If you could be a fly on the wall at ETR, there’s no telling what kind of valuable information you could pick up. Just the other day, in fact, MaryEllen revealed a small but powerful piece of advice… something that could change your whole perspective on marketing.

We were in a marketing meeting, reviewing a spreadsheet of ETR’s media buys (the advertising space we purchase from other websites and newsletters). The spreadsheet covered things like cost, list size, number of names collected, and a dozen other metrics.

"Holy mackerel," said one of the newest members of our marketing team. (Okay – she may have said something slightly more colorful.) "Look how much that ad space is costing us. That one ad is running up 10 percent of our entire marketing budget!"

"Doesn’t matter," said MaryEllen.

Everyone exchanged glances. "Why not?" someone ventured.

"Because of this little number, right here," MaryEllen said, tapping the spreadsheet.

"See? This ad space is bringing in orders. And it’s selling enough that the ROI is well over 100 percent. So even though it’s a big chunk of our budget, it’s worth it.

"At the end of the day, when it comes to making money, ROI is the only thing that matters."

Keep this advice in mind when you review your own marketing efforts. Cost isn’t everything. No, you don’t want a super-expensive loser of an ad draining your profits. But if your return on investment is strong, cost becomes a moot point.

[Ed. Note: When you’re starting your own business, there are plenty of secrets you just won’t know. Let ETR’s experts save you the time and energy of making your own mistakes. Get their "shortcuts" to making money – and watch your profits soar.]