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By Richard Simmons
It never ceases to amaze me how much money business owners waste on advertising. It doesn't matter what publication you advertise in, most adverts look the same.
Remember this: readers of a magazine did not pay you to advertise in their magazine. You PAID TO BE IN THEIR MAGAZINE. So it is up to you to get their attention and make them read your advert.
So how is this done ? There are 6 fundamentals that most advertising experts know and apply. You can use them too. Learn these and you'll be ahead of 99% of your competition.
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1. Get Attention
Never underestimate how much competition you have in getting attention. Nobody buys the magazine for your advert. Only you do. Most people would rather read the news, articles, letters or editorial. Think of yourself as an uninvited guest. If your advert doesn't get read, then you don't make any money or get the required leads. It's that simple.
So how do you get attention ?
Use a headline. It has been said that a headline is 80% of the advert. Whether that's true or not, one thing is for sure: a headline attracts attention. It selects the right people and sucks them into the rest of the advert.
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Take a look at any magazine or newspaper and you'll see what I mean. Recently I saw a headline on the cover of a woman's magazine that went along the lines of: "8 ways to know if your man is cheating on you". If you were a woman, wouldn't you read that article? I would. Editors have known this for years.
You can take advantage of this and apply it to your own business. For ideas on creating headlines read the article 100 Of The Greatest Headlines Ever Written.
2. Show People an Advantage
Okay, so now they've read your headline. Next you'll need to show people an advantage. In other words your reader wants to know: "What will it DO FOR ME?"
This is where you tell them about the benefits. Notice that I said benefits and not features. People do not care if your widget is shiney or made from gold. They are more interested in how your widget will help them. It boils down to these fundamentals. Most of us want something that will..
- Make us more attractive
- Save us money
- Help us lose weight
- Make us become more popular
- Advance our business
- Win acceptance from others
- Become more efficient
- Gain Self-confidence
- Help us be the "First"
- Save us from embarrassment
- Make us more healthy
I'm sure you're starting to get the picture. You must try to tie your product/service to these benefits. As long as you can do that, your adverts will out-pull the competition easily.
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3. Prove It
At this point you've really got the reader. You've got their attention and shown them an advantage(s) that your product or service can give them. However, they are still sceptical and so it's up to you to make them believe what you are saying is true.
Now would be a good time to add testimonials or any other facts about your product. For example,
When? How? Where do the ingredients of your products come from ?
Has anyone/ business increased their profits using your system ?
Did it save Mr X Money. Is he happy ?
Is your widget made of a better quality material than that of your competitor ?
Is your service the best in town because you use a certain type of tool or technology ?
Remember: educate your customers and tell them all the facts. Give them testimonials of other other satisfied customers. ALWAYS ALWAYS present the facts from the customer's point of view. Not yours.
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4. Persuade People To Grasp This Advantage
You must give people a reason to grasp the advantage your products give them. You can inform them that your product/service will help them immediately or if they don't use your product they might regret it.
E.g. If you are a garage and you offer a Great Service you can always say 'You never know when your car might breakdown. Imagine how you'd feel if your car broke down in the middle of nowhere.'
5. Reduce Customer Risk
People do not want to believe your advert. We've all be burnt in the past and that makes us all very sceptical. If you can reduce the risk for the customer they'll be more ready to buy.
The best technique for doing this is a Guarantee. Do you offer a Money-Back-Guarantee? If so, for how long ?
Ironically the longer your guarantee, the more sales you make. You'll also get more returns but that is a small consideration compared with the increased sales. Give it a try.
6. Ask For Action
Amazingly, a lot of adverts rarely ask for action. They' ll have all the necessary ingredients except they won't ask the customer to CALL or ACT NOW or just take action.
Never overlook this simple fact. People need to be told what to do. Otherwise they won't do it. Silly really but studies have shown it to be true.
Richard Simmons is a respected IT and Marketing Consultant and has been involved in Internet technology since 1996. He works with major blue-chip companies and investment banks and advises countless small and home based businesses. Richard is uniquely gifted in that he has a deep understanding of both Technology and Marketing industries combined. Contact him personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll also discover some of his uniquely creative business building articles and resources at http://www.crimsondirect.com.