What is really important when you're advertising alongside others on a single page, is that you appear different to everyone else yet remain consistent in your own approach.
When you do that you will be portraying an important message to your readers’ subconscious: This company is robust and consistent in its approach and it is different from all the others. It is a leader, not a follower.
It is always good to experiment so if you're feeling remotely adventurous, give one of these techniques a try and just see what difference it makes to your response. I'll be grateful to hear how you get on - please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the same distinctive font with different headlines. You can try this with 2 or 3 ads in a single issue on a single page, or over the course of a few insertions. The distinctive font consolidates customer awareness of your company, and the different headline texts portray variety and flexibility. If you can use this trick in your campaign you will benefit from broadening your customer appeal and strengthening your brand in the marketplace.
Space is what you pay for when you buy an ad, but if you leave some of it blank you'll be amazed at how it can improve your response. By forcing a large white gap between your ad and the others on the page you will automatically draw the eye to what your ad has to say. This is such an effective way of using ad space that some publishers do not permit it. They reason that it reflects badly on their sales ability to see too much white space on pages that should be all sold for advertising. But try it out - and if they do make it too difficult for you then try one of the following ideas with that extra space:
People scanning the classified pages of a newspaper will often ring the ads that take their interest. You can pre-empt them and ensure that you get noticed by doing it for them. Of course it means buying an ad size bigger than you really need but the results can be spectacular. In this case, put a border round your ad as you would normally, and use the extra space you bought for a hand-drawn ring, preferably red.
Do you know how easy it is these days to give your ads a little lift. You don't need the world's most expensive design program to implant a professional-looking drop shadow behind your ad. The effect is certainly eye-catching
Here's a secret: We once quadrupled the response rate of a client by simply putting the word ‘SEX’ at the top of his ad. The copy of his ad read “. . . isn't half as good as a meal at The Left Bank. ". In a campaign to launch his new restaurant that incorporated radio, posters and press, this little classified ad was the most successful by far. There are plenty of other words which will draw the eye in the same way. See if you can find one for your market.
When readers are scanning classified ad pages it is alot easier for them to read a bulleted list than a paragraph of prose. Wherever possible, use a list. You'll probably find it will take up less room too.
If you want to use a picture, or a graphic to illustrate what you're offering, you'll often find you're restricted for space in a classified ad. Try using a portion of it, just the corner, or the side of it. By doing this you will find that you can trick the eye into making the ad stand out, and look a lot bigger than it is. If you combine this with a white space round the ad so the picture bleeds into the white space it can be particularly effective.
Here's another way of drawing the eye to what you are saying in your ad. This time you're using tiny text (as small as you dare) in a big white space. Position the text in the middle of the space allowing as much open whiteness as you can all around it. This technique works especially if you can keep the text to a minimum, just don't forget to put your tel. and email in it. You will find you draw the readers eye to your ad largely out of curiosity.
I hope you will find these tips useful in planning your ad campaign. For more ideas have a look at http://www.advertsuccess.com . For a fail-safe method to getting the best results guaranteed have a look at The 9-Step Plan to Advertising Success.
Tim Brocklehurst MBA has 20 years experience working in the publishing and advertising industries. For more expert tips and a for his ground-breaking 9-Step-Plan to advertising success, go to http://www.advertsuccess.com
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