BIG BUCKS WITH BUMPER STICKERS
As the number of automobiles on the road
increases, and as drivers are forced to spend more time in their cars and
trucks commuting back and forth between home and office, the bumper sticker
is becoming an item of greater visibility. The car ahead of you in traffic
challenges you to "Ask About My Grandchildren," "Support Your
Local Police Force," or informs you that the driver's child is an honor
student at the local elementary school. While political candidates have long
used the bumper sticker to proclaim their worthiness for public office,
business has been slow to make use of this powerful and inexpensive form of
advertising. The bumper sticker business is one that can be established with
a minimum investment and can easily adjust itself to any circumstance.
Bumper stickers can either be sold to
existing businesses as a method of advertising, or they can feature
political, social or comic sayings that express the driver's individual
feelings and sold wholesale to retail outlets. As you consider the income
potential of this endeavor, your first decision will be whether you want to
sell advertising stickers to businesses or if you would rather develop a
line of stickers for retail sales.
If you choose to sell bumper stickers as
advertising, first determine if you will line up people who are willing to
"wear" the bumper stickers on their car as advertising showplaces,
or if you will first line up the business owners who want to advertise in
this manner. A good friend of ours started such a business several years
ago, and he found it easier to sell a business owner on the new service by
telling him that 100 to 200 people were all set and willing to wear his
bumper sticker advertisement. An owner who knows that his message is ready
to be flashed across town will be easier to convince than one who has to
visualize the end result sometime down the road.
We recommend that you first establish your
advertising showcase. Talk to your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Get as
many of them as possible to agree to "wear" a bumper sticker. You
might offer to pay them $10 for 3 months or $5 for 6 weeks. Gather a group
of college students together--members of a fraternity or sorority--and offer
to donate the money to their organization if each member will place one of
your advertisements on his bumper for a semester.
With the inducement of money just to put a
bumper sticker on their cars or trucks, you won't have too many refusals.
One person we know runs an ad in his weekly shopper's newspaper advertising
the fact that he pays money just for "wearing" a bumper sticker.
Also, don't overlook the pulling power of all the bulletin boards in your
area. It shouldn't be difficult to arrange for several hundred drivers to
place a bumper sticker on their cars for a three-month time span.
Next, check with a number of printers in your
area and determine the cost of having bumper stickers made to order.
Generally, you should be able to get 1,000 bumper stickers for approximately
$200. Whatever the cost, this initial outlay should be absorbed by your
charge to the advertiser. Suppose you have 100 people lined up to
"wear" one of these bumper stickers on their cars for 6 weeks.
Figure the bumper stickers will cost $100.
What do you charge the advertiser? Always charge based on the circulation of
the ad, like newspapers do--on a "per car" basis. If you charge $1
per car per week with 200 cars, this comes out to $200 per week, or $1,200
total over 6 weeks from the advertiser. Subtract $100 for getting the bumper
stickers made and $500 as payment for the cars "wearing" the
bumper stickers, and you would end up with a profit picture of $600 for
those 6 weeks. And that's just from one advertisement!
In the beginning, you should be the one
calling on potential advertisers and doing all the selling. Once you've got
your program organized and running smoothly, your next step is a natural
multiplication of your efforts. Run an ad in your local paper for commission
sales people. Brief them on the basics and get them out on the street
selling the concept to advertisers for you. The best time to launch a
business of this kind is during the fair weather seasons or just in advance
of general political elections in your area. Once established, however, the
business can and should sustain itself year around.
The selling keys to this style of advertising
are the same as those for any "word-of-mouth" advertising. You've
got people all over town spreading the word--talking about the advertiser.
These are the people who are saturating the area with the advertiser's name
and message wherever they go.
This is also an ideal business for constant
free publicity write- ups in your local newspapers. Your unique
advertisements will draw frequent comment from folks commuting to and from
their places of business or school. It's easy! It's simple! And it works!
Compared with other more traditional
advertising methods, bumper sticker advertising is very low cost. One of the
tricks of the trade is in using short, snappy, even humorous slogans or
messages. For instance: "Anderson's Cafe--6th & Main--That's where
I'm going--How about you?" Another idea is to make the lettering on the
bumper stickers luminous to the headlights of the cars behind.
Neon colors and letters will also attract
attention. Most important, make sure to make your lettering easy to read and
the message short enough to comprehend in one glance. Potential customers
are all around you. Think about it. You can start at the front of the yellow
pages in your phone book and probably never run out of places ready to be
sold on your plan of bumper sticker advertising. Some of the more
traditional places to sell this kind of advertising include: Taverns,
Newspapers, Movie Theaters, Pizza Houses, Radio & TV Stations, Sporting
Goods, Flea Markets, Insurance Companies, Auto Repair Shops, Physical
Fitness Clubs, Appliance Repair Trade Schools, Political Campaigns, Travel
Agencies and Events Sponsors.
The important thing is to always be creative
in your selling efforts. Be sure to show the prospect how his business can
grow by advertising in the manner you propose. Describe how your method is
more positive, more responsive and lower in cost than the more traditional
advertising. For example, if the average car "wearing" one of your
ads is seen by 10 drivers a day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks, that single ad
has appealed to 420 people. Multiply that by 200 cars, and now 84,000 have
seen the customer's ad for a low $1,200--Less than one and a half cents per
contact! That is a true advertising bargain.
Remember, too, the more clever or
"catchy" the message on the bumper sticker, the more it will make
people talk and respond. For ideas along these lines, go back to the yellow
pages of your telephone book and read all those short, crispy one-liners.
Practice writing and rewriting your ad copy
before settling on the best. Make sure you have several possible choices to
present to a new client. Or they may have a slogan or motto they would
prefer to use. While their choice may not be the one you would choose,
remember, the customer is always right!
Remember also that advertising is a form of
"brainwashing," and the more people see the message, the stronger
appeal it will have. Thus, when they need or are in the market for services
or products offered by the advertiser, they will quickly refer to the
strongest, easiest-to-recall advertising message in their minds. And that,
of course, means that if the prospect sees a specific advertising message on
the bumpers of the cars in front of him day after day, when he's ready to
buy, that particular advertiser will be the one he will most likely
As you experience success with your bumper
sticker advertising business, you can expand to include magnetic signs on
the sides of cars, saddle-back designs on the rear of pickup trucks and even
yard signs in residential neighborhoods. As explained in this report, line
up your "method of exposure," determine your costs, and then go
after the advertisers. It can be a very easy way to achieve real wealth and
independence. See you at the top!