15 Dos & Don'ts For Writing Powerful Mail Order Ads

1. POWERFUL HEADLINE. This is the most important eye-catcher that must grab the reader's attention. If your headline lacks "PIZZAZZ" and appeal, the reader may skip over your ad and your money is wasted.

2. THINK POSITIVELY. Your copy (message) must show enthusiasm. If you feel your product (or service) is "so-so" or average, forget it. Your lack of excitement will show and may give the reader "second thoughts".

3. BE HONEST. Remember the Golden Rule. Don't exaggerate or make false claims. never make promises you can't - or don't - expect to keep. There are laws against "false" and "misleading" advertising.

4. KEEP COPY SHORT. Sum up the entire message in as few words as possible. Remember, if you use less words, the type will be larger.

5. COME TO THE POINT. Say what must be said and no more. Don't oversell! Excessive unimportant words will diminish the power of the sales pitch.

6. USE SHORT SENTENCES to add excitement and hard-sell "clout"!

7. KEEP COPY SIMPLE. Don't try to impress upon the reader that you went to school. Use common, ordinary, everyday "correct" English.

8. DON'T BE CUTE OR CLEVER. If you feel you have a flair for writing comedy, don't reveal this latent talent when writing ad copy.. Very few wish to place an order with a comedian or clown.

9. STUDY THE COMPETITION and try to be different and imaginative. Look for a new "approach" or "angle". Copy-cats are seldom well-like.

10 DON'T ASK QUESTIONS that cannot be answered in a positive manner. As example, don't ask "Do you want to quit smoking?" (Some may not!) It is better to say something like "You can quit smoking!"

11. AVOID EXPRESSIONS THAT MAY OFFEND. Don't try to be "folksy" by using regional expressions. Also, stay away from slang expressions.

12. STRESS THE BENEFITS of your service or product. The public is more interested in how they will personally benefit, i.e., will they earn more money, or become more popular, or healthier, or younger looking, etc. Remember to always sell the "sizzle" instead of the steak.

13. INVOLVE THE READER. Don't be afraid to use the word "you". While your ad may be read by many thousands, you are not addressing a huge stadium full of people. Instead, you have a "captive" audience...your ad is being read by one lone individual at a time.

14. DON'T CONFUSE THE READER. A small ad should promote a SINGLE item only..and never two or more.

15. BE CONCISE. Tell your reader EXACTLY what he is getting for his money, and EXACTLY how to order your product or service.

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