Friday, May 19, 2006

How to Ensure You Write Winning Ad Copy

As the classic Advertising line goes: Advertising is "Salesmanship in Print." - It's like having Tens of Thousand's of salesman running around selling your product.

Use the six step process below to ensure you write ad copy that pays for itself over and over again, and generates the response you want:

Step 1: "Get The Reader's Attention... Headlines"

Make sure that the headline grabs them by the throat and forces them to pay attention to the Ad. Remember, the only purpose of the headline is to draw attention to the ad and make the person read the ad. Effective headlines offer solutions to the reader's problems and a good idea is to start with the headline and then write the article. Also, don't settle on the first one you come up with - Think of at least 10-25, then write them out one under another and see which one jumps out at you - Normally it's not the first one you wrote!

Step 2: "Maintain the Interest... Subheadlines"

Continue to intrigue and hook them with a subheadline that plays further on their problem. The subheadline will be in smaller text underneath the headline and should continue the job of the headline by maintaining the reader’s interest. It should "force" them to follow the lead established by the headline and guide them into the body of the copy in the hope of finding a solution to their problem.

Step 3: "Sell Your Story... The Body"

Ensure that the body of the ad is aimed at convincing the reader that you have a solution to their problem. If the headline is the attention seeking member of the family, the body of the ad is the sensible one. The copy must push the emotional buttons of the reader, presenting benefits that appeal to the reader. It adds the credibility to the headline - they work as a team.

Step 4: "What is The Point of the Ad... Call To Action"

Ensure you know what you want your ad to do! Is it to call for additional information (the "two-step" approach), or is to buy directly from the ad? Make sure the objective is clear. The most common ad is the lead generation or "two-step" ad, which involves the reader contacting the business and requesting further information. This may involve a free report and sales letter, from which they may purchase the product or service.

Step 5: "I Don't Believe You, But I Do Believe Them... Testimonials"

Testimonials are a great way to create credibility in a product or service. No one likes to hear a parent brag about their son or daughter, but when a third party says the same thing it becomes believable. That is what a well written, well documented (full name & contact details) testimonial achieves. Ask for them and then use them - They can be very powerful.

Step 6: "Accept The Risk... The Guarantee"

Ensure that there is no risk to the reader if they decide to take action. Guarantee their satisfaction and the performance of the product & most importantly make it very clear, without any small print that makes it hard to claim on the guarantee. Most people won't take up the guarantee, but it gives them peace of mind in taking the next step and that is what you want.

In Summary: "Make Me Want To Read The Copy... Create Strong Desire"

Push the reader's emotions - have them see themselves with the product, or using the service. Start with a benefits laden Headline, if space permits add a Subheadline that maintains the reader’s interest, and then compose an emotional, benefits packed body that really makes the reader want the product or service on both an emotional & logical level. Include both a testimonial and guarantee for increased credibility.

Follow these six steps and you will find that your ads start paying their own way in the world. No longer will they be an expense, but will become a very important income producer within your home business.

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