Just like you, I saw or heard approximately 15,000 advertising messages today. And even though I am a freelance copywriter who takes a professional interest in noticing ads more than the average person, barely the tiniest fraction of them made any impact on my consciousness at all.
We are all so bombarded with advertising that only a few very good or very bad ads penetrate our awareness. Most advertisers merely waste their money with ineffective messages that may be cute, or creative or even funny; but do little to improve the bottom line.
So here are a few of my suggestions for those advertisers who actually want to pull in more business with their ads.
- Promote Free Offers. Get readers to respond to clearly promoted toll free telephone numbers or web sites to get free booklets, CDs, information kits or other free information products. Not only will this help you get a second chance to create a sale, it will also generate a list of interested potential buyers.
- Focus on annoying problems your product solves and clearly show how it can take the pain away. It is a psychological truth that avoidance or escape from pain is a much more powerful motivator than promise of gain.
- Make a clear and definite promise in every ad, that your product or service will bring about a desired change for your reader. Think about it, other than necessities, the only reason anyone buys anything is to experience a change. So make sure every ad promises a change.
- Humor, creativity and curiosity are wonderful things that can enhance your ad as long as its message delivers a clear promise or focuses on relieving pain. But if you make them the focus of your ad, readers may remember it for the entertainment value you delivered, but may not be able to recall the name of your product or company.
- Don’t be afraid to educate consumers. Show them how to be informed buyers of your type of product, how to choose the right product for their needs and how to avoid being ripped off. You can educate buyers with the free offer mentioned in step one and in so doing, you will heighten your professionalism and integrity in their eyes.
- Don’t try to sell refrigerators to Eskimos. Yes, there is that one legendary salesman out there who can make such a sale, but you are much better off selling your products to people who want, need and can afford what you have to offer. Study your market, advertise in a media that reaches that market and carve out your niche.
- Tell a dramatic story. I mean a story with before and after scenes. The “before scene” should depict someone who was in dire straits before you or your product; and the “after scene” should show that person living happily ever after. Use actual customer examples or create semi-fictional accounts of what you do for your customers.
Slicing through all the advertising clutter and "white noise" that bombard people on a daily basis is not easy, but it only takes a little effort, a little thought about what your potential buyers want and need, and you can easily see your advertising dollars reap dividends.
COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown