What is a good ad? (In this article I will use the term ad to also mean websites because that’s really what a website is. It is an ad.)
A good ad is an ad that sells. It generates buying responses from the readers and they purchase your product.
A poor ad is an ad that doesn’t sell. It fails to generate buying responses from the readers and therefore they do not purchase your product.
And, of course, we all know that only a small percentage of readers actually respond to an ad anyway.
But a good ad will make you money and a poor ad will cost you money.
There are 5 basic fundamentals that should be included in any ad or on any website in order to make it successful.
Sadly, most ads don’t contain many, if any of these 5 things. And they are mostly written by professional advertising agents or web designers who simply do not understand direct response marketing. They conform to the most contagious and deadly forms of conventional advertising wisdom…which means their ads are only minimally effective…and they charge you and me a fortune to produce them!
A really good ad must…
- Grab ATTENTION – This can be done lots of ways, including using graphics or simply with a big, headline that makes a bold statement or promise of benefit to the reader. The danger with graphics is that, in many cases, they actually do more harm than good. Graphic designers are notorious for destroying what otherwise could have been a pretty good ad. Remember: The ad must be easily readable.
- Show an ADVANTABE or BENEFIT – The ad must clearly show the WIIFM, or “What’s In It For Me?” to the reader. It must answer the question, “Why do I need this?” You must never assume that the reader will figure this out for themselves. That requires the subconscious mind to have to work…and the subconscious mind hates to work.
- PROVE IT – This is most often done with testimonials but can also be done by presenting test results or study findings. Proof is a powerful response generator.
- PERSUADE people – The ad must persuade the reader to buy the product. This is salesmanship in print. It is the key to selling anything. There are many strategies and techniques to accomplish this, but the ad or website must persuade viewers to act. If it doesn’t, they won’t.
- Ask for ACTION – The ad must contain a ‘Call to Action’. It must tell people exactly what you want them to do and how to do it. Here are some examples of calls to action: “Call Today For FREE Estimate and Evaluation” or “Call 777-777-7777 Today for FREE Consultation”. If you simply stick a phone number in an ad with no specific call to action, you will lose business.
Bottom Line: Most ads simply contain the name of the business, phone number, address, list of features, list of memberships, etc. along with some form of graphics. And, in many cases, the graphics are totally irrelevant to the product being sold!
And that is why most ads (and websites) fail to harvest very many new customers.
Now…go take a look at YOUR ad and see how it measures up.
And, as always, thanks for reading this article.
And thanks to those of you who respond with your comments, insights and suggestions!
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