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Retail Furniture & Mattress Stores – The 7 Deadly Advertising Mistakes to Avoid!

For thirty years I have been studying mattress and furniture ads and asking myself why did this ad pull and this one didn’t.  I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but for those of you on the quest to create the perfect ad that pulls reading this article will surely save you some time and point you in the right direction.

1 No FREE – FREE is so important that it should be one of the largest of all your images in any ad. It should also be set at an angle to gain additional attention. Using a different color and font will help to distinguish your FREE from other elements in your ad.

2 No SALE – The word SALE is the only word more important than FREE! This needs to be the single largest image in your ad.

3 No Financing Offer – Not only is it important to showcase your financing offer in your ad but it’s critical that your financing offer is better or more compelling than your competitor’s.  If you offer free financing with no interest for 12 months and your competitor is offering the same but for 24 months, you need to find out what financing company he is using and you need to at least match it.  Sometimes it’s worth joining a buying group if that buying group has access to special financing offers that will give you a competitive advantage.

If you offer layaway, you need to make sure that you feature that in your ad as well.  Layaway programs appeal to consumers who usually cannot qualify for credit but also to fiscally disciplined ones that do not want to incur finance charges on their purchase.

4 No Selection – One of the reasons a customer will choose your store instead of a competitors to shop is because you have a larger selection. Make sure you include prominently something like, “Over 37 models to Choose From!” or “Largest Selection of mattresses in Cuyahoga County”.

5 No Urgency – There must be real urgency to respond to the ad Now! If you don’t have urgency in your ad you are wasting your advertising dollars. Never run an ad without a clearly published deadline and a reason to respond Now.

6 No Why – What’s in it for me? This is the question our customers are always asking themselves about our offer.  The ad needs to tell the consumer why you are the best choice among all other alternatives including doing nothing at all.

7 No Direction – What is the next step you want your customer to take? Instruct them clearly in your ad.

Don’t Forget This! Please tell the customer where you are and how to get in touch with you. Including your address is not enough. What major store or landmark that your customer will know are you next to or across the street from? Please assume your customer is new to town because often times those are the customers who need mattresses or furniture the most!

Include your website’s url, business Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, fax, and store phone number. Every customer is a unique individual and offering additional ways to communicate with your store will increase the response rate to your ad.

What’s Next- Don’t miss “Are you in the right market?” and stay tuned for a series of upcoming articles on the right media for furniture and mattress stores.

Action Step- What did I miss? Please share your wisdom with us! Your feedback is critical to this blog’s success. Please post your comments! Please visit and Like us! Our like page has the latest breaking news in the industry as well as product information, inspiring videos, motivational quotes, and selling tips!

Articles? Please email me any ideas for articles that you want me to write. Have you written an article on sales, goal setting, or time management? I’ll be glad to publish them in my ezine and on my website! Please email them to me at

Wishing You Success,


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Comments (2)

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  1. Don Robinson says:

    Great info Pete… Thanks for sharing your in”sight”! DER

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