Think for a moment some day and consider the kind of advertising you see in your post box, on the TV, on your computer, on the radio, etc. Then ask yourself this question, "Would I buy this or not?" If you say "No," then ask yourself why. If you say "Yes," then ask yourself why.
Consider what is it that makes this advert attractive or what is it that this person's offer is deemed to be unattractive. By carrying out this exercise regularly you will be surprising yourself with what you will notice about advertising.
Most advertising you see today is written poorly. It confuses the potential customer, it does not paint a desired picture in their mind, it does not give him or her a good reason to order the product now and, it focuses on features rather than the benefits of products/services. Many businesses failures can be tracked back to poor advertising although it should be mentioned that there are many other reasons for failure.
If you want to stay in business, you must learn how to advertise effectively and how to produce orders NOW! The aim of this article is to help whoever operates a business to improve his or her advertising technique.
No matter what business you do whether it is as: a shopkeeper, a sandwich bar operator, a business consultant, a window cleaner, or a mail order business, you must learn to create advertising that gets results. If you don't, your business will be painful and short-lived.
First of all, let us look at one main reason for advertising. This reason is called exposure. Most television commercials and many newspaper and magazine adverts are made for this purpose. The advertiser wants their name exposed to the public and for the potential customer to think of them next time they are ready to make a purchase. Large companies are the ones who will do this kind of advertising. They have an advertising budget for the purpose of constantly exposing their name to the public and wait for their orders to come as people become more used to them and their advertising. Typical examples of this type of adverts are those by Coca Cola and Nescafe.
Direct response advertising:
The type of advertising the man/woman in the street is interested in is completely different. It is called direct response advertising. In other words, we are advertising and are motivating our readers to order now, to call an order telephone number and order, to mail a coupon (though this is not so common in Cyprus) and order, or to fax in an order.
We advertise a product and service and seek for people to make purchases now. As a small business, a quick way not to succeed is to place full page adverts costing hundreds of pounds without asking for an order NOW! You must cause the person to order today if you want to stay in business in any type of display advertising or direct mail.
Classifieds adverts are of a little different nature, but they work on the same premise. You don't ask for a sale right from the classified (Which would be a large mistake because there just isn't enough room in a classified to make sales).
Even asking for one pound in a classified advert reduces your response greatly. You will have them call your telephone number or your e-mail address in which they will receive an offer and a chance to order NOW! In all advertising it is important to ask for the order NOW.
Many people have contacted me and said, "I know that I have a wonderful product, but I just can't figure out why I am not getting any orders." You may be the same way. The simple reality is that it does not matter how fantastic your product line is. What matters is if your advertising for the product causes people to see themselves using it and that it will benefit them significantly.
Your advertising, not your product in many cases, will determine the success or failure of your business. Whilst it is true that your product needs to be very effective (or else you will experience a large number of returns and a short-lived business) your advertising will make or break your business.
Before we spend too much time detailing why you should create effective adverts, one can simplify the process by assuming that you want your business to make money. Hence one must write money-grabbing adverts!
Now, Let us reveal some of the major advertising secrets you will need to know and begin using in every advert you must create:
1) Test your adverts
In all advertising and mail order, the biggest key of long-term success is testing everything. Test your adverts. Test your sales letters. Test your products. Test the publications. Test everything.
Learn to key all of your order forms and phone numbers to make sure you know which adverts and publication is doing what. Don't ever leave anything to chance. Test everything. Great advertisers and mail order millionaires are people who have tested everything and have found what works. Your testing period will NEVER end!
2) Strong Headlines
The number two key to success is your headlines. You must understand that the wording of your headline is more than 70% of the effectiveness of your advertising. That means it is EXTREMELY VITAL what your headline says. In mail order, it has been my experience that negative headlines often out pull positive headlines. For example, one of the most popular and effective headlines in network marketing has been " Have you fallen for an easy money scam. If so read on".
Negative headlines force your prospect to identify with them saying, "That sounds like me. The main purpose of the headline is to GRAB their attention, so your headline must be attention grabbing and the potential customer focused. What are their needs? What are their desires? What are their fears? Pay attention. HEADLINES WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR ADVERTISING CAREER!
3) Short Words, Short Sentences, Short Paragraphs
Forget what your grammar teacher taught you in high school. When writing adverts, you must make your adverts simple: Simple to understand & simple to order. Keep the level of writing at high school English or lower. Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.
I know your literature teacher told you to not write paragraphs with only two sentences in them, but how much money did he/she ever make in advertising? The moment you confuse your potential customer then their attention and the sale disappears!
4) Be Specific, Not General
Be specific in all of your advertising. For example do not say "Fill Your post box with Cash." But instead say, "Receive up to ?355 a day in your post box daily." Do not say "Secrets to making money" instead it is better to have a headline saying "63 Year old man tells you his dirty secrets to making ?578 a day!"
Being specific makes your advertising more believable. Being general makes your potential customers say "He is just making this up." Being specific makes them say, "He must have counted it. I also want to make that much."
Never say in adverts "Distributors required." Instead it is much better to say, "15 New Distributors needed in Larnaca." Do not ignore the fact that being specific will beat being general every time. Go over your advertising copy and edit it to become specific.
5) Use Your Background & Be Unique
So many adverts out there today are for just me-too products and me-too advertising. When I say "me-too Advertising," I mean that these adverts or products have been so over used that they just don't sell anymore.
People are tired of hearing about how your products are the best in the industry. They have heard that story before.
You need to become unique in your approach. Are you elderly? Are you young? Are you deaf? Are you bald? Do you only have a high school education? Put something of yourself into the advert. You need to influence the potential customer that there is something different in your product when compared to your competitors.
For example a teenager could write an advert saying, "17 year old boy makes ?1,500 per month via the Internet!" Be unique. Find something about yourself that is unique and put it into your advertising. Let people know who you are, then they will begin to trust you and trust spells orders.
With Cyprus closing in on EU membership and with the business environment likely to become more competitive as a result of this event, Cypriot businesses must know how to use advertising to their benefit. The aim of this article is to give ideas to Cypriot businessmen (large or small) as to how they can improve their advertising effort.
?2004 by Andy George. All rights reserved
This article may be freely published so long as the author's resource box, by-lines, and copyright are included.
About The Author
Andy George is a qualified chartered accountant who was born in Birmingham, England and who has had many years' experience in public practice, industry, and commerce and as a lecturer. Since 1991 he has been based in the island of Cyprus. Andy was a financial correspondent for eight years at the Cyprus Financial Mirror where he wrote articles on business and accounting related issues to a non-technical audience.
He is the author of eBooks: How to write and Publish Your Own With a Shoestring Budget http://www.budgetebook.com