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How To Write Compelling Copy That Will Sell Your New Gizmo

Aug 17, 2007
What many may consider the most important part of advertising is writing an effective ad. The information that you provide in your classified ad may be the deciding factor in whether it is succeeds or a bombs.

Create a variety of advertisements that employ various approaches. Be prepared to revise your content from time to time. This ensures that you are representing different aspects of your offering. In addition, you can promote your product from several angles, to see which will produce the best results.

Choosing the approach to your advertising may vary, depending on what you are offering. Writing a Classified Ad is not much different than writing an essay, although it clearly is not a literary work. There are three general approaches that you should consider using to promote your product. These are Expressive ads, Persuasive ads, and Informative Ads. However, you should always include a "call to action" regardless of the approach you choose. Additionally, it may not be a good idea to mix any of the three forms. This is because advertisements need to have focus and be to the point.

Here are some definitions and examples of the different types of advertising:

Writing an Expressive Classified Ad

An expressive advertisement is very personal. Expressive ads may be a good idea for a small business, wanting to use a personal approach. When taking an expressive approach, think of writing an excerpt of the day in a journal. As the writer of the advertisement, you want to express your personal feelings, thoughts, or opinions related to the product or service. For example, a Business Opportunity may be advertised as, "I made over $100,000.00 in one year. I cannot believe how easy it was". This eliminates the need to use examples or testimonials, as the author becomes the example.

Writing a Persuasive Classified Ad

A persuasive advertisement is used to convince the reader or change their opinion. To be successful with a persuasive classified ad, the writer needs to have a firm, direct, and clear point. The goal is to induce a reaction that causes the reader to have the same point-of-view as the Author. A very common form of advertising that uses a Persuasive approach is the Government's "Register to Vote," Campaign. They are generally direct and to the point. They provide a succinct reason why you should register to vote. "Make your voice heard." By making a simple benefit obvious, they are accomplishing the task of the persuasive advertisement, getting unregistered citizens to register.

Writing an Informative Classified Ad

Informative advertising provides information to the reader and generally explains what is being offered. When constructing such an advertisement, the author should demonstrate observations, ideas, facts, statistics, or research data. This is rapidly becoming a very common method of advertising on the internet, as more people are becoming information hungry. Consumers want to know what they are buying. In addition, this is a wise choice if consumers cannot physically see the item you are selling. An example of Informative Advertising is an auto manufactures advertisement for their cars (not dealerships). They generally print large advertisements that inform readers of the engine horsepower, torque, maintenance schedule, improvements from prior models, available colors, wheelbase, seating, trunk size, etc. All the information is based on facts and research. It allows consumers to compare their vehicles to similar models from another manufacturer without taking a test drive.

Headlines and Body of your Classified Advertisements

Headlines are often referred to as titles, and are extremely important in grabbing the reader's attention. Headlines should always be typed in capital letters. In addition, use simple name recognition techniques. For example, if you are advertising a Car for Sale, input the Make and Model for the headline. In contrast, if you are selling Real Estate, you should use the street and town where the property is located.

Business advertisements should always use the name of the company. The more the name is seen, the better your Public Relations becomes.

Don't overextend the headline. An example of an overextended headline is adding, "Car for Sale," when placing an advertisement under a, "Cars for Sale," category. This text is redundant, as the consumer is already aware that they are looking at, "Cars for Sale".

Consider what you see from professional journalists that writes columns in a newspaper. Simple and to the point. Inform the reader what the Classified Ad is promoting. The pros never mention the words that are already in the columns' header (Entertainment, Movies, Lifestyle, etc..).

The text or body of your classified ad is very important. First, the body of your advertisement needs to have proper grammar. Having a classified ad with typos gives a bad impression. Next, make sure the body is easy to read. This can be accomplished by using paragraphs with short sentences and avoiding all capital letters. Keep in mind, the body is not a headline. You already grabbed the consumers' attention. After all, they're reading your advertisement.

The goal at this point should be to make the experience pleasant. Finally, end the advertisement with a call to action. How does a consumer proceed to accept your offer? What is the next step they need to take if they want to buy? Use power phrases similar to, "Call Now for Further Details".

Consider the season your target audience is in (depending on the product.) In the winter, people may have different motives to buy than in the hot summer. Also, take into consideration up-and-coming Holidays. Simply wishing a "Merry Christmas" will suggest warm emotions when people are reading your copy. This can help reduce the hard-sell perception the consumer may have while reading your advertisements.

So, good luck and good copywriting. Sit down and write a killer ad to sell your gizmo.
About the Author
Don Resh is CEO of WebForce, Inc. A more detailed bio is available at:

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