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4 Tips For Writing Advertisements That Gets Results

Aug 17, 2007
What do you think are the best advertisements? Are What do you think are the best advertisements? Are they funny? Do they use clever word play to catch someone's attention? Maybe, they have beautiful graphics? (With just a little bit of copy to fill in the reader on what the product is)

It seems that nothing is more misunderstood than the topic of advertising. People have a lot of foggy notions on what gets someone to respond to an advertisement. There are a whole lot of people who think that advertising is about eye catching graphics and that an ads success depends on the quality of the graphics.

Then there are people who believe that advertising is meant to entertain, usually humor is the medium they consider. They think that entertaining the reader will somehow lead to a response.

Direct response marketers know the answer to these questions. They know what works and what doesn't work because they test everything. They care only about responses and they know what gets the best response.

If you are advertising and you want to generate leads or make sales you can learn from the direct response marketers. Here are some very useful insights.

Rule #1 Know your advertising objective

Start with the end in mind. What do you want the reader to do? Do you want them to call you? Do you want the reader to send an application in? Do you want them to buy something? Once you know your objective that everything in your ad should be designed to accomplish that objective.

A lot of people think that what they want is exposure to as many people as possible. If you have lots of money to spend then that could be a good idea. But, if you are concerned about your budget and you want to minimize your cost per sale then I suggest you are better off with an ad that is geared toward creating a response.

Rule #2 Get Their Attention

Prospects get inundated with marketing messages everyday, over 2000 on average. If you want to stand out from the crowd you will need to craft a headline that will grab them by the eyeballs.

Before you start thinking about all sorts of whacky ways to get peoples attention you need to know that getting attention for attentions sake will not increase your response. You need to get their attention but it also needs to be relevant to your product or service and be truthful.

Good headlines generally fall into three basic categories. The first type of headline, which some regard as the best type of headline, is called a self interest headline. This type of headline spells out a benefit that the buyer will receive.

An example of this type of headline would be -- "Look Young At Any Age". This clearly shows the reader that there is a benefit, looking young.

The second category is referred to as a news headline because it promises the reader something newsworthy. "New Car Wax Keeps A Shine For Over A Year". The news in this headline is that there is a new car wax that is much improved over the last version.

The third category is a curiosity headline. These headlines are designed to make a reader want to continue to the body copy in order to learn more. An example of this would be "How A High School Drop Out Made Millions On the Internet".

The above headline also has an element of self interest to it as well, since most people would think that if the high school drop out could make millions then they could, too

Rule #3 Use Plain English

You want your writing to sound conversational. But, bear in mind that there are subtle differences in how people speak. If you are targeting CEO's of the Fortune 500 you would talk differently to them than you would an expectant mother.

However, for the general market you want to write like you speak, but eliminate big words with lots of syllables and technical jargon because too many people will not be able understand you.

Rule #4 Write About The Benefits

Features describe and benefits sell. Don't make the mistake of writing only about the features of your product.

An easy way to make sure that you are capturing the benefits of your product is to do this simple exercise. On a piece of paper draw three columns. In the first column list all the features of your product or service. In the second column write down all the benefits that each of the features provides your customer.

Then in the last column answer the question "So That...?" for every benefit. This will make sure that you are capturing the real benefit to the customer.

So, for example lets say we are writing about a dog collar. The feature is a new easy to use clasp; the benefit would be that the dog owner can get the collar on quickly.

Now, if we ask the question "So that" we would get another layer of benefits such as this: The dog owner can get the collar on quickly (benefit) so that when their dog is resisting they can get the collar on without having to fumble around with the collar and the dog at the same time (the second layer benefit).

These tips represent some of the basic elements that should be in any ad that wants to produce results. Use these elements and you should see increased response from your advertising.
About the Author
Wayne Landt is a marketing consultant and copywriter. He has over 14 years improving marketing and sales results in a variety of industries. For a FREE marketing or advertising assessment. Visit or call 773) 588-1381.
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