARO day” the rest of the month looks like nothing.  The graphs also don’t tell the whole story because a lot of the discussions we have been exchanging with people all over are from the HARO connection. We anticipate good things from these new relationships.

In short, advertising that works. You should subscribe to the HARO list and see what you think. What a great way to end the AllyZabba year.

15 thoughts on “Advertising that works

  1. Thanks. We usually don’t like to talk “numbers” here, but it seemed like this information is a lot more useful with the actual figures to back it up. Thanks.

  2. Hey AllyZabba, I am a HARO subscriber and bought 2 blankets the day your ad ran. So this is for real! BTW, I received the blankets and they are as adorable and plush as they look online! THANKS!

  3. I heart HARO… now I see there other ways I should get involved with HARO also..thank you for actually showing your stats, etc! I’m wondering how it works on a wholesale level, as I am a wholesale rep.

  4. @CanCan: We booked our ad months ago and I think his advertising rates have bumped up a bit since then. I’d contact Peter for today’s rates. But, last I heard, his prices are still very competitive and at today’s rates, we would have been very satisfied with the response.

    @Nancy: We’d love to talk with you about selling our blankets wholesale. Here’s a bit of information online about AllyZabba’s wholesale options: http://www.allyzabba.com/business/wholesale/ . Feel free to contact us and we’ll send you a price list and all the info.

    Thanks!

  5. I receive HARO and I remember the baby blanket mention. A 35k list is worth looking at, but conversion rates will be quite low for most people.
    At an average 2.5% clickthrough and a 2.5% conversion rate of those, that makes around 22 sales. If net profit on your widget is only $10, thats only $200 gross profit. I wonder how much he wants?

    Also, many people skip his “Hello from Grover’s trash can” blurb at the top and just get straight to the goods below.

  6. I love to see people track and graph their data.
    The thing that would help is to know what one day of advertising cost you. If you picked up an extra $1400 – $1500 in sales from one ad that cost fifty bucks — Great! But if the ad cost $2000… then not so great.

    Everyone’s break even point is different, but could you tell us what the ad cost?

    Thanks,
    Deborah

  7. Hey Deborah,

    You’re right, it does depend on the cost of the ad. As far as I know, Peter doesn’t publicly post his ad prices so I’m not sure it would be cool to disclose his prices here. It’s real easy to find out if you’re interested, just write him and he’ll let you know what the current prices are. For us, it was worth it–and we’ve spent more on advertising with far less results before.

    You are right that it depends on your markup and everything else whether it’ll be a good ad for your business. It may not. However, I’ve always thought that a lot of what advertising does is create brand awareness and the impression of quality, and if an ad also results in immediate sales than that’s the best of all worlds.

    I’d be interested in hearing from other Haro advertisers about their experiences as well.

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