The fact is that print advertising has lost it's luster over the past decade or so. Most Americans are inundated with junk mail, Spam in their e-mail, TV commercials, billboards, and unwanted flyers left on their doorstep, and they've tuned most of it out.
We stand over the garbage can when sorting out the snail mail, use TiVo to skip over commercials or hit the mute button and grab a snack, and with the advent of Spam blockers we often don't even get the e-mail we do want.
What's a poor business owner to do? Make your advertising Sizzle!
First, know that print ads can be expensive, so be sure to plan your budget well in advance. Second, know that advertising is just one of the 7 musts of marketing, so take that into consideration when preparing your marketing plan. WHAT? You don't have a marketing plan? Well, most entrepreneurs don't, but that's a different article altogether.
We better get to the meat of the matter before I get completely distracted with all the other segments of marketing, so here we go.
7 Advertising Musts
1. Make your ad distinctive: you better attract some attention to get readers to stop and look at your ad. Would a red zebra stand out in a heard of regular black and whites? It does for me.
2. The Headline Rules: you have about 3.2 seconds to capture their attention with your headline. You have to get your entire message across in that short amount of time to keep them reading. Make sure to include a benefit to your customer in your headline and if at all possible, use the word 'you' or 'yours'. After all, it's all about them! A common mistake is to not mention what product type you are advertising. The won't read on if they don't know what it's about.
3. Booty in you Body copy: the main copy of the ad should appeal to the prospects curiosity. The purpose of the first sentence of the copy is to get them to read the second sentence. The second sentence it to get them to read the third sentence, and so on. Unfold the story as you write. Now be sure to make the story about 'why' your product or service is valuable, not 'what' it is. The reader is thinking 'What's in it for me?"
4. Throw a Bull's-eye: your advertising should target your 'best buyers', that is, if you're selling dog toys you can skip placing your ad in Cat Fancier Magazine. Proper client targeting of your material is critical.
5. Reel them in: the purpose of your ad is to get clients and prospects into your store, restaurant, office, showroom, or on your website. That's when you have a tremendous opportunity to sell to them. Did you know that 50% of all purchases are motivated by advertising? And did you know that 50% of all purchases are made on impulse? Get them in and sell, sell, sell!