One of the sharpest minds in the direct response marketing business is fond of advising potential advertisers that creativity is not a positive virtue for an advertising copywriter. Whether it is a print, on-line or broadcast ad, the worst response experts say people should give is to think an ad was exceptionally creative. Instead, the person should respond by wanting to buy the product.
Here are five ideas advertising writers may use to help make their ad copy more effective.
1. Proof. Let people know how good your product or service is by offering proof that it stacks up better than its competition, or that it has met or exceeded certain tests or specifications. When stating numbers, such as how much faster one medicine works when compared with another, round numbers are less effective. Therefore, try to use uneven numbers like 23.7% rather than round numbers like 25% and your message will be more believable.
2. Identification. Do not be afraid to let people know who you are, where you are located and what you think and feel. Rather than appearing to hide behind a post office box number, tell people that your office is located at 1234 Elm Street in the red brick Smith Building, which was constructed in 1916. This not only makes you seem more interesting, but also more believable and trustworthy.
3. Guarantee. People will always be more willing to buy from you if they trust you will refund their purchase price if they are not satisfied. Yes, you may have to incur some expenses paying for refunds, but your increased sales will more than make up the difference.
4. Accessibility. Similar to identification, it always is best to be easy to reach, so do not omit your contact information from your ads, especially ads in print and on-line messages. Whether it is your phone number, Internet URL, email address or all three, make sure they are correct and working properly before you publish the ad. For example, if you are publishing a toll-free number that only works from the USA, if you also include your regular telephone number with area code, potential customers from other countries may also buy from you.
5. One more thing. Every sales letter should have a PS following the signature. This part of the letter will most likely be read more closely than some other parts, so utilize it to reinforce your most important point, or offer an extra bonus to motivate the reader to act immediately.
By making sure your advertising message has met the above five criteria, you will ensure the next ad you write will help make your cash register ring even more loudly.