6 Reasons your Advertising isn’t Attracting Customers

Trying to reel in customer

Access My FREE 5-Part Retail Sales Training Email Course!

Updated April 9, 2024

Advertising is your face to the world. It is how you tell others who may never have heard of you about your brand.

It is also how you keep those consumers who know your brand aware and interested and helps get customers back to your store. It is a natural extension of your business.

One of the most common complaints I hear from retailers is that their ads aren't working as well as they used to. Here are six common reasons why you aren’t attracting customers.

The person viewing your marketing doesn’t know who you are

While you can purchase lists of emails, physical addresses, and even Twitter followers, your return is usually meager because the people you reach this way don’t know who you are.

You are essentially cold-calling them, hoping that at that very moment, they are looking for whatever you are selling and will buy.

How to correct it: Don’t buy lists of strangers. People who know you are your greatest marketing opportunity. Find more ways to provide value to those on your list so they will help you spread the word.

The person viewing your message doesn’t know what you want them to do

When a shopper lands on your website, opens an email, or pauses before throwing your postcard in the trash, do they know what you want them to do? Customers will click from your page, delete, or round-file if your marketing isn't clear.

How to correct it: Always have someone look at your advertising to find the call to action. It could be you want the viewer to come in, or you want them to click and find more information, but whatever the message, it must be abundantly clear to a casual reader. Font choice, color, and action verbs make your directions clear.

The medium you’re using to advertise is ineffective

While you can still advertise in the Yellow Pages, print fliers and put them on car windows, or even have some kid in a silly costume jumping up and down, make sure you don’t waste your money.

How to correct it: Ask your customers if they read newspapers, websites, or magazines where you think of advertising. Ask your kids, too, and unless there is a clear majority, steer clear of costly ads. Instead, invest your money in Facebook-sponsored stories for targeted interest groups.

Too many messages

Just because you can put ten things in one email, have fourteen categories on one web page, or list multiple events in one status update doesn’t mean you should. You shouldn’t.

How to correct it: Less is more. Find one strong message you want to promote. Then, in each email, status update, or webpage, tell a straightforward story and give it one call to action.

Not unique

I received an email with the subject line, “We found some stuff for you.” I didn’t open it, and I doubt many would. Poor subject lines result in never-opened, deleted emails.

How to correct it: Monitor your habits when choosing whether to open an email. The subject line has to be a headline that makes the reader want to know more. Personalizing your email marketing with the reader's first name in the subject line has been proven to increase open rates.

It’s all about you

Do you know how you feel when you encounter someone talking about nothing but themselves? Great, then you know why this is so bad! So you’re having an event, a sale, or you received a new order—I don’t care, and neither does your shopper. You must tell the customer how the information you share relates to them.

How to correct it: Use the words you and your extensively. Create your advertising with a person in mind. Relate everything to how the reader can reduce stress, save or make money, have more time, or feel better.

Making your marketing work involves knowing who you are and what message you want to send and ensuring your customers know what to do when they view it. All advertising must be unique to you.