Whether you are starting a new business or looking to attract new sales there are a few things you can't afford. Losing potential clients to your competitor and wasting money on ineffective advertising.
Unfortunately, these things happen more often than not. So, why do some businesses do so well while others fail? It's not due to more marketing dollars spent. Instead a strategic plan was evoked to produce an effective advertisement.
There are many important elements that go into producing an effective ad. First, let me start by saying that coming up with a great ad it isn't rocket-science. There are no complicated formulas to follow in order to create an ad that grabs the readers' attention.
Second, using just creativity can kill your ad. Let me explain. Creative ideas are just that, creative. Before you slap down an idea and call it "brilliant" take the few minutes and ask yourself the following questions:
* Who is my targeted audience?
* Does the ad clearly communicate my message?
* What is "unique" about my message?
* How does my ad compare to my competitors?
* What will motivate my targeted audience to respond?
Your ad has to be more than just creative. It must exude value in its message. Think of the reasons why you buy a product or service. Almost every reason for a purchase has some sort of value tied to it. Whether it saves money, tastes good or satisfies an emotional need, it serves a valued purpose.
Make Headlines Work for You
The headline is by far one of the most important elements in creating an effective ad. There are thousands of pages both in print and online that cover the subject of headlines. Why? Well, quite frankly, it makes or breaks an ad. The headline is in essence the voice of your ad. It shouts out: "Hey This Product Will Make You Rich, Here's How!"
Rather than using: "Jane's Homemade Cookies" use "Instant Smiles with Easy to Bake Homemade Cookies".
Always use appealing keywords in your headline that attract attention or stir up curiosity. The goal is to get your targeted audience to read the rest of your copy. Consider using the following keywords when writing your headline:
New, How, Why, Free, Save, Fast, Now, Announcing, Introducing, Wanted, Make, Grow, Sale, Limited, Guaranteed.
Next time you notice a headline that grabs your attention; use it and test it on your product or service. But always keep away from exaggerating your offer. You will quickly lose credibility if you are not honest with your targeted audience.
Writing Simple Yet Effective Body Copy
Once you accomplish transitioning the reader from the headline into the body copy, build momentum by relating to the viewers' needs and satisfying their desires with each written word.
When writing the body copy; keep words simple and to the point. Use sub-headlines whenever possible and keep paragraphs short.
It's important to make it easy for the reader to scan through the copy. If your offer consists of many benefits, use a bulleted list.
Avoid cluttering up your ad by trying to cram too much in the space provided. Eliminate unnecessary words that can drown your message.
Using Visual Elements
There are no set rules of where the graphics must be placed on your ad. However, when selecting illustrations or photographs, display your product or choose ones that are relevant to your offer.
Using graphics can enhance your message as well as grab a viewer's attention when they glance around on a page. Remember, graphics can communicate a message before a single word is read.
Ask for the Sale While Creating a Sense of Urgency
Limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency, but giving your reader a valid reason why they should act now generates more sales. Again, use benefits to attract the reader to take action.
Is there a free gift with the purchase? Will it enhance their lives immediately? Is it a special one-time low price offer?
People love bargains. Use discounts to attract those who want to take advantage of your offer by providing a coupon with an expiration date.
Lastly, specify how your product or service can be obtained and ask for the sale. If it requires a phone call ask them to pick-up the telephone and call. If you require payment, tell them what forms of payment you accept and how to make them.