If you're in concurrence with over 90% of all business owners—Ads don't work! They're expensive, a low ROI, and all they do is fuel ad agencies to churn out more ridiculous rubbish.
So why do most ads fail to bring in sales?
Simple. If you browse the ads in your local paper, just about all of them talk about themselves:
This is our business name;
This is our logo;
This is what we do;
This is how long we've been in business;
This is our product/service; and then usually, Call us now so we can sell you something. Yeesh!
This is nothing more than making announcements. Just like scanning the Yellow Pages. And the prospects that do reply are the 1% that are looking for your product at that time.
But what about the 99% browsing your ad who aren't interested? They'll scan your ad each week till they're blue in the face and never respond.
And why not?
Because you've failed to connect with your audience. And convince them you're the only business that will solve their problem. You've got to position yourself as the definitive expert in your field. Otherwise, your ads will bleed your promotions budget.
How to transform your ads into Money-Machines. . .
If you're placing ads in your local publication - flyers, newspapers, magazines, coupon books, post card mailers, or through a website - here are three types of ads that will generate more revenues and customers:
1) The “Advertorial. "
Ads generate huge revenues for the publication they run in, but people don't buy the publication to read ads. People are looking for specific information. I don't know any subscribers who purchase a magazine mainly to view ads.
People are looking for interesting articles, news, product launches, interviews, how-to information, and so forth. And the way to structure your ad is to format it as an editorial.
Give away useful hints and tips that relate to your target audience. Contribute valuable advice. Send them to your website for more useful helps and hints they can forward to their friends.
Your ad should:
Create desire; and,
Move your reader to action.
This is the opposite of what ad agencies do for you. They sell you the idea of getting your name, logo, and killer graphics to display their skillful artwork. And then you must cross your fingers hoping the more times you run their ad, the more people call.
This may be effective in certain situations, but I'm betting you have too much business savvy to leave your company's new customer acquisition to chance.
Here's the next type. . .
2) The “Open Letter. "
This is an ad that looks like a letter. It contains a salutation and reads like a warm letter from you to a friend. Because it doesn't look like an ad, it gets immediate attention.
Imagine writing a letter to your best friend inviting her to a celebration. You want to tell her all the details, or maybe omit some. You want to inform her who's showing up, what to dress, and maybe hint at what to bring. You want to excite her with some of the event activities. And you want to give her the RSVP information.
The secret behind your letter is to compel her to show up. And it's the same with your ad. You must compel your prospects to respond. Your ad should include some, if not all of these components:
A benefit, intrigue, or fear-of-loss headline;
A grab-them-by-the-throat lead-in;
A conversational/bucket brigade flow;
Compelling reasons why they need your product/service;
Useful tips and facts;
A post script; and finally,
Your contact information.
And here's the third type. . .
3) The “Classic Direct Response. "
This is the textbook direct response advertisement. On the strength of this ad, you want people to call, visit, send-in, go to your URL, snip out your coupon, jump at the offer, or book you. In short—you want a direct response.
It's a huge mistake to think this ad will get the entire readership responding. Believe me, that's not what you want. You want to target your ad toward a specific market.
You also want to disqualify time-wasters, tire-kickers, and brochure collectors. You've got to cut through the clutter and quickly hook qualified leads. And then compel them to contact you—and not your competition.
Important checklist before running your ad:
Does your ad attract the right audience?
Does it capture their attention?
Have you created desire?
Have you positioned yourself as the expert?
Can you show great value?
Have you given them a reason to act now?
Have you initiated urgency?
Did you include your contact info?
In conclusion. . .
These three types of ads will do more for your advertising dollars that any ad agency's “being creative for the sake of being creative" nonsense. You probably don't have the budget to experiment with creativity. You're banking on instant results.
So try these three ad styles instead of trying to build your brand and image. Your brand and image will grow when more of your products are in the hands of consumers. Or when your customers absolutely rave about your service.
Tommy Yan is a direct response specialist. He started “Ads That Make Money" to help clients multiply their response rates. He knows the emotional and psychological triggers that empower prospects to respond. Go to TommyYan.com for more moneymaking articles.