Writing Advertisements That Work
How to Write Advertising to Get Your Message Out
Your objective is to gain customers from your advertising. Before you can hope to gain customers you must first make them read your ad. If you want people to read your ads, letters, and brochures, make them customer-centered and not self-centered. Tell them how your services or product can fill their needs. It’s best not to be clever or cute because your point can be misinterpreted and cause you to lose customers instead of gaining them. Don’t try to impress people with big words and flowery language or use slang or lingo that is part of your profession. Your future customers will throw the brochure in the trash before they look up the words in a dictionary! Make all your printed documents and your web site using the same style, images, and words. You are developing an image that should clearly represent you and your service.
Write about your customers—not your company.
So many times you can’t wait to write that first brochure. There are so many things that you and your company is going to do and you want to tell everybody what you are going to do. These facts are exciting only to you. Your customers could care less. Make all your writing customers-centered and turn all those wonderful things your company is going to into what your customers will receive. Your customers need to know what’s in it for them. Use the word you in your advertisements as many times as possible.
- You don’t pay a penny up front.
- You get more respect.
- You get service when you want it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Here is what you need!
Use the word you frequently throughout your advertisements. Whenever I receive an ad that catches my attention, I count the word you to see how many times it was used. Make a habit to look at the advertising you receive and look at what caught your attention.
Being cleaver is not a good idea.
The headline in an ad I received in the mail recently said, “We take you to the moon” with an awesome picture of the moon taken from space. I wasn’t interested in a company that took me to the moon. Even the impressive statistics they wrote didn’t impress me. It was self-centered, not customer-centered. It did not answer my what’s in it for me question. I trashed it. The printed colored brochure cost that company about $.50 to print and to send it to me. It took less than six seconds for me to throw it in the trashcan! Being clever is not a good idea.
Write the same way you talk.
Evaluate what you write on your brochure by saying the words out loud as if you were the salesperson and talking with a customer. Are these the words you would use? If so, print it! If not, rewrite it. Never use a big word when a small word will do.
Jerry Della Femina is a famous copywriter. He says, ”Nobody has the time to try and figure out what you are trying to say, so you need to be direct. Most great advertising is direct. That’s how people talk. That’s the style they read. That’s what sells products, services, and ideas.”
Forget What Your English Teach Taught You
Nurse Entrepreneur Martha Mitschke offers the following advice in her book How to Start Your Own $100,000 Nursing Agency, Forget what your English teacher told you about not starting your sentences with words such as And, Or, So, or But. When you want to keep a person reading, that is the best thing to do. It connects your ideas and it is the way you speak.
- So, you always have someone available . . .
- But, you have other options . . .
Don’t write in complete sentences. All sentences don’t need a subject and a predicate. Use simple sentences and action verbs. Some rules of grammar, however, shouldn’t be broken. Read The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White a short 92-page book that can be read in one sitting. Many books are available on advertising and can be easily found by searching on www.amazon.com.
Use the following strong words whenever possible.
|Weak Words||Strong Words — Same Meaning|
At all times
At an early date
At the present time
Due to the fact that
Enclosed please find
For the purpose of
For the reason that
In addition to
In order to
In the amount of
In the case of
In the event that
In the near future
In the neighborhood of
In spite of the fact that
On the grounds that
Owning to the fact that
With a view towards
With regard to
With the result that
Writing advertising copy doesn’t come naturally. You must learn the concepts and practice writing copy. Customer’s relate to good copy.