“A little advertising is a dangerous thing. Once you start, never stop.” Joe Vitale, author of the Audio CD Outrageous Marketing.
I listened to Joe Vitale’s Outrageous Marketing on CD and I want to share his ideas with you on how to write effective ads for newspapers, newsletters or other print media. I share this information with the advertisers in our At Home in Victoria™ Newsletter all the time.
In today’s world it can take up to 9 exposures to get your prospect to respond to your ads. Create a look and keep it consistent. You are better off stretching your advertising investment to many small ads than spend it all on 1 large ad and hope for the best. Here’s what Joe Vitale suggests. I wrote this while listening to his CD, I hope it makes sense!
- Touch a Live Shark vs. Come and see our fish swim. What’s your USP? Unique Selling Proposition? Your USP tells how your product or service is different from your competitors.
- Use a layout that supports copy. Use a large headline with 1 large photo or illustration then support it with lots of copy under each.
- Create Bold, Riveting and Intriguing Headlines – see ideas at the end of this post.
- Write simply and directly. Write to 1 person from a group. Write in conversational tone. Say what you mean. Use words people understand. “Go on Home” vs. “The festivities have come to a conclusion.”
- People want RESULTS, not things. Focus on benefits, not features. If you get this, it does this and gives you this. Example: You buy a digital camera, you get photos and it gives you memories. Sell the memories, not the camera.
- Plug electricity into your words. Say The meeting starts at 7pm tonight vs. The meeting is tonight. Avoid words like is, was, are and to be. Instead use ACTIVE words to keep readers reading.
- Tell them something they don’t know. The more you tell, the more you sell. Copy should hold interest. People read books don’t they? Use as much copy as you can to EDUCATE people.
- What is it? Keep readers interested. Use quizzes, photos, sub-headlines, etc.
- Be specific. Don’t say dog when you can say pug. Don’t use words like they say, later on or many. Instead say John from xyz said, 7 people agreed that….
- Overwhelm them with testimonials. The more testimonials you have, the more convincing they are.
- Remove the risk, offer a guarantee. Less than 2% of customers ever return anything.
- Use MAGIC WORDS to excite them! Weave a spell with adjectives. Don’t say, fine fresh cod fish, say the largest absolutely the best cod fish ever caught with the whitest meat and the best texture.
At Last Exclusive Guaranteed
Free Fantastic Incredible
Announcing Fascinating Initial
Astonishing First Improved
Limited Offer Powerful Revealing
Special Successful Super
Time Sensitive Unique Urgent
Wonderful New Break-through
Introducing How to
13. Feel the fire. Show your excitement. Enthusiasm sells!
14. State a believable deadline. Give a deadline to get them to act NOW. For example, limited engagement, final week, limited time offer, offer expires xx date.
15. Use DRAMATIC illustrations or photos. Don’t use a hippo sitting; use a hippo with mouth wide open, roaring! Get attention with ACTION photos.
16. Dominate in the media you advertise in. Be large, go for the 1/3 page ads. Size is king of the jungle. Use posters not just letter size postings. * I disagree with this one, I think smaller, more frequent ads are more effective.
The headline is the most important part of the ad. How do you write a headline that stops people in their tracks? A well written headline can attract 50% more readers, resulting in more sales. Five times more people read your headline than read you ad. Readers only glance at ads to decide what’s worth reading. You have 4 seconds to catch, trip and stop a reader.
25 Sure-Fire Ways to Create an Effective and Irresistible Headline
- Lead with At last, announcing, new, introducing or finally. They create excitement!
- Round up your audience. “Sore feet?” or Attn: Brides
- Promise a BENEFIT. Buy 1, Get 1 Free. Why do people buy? They buy the BENEFIT. They buy relief from pain, not the actual pill. Sell the cure, not the prevention.
- Make it newsworthy. Say, new method discovered. Arm & Hammer is great at coming up with new ways to use their baking soda.
- Offer SOMETHING for FREE. Free Report, Free Book, Free Sample, Extra time with you.
- Ask an intriguing question. Which moisturizer will reduce the signs of aging?
- Lead with a testimonial. Quotation marks attract reader’s eyes. Ask your customers for testimonials after every sale. Dialog has life.
- Create a “how to” headline. How to get healthy, How to pick the right child care center for your child, How to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Use a Quiz question for your headline – How smart are you? Are you qualified for success? What’s your networking IQ? Is your car healthy? Take this quiz and find out!
- Use the words THESE or WHY in the headline to grab attention. Don’t say our clothes are of high quality; say Why our cloths are of high quality. Why people prefer shopping at (my store).
- Use I and me. You and Your feels like an ad. Why I learned to dance.
- Put the product company name in the headline. Why ABC Family Chiropractic makes you feel better.
- Use WANTED. Wanted: Nervous People, Wanted: Brides
- Use words like Break-through, record breaking or revolutionary. Implies news, beats all other products on the market.
- Feature your offer in your headline. Photography session 50% off. Join now and get 3 months free.
- Ask “who else”. It’s an involving set of words. Who else wants a fail safe burglar alarm? Who else wants the lowest insurance rate possible?
- Focus on your guarantee. Guaranteed to go through ice and snow or we’ll pay the tow.
- Admit a weakness. We’re #2, we try harder. You gain credibility when you claim you’re not perfect.
- Focus on POSITIVE END RESULTS. Whiter teeth in 10 days. People buy hopes and dreams, not products.
- Warn the audience, evoke their curiosity. “Small business owners be warned” or “Don’t let this happen to your child.”
- Make it easy. Plumbing problems solved easily. Easy way to solve your financial dilemma.
- Dramatize the BENEFIT. Stop sleeping like a sardine, now sleep like a king – King sized bed sales. People crave ACTION.
- Use proven clichés like…Just arrived, new fall line.
Startling Advice to homeowners Introducing
Free The truth about…. New
How to Now Suddenly
Announcing Introducing It’s here
Important development Improvement Remarkable
Amazing Revolutionary Sensational
Offer quick and easy ways to solve a challenge
24. Reveal a hidden benefit. What will people GET as a result of using your product or service?
25. Give reasons like, 7 Reasons to call Dr. X today or 9 reasons to use this maid service. It involves the reader. To learn more, they have to read your copy. Target your prospects!
Once you’ve written an Irresistible Ad, CHECK IT!
Test Your Ad Before It Runs
Create an ad that works. MAKE your ad PAY! Use this checklist to give your ad the final test.
- Does your ad attract your ideal client? Does your headline grab the attention of your most likely prospects?
- Does your ad HOLD the audience’s attention?
- Does your copy create desire? Do you promise benefits to the reader? Does your ad make them feel and want your service or product?
- Do you prove it is a bargain? Are you giving more service or more value than your competitors?
- Do you establish confidence? Prove it’s not a jip. Dissolve fears with testimonials or a guarantee.
- Do you make it easy to act? Did you tell your prospects what to do? Have you given them the info they need to do it? Have you made responding to your ad a snap?
- Do you give your prospects a reason to ACT AT ONCE? Give them a good reason to act now. Supplies limited. Rates due to increase. Is it a limited time offer or seasonal clearance? Then say so!
If you are interested in advertising your product or service, event or organization in the At Home in Victoria™ Newsletter, click here for more information.