Advertising will make or break your business. It is crucial to your success that you learn to write great ad copy. Here are a few simple concepts to get you there.
1. The Headline
This is THE most important part of your ad, especially when using online advertising. The point of the headline is to grab a potential customer's interest and then entice the reader to go on and read the rest of your ad. The best headlines tend to be those that emphasize the benefits to the customer, ie. what your product or service can do for them, WHY they MUST have it - right now!
If your ad is taking the form of a webpage, or any other ad that allows the use of HTML/formatting, take advantage of it. Make sure your headline stands out from the rest of your ad by using a larger font, bolding, italics (careful here: make sure it is readable, some fonts aren't), or a different color. Remember to ensure that the overall look is business-like.
Some ad sites (like AOL) allow you to post a graphic along with your ad: definitely do so! It will really make your ad stand out compared to the ads of those who haven't bothered and makes you look much more professional.
If you're advertising to safelists or using any other type of email advertising, use interesting characters to make your subject line stand out, some examples: >> << <= => /// $$$ ~ :) ;) Also, make sure you can actually READ the most important part of your subject line - it would be awful if you were to create the World's Best Subject Line, only to have most email clients cut off the ‘best part’ so it's never even seen!
Don't try to sell with your ad. The point is just to get the potential customer interested enough to click on the link to your website or autoresponder: that's all!
4. Unique Selling Position (USP)
Whether you're a reseller, selling your own product, or are a member of an affiliate program, you need to find something UNIQUE about purchasing from YOU. Why should a person buy a product from you, when they can buy the exact same thing from thousands of other people, at the same price, with the same guarantee, etc. ?
If you have your own website, offering a bonus of some sort is an obvious solution here. If you DON'T have your own site yet, it's a bit harder. However, what you CAN do is tailor your advertising to a unique AUDIENCE instead. For example, write ads aimed at different target markets: moms at home, the elderly, students, retirees, entrepreneurs, disabled persons, etc. Emphasize what your product can do for THIS person, in their particular situation, and you may give someone an idea they hadn't thought of, to your advantage!
Inject some of YOURSELF into your ads! Using your own experience, or testimonial, can be HUGE in getting through to your customers. Explain how it has helped you, how easy/profitable/inexpensive it is. Your enthusiasm and passion for your product can be your best ally when writing ad copy.
6. Call to Action
Oddly enough, research has shown people are FAR more likely to click on a link, buy, or subscribe if you simply tell them to. So, including a “Click Here" or “Visit Our Website Now" can actually result in a higher response rate than ads without these simple instructions.
7. Ad Tracking
Don't even bother advertising without ad tracking. It is absolutely essential to your business success. You MUST know which ads are working, when, and where. You will probably be surprised: sometimes an ad you love will be a real dud, another you might find somewhat questionable will blow up your hit counter! Play around with different headings, wording, where you post, categories where you place your ads - they can all yield different results. I like to test my headlines on free FFA and Classifieds sites, then use the winners as subject lines for my safelist advertising.
Keep these seven Essential Elements in mind when creating all your advertisements (you might even want to print out this article for easy reference) and you'll soon have customers clammering for your products and services!
Lynne Homewood, Editor of Your Business Builder Newsletter and President of Global Epro, has been building online businesses since 1999. Her latest venture, an automated Home Business Success System with a unique vision is changing the way business is done online. http://www.bestinternetincome.com