When considering advertising on television by doing an infomercial, you need to make sure what you’re selling is the right type of product for your audience. Many local stations have reasonable rates for half-hour slots during late nights and weekend mornings. Try to make a balance between what you can spend and when your best target audience will be watching. Select the correct channel to do your infomercial—for example, you probably don’t want to be promoting oil-change equipment on the Food Network.
There are other factors you will need to know before you spend the big money it takes to put an infomercial all together. In a small business every dollar counts, so here are some guidelines:
- Your markup will need to be 400 to 500 percent (or more) to come out ahead.
- Your product should appeal to a mass market. Don’t waste money on viewers who would never think of buying or using your product.
- You should be able to demonstrate the product and show its uses. Make it look easy to use.
- You need to be able to handle a flood of orders if you’re lucky enough to get them.
- You must have the money in your budget plus about 25 percent extra to pay up front for most of the costs.
- You should offer a satisfaction-guaranteed refund policy and mean it. Keep an escrow account for this purpose, and process refunds quickly.
- You need to show people who have purchased or are currently using your product and are really delighted with it and excited about it.
- You need to be sure you’re adhering to all FTC and FCC rules and regulations. Your TV station representative can help you with this.
- You should select a time and station to give your product the best chance to succeed. This should take into account when some of your target audience will be watching.
- Can you afford a local or national personality to attract attention?
We’d all like to advertise during the Super Bowl, but that’s not realistic for a small business. You must start small and see what the results are before you invest more money. If this sounds like a lot of hard work and expense, it is. However, a good media consultant can help you get started on your first infomercial.
If you’re willing to spend the money, take the risk, do the work, and try the tube, good luck! If an infomercial is done correctly and if you have the right product at the right time, it can result in high profits achieved quickly and great exposure. You can also attract the attention of large stores and distributors that you couldn’t even get in to see before. Television opens a lot of doors if you use it wisely.