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Dealing with Newspaper Advertising

With newspaper advertising [and with all other types of media], Consistent Advertising = Familiarity = Trust = Customers. People won’t buy from you until they trust you.

Trust and confidence take time to build up. To be successful with newspaper advertising, you need persistence, patience, and a budget to keep your newspaper advertising running to build that trust.

Your ad should appear in the same place in the newspaper at least weekly for an indefinite period [forever]. Expect to run your newspaper advertising for two months before you see an increase in sales. It takes some time to build trust. And if you quit, you have to start all over again. Don’t waste your money starting a newspaper advertising program if you can’t give it time to work.

Facts about Newspaper Advertising

Fifty-seven percent of adults in the U.S. read a daily newspaper. Sixty-seven percent read a Sunday paper. They spend almost 45 minutes per day reading at least one paper, and over an hour on Sunday.

Newspapers get the biggest share of advertising revenue in this country. Almost 22% of all ad dollars go to newspapers. Over 85% of that money is spent by local advertisers.

There are over 1,600 daily papers in the United States with a circulation approaching 58 million. The are over 7,000 weekly papers with a circulation of over 50 million.

When and Where Your Ad Should Appear

Your newspaper advertising strategy will depend on your type of business. The key question is: “When and where [what newspaper sections on what days] do your customers look for your type of business?"

Here are some general placement guidelines:

  1. A smaller advertisement run repeatedly will do better than a larger ad run less often. Familiarity = trust.
  2. Shoppers read the Friday, Saturday and Sunday papers to plan their weekend shopping. Saturday is the most important of the three, but Sunday is the most widely read. If you are a retail store, you probably want your newspaper advertising to run on these days.
  3. The public knows to read the paper on certain days of the week to get certain information. If your competitors are all running their newspaper advertising on Wednesday in the same section, there is a reason. Shoppers know to look there for information about your type of business.

If you change your ad and your customers don’t recognize it, you will have wasted all of the trust you have built up over time. Many companies never change their basic newspaper advertising design. This is a good strategy as long as the ads are working.


You will see us repeat this idea over and over. Your ad has a zero percent chance of succeeding if your prospect doesn’t read it.

Attention is everything in newspaper advertising. Don’t be shy. You want the biggest ad that makes economic sense, and the most stunning presentation you can design. Your ad must stand out from [contrast with] all of the others on the page. Conservative ads won’t even get noticed. Think about it.

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