Nine Ways To Perform An Advertising Face-Lift
by Drew Eric Whitman, Direct Response Surgeon ™
If you’re like me, you love tips on how to do things better, quicker and easier. They’re fun to read, fast, lively, and they keep you entertained. There are a whole slew of tips you can use daily to improve your advertising and save you money. Here are the first nine:
- Use coupon borders
- Use a person’s head in your ad
- Include your telephone & fax number
- Try a circle ad
- Don’t reverse type
- Avoid using fancy borders
- Use a street address
- Sell one thing at a time
- Stop playing name games
Even if your ad is not a coupon, this technique tends to increase response. People have been conditioned to read coupons because of the financial reward they provide. I’ve tried this with my own ads and found that it works very well, especially when offering discounts. I like to use a bold, dotted-line border. It can be used for any size ad, even an 8-1/2" x 11" circular.
Master advertising guru John Caples once said, "Of all the types of pictures that you can use to attract attention, a head or face is best." It’s true. And you don’t have to use a particularly fancy photograph, either. Just a plain black and white shot is fine. Even if it’s very small, you will probably notice results. I use this technique whenever I can.Why do I add my face to all my sales materials? Because it adds warmth and personality to what I say. It also adds trust and allows people to relate better to me.
Using a telephone and fax number makes people feel more comfortable about ordering from you. You don’t have to offer telephone or fax ordering (although you should). The mere presence of these numbers is very reassuring to buyers, especially if you’re using a P.O.box. Put a little picture of a telephone and fax machine next to their respective numbers. Those little touches can really help.
Instead of having your ad set as a typical rectangle or square like everybody else, have it set in a circular border. (Place your copy the standard way, don’t curve it around the interior of the circle.) Studies show that circular ads get greater attention. The publication Printer’s Ink reported this finding decades ago, but few advertisers know about this technique, and fewer still have ever used it.
Unless your ad is surrounded by other ads, don’t reverse your type (white type on a dark background). Studies show that reversing ad copy may decrease your readership by up to 50%. This is because the eye is not accustomed to reading in this reverse fashion. This technique is effective in headlines when the type is large and there are just a few words.
Borders that are too frilly or decorative can cheapen your image and distract from your sales message. I suggest a one-half to one-point rule around your ad. It’s simple, but it does the job.
Whenever possible, use a street address. It has been shown time and time again that people feel more comfortable ordering from companies that have street addresses rather than P.O. boxes. The street address implies permanence. It makes the buyer feel as though you will still be around tomorrow. Chances are you feel the same way. If you must use a P.O. box, use a word other than "box." How about suite, drawer or mailbag? Always test the post office by sending a few letters to yourself. It should work just fine.
Don’t try to sell more than one product or service in one small ad if each one needs explanation. If all you sell is candy, it’s easy to list things like: gumballs, jawbreakers, licorice whips and scooter pies. Everyone’s familiar with these products. If you’re selling something more complex, feature only one product or service in each ad, so you don’t confuse your reader.
Many businesses use several different company names when promoting different products or services. Avoid this practice, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Stop working against yourself by not allowing your name to develop recognition. The more familiar your business name, the more likely it is people will order from you, be more comfortable with you and believe that your product or service is of better quality. You are also less likely to be seen as a fly-by-night company. For example, would you rather buy fresh chicken for your next barbecue from Perdue or Imperial? Names can make or break your business. So make your name work for you.
From SalesDoctors Magazine - http://salesdoctors.com