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Three Keys to Crafting Successful Print Ads
Want to create print ads that get results? Below are three keys to get you started.
1. Write for the eye. Print ads are visual. Therefore, craft ads with the eye in mind.
Eyes are kind of picky, though. So, here's a checklist of what eyes like and don't like:
* A catchy headline that encourages them read more.
* Art, such as photos, illustrations, clip art, shapes, etc. Eyes like art. When you create the ad, create words AND the visual at the same time. Words and visuals should work together.
* Designed in an interesting, intriguing, attention-getting manner. Eyes like that. Remember, graphic designers are your friends. If you don't have training in graphic design, I strongly urge you to hire a graphic designer to create your ad. The results will be well worth it.
* White space (blank space in the ad). Eyes like white space. Eyes don't like print ads stuffed with words and/or art. Those ads look way too difficult to read and comprehend. So eyes will skip over those ads and find other open, clean ads to look at. (And if they do, you might as well have never bought the ad in the first place.)
2. Write for the busy eye. Nobody is reading a newspaper because they want to see your ad. (Okay, your mother is the exception.) People are reading the paper because they want information. Reading your ad is an afterthought. So, they aren't going to spend a whole heck of a lot of time on it.
A common mistake is asking print ads to do too much. To be successful, print ads must:
* Capture the attention of your potential customers,
That's a lot to ask for one little print ad.
Print ads should have one message and one message only. The more "extras" about your business you start throwing into the ad, the more convoluted the ad is going to become, and the less likely your potential customers will act upon your ad.
Now at this point you may be thinking "Okay. We need one message. That message should be to get my potential customers to buy something, hire my services, donate money, become a volunteer, etc. Right?"
For one thing, that's a pretty big leap for your potential customers. Getting potential customers to buy without first developing a relationship with them is, again, asking an awful lot for one little print ad. You might be better off inviting potential customers to take one small step in the buying process. For instance, stopping in the store for a free gift, logging on to your Web site to enter a contest, putting their names on your mailing list, trying a demo version of your product, etc. Let them get to know you.
3. Keep your target market in mind. Your message should be focused on your customers' needs, not your own. Getting customers to buy your products and services is YOUR need. How your products or services solve your customers' problems is THEIR needs. See the difference?
That's why so many retail stores have sales. They're effective because they're solving a need (saving customers money). But saving money is not the only need. There are many others.
You should also think about ways to add value without bargaining on price (this position can backfire). Contests, free gifts, free reports, free food -- stuff like that. Think outside the box. And use that value as a way to set yourself apart.
Creativity Exercises -- Learn by example
One of the best ways to learn how to craft successful print ads is to study what's out there.
Get out a newspaper or a magazine and open it. See where your eyes go. What ads attract your eyes? What ads drive them away?
Which ads have headlines that intrigue you? Graphics that capture your attention? Copy that encourages you to find out more? Why?
Now look at ads that do nothing for you. Why don't you like them? Are they too cluttered? Too difficult to understand? Have a headline that makes you yawn?
Sometimes you can learn as much, if not more, from bad examples as you can from good ones.
Michele Pariza Wacek owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting, a writing, marketing and creativity agency. She offers two free e-newsletters that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at http://www.writingusa.com. Copyright 2004 Michele Pariza Wacek.
Radio Advertising - Is it for Your Business? - More Small Business Power Tools
If you're a typical small business, you've probably been approached by at least several different radio station sales representatives. In most cases, he or she comes armed with all the latest rating information demonstrating, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that his or her station is number one among just the kind of people who would buy your products or services. She or he will also probably stress how inexpensive radio advertising is vs. TV or even newspaper ads.
16 Ways to Make Your Business Cards Unforgettable
Every time you hear someone say "May I have one of your business cards?" you should get excited. I know I do. That's because I LOVE my cards. I spent thousands of dollars on printing, several hours on designing and went through 10 different layouts until I got them right.
The SKINNY on Newspaper Advertising
The SKINNY on Newspapers
Turn Your Ad Copy into a Goldmine!
Today, more than ever, it is crucial that your ad copy explodes the reader's curiosity. Are you interested in simple yet powerful ways to improve your ad copy so your readers will rush to action? Invoking a reader's call to action can be communicated in various effective ways. Great ad copy is more than simply plain conversation; it takes special style. The words must be ordered in such a way that they unlock the reader's mind and walk right in.
The SKINNY on Radio Advertising
From meager beginnings in 1920, radio has grown with us to be a major player in advertising. The radio industry says they get about 8 percent of all advertising bucks. Not bad when you consider the many ways to hawk your service or product
What Do Your Ads Say?
Make a list of everything you think should be included at one time or another, in one of your ad, be it radio, newspaper or Little Jimmie's class play program.
Offline Advertising Tips
Since most of us are always online and our business is online, we often forget the importance of advertising our business offline. Print advertising can be one of the best forms of advertising for your buck. Why? Well, with print advertising it's in the form of hard copy and is always in view of your potential customers. Thats just one small example. Think about your daily newspaper...try hiding that in your email box! The following are just a few hints and ideas for you to consider before you place an offline advertising campaign.
Creditability In Advertising
I recently saw an ad taped to my mailbox, mind you, my mailbox is shared by many residents of my area. The postal real estate is typically reserved for flyers of lost dogs, cats, small children, etc. This time, however, the ad was soliciting a service which, I feel, requires a personal connection. The ad simply stated: "Affordable, Quality, Licensed, Day Care. Call XXX-XXXX"
Internet Advertising: How To Use The Golden Rule To Enrich Yourself.
What is the golden rule of internet advertising?
How To Use Pictures To Immediately Start Increasing The Response Rates Of Your Marketing
There should only be one, over-riding reason why you're doing anything in your marketing.
Write Attention Getting Advertisements
The most important aspect of any business is selling the product or service. Without sales, you aren't generating any income and your business will die. All sales begin with advertisments. To build sales the ad must get the buyer to act. The ad writer must know what he or she wants the buyer to do.
How to Advertise with Flyers
When you first start out on your business venture, money is usually tight but you still need to advertise. One of the most affordable, yet very effective, ways to begin your advertising campaign is with flyers. Flyers are simply full page ads that are distributed directly to your potential customers. There are several ways in which they can be distributed.
Where To Call For Free Advertising And Free Business Advice
Believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to get your written materials free of charge, for free advertising space, and free business advice.
Advertising on a Budget -- Part 2: Thinking Small
This is the second article of a three-part series. I'm illustrating the marketing challenges of a small business, PrescottWeddings.com.
Understanding The Basics Of Advertising
I get the L.A. Times delivered to my door every day, but I don't read it for the articles. It is a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, but the articles just don't interest me. Unlike most people, I read the paper for the advertisements because there is a lot to learn from them.
Electronic Score Boards
Wide range of electronic Key venues around the globe has turned to Electronic score boards that not only look breathtaking from every angle and distance, but provide consistently reliable performance year in and year out.
Free Publicity With Dogs, Cats, and Rats
Here's a fascinating idea.. Having noticed that there always seemed to be many stray cats and dogs in his neighborhood, it occurred to a clever pet shop owner that he could use cheap animal collars and attach an advertising message to those potential 24 hour, walking "billboards". He also dressed them up with animal "shirts" that had his web site address printed all over them.
I Dont Want to be Different
To succeed in today's crowded marketplace where most of the products and advertising look exactly the same, a small business owner must stand out, shouting above the din with a message so clear and compelling that prospects stop and take notice. It's a matter of business survival. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs quickly retreat to the supposed security of sameness, soon to be lost in a sea of anonymity and a tidal wave of frustration. In effect, albeit at a subconscious level, they are saying , "I don't want to be different".
Marketing Lessons I Learned in Chicago this Week...
I was in the fine city of Chicago this week to speak at a marketing conference. And I learned some interesting things:
Whats On Your Business Card?
A professional business card says more about you and your business than any other tool in your marketing arsenal. You need a card that looks good, tells what you do and makes it easy to contact you.
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