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Volumes might be written on the necessity of, and the various methods employed for, advertising. Many prosperous men owe their success in life to judicious and liberal advertising. In this age of strong competition in the various avenues of trade, he who does not advertise his wares will probably be outdone by a more ambitious dealer, with perhaps a poorer article, who advertises liberally. People go where they are invited, and the merchant who advertises freely, places his store and windows in attractive order, and leaves the door open, will do far more business than he who does not cater to the public, is indifferent about appearances, gruff, and complaining of hard times.

Horace Greeley laid it down as a rule that a merchant should advertise equal to his rent. This, like all good rules, ought to have exceptions. An old and well established business would not require so much, while a new enterprise would require more than this amount expended judiciously in advertising. The merchant should decide at the beginning of the year about, what amount he may expend in advertising during the year, and then endeavor to place that amount in the best possible manner before the public.

An advertiser should not be discouraged too soon. Returns are often slow and inadequate. Time is required to familiarize the public with a new article or new name. Some men have given up in despair, when just on the eve of reaping a harvest of success by this means. Many of the most prosperous and wealthy business men in this country have at times been driven hard to meet their advertising bills, but they knew that this was their most productive outlay, and by persistently continuing it they weathered the storm.


Select the newspaper which circulates among the class of persons desired to reach. Do not advertise a special article or business designed for a limited class of customers, in a general newspaper. Almost all trades and occupations in these latter days have their special journals, and these afford the best means of reaching that class of persons. The purpose of the advertiser then should be to discover, first, the character of a paper's circulation, and second, the extent of its circulation. On these two essentials may then be based an estimate of its value as an advertising medium. The character of a paper's circulation is easily determined by the quality of the reading matter which the paper contains, and the general tone imparted to it by its conductors. The extent of a paper's circulation bears chiefly on the rates of advertising, which, other things being equal, should have a direct ratio to it. The extent of circulation is a matter of almost constant misrepresentation on the part of publishers or their agents.

As a rule, the most prominent and costly part of the paper is the best. In country weeklies the "local items," or next to them, is preferable. In city journals containing a large amount of reading matter, a well displayed advertisement on the outside pages is perhaps the best for most classes of business.

Place the advertisement before the public at the proper time, just when people are beginning to feel the need of such as the article advertised, as furs, when winter sets in. An advertisement may, however, profitably be kept before the public constantly, and increased or diminished as occasion requires.


There are many well established firms who will not advertise in the newspapers at all. They believe that the same amount of money spent in circulars, catalogues, etc., sent direct to the persons whom they desire to reach, pays better than newspaper advertising. This is more direct, and affords the advertiser the opportunity of setting forth his claims more fully. Circulars, cards, catalogues, etc., also afford a means for the display of taste in their typographical arrangement and appearance, and often times this has as much to do in making an impression on the person who receives it, as the reading matter contained therein. The printed circular goes out to the public as the representative of the house; it should, therefore, in order to command attention and respect, have about it, an air of appropriateness and attraction. Such a circular will perhaps be carefully preserved for years, while another which was of not enough importance, apparently, to the proprietor or firm issuing it, to command their taste and skill, will soon be thrown aside as of no importance to the person receiving it.

Several circulars must often be sent in order to command the attention and secure the custom of a person. Where circulars referring to the same article are repeatedly sent out, the attention of the person who receives them is likely to be arrested at last, and his response may be made in the form of an order.

Perhaps thereafter he becomes a constant customer, buying himself, and recommending his friends to do likewise.


An important idea in advertising is to enlist the services of others, by making it to their interest to advertise your business. This is often done by sending out charts, calendars, etc., containing useful information, together with the advertisement. These, when properly arranged and prepared in an attractive manner, will be placed in a conspicuous place in the store, office, or home of the person receiving them. Railway, insurance, and other corporations have vied with each other in the elegance and attractiveness of their charts, etc., until they have gone into the fine arts, and spared no expense to captivate the public.


More effectual than circulars, and nearest a personal interview, is a personal letter. As an advertisement the letter impresses itself upon the mind of the person receiving it, in an unusual way. A prominent firm employed clerks, and had written several thousand letters, at many times the cost of printed circulars, which they mailed throughout the country, calling especial attention to their line of goods. Even the two cent postage stamp, and the envelope being sealed, impresses the person receiving it with the thought that it is of importance, and one of the largest dry goods houses in Chicago, when issuing any circular which they regard as special, seal the envelope and place a two cent stamp thereon. They consider that this gives their circulars a preference over ordinary printed matter. Certain it is, that the public accept advertisements largely at the value and importance attached to them by their owners.


Personal effort exceeds all other means of advertising, and competition in many branches of business has become so strong in these times, and the facilities for travel so excellent, that large numbers of solicitors and agents traverse the country. Good personal address, a thorough understanding of the business, a knowledge of human nature, together with social qualities, constitute a good drummer.


Before writing an advertisement, one should always place before his mind what is the most important thing to impress upon the public. If he is advertising an article of established trade, it is the name and location of the house selling it which must be the more prominent, or at least equally so with any other part; but if he be introducing some new article, or seeking to extend the sale of something little known or rare, these items are of far less importance, and the name of the article itself should be more prominent. The advertisement should be so constructed as to claim the attention of the reader, and retain that attention until he has read it through. "Excite but never satisfy," is the principle pursued by many successful advertisers.

The advertisement should never contain anything repugnant to refined taste, and nothing grotesque or ridiculous. The most meaning should be condensed into the fewest possible words. The wording should often be changed, and an attractive typography should be used. It is well to choose an attractive heading, followed by fairly spaced paragraphs, with appropriate sub-heads.

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