Sometime next year, when all this C19 brouhaha has abated, we might just have to start some marketing effort here at Byre Towers. So of course I thought of online. After all, it used to be massively effective and got pretty much all of our trade (that has now stopped dead!) So I Googled for rough costs today and got the following answer - The average cost-per-click (CPC) on Google Ads is $1 to $2 for the Google Search Network and less than $1 for the Google Display Network. Generally, small-to-midsized companies will spend $9000 to $10,000 per month on Google Ads, which doesn't include additional costs, like software. The UK average cost-per-click of Google AdWords (now called Google Ads), on the Search Network, is between £0.66 and £1.32. So roughly speaking, cost-per-click is £1. That's one whole pound. Even more than a Euro or a Dollar. A pound. In my book, that's real money! How often do I click on an ad? Almost never. How often do I actually read an unsolicited email? Almost never. In the good old days when Google-Ads were cheap, how many clicks lead to a conversion - about one in a hundred maybe. Maybe one-in-ten. It depends on the quality of the landing page and what you are selling. At 5p a click, that was almost palatable. But a pound? Just to have someone look at my website? Are they nuts? And much of those online ads are strewn all over the place - not the finely targeted and deeply effective campaigns that the online ad-boys pretend it to be. Lookup a few economics questions and bogus investment advice floods the screen. Try to find a suitable CGI plugin for your fav. video editor and rubbish ads for Pinnacle or some other semi-useless video software will follow you for months. So don't pretend it's targeted - it ain't! The old saying used to be that half of all advertising is wasted, we just don't know which half. And if what you are selling is good and people really want it and need it, that just might be true - maybe, if the advertising is witty and engaging! Online advertising never is! It is just irritating. Both halves are wasted. Most online advertising creates a negative image of the product and the company - at least, it does with me. The more boring, vapid, dreary come-ons I see from a company, the less I want to hear from them and the less I trust them! "Energy you can rely on!" "Click and collect!" "Our dedicated team!" "Where collectors like you meet!" "Where businesses like yours succeed!" "Quality is never out of season!" "Don't miss out on this once only offer!" "Join the revolution!" Who are these people kidding? Do they really think that we believe the same old phrases and slogans? Businesses like yours? I don't know them and they don't know me - so why pretend? Why the BS? Why the tired old slogans that everybody else uses and we all know to be a lie? The offer is not once-only. Your team is not dedicated, in fact, they can't wait for five o'clock! I'm not a collector of mass-produced guff. And if there is a revolution - you, my friend, are not it! But here's the kicker - you are paying one whole pound just to annoy me! Talking of revolutions - here's my revolutionary idea - (at least it was revolutionary a few hundred years ago!) Write a letter to people you know. You may remember them from before the lockdown. We used to call them customers. A real letter. On paper. Addressed to them personally. "Dear Mrs. Blenkinsop," or "Dear Dave," That sort of thing! None of that 'Hi there!' and 'How's it hangin'?' In that letter, you tell the customer about your latest products and how it could benefit them. Remember - your existing clients are your best prospects. They are many times more likely to buy than identical people who are not clients. Keep communicating with them, ask them for referrals. Tell them about changes and improvements and benefits. New services you now offer that you didn't before. Old prospects who didn't buy the first time around are also potential clients. Name your unique selling proposition, which is much better because it says you offer something nobody else does. Tell people what problems you solve, what opportunities you make possible. Use testimonials, case studies, white papers and performance data, which prove your claims. Build relationships and build trust. Now print that letter on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope. If you buy envelopes, paper and ink in bulk, that whole operation will cost 5p or even less. Now ensure that it goes to that person and that they actually read the thing. You can do this by affixing a second-class stamp on the envelope. It costs 65p. So far, we have spent 70p and a little time and we know that Mrs. Blenkinsop and Dave will read that letter! You might even enclose a brochure or a newsletter. 70p is less than £1 and the success rate is many times better - and people like getting personal letters and they read them!