How to Write Ads that Increase Your Business

I caught myself wracking my brain over what kind of article I should write for newspapers that would be useful to business people. It struck me that I was making a solid effort to get into the mind of my target market. It also struck me that this is the biggest mistake most business owners make when designing their own ads. They start listing off their services and are ready to stick their logo front and center before even putting a thought to what their customers really care about.

The first step in creating any advertising, be it a direct mail piece or an email, always has to be to think about what your customer wants. What do they desire? What do they need? Can you solve a problem for them? People all want to know, "what's in it for me?"

This isn't a new concept and I'm sure you've heard it before, but when I look at newspaper ads and listen to the radio, it's evident that few heed this priceless advice. My guess is, it's because it's difficult to do. Difficult, but not impossible. So before you go ahead and spend another grand on your next pamphlet or print ad, use these tips on how to write great advertising.

Eye Catching Headlines Headlines are found in an opening sentence of a sales letter, the subject line in an email, the title of your web pages and in your ads. Since the headline gets one or two seconds, now is your only chance to grab some attention. Grab 'em, and grab 'em good. Headlines have the following characteristics.

- arouse curiosity.

- promise answers to a questions or solutions to a problem.

- show benefits to your potential customer.

- promise to reveal a secret or information that's hard to find.

- create emotional appeal.

- they have to force you to stop what you're doing and read on.

Common headline tricks:

How To, as in - How to Beat your Competitor Every time. Ask a question - Are You Looking for a Computer At Half the Cost?

Wlsh lt was flrmer? Make a Promise - We can help you make your creditors go away. Make a Bold Statement - Attention Worn out Moms!

The easiest headline tricks are the How To's and the Questions. No matter what will work best for you, you have to know who your customer is in order for it to work.

The Rest of your Ad

Make Promise - Most of the time your promise is in your headline. The next portion of your ad has to be to explain what you mean. If you asked them if they're looking for a computer at half the price, you have to tell them how you can do it.

Prove it - You've made the promise, now prove to them why you're the one to fulfill it. Tell them why they should trust you. If you told the you can make their creditors go away, tell them how. Provide testimonials or case studies. Maybe you've got before and after shots. Give them a money back guarantee. Prove to them that they can trust you.

Ask for Action - Spell it out for them. Tell them exactly what you want them to do. Remember, your advertising doesn't do the selling for you. You and your staff do the selling. If you want them to call and make an appointment, tell them that's what you want them to do. If you want them to buy your widgets online, tell them to visit your site. Ads that don't request action don't bring you more customers.

You now have two choices. Continue to advertise as you do, retaining little to no response, or, you can employ these proven advertising methods and begin to see your advertising as an investment, rather than an expense. No matter what you do, you have to think about who your ideal customer is first. If you put them first, they'll appreciate it.

Linda Laforge-Koebel is an advertising professional dedicated to the business success of her clients. To find more resources or to sign up for the Business Booster newsletter visit her at: or contact her by email at: [email protected]

In The News:

Paul Bainsfair: how to safeguard advertising's future  More About Advertising | Insights into Advertising
Trends of 2019: Advertising  Creative Review
Graystone Group Advertising | Ads  Dearborn Press and Guide

Successful Print Advertising Designs

Do you often see print advertisements outdoors, as much as... Read More

What Do Your Ads Say?

Make a list of everything you think should be included... Read More

Brochures - The Ultimate Sales Tool

"How brochures can help you stand out from the competition,... Read More

Mobile Detailers; Customer Window Displays

Mobile detailers have all types of customers, many of whom... Read More

How To Write More Powerful Brochures, Leaflets, And Catalogues

Probably the most interesting thing about brochures and leaflets is... Read More

Make Your Business Cards Work

What's the cheapest, most under-used marketing tool you have?The answer's... Read More

Moving Message Board

Moving message boards are used in the areas where continuous... Read More

Hiring an Amateur Could Mean a Potential Lawsuit for Your Business

These days, everyone's looking to save a buck. But if... Read More

Mortgage Marketing - Broadcast Advertising vs Direct Advertising

Do you know how to design and deploy a marketing... 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

7 Tips for Better Ads

The content of advertising is basically the same no matter... Read More

Avoid Being Vague

We are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages daily?on television... Read More

How To Write Ads That Get Response

Your print ads should do more than just get noticed.... Read More

Advertising Basics for Beginners

So many of us who have decided to do business... Read More

Dont Put All Your Eggs in The Same Basket

Solution: You can protect yourself by partnering with other lead... Read More

Imaging Isnt Everything

Many home improvement contractors attempt to use advertising to expand... Read More

Scrolling LED signs

Scrolling LED signs is type of LED signs that displays... Read More

Media, the Internet, Yellow Pages, and Your Business

If you are reading this article, chances are you could... Read More

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

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

Become a Storyteller Not an Advertiser and Watch Your Traffic Increase

When you read the newspaper, do you read advertisements as... Read More

Printing - How Do I Buy It?

Why should I care where I get my printed material... 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

Small Business Image

The single easiest way to increase sales is to look... Read More

Design Your Own Newspaper Ads

Many people in business lay-out (design) their own ads. That... Read More

Constructing Business Advertisements

What many may consider the most important part of advertising... Read More