Advertising has long been a cornerstone upon which business is build. You need to attract customers to your products and services, and an informative, imaginative and unique ad is what is going to elevate you above the rest. Writing ads, or copy, is a fascinating and creative process and if you are hoping to venture into this arena, there is much to learn. Here are a few basic DOs and DON’Ts.
Avoid the much-overused question
Starting an ad with a question has become a stereotyped cliché. Unless you have a highly creative or humorous rhetorical question, find a different way to grab your reader’s attention in order to convey that they need your product, and that you are best suited to deliver it.
“Do you need auto insurance for your antique automobile?” sounds too much like a traditional sales pitch that we have come to associate with pushy salesmen. Rather, attract attention with a bold statement: “You love your 1969 Boss 429 Mustang. Protect it with American Classic Car Insurance.”
The headline: understand your audience
It’s imperative that your ads speak to your target audience. Keeping with the example below, a person who collects classic cars is someone who is financial comfortable, and has a niche passion. They love classic automobiles, often seeing them as both works of art, a bridge to a bygone era, and an investment. They are also a small community. Appeal to those sensibilities with an attention-grabbing headline. An example might be: “American Classic Car Insurance. We Understand Car Lovers.”
Further the desire for your product
Your attention-grabbing headline should be followed but a quick summary of what you offer. This needs to be done in a way that makes a potential client feel that you are fulfilling a need that they have. You can use various emotional techniques to help entice the reader such as nostalgia, which can work well in our example of old automobile collectors, or playing to people’s fear of financial distress, and longing for security: “When it comes to your ‘69 Charger, let American Classic Car Insurance worry about the ‘what ifs’.”
Call to action
A strong ending tells the reader exactly what they should do next. An easy to follow direction is the best way to entice the reader to get in touch or buy your product. Sometimes a straightforward directive is the best way to go: “Call 555-5555 to discuss what American Classic Car Insurance can do for you needs.”