What Makes A Winning Online Ad?

Most people who have been involved with sales & marketing for any length of time have heard the axiom, "Sell them what they want. Then sell them what they need". But what does it mean? It sounds a little odd doesn't it?

Does it mean that people are frivolous & go around making irrational purchases that don't meet their needs, before more serious ones that sustain them? Should you try to sell trivial goods first, & then follow up with those that are more substantial? Should you put games & entertainment on your home page, and flour & salt in your follow up messages?

No, that's not it.

What it is trying to say is that people buy for emotional reasons. Does anybody buy a Mercedes Benz just because they NEED to get from point A to point B? Do they buy it because they NEED all of the amazing gizmos, the heated leather seats & hand polished wood trim?

No, a person buys an expensive car that they don't need because it makes them feel important. You may be shocked when I say this, but I'm going to say it anyway. Luxury purchases are motivated by vanity, envy, pride, jealousy, & narcissism, even greed. And, there is nothing sinister, or wrong with it. That's just the way we are as human beings. It's what makes us tick. In fact, these emotions are behind all kinds of everyday purchases too.

Understanding how they motivate buying behavior is critical to selling.

Look at this ad for the Wall Street Journal. It's said to be one of the most successful advertisements in the history of the world, responsible for over $1 billion in sales.

Look carefully, & see how skillfully it evokes one or more of these powerful emotions. Try to get a sense of how you feel when you read it. ------------------------------------------------------

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL "TWO YOUNG MEN" LETTER

On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men. Both had been better than average students, both were personable, and both ? as young college graduates are - were filled with ambitious dreams for the future.

Recently, these men returned to their college for their 25th reunion. They were still very much alike. Both were happily married. Both had three children. And both, it turned out, had gone to work for the same Midwestern manufacturing company after graduation, and were still there.

But there was a difference. One of the men was manager of a small department of that company. The other was its president.

Have you ever wondered, as I have, what makes this kind of difference in people's lives? It isn't always a native intelligence or talent or dedication. It isn't that one person wants success and the other doesn't. The difference lies in what each person knows and how he or she makes use of that knowledge.

And that is why I am writing to you and to people like you about The Wall Street Journal. For that is the whole purpose of The Journal: To give its readers knowledge - knowledge that they can use in business.

The letter closes:

About those two college classmates I mention at the beginning of this letter: They were graduated from college together and together got started in the business world. So what made their lives in business different?

Knowledge. Useful knowledge. And its application.

I cannot promise you that success will be instantly yours if you start reading The Wall Street Journal. But I can guarantee that you will find The Journal always interesting, always reliable, and always useful. -------------------------------------------------------

This is a newspaper! It doesn't get much more mundane than that, but the same principle applies, do you see the power in it?

What we are talking about here are emotions that are inextricably tied to the universal desire for esteem that's hard wired into our nature as human beings. If you've got a pulse, you're under its spell. But here's the kicker. Most of the time, we are not even aware of the stimulus, only the response.

When you were reading the story about the graduates and the reunion, chances are, you were playing out your own meta program inside your head, and experiencing one of the esteem emotions. And it triggered your own personal desire to show the world what you could do, didn't it?

Esteem (to feel valued) is NOT a WANT at all. It is a basic human NEED almost as fundamental as food & water. Your prospect's hunger & thirst for it. Their emotions are the expressions of that craving.

If you can trigger them, & then associate satisfaction of the "esteem needs" with your product, you've got a winning ad!

Copyright 2005 Daniel Levis

Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response copywriter based in Toronto Canada. Recently, Daniel & world-renowned publicist & copywriter Joe Vitale teamed up to co author "Million Dollar Online Advertising Strategies ? From The Greatest Letter Writer Of The 20th Century!", a tribute to the late, great Robert Collier. Let the legendary Robert Collier show you how to write words that sell...Visit the below site & get 3 FREE Chapters! http://www.Advertising-Online -Strategies.com/ad-strategies.html

In The News:

The one about disruptive advertising  The Times of India Blog
Pallavi Singh bids adieu to BMW  ETBrandEquity.com
Digital Advertising Sales Person  Radio Today (Aust & NZ)
The NBA's return-to-work plan  Business Insider

The TV Shoot, The Spoiled Brat, And A Painful Lesson

It was two days before our shoot. I was in... Read More

Whats On Your Business Card?

A professional business card says more about you and your... Read More

Write Attention Getting Advertisements

The most important aspect of any business is selling the... Read More

Where To Call For Free Advertising And Free Business Advice

Believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities out... Read More

The Importance of Your Business Card

What are you trying to say with you business card?We... Read More

Magnetic Signs: Where Do They Work Best?

Recently, a woman called to ask about replacing a magnetic... Read More

How to Get People to Read Your Ads Like CRAZY!

Rule One :- The HeadlineThe headline should summarize the whole... Read More

Cross Cultural Advertising

"Culture is a like dropping an Alka-seltzer into a glass... Read More

Online Advertising: 10 High Impact Psychological Triggers To Super-Charge Your Ad

If you knew these 10 high impact insider's hidden psychological... Read More

How to Write Ads that Increase Your Business

I caught myself wracking my brain over what kind of... Read More

How to Write Great Headlines

According to experts, just changing the headline of an ad... Read More

Advertising on a Budget -- Part 3: Frequency, Frequency, Frequency

This is the third article of a three-part series. I'm... Read More

God Bless The Refrigerator Magnet!

Ah, my very favorite promotional product of all, the refrigerator... Read More

The Key To Marketing New Ideas!

Imagine tossing a pebble into a crystal clear pond on... Read More

Advertising, Public Relations, Newsletters, and Newsletters for Your Small Business

If you own a small business you should consider ways... Read More

Sex in Advertising: Does it Sell?

We're surrounded by advertisements that desperately compete for our attention.... Read More

Using Ad Agencies and Designers

Advertising and promoting your business is expensive, so it's important... Read More

The Future of Voiceovers: Hold Your Tongue...Possibly Forever

"Do we need to cast a voice-over talent for this... Read More

How To Make Your Yellow Page Ads Work

I hear it often, "advertising in the Yellow Pages directory... Read More

Why Not Use the Humble Fax in Your Advertising Strategy?

When my daughter complained recently about the prohibitive cost of... Read More

Advertising That Annoys: The Real Story

Critics conclude that entertaining or "creative" commercials sell better than... Read More

Top Jingle Companies: What to Look For, What to Expect

The internet offers you the opportunity to seek out jingle... Read More

Brand Young and You Brand for Life; Why Cinema Advertising is an Effective Tools for Marketers

In the world of advertising there are many forms of... Read More

Advertising 101

Advertising has truly become a part of all of our... Read More

Magnetic Business Cards: Make Your Marketing Message Stick

What is it about magnets that draw people to leave... Read More