Create Advertising That Sells!

Eliminate the Most Common and Costly Errors in Advertising

by Thom Reece

A well-planned and properly executed marketing program should include a sufficient commitment of capital resources to an ongoing, well executed advertising program.

Every ad you run must result in increased sales and profits and an enhanced image for your company. Every ad should make the customer a solid offer and give the customer sound reasons to buy from you now.

Remember, the customer is sitting back and asking, "What can you do for me?" If you're careful to answer that question with a powerful offer and reasons to buy now, you're on your way to advertising success... which results in increased sales and profits. How can you improve your chances of increasing sales?

Let's look at some profit-producing ideas...

Follow A Proven Formula

One of the oldest and most useful formulas for ad design is A-I-D-A, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

This formula serves as a structural blueprint. It guides us to: (1) Get the prospect's Atten tion, (2) Foster his or her Interest in your offer, (3) build Desire for your product or service and (4) Generate some type of Action on the part of the buyer. As we expand on each of these elements individually, you'll discover for yourself how to apply the formula to your specific situation.

Attention (The Headline)

Hit your prospect right between the eyes with a powerful benefit headline. You have two to three seconds to stop the reader as he or she passes by and interest them in your benefit.

A powerful headline will (1) stop the reader (2) isolate and qualify your best prospects, and (3) pull your reader into the sub-heads and body copy.

How do you write the attention-getting headline? First, carefully review all the benefits-of-use of your product or service. Second, take your most important benefit and weave that benefit into your headline. Use action words to describe the benefit to one individual reader.

Here are some examples...

"Save 50% On Office Sup plies... Send For Your Free Cata log Today!"

"How YOU Can Create Ad vertising That SELLS!

"New! Amazing Techniques That You Can Use To Land A High-Paying Job... Today!"

"How To Design Profit-Producing Web Sites That SELL!"

When writing your ad to a business-to-business audience you should keep in mind the six key benefits most likely to get attention: 1. Save Money; 2. Save Time; 3. Increase Sales; 4. Increase Profits; 5. Enhance Image; and 6. Boost cash flow.

Interest and Desire (the Offer, Body Copy, Benefits— Benefits—Benefits)

You build interest in your product or service (and the desire to buy) by making the customer a compelling offer and by describing as many benefits as possible in simple and interesting terms.

Tip # 1: Top ad pros always write the ad first, then buy whatever space necessary to display the ad message with clarity and power.

Tip # 2: Words sell...graphic design displays the words in a visually appealing way. No amount of trendy design will make a poorly written ad sell for you. Good design reinforces good copy... it cannot take the place of it.

Tip #3: Long copy sells... as long as it's good copy.

Action (Ask For The Order)

Now you must ask for the order. Give reasons for the customer to buy now...and make it easy for him to do so. In direct response marketing, this will involve a coupon for mail orders, a toll-free order line, an e-mail address, an on-line order form, a fax order line...any means to make it easy and simple to order!

Take the fear out of the purchase. Give solid guarantees,. Offer secure ordering for online customers. Show testimonials from satisfied customers. Show what the customer is going to lose if he doesn't order now. HBM

Thom Reece is the CEO and Senior Consultant of On-Line Marketing Group, a Honolulu based Direct Response Marketing & Sales Promotion consulting firm. His clients include: The Tourist Board of Fiji, Quantum Chemical Corporation, Piper/Jaffray/Hopewood, Riverwear, Air Pacific, Eastman Kodak, Century Computers, American Agri-Products Corporation, Inspection Connection, Eagle Industries, Inc., Wellness Now, Inc., Center for Health & Wellness Research, MarineSource Network, Inc., Kids Shield™ Child Protection Systems, and others. Thom Reece has taught direct marketing in the continuing education programs of Kapiolani Community College and at the University of Hawaii / Hilo, and in numerous public workshops and seminars. He is reachable by e-mail at: or visit his web site at: or call him at 1-800-266-6245 ext: 22300.

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