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Headlines Get Attention. Copy Closes The Sale

Apr 9, 2008
Google ad copy and you will have your choice of 85,000,000 websites! With so much information available on this subject, I find it puzzling that the majority of newspaper ads have weak copy.

Pick up any newspaper anywhere and actually read the copy in the display ads.

Here is a quarter page ad for an electronics store headlined ALL OUT BLOW OUT! This ad crams 20 tiny photos of various electronic products into 32 square inches of space with a large price, the name of the item and one measly line of copy. 12 additional items are line listed with just their price.

This electronics store ad looks pretty much like every other ad for electronics stores: borax and boring!

Why not use the same space and feature ONE major item like a big screen TV and then write a benefit (what is in it for me?) for every feature (what the television does or has)?

Difficult? Not really!

Write copy like your target audience talks. Use coffee shop English. Write copy as though you are talking to ONE person eye-to-eye.

Next is an ad for general hardware store - a half page ad headlined FALL HOME IMPROVEMENT SAVINGS! This ad shows 17 items each one illustrated with black and white clip art showing a small regular price and a large bold sale price. Each item has one to three lines of bullet copy listing features.

Give your target audience a reason to shut off their TV, get their fanny out of their La-Z-Boy and bop down to your store ASAP so they can be the first in their neighborhood to make trimming a hedge with the Zippy Hedge Trimmer a no-brainer.

I would not stay in your store very long if all you chose to tell me is the PRICE! Why in the world would I make any effort to respond to your ad that tells me only the price?

These two ad examples combined advertise 49 items with only 127 words of copy and not one benefit! Both headlines are lame at best.

Results? Poor!

Reason? No benefit copy - only features.

Whose fault? Yours!

You can add color, enlarge the ad space, increase the frequency and all will accomplish is a bigger ad bill for continued paltry results.

You do not need to be a wordsmith to write copy that sells. Make two columns on a sheet of paper. Head the first column Features and the second column So that you get...

Here is an ad for woodstoves:
SEALED DOORS (feature) give you 8 to 12 hours of burn time. (benefit);

ADJUSTABLE INTAKE (feature) allows you to control burn time. (benefit);

7 YEAR WARRANTY (feature) means worry-free protection. (benefit).

Add a W-I-I-F-M to every feature you list: What is in it for me?

Next tell me why I should buy from you. That question goes through the mind of anyone who reads or hears your ad. Each person subconsciously weighs the pros and cons of buying from you or your competitors.

If you say you offer better value what does that mean? Will your product last longer? Does it taste better? Do you offer a 5 year guarantee when your competitors only offer one?

Put some meat on the bone!

Finally, be sure to tell me why I should buy NOW. Only 33 units to sell at this price. When they are gone, they are gone.
About the Author
Bob Schumacher books and articles give entrepreneurs a clear coffee-shop English perspective on how to steer their business or profession into the top 20% who achieve 80% of the business and profits. Visit http://www.20do80.com for a complete directory of his articles and books.
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